Power Episode Recap: K-Dot is a Convincing Crackhead, More Unholy Alliances, Tariq Saying it With His Chest & Ghost Needs HelpRead Now
After an okay episode last week, Power hit hard and fast in this week’s episode titled “Happy Birthday,” which was anything but. Before we get into the depths of despair, applause up top for the acting debut of Mr. Kendrick Lamar! Power doesn’t do guest spots because frankly, the series doesn’t need any crossover celebrities from other industries to make it hot. The characters, storylines, and New York city make the series what it is for fans. When showrunner/EP Courtney Kemp decided to bring K-Dot in, it had to be authentic and we were rewarded. The various power (pun intended) dynamics are in a state of flux, Tariq is back from Choate and he ain’t no punk. Or is he? Ghost is a broken man, the drinking isn’t helping, and he’s unable to deal with the pain and consequences of his actions. Let’s get to it.
Alliances. This season began with alliances and partnerships that all seemed destined for disaster. None were formed because the parties involved wanted to, they were primarily formed out of necessity. Sure, there was a common goal each person shared. But, that’s where it ended. Their agendas and endgames are all different. The episode opens with Tommy and Sammy having to answer to Vincent for the drive by in last week’s episode. Vincent, with the assist from Kanan, thinks the drive by was a drug beef between Tommy and Dre. Problematic for Tommy because he was supposed to kill Dre and told Vincent he would handle it. As punishment for his sins, Tommy and Sammy are on their knees and Vincent orders Teresi to choose one of them to kill. (Boss move by the way). Teresi chooses Sammy but the gun wasn’t loaded, so Sammy keeps his life. But, Teresi, Sammy and Tommy are now no longer part of the business end of the “family.” Of course, the immediate problem for Tommy is, he no longer has the Italians as drug dealers. But the more dangerous problem is, he’s now vulnerable. Since Teresi “chose” to “kill” Sammy, that curried favor with Tommy. We all know how much Tommy wants to belong and be part of a family. When Tommy recants this story to Ghost and Kanan, we see an advanced game of chess being played.
We talked about this in last week’s recap. Ghost, Kanan, and Tommy are aligned right now. But Kanan is playing chess while the other two seem to be playing checkers. Remember back in season one when Kanan baited his cellmate into a chess move after the cellmate said he’s been practicing and Kanan wouldn’t beat him? Kanan sees the entire board and nothing done on Power is superfluous or by accident. He took Ghost’s plan to separate Tommy from the Italians and advanced it one step further. He knows Tommy is vulnerable when it comes to family and uses the shaky relationship with Ghost (his original family) to push him further down a particular path. In essence, baiting him to make a move. Kanan tries to get Tommy to force expansion and cause friction between Dre and the Tainos. Tommy refuses, but Kanan plants the seed that they don’t need Ghost to do it.
The highlight of the episode begins when Kanan has a fortuitous meeting with the drug addict and street prophet “Laces”, played brilliantly by Kendrick Lamar. When Laces hits the screen, looking cracked out and crazy and hits Kanan with the repetition of “My nigga, my nigga, my nigga, my nigga” he draws the entire audience in. Lamar was phenomenal and he and Kanan embark on a killing spree as they take out various members of the Tainos. Laces serves as the decoy and Kanan comes from seemingly nowhere and violently shoots and murders the target. What is so fascinating is the acting between Lamar and 50 Cent in these scenes. Laces seamlessly flows in and out from fluent Spanish to “thug poetry” or even philosophy. It is truly brilliant work.
K-Dot’s “Laces” brought an interesting dynamic and gave Kanan some range of emotions we haven’t seen from him thus far. The best scene between the two is right before it appears as though Kanan is going to kill Laces. No loose ends and all that. Kanan pauses and has a moment of clarity, sadness? He is a sociopath, after all, feelings aren’t really his bag. Laces asks, “Who are you?” Kanan responds, “Nobody.” It looked, for a moment as though Kanan was really contemplating his place in the world, and what it all meant. We talk often about consequences. Where would this lead him? What’s next if he kills Laces? While it’s true that Kanan is playing chess, that’s a lonely game. It’s you versus your opponent and the object is annihilation. If Kanan goes on, who does he have with him? Instead of killing Laces, he gives him the gun he commits all the murders with and tells him to sell it. Of course, he can’t totally escape himself. He meets up with Tariq later and gives him a ride back to Choate?
