Ghost is out of jail, everyone rejoice…not so fast my friends. Power wouldn’t be one of the best television dramas if they freed Ghost and didn’t give us something to go crazy over. Last night’s episode, New Man, brings us back to the roots of the show. Power is the story about a man and the people around him in the drug game. A game built and sustained on violence. In the series’ pilot episode we see Ghost execute a man that stole from him. All the deeds done over the past four years are converging; and as much as he wants to be a new man, he’s never been further away from achieving it.
It’s not the “A story” in this episode but we talked about paying attention to the Stern/Ghost dynamic and its undertones. Victor Garber and Omari Hardwick are amazing in that scene at Truth. The back and forth is really good work. Ghost has a brief moment of elation the moment he steps back into the club only to have Stern’s presence poison it. Stern’s reference of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray was a great touch. All the subtle and not so subtle machinations and movements by Stern pay homage to the titular character.
Stern’s obsession with Ghost is rooted in hedonism and now that Tasha has allowed him back into Ghost’s life, what trouble lies ahead? Several questions need to be answered. How much money did Tasha borrow from Stern? What happened to the seven-figure check that was supposed to be used for Ghost’s bail? Is the St. Patrick’s lifestyle so extravagant that Tasha went through it? Or did Tasha do something with that money? She looked really coy when Ghost asked her about it. Is Tasha still stacking chips for her ultimate escape?
Speaking of Ghost and Tasha’s financial situation are they going to start securing some hard assets? They don’t own the penthouse and he doesn’t own any of the buildings the clubs are in (shouts to the Peach Pit After Dark, another famous club in TV land where the owners didn’t own the building).
I never thought I’d say Ghost is delusional, but thinking everybody will just show up and live happily ever after? Nah bruh. That’s not how this game’s going to work. Ghost wants to start over with Tasha? Come on man. She’s not down with that. Did you notice Tasha referring to Silver as Terry? Those two are going to smash. Silver might do it just to spite Ghost because he hates him.
This week’s “B story” is Dre and his dark turn. Ghost was always trying to get him “out the hood.” You know that saying about taking someone out of the hood, right? Dre is one cool customer; he maneuvered behind the scenes like a master chess player. He successfully played Julio, and got him killed by the Toros Locos.
R.I.P. to Julio, but he went out like a G. Took on three dudes and did some damage before he died. Before he dies, we found out why Julio and Ghost were so tight. Ghost literally bought Julio’s life. I wonder what happens when Ghost finds out about this? Slicing the Locos tattoo off his neck was brutal. In Dre’s calculated move is it possible he didn’t think about all possible angles? Didn’t Dre tell the Toros Locos to make the hit look like someone else did it? Doesn’t look like they followed through with that part of the plan. Are the Locos now a threat? Maybe, but to whom?
Speaking of Tommy (see what I did there?) The Chicago trip looked suspect from the beginning. No cellphone, a stripped out vacant floor in a commercial building, and no back up. Jason, the Chicago connect, talked expansion and getting rid of Ghost. It all seemed a bit too “tidy.” Jason’s insistence that Tommy stay the night was your cue that something was about to go down. During the celebration (more on that in extra thoughts) we find out what Jason was looking for, confirmation that Tommy killed Milan.
Once Tommy is knocked out and thrown in the trunk, he’s brought out to some abandoned field somewhere around “Chicago” and Petar emerges. We’ve previously discussed Petar and Tommy’s dynamic and now we know Petar was trying to run the okie doke. Saying Tommy killed Milan without his knowledge. Jason, deciding whom to believe, gets a visit from our old friend Tatiana. She convinces Jason to believe Tommy.
What was interesting in this scene is before Jason pulls the trigger and kills Petar, he aims the gun at Tommy. In that moment before death, he thinks about Holly. I know how the majority of you feel about Holly but Tommy truly loved her, like nobody else he ever has or likely will. I guess psychopaths/sociopaths have feelings too, sort of…The thought of Holly of course then leads Tommy to make a pit stop in Cleveland, because why not, and savagely murder Holly’s uncle who used to sexually abuse her. Power typically gives us violence but last night’s episode had a little extra.
The Chicago trip was necessary as a plot mover, Tommy and Jason have met in person and that relationship will continue with minimal friction as long as the money and product flow in their proper directions. But I think Courtney Kemp and the Power team used that scene, particularly the Holly flashback, to humanize Tommy. He is one of the more beloved characters on the show, despite his abrasive nature and homicidal tendencies. Killing Holly’s uncle seemed like Tommy’s mea culpa for killing Holly. We’ll see if that puts a tidy bow on the Holly situation in Tommy’s mind.
Finally, we have the “A story.” The Kanan & Ghost relationship is an interesting one. Thus far we’ve only experienced it in the form of one or the other referring to the past. Ghost and Tasha set Kanan up and sent him to jail. That’s how the game works in the street. When you have that top spot, there is always someone looking to take it from you. Often times, that someone is within your own crew or circle. Kanan and Ghost were once extremely close. Kanan taught Ghost much of what he knows. It’s hard to separate yourself from that level of emotion and we saw it finally pay off for both characters in the robbery and ransom scenes.
Their conversation in the car on the way to the stash house revealed just how well they both know how the other thinks. This was good stuff from the creative team. They put us, the audience, in Ghost and Kanan’s shoes. Very close relationships don’t operate in black and white and they don’t fit neatly within the lines. They are messy, because people are messy and emotions are messy.
Watching those two work through the stash house with ease was like poetry in motion. Granted, Big Grim and the other two were not that difficult to get by, but still. After they rob the stash house, Kanan could’ve just clipped Ghost. He got his money, no need to keep Ghost alive. Kanan murdered his own son, and he just popped one of the dudes in the stash house. Murder ain’t no thing for Kanan. Him not killing Ghost speaks to the closeness he once shared with Ghost and what he didn’t share with his son, Shawn. It also speaks to Kanan’s feelings for Tariq, something he was never able to experience with Shawn. Being locked up will do that.
The conversation continues between the two men on the way to the spot in Queens where Jukebox has Tariq. Kanan giving Ghost the loaded weapon was a brilliant move. Kanan, deep inside that cruel exterior, has a heart. He feels some type of way about Tariq. He became the son that Shawn never was to him and because of that bond he ultimately decides to save him. It wasn’t great acting but you could see the emotion 50 was trying to convey when Jukebox made him tell Tariq who he really was, and ultimately when he stood over Jukebox’s corpse after he killed her. You could see the Kanan & Jukebox relationship ending the way it did right? R.I.P. to Jukebox wonderfully played by Anika Noni Rose.
Great episode, and we’re in the home stretch now. We’re building towards that penultimate episode where all hell breaks loose, again. I like the majority of the episode focus being on Ghost and Tommy this week. At the end of the day, even before family, women, whatever; it’s just Ghost and Tommy.
A few extra thoughts:
What do ya’ll think? Get at me on twitter @jshector Please share with your friends and people you think would enjoy the show. As always thanks for reading and visiting BSO. See you next week!