Episode Title: "Mania"
Writer: Kevin J. Hynes
Director: Jean de Segonzac
Previously on "Boss":
Tom (Kelsey Grammer) wakes up from a nightmare and calls Doyle at four in the morning, warning him that he'll be cleaning house at City Hall. The next day, Kitty (Kathleen Robertson) sees the news about the sweeping arrests of ward bosses, union leaders and aldermen. She and Walsh decide to pounce on the opportunity to gain ground in the affected districts.
Lennox Gardens contractor, Joe Young finds his equipment vandalized. Mona (Sanaa Lathan) tells Tom about the vandalism. Things get worse when Ian (Jonathan Groff) informs Tom about Walsh's latest campaign efforts. Tom decides to give Zajac's (Jeff Hephner) campaign a financial boost.
Tom and Mona meet with two bank heads in hopes of moving the displaced residents of Lennox Gardens into foreclosure properties. After applying a little leverage, the men agree on the grounds that Tom get the foreclosure proceedings expedited.
Kitty meets with Sam (Troy Garity) and attempts to pass him a large envelope. However, he assumes it's a payoff for the Walsh story he wrote and refuses. After making a pass at him, Kitty waits for Sam in the restroom but he doesn't follow her in.
At home, Emma (Hannah Ware) searches the medicine cabinet for pills. Desperate, she calls Darius (Rotimi). He meets her at an NA meeting and the two sneak off to another room. Darius gives her a few pills and then they have sex.
At the police station, Doyle learns that Langley couldn't have shot Meredith, as he has terrible eyesight. Tom and Mona meet with a judge about pushing through the foreclosures. He appears willing to move forward until Tom insults him in the midst of a hallucination.
Tom meets with Dr. Harris (Karen Aldridge) who gives him another drug to deal with his increasingly common symptoms. Elsewhere, Young is strangled in his own car.
At the gubernatorial debate commences, Kitty makes a call to give the OK for a newspaper to run the photos of Zajac in bed with Alderman Ross' wife. The story breaks in the middle of the debate and Zajac is bombarded with questions about the affair.
At City Hall, Mona tells Tom about Young's murder. Meanwhile, Ian goes to see the judge Tom offended and offers him a sexual favor in exchange for moving up the foreclosures.
At his campaign headquarters, Zajac's wife, Maggie (Nicole Forester) tells him she doesn't plan to stand by him through the scandal and wants him out of the house. Meanwhile, Doyle tells Tom that Langley isn't the shooter. On the way home, Tom has another outburst in the car. He gets in the driver's seat, leaving his staff and a group of onlookers stunned as he drives off.
"Mania," indeed. And not we're not just talking about Mayor Tom Cane's manic behavior, but also the scandalous sexual mania that pervaded this episode.
Last week, Tom was starting to lose it, but in this episode, it seems he spent more time yelling at Ezra Stone than talking to the very real people right in front of him. As Dr. Harris explained, Tom's hallucinations are sure to become more frequent, but in light of everything he's done to so many people, you have to wonder how much of Ezra Stone's presence can be attributed to a nagging conscience rather than a debilitating mental state.
Whether it's his soul or his body betraying him, Tom's outbursts are getting harder and harder for his staff to ignore. How much longer can he remain in office given his constant tantrums about potholes and pig-faced judges? From the looks of next week's preview, not much longer which makes you wonder where the show might be headed, assuming it gets a third season. Which it most definitely should.
As I said earlier, "Mania" was a fitting title for this episode. Aside from Tom's very literal mania, this episode went to several other extremes. I was happy to see "Boss" rely less on over-the-top mobster antics until this episode, where contractor, Joe Young was strangled in his car with a map of Chicago shoved in his mouth. And then there was all that sex…
Let me elaborate. Kitty pulling the trigger on the paper releasing the pics of Zajac's romp with Ross' wife? Awesome. Kitty's attempt at restroom sex with Sam? Strange. Also, Ian's "deal" with the judge? A wee bit sensational. We know Ian has history as a political boy toy with Councilwoman Driscoll but this was a bit much. And Zajac, while we're at, would have been better off as a pornstar than a politician. He's done for, which is a bummer as I loved watching the dynamic between Zajac and his wife/campaign manager, Maggie as she compensated for his political impotency.
On that note, it was kind of funny how Maggie was fine with her husband's adultery, but once it went public, refused to play the role of the obliviously dutiful wife, as she doesn't want their sons to grow up thinking that's what women do. And to be fair, it's not exactly what she did before things went public. Maggie had an agenda and now that Zajac is finished, she seems to be finished with him.
With Zajac down for the count and Tom losing his mind, "Boss" has us guessing as to where things go from here. "Mania" was dizzyingly dramatic and over-the-top at times but all-in-all, another excellent episode in what's turning out to be a fantastic second season.