Ohhh ‘Riq. So, Tommy knows that he snitched and told Dre about the hit on him. He also knows that his mother wished he had died instead of Raina. She didn’t say those exact words but you know he feels that. Between that and Tasha ordering the wrong cake, the guilt he feels for getting his sister killed, and his mom and everyone else taking the blame, it’s all too much. It all comes to an explosive encounter when Ghost (who skipped his son’s party) shows up drunk and he and ‘Riq have it out. There comes a point in every young man’s life where he has a showdown of sorts with his father. It’s natural, asserting manhood, alpha male all that stuff. ‘Riq starts off a little soft but he goes toe to toe with his dad. Granted, Ghost was drunk but good on ‘Riq for saying it with his chest. Some of his jabs hit hard. Telling his dad that Raina was the only one that loved him and that Tasha, Tommy, and Kanan all think he’s selfish had to hit hard. Mainly because it’s true. His character evolution over the course of this series has been interesting. He’s gone from pampered rich kid to, punk snitch pulling licks, to now, chest-thumping dope boy? It says a lot that so many of you want to see him dead. In the early seasons, he and Raina were fillers. Now that it appears he is breaking fully bad, or at the very least is siding with Kanan, what does that mean for Ghost and Tasha? Will ‘Riq become a threat?
Speaking of threats. Angela is a lone bird hanging on a not so stable tree branch at work. While she knows about the activated tracker on Tommy’s car, she has to deal with Tameika’s suspicions about the “dirty cop” case. Which we know was just suppression of evidence. Tameika tells Angela she knew about the Egan surveillance and reveals to her that her co-workers don’t trust her. Angela convinces Tameika that nothing out of the ordinary is going on with the “dirty cop” investigation. Meanwhile, Mak and Saxe are turning up the pressure on Teresi as they need to come up with something ASAP or Tameika will pull the plug.
Angela enlists Joe Proctor to set up a meeting with Tommy to offer him immunity. Tommy is no snitch, but Angela is really doing all of this against specific orders from her boss and the DOJ to leave the Jimenez case alone. Angela has colored outside the lines since season one, so this is no surprise. The issue here, as we’ve said for weeks now, is she has trouble brewing on multiple fronts.
She and Tommy meet later at her apartment. Funny scene by the way, as she still has no idea he has been in her apartment. (Remember the end of season one, beginning of season two?) She gives Tommy the tracker, which of course is a major violation on her part, but what else is new. Is the goal here to throw the Feds off the scent? Send them on a “wild goose chase”? Proctor warns Tommy yet again, about telling Teresi too much. Maybe Tommy is the one with the master plan, for once. Maybe he’s woken up and realized this is a game of chess? You stay in the game by being two to three steps ahead of your opponent. Whatever this new alliance is between Angela and Tommy, they both better keep their heads on a swivel.
We end, of course, at the beginning. Poor Ghost. This dude is really fucked up right now. He’s drinking excessively, making poor decisions and every relationship around him is fractured and frayed. Not to mention Tommy told Teresi that Ghost cleaned some money for him at Truth, so the Feds are closing in. His wife and daughter moved out and hate him. His son hates him and is back rolling with Kanan. He is being squeezed by Tate and Dre at QCP, and he is still grieving the death of his daughter which he still hasn’t processed. Oh, and he now has Diego Jimenez coming after him, courtesy of Dre. Did I get everything? He is a man that is staring at rock bottom and turns to the church for help? Strange. Very much unlike him, and he says as much talking to the Reverend. But he eventually finds himself back on Angela’s doorstep. What do I always say? In times of extreme crisis and duress, you revert back to what is familiar. At its core, this is a story about these two people and their dynamic. All of their actions beginning way back in the pilot episode have led them to this place…
Tremendous episode as we are at the halfway point in the season. We didn’t talk about Dre or Tasha and Terry Silver knocking boots. We’ll get to them eventually. It looks like, at least for the moment, Terry will be put on ice as Tasha has bigger concerns. Blanca Rodriguez and the NYPD are not going away. It looks like Alicia will be back next week (wooo!) and there is obviously going to be some friction there with Diego. These next five weeks are going to come in fast and action-packed.
A few extra thoughts:
Power Episode Recap: Kanan Two Steps Ahead, Tate is Playing With Fire, Plus Ghost And Angela Reunited And It Feels So…Read Now
Last night’s episode title Second Chances was rather uneven, of the season’s first four episodes it’s the weakest. A few storylines are fraying around the edges and it seems as though some of our main characters have too much going on at the moment. They are all individually focused on doing or completing this one deed or task, with the hope that it will save them and give them a reset. But, we know life doesn’t work out that way. The decisions they’ve made to this point will live with them regardless no matter how hard they try to right a wrong…
We open this week’s episode with the three amigos. Ghost, Tommy, and Kanan. Ghost learns that Tommy’s dad (Teresi) is out. Ghost is not happy he’s only now hearing about the news and that other people (Kanan and Proctor) knew before he did. Everyone has their own motives and suspicions around this. Ghost doesn’t trust Teresi as he blackmailed him twice when they were in the can. Tommy wants a dad, but is somewhat suspicious. He also yearns for acceptance, love, and loyalty, unconditionally. Kanan wants to get back what he lost, while he was inside. He wants to be the NYC drug kingpin. Between the three of them, he’s the one with the clearest vision and an endgame. Most importantly, he doesn’t have outside forces (familial or personal) interfering or clouding his judgment.
Kanan’s character development from the beginning of the series until now has been really interesting. He was a shadowy figure locked away, then once he got out he becomes more of a viable threat to Ghost, Tommy, etc. Now he