Season 1, Episode 1
Air date October 21, 2011
US viewers 0.66
Written by Farhad Safinia
Directed by Gus Van Sant
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Listen is the first episode of the first season of Boss. It is the first episode of the series overall. It was first broadcast on October 21, 2011 and drew 0.66 million viewers. It was written by Farhad Safinia and directed by Gus Van Sant.

After the discovery of a serious medical condition, Mayor Tom Kane must set things in motion for the upcoming gubernatorial primary while attempting to reconnect with his distant wife and estranged daughter.



Mayor of Chicago Tom Kane is devastated when he is diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, a progressive degenerative disease that will slowly destroy his mind. He resolves to keep the news secret and to stay in office to secure the legacy of his political career. He backs away from his crony Governor McCall Cullen to support young and ambitious state treasurer Ben Zajac to replace Cullen. He takes Zajac to the City Hall roof gardens, ensuring that their meeting is publicized and sending a message to Cullen.

Kane attempts to reconnect with his estranged daughter Emma. She avoids his calls, engrossing herself in work as a priest at her church and volunteering at a free medical clinic. However, she relapses to substance abuse after meeting a sweet young man involved in drug dealing named Darius Morrison.

Work on Kane's redevelopment project for the city's O'Hare Airport is halted when an unpopular cemetery relocation project uncovers ancient Native American paintings. Kane is furious when the construction firm owner Moco Ruiz announces the news on television instead of communicating through his alderman Lalo Mata. Kane hauls Mata over the coals for Moco's mistake, seizing him by the ear and berating him to listen. Mata ensures that the shit rolls down hill and has his men slice off Moco's ears to prove to the mayor that he listens. Kane meets with Native Americans and pledges to preserve the find in a museum.

Kane's wife Meredith has concerns of her own - she controls funds for school improvement with the Mayor's backing and a publicity event goes awry when journalists notice concealed mold at a supposedly much improved inner city school. She warns the corporation responsible to get their act together because the bad publicity reflects poorly on her and the mayor.

Meredith accompanies Kane to a Latino Association dinner where he receives an award. Mata forces Moco to deliver his ears to Kane during the dinner, innocuously gift wrapped. After the dinner Kane's key aide Kitty O'Neill begins an affair with Zajac.

Reporter Sam Miller is tipped off about Kane seeing neurologist Dr. Ella Harris and attempts to question her. He gets nothing but their meeting is noticed by Kane's staff, who have been tailing Miller. Kane authorizes a gentle warning to be delivered to Dr. Harris through his Chief of Staff Ezra Stone. Stone's man uses a neuromuscular blocker to paralyze the doctor as she goes to pick up her son from a little league game and delivers a chilling reminder of her oath, terrifying her.

Kane is troubled by worsening tremors and uses Stone's contacts to obtain anti-Parkinsonian medication illegally. When he returns to his home he opens his gift and attempts to destroy Moco's ears using his garbage disposal but only manages to break it. He has an icy exchange with Meredith and then retires to his (separate) bedroom.



First appearancesEdit

The following named, recurring characters are introduced in this episode:

  1. Tom Kane - Mayor of Chicago, newly diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia.
  2. Meredith Kane - Kane's estranged wife. A powerful political force in her own right.
  3. Emma Kane - The Kane's daughter. A priest, free clinic nurse and recovering addict.
  4. Ben Zajac - politically ambitious Illinois State Treasurer.
  5. Kitty O'Neill - Kane's key aide.
  6. Ezra Stone - Kane's chief of staff.
  7. Sam Miller - Chicago Sentinel reporter writing a piece on Stone.
  8. McCall Cullen - coarse Governor of Illinois.
  9. Darius Morrison - a kindhearted drug dealer.
  10. Dr. Ella Harris - a neurologist treating Kane.
  11. Alderman Ross - an influential city council member and frequent opponent of Kane.
  12. Ronnie Moretti - Kane's press secretary.
  13. Alderman Lalo Mata - a latino city council member and Kane loyalist.
  14. Moco Ruiz - a construction firm owner in Mata's district.
  15. Mike Bosovic - Chief Executive Officer of scientia, a company working with Meredith.
  16. Ortiz - a latino politician.
  17. Dilip Singh - Cullen's key aide.
  18. Max Harris - Dr. Harris's son.




  1. Kelsey Grammer as Tom Kane
  2. Connie Nielsen as Meredith Kane
  3. Hannah Ware as Emma Kane
  4. Jeff Hephner as Ben Zajac
  5. Kathleen Robertson as Kitty O'Neill

Guest starring

  1. Martin Donovan as Ezra Stone
  2. Troy Garity as Sam Miller
  3. Francis Guinan as Governor McCall Cullen
  4. Rotimi Akinosho as Darius Morrison
  5. Karen Aldridge as Dr. Ella Harris
  6. James Vincent Meredith as Alderman Ross
  7. Kenny Williams as Himself
  8. Tim Decker as Ronnie Moretti
  9. Ricardo Gutiérrez as Alderman Lalo Mata
  10. Joe Minoso as Moco Ruiz


  1. Michael Accardo as Mike Bosovic
  2. Roy Anderson as the Foreman
  3. Ilyssa Fradin as a WBBM TV Reporter
  4. Doug James as the Grey Haired Man
  5. Loren Lazerine as the Chief Exhumer
  6. Maurice Lemon as Alton Morrison
  7. Steve Lenz as Kane's Aide
  8. Eddie Martinez as Ortiz
  9. Mia Park as a Clinic Volunteer
  10. Jessie Perez as Mata's Associate #2
  11. Dale Rivera as the Clinic Doctor
  12. Gabriel Ruiz as Dilip Singh / Cullen's Aide
  13. Joseph Fleetfoot Sada as Chief Billy English
  14. Branden Smith as Max Harris
  15. Steve Key as Man
  16. Sal Velez as Garza
  17. David Windsor as Mata's Associate #1


Opening credits

  1. Francine Maisler - Casting
  2. Lauren Grey - Casting
  3. Peter Giuliano - Episodic Producer
  4. Bradford Winters - Co-Executive Producer
  5. Stella Bulochnikov - Executive Producer
  6. Brian Sher - Executive Producer
  7. Gus Van Sant - Executive Producer
  8. Lyn Green - Executive Producer
  9. Richard Levine - Executive Producer
  10. Farhad Safinia - Executive Producer
  11. Kelsey Grammer - Executive Producer
  12. Farhad Safinia - Creator
  13. Farhad Safinia - Writer
  14. Gus Van Sant - Director

Closing credits

  1. Randy S. Nelson - Associate Producer
  2. Angelina Burnett - Story Editor
  3. Kasper Tuxen - Director of Photography
  4. Daniel B. Clancy - Production Designer
  5. Elliot Graham - Editor
  6. Stephen Mark - Editor
  7. Brian Reitzell - Music
  8. Joshua Throne - Unit Production Manager
  9. James Giovannetti, Jr. - First Assistant Director (AD)
  10. Traci Lewis - Second AD

External linksEdit

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