Power Episode Recap: We Told You Kanan, Ghost, & Tommy Were Not All Going to Make it Out of This Season Alive; Ghost Gets The Drop on Dre; And Angela On The Brink…Read Now
So, I’m not one to pat myself on the back (stretches arm over top and gives to hearty slaps), but we knew this was going to happen. Go back and check the recaps. Ok, so I may not have said Kanan was going to get got, but I knew that unholy trinity wouldn’t end well. LOL. In all seriousness, what an episode. The episode wasn’t perfect, there are issues with certain parts and the pacing was accelerated. I’ll get to them as we move along and in the extra thoughts section. But, when you have multiple storylines and only a ten episode season, sometimes you get messy resolutions to storylines. Despite all of that this was a good episode in terms of “holy shit” moments. Let’s get into last night’s episode, “A Friend of the Family”.
We have to begin with the shootout leaving Kanan dead. What the ***?! Ok, keep it 100, how many of you thought he was going to kill all the cops and then finally kill Tariq?! You all thought it. There is so much to unpack in that scene. So, it turns out Tariq was in on his mother’s and Angela’s plan to frame Kanan. Michael Rainey Jr (the actor that plays ‘Riq) managed to show good range in that moment. He was believable to Kanan as a cool and calm customer, and to the cops as a scared kid being held against his will. But, if you think that means ‘Riq will join the family business and work with his parents, think again. ‘Riq had his own motives for setting Kanan up and it was to settle a score. Kanan killed Shawn, the only person (besides Raina) in his life that he was really close to.
One of the recurring themes we’ve discussed is consequences. Kanan killing Shawn seemed to be one of those things that would have gone down as collateral damage. But, he mattered to ‘Riq. This is a young man trying to figure out the world and his place in it. The veil around his parents has been pulled, he knows they are extremely flawed people. He now knows Kanan is also very flawed. ‘Riq still sees things in black and white and the idea of good vs. evil. He gets really frustrated because he believes his father and mother only think of themselves. But, he does the same thing. Remember when he warns Dre that a hit was coming earlier this season? Setting Kanan up was about him and his feelings about Shawn, trying to right a wrong.
It’s interesting that Kanan chose not to kill ‘Riq. In that moment you could say, ‘Riq meant more to him than Shawn ever did. Kanan says as much when they are in the car before being pulled over by the cops. But the ghost of Kanan will haunt from beyond the grave. He has schooled ‘Riq in all the ways of the game. Would it surprise any of you if ‘Riq becomes a serious threat to his family?
The set up of Kanan was all planned by Tasha and Angela. Ghost had no knowledge of what was going down. He was too busy getting the drop on Dre. With 2Bit and Spanky not killing Kanan in the last episode, that set the wheels in motion for Kanan to deliver Diego’s severed head to Tommy and Ghost which they used to set Dre up. For the time being it appears that Dre will be off the chessboard. But what are the consequences for Ghost and Tommy as a result of setting up Dre?
Alicia Jimenez is, shall we say, very fond of Dre. How will she react to this new development? Will Cristobal see this is as an opportunity to take charge? With the influx in Dre’s network does that mean Tommy can give Jason the ports he promised? Remember, Kanan told Jason that both Ghost and Tommy weren’t on task and Kanan saved his life. What about the Italians? Kanan told them Ghost and Tommy were responsible for the attempted hit on them. Kanan is dead but he set plenty of wheels in motion before he was killed.
Part of the deal we enter into when watching television is the suspension of belief. We make that deal because ultimately we want to be entertained. There are so many loose ends and questions with the various drug syndicates and suppliers. This makes for more storylines in the seasons to come. But it’s also messy and if this were a “real world” scenario, Ghost and Tommy would already be dead. For some of you that makes the series hard to stick with or stay invested in, but we’ve already come this far. We have to see how it all plays out, right?!
Speaking of things playing out. How is this all going to play out for Angela? The heat is on and it’s coming from every direction. She thinks she’s slow playing Mak but he’s got the upper hand there. Looks like he’s going to try and pull off the double cross. He’ll help Tameika and Saxe take down Angela but not before he gets his promotion to D.C.
Joseph Proctor just got his law license reinstated and is unsure of how loyal Ghost and Tommy are to him. He has incriminating evidence on all of them but knows his life is still in danger despite any “assurances” he may have received. With Mak and Saxe pressuring him to give up dirt on Ghost, he sends them after Angela instead.
Let’s not forget NYPD Det. Blanca Rodriguez. Anyone else thinks Ang was strutting too much and looking way too smug and overconfident when she dropped the Raymond Jones files off? Winking and nodding at Tasha as she, ‘Riq, and Ghost are walking out. WTF?! That was actually pretty funny, in an unintended comedic moment kind of way. That storyline wrapped way to easy, I don’t think Blanca is going to let that slide. Do you? Nothing like getting really close to figuring something out and getting stopped at the last minute. It makes the most dogged person that much more determined to seek the answer.
We’ve discussed the moment of reckoning that’s coming for Angela and no doubt it will include Ghost. She’s covered and helped him avoid jail several times. She also did arrest him for a crime he didn’t commit. Will he choose Angela or himself when it comes to it?
The death of Kanan crystalized some things for Tommy. Last week we mentioned that a Ghost and Tommy showdown is inevitable, as their interests are no longer aligned. Tommy is rightfully concerned at the end of the episode about Ghost’s true motives. Remember Tommy still wants to be in the game, Ghost wants out. That tension is at the heart of this series. Ghost will continue to align with Tommy as long as it’s in his best interest to do so. Once that ends, what are they to each other?
Tommy still has no idea that Teresi is snitching to the Feds and as they continue to apply pressure on Teresi to get information about Ghost, Tommy will start to wise up. You feel for Tommy in this situation. All he really wants is a family. We see that in the dinner scene with Keisha, Teresi, and Connie. Ghost and Tasha were his family, but that’s fraying. Sort of like a marriage that stays together because of the kids. With ‘Riq breaking bad, and Tasha setting up Kanan, what’s Tommy holding on to?
As stated at the top, great moments this week. The death of Kanan will reverberate throughout the next two episodes and seasons to come. We have two episodes left this season, Courtney Kemp always leaves us with a cliffhanger in the finale, but she and the team may drop a bomb on us in the penultimate episode.
A few extra thoughts:
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Power Episode Recap: Angela’s Going Down, Tasha’s Man Gets His And Bounces, Dre Has No Idea What’s Coming & Are We Headed Towards a Ghost v Tommy Showdown? Plus Our Exclusive Interview w/Season 5 Co-Ep Heather Zuhlke (Video)Read Now
The world does not exist in black and white, but rather an array of technicolor. By the same token, people are not one thing or another. They all operate within the various shades of the color palette. Sometimes good, sometimes evil but generally with the underlying motive of self-preservation. Last night’s episode, “Devil Inside” brings us one step closer to that day of reckoning where so many of the series’ characters must answer for the choices (both good and bad) they’ve made up to this point.
We open the episode in the aftermath of Tasha’s interrogation by the authorities regarding the death of Raymond Jones. Tasha tells Ghost and Angela that the Feds (with an assist from NYPD Det. Blanca Rodriguez) are trying to convince her that she’s being set up by the two of them. Tasha knows she now must get her lover and lawyer Terry Silver to lie and corroborate her story that she put the gun in the closet and it was stolen. Tasha arrives at Terry’s and finally comes clean and says that Tariq was the one who killed Jones and she only said she did to protect him.
Ghost and Angela discuss the implications of Tasha and Silver and whether or not he would help them. Ghost has his doubts. He thanks Angela for protecting him and his family and she rightly responds by initially saying she did it to keep herself out of jail. Buy she eventually cops to doing it for him as well. Angela says to Ghost, “When we started. I didn’t think we’d end up here…” Sometimes the best-laid plans…
Both couples in their moments of doubt and fear seek some semblance of comfort and safety and on Power that’s often achieved through sex. The sex scenes on Power have always been top notch in terms of television. Think back throughout the course of this series, EP Courtney Kemp and her team have always portrayed sex in its variety of forms. Love, lust, comfort, trust, currency, as a show of power and domination, even submission. The juxtaposition in the scenes of Ghost and Angela having sex and Tasha and Terry doing the same were powerful. Ghost is attempting to comfort Angela and reassure her that he loves her and has her back and that they are in this together. Angela is afraid and vulnerable and needs some reassurance. With Tasha and Terry, there are similar feelings but she really needs Terry to do something for her. I don’t doubt the sincerity of her feelings for him, but with her, the sex is almost a weaponized currency. Think, if you love me, you’ll do this for me. Obviously, Tasha and Terry don’t have near the same history as Ghost and Angela, so the dynamics are clearly different. There just isn’t as much invested. But the use of sex still has an impact. It further solidifies what Ghost and Angela mean to each other, despite all the harm they’ve caused. For Tasha and Terry, we ultimately see that it doesn’t produce the result she’s hoping for. Or will it? Terry will be subpoenaed by the grand jury and will have to testify as to whether or not he saw Tasha put the gun in the closet. Before they had sex he didn’t seem like he was going to lie. After sex and his talk with Ghost about backing Tasha up, he flees his apartment. He leaves behind the notice that he will be subpoenaed, Tasha’s retainer check, and a post-it note saying “I’m sorry”…
The Feds are getting closer and closer to unraveling this whole web of lies. It’s about time, right? In real life we always hear about the reach and resources the US government has, and why in any case against them – unless you are insanely wealthy (think multi-billionaire) – you really have no chance against them. They will eventually wear you down. It sure has taken them a while to get this close to realizing Angela has obstructed justice on numerous counts and can be tied, indirectly, to a few murders as well. With the grand jury set to convene, Mak, Saxe, and the Eastern District have enough to get Angela on obstruction. But they want more. Mak and Saxe, in particular, are convinced that she is the “connective tissue” between Ghost’s criminal organization and the death of Raymond Jones. Obviously, they’re not wrong.
We’ve been calling this out all season, and in particular last week, that Jerry Donovan would be the one to assist Angela. I don’t know if we can call what he did an “assist,” but he did let her know she has no friends in the entire office. Useful information which she probably already knew but Donovan at least made it appear that they were closing in fast on her. At this point, there is more than just this current obstruction of justice charge. Angela’s crimes go all the way back to earlier seasons when she made up lies about Greg Knox and when Lobos was still alive with Mike Sandoval as the mole. She is a peripheral connection to Ghost’s criminal activities and has protected him for years by breaking the law.
The Feds also started pushing Teresi to get Tommy to give up more information on Angela. When Teresi starts asking Tommy about all the murders he’s committed, how he’s never got caught and how they knew about Sandoval being in the MCC was a moment. Tommy said our “lawyer” is pretty well connected. Did you have a moment in all the back and forth, and wonder if Teresi and Tommy’s signals got crossed and Tommy could be thinking Proctor instead of Angela?
Regardless, Proctor has made a connection between Angela, Silver, and Mike Sandoval. Angela told Silver, who then told Proctor that Sandoval was in lockup at MCC. Sounds like a game of telephone or he said/she said. Either way, Angela is connected and Tommy and Proctor know. Will Proctor provide the Feds with dirt on Angela to save his own ass? Tommy has no love loss for Angela and blames her for a lot. Could he give information to the right person that gets in the hands of the Feds? Plus, Angela’s weak ass attempt to transfer Mak to Steve Tampio’s division of the DEA in D.C.? Mak sees through that, right? Another nail in Angela’s coffin. Or is Mak just as ambitious as she is and Angela’s pulling the master long con? Ticking time bomb…
Speaking of things ready to explode. We were light on action but the double cross going on between Dre and Ghost has been quiet but it produced a couple dead bodies last night. Dre and Ghost are “working together” to kill Diego Jimenez and Jason Micic. That works for Dre because he’s got Alicia Jimenez as his connect and it works for Ghost because he is trying to get clean (where have we this before) and is under Jason’s thumb. Too bad Dre doesn’t realize that 2Bit and Spanky aren’t feeling him right now. 2Bit reveals Dre’s side of the plan to Kanan who kills Diego and his bodyguard but keep Jason alive. Kanan reveals to Jason that Ghost and Tommy aren’t holding up their end of the bargain on killing the Jimenez, but he is and can be trusted to take Tommy’s spot in Jason’s organization. Kanan pulls this off masterfully by proving his “trustworthiness” to Jason in warning him that Dre was coming to kill him.
Dre’s plan to kill Jason and have 2Bit and Spanky kill Ghost is foiled and we can’t help but think a large part of that is Dre’s inability to see the whole chessboard and properly manage his underlings. We said 2Bit would be a problem after Dre’s continued disrespect of him. Kanan sees that and uses it to his advantage to play 2Bit against Dre. Let us not forget that Kanan, Ghost, and Tommy all have a reason to kill Dre. His days look like they might be numbered. He better hope, fine ass Alicia Jimenez wants him and will do what’s needed to keep him alive.
With the bond between Ghost, Kanan, and Tommy fraying by the minute, they’re all acting like independent contractors with their own agendas. Tommy is bonding with his dad and trying to figure out how to keep his connect (Jason) happy. Kanan wants Tommy’s position in Jason’s network and Ghost wants to eliminate Jason and Dre. Kanan looks like the one in the pole position here and has been for a while. Ghost and Tommy have conflicting agendas when it comes to Jason but are seemingly on the same team when it comes to taking out Dre. What happens when Ghost and Tommy learn Kanan is still messing with Tariq? Plus all the “schooling” Tariq is receiving from Kanan about becoming his own man and a hustler. How long before it conflicts with something Ghost wants with dire consequences?
We have so many tension points in this episode and it bears repeating, with only three episodes left there are many storylines to wrap up. We didn’t talk about Tate, but with Ghost’s knowledge about the shadiness behind the scenes at the Queens Child Project, it looks like that storyline could quiet down or wrap soon. Teresi may start growing a conscience about snitching on Tommy after his cancer-stricken wife, Connie, made him feel guilty. A busy episode, light on the action but good moments.
A few extra thoughts:
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be in the writers’ room on Power? Check out my exclusive interview with season 5 co-executive producer, and the writer of “Devil Inside” Heather Zuhlke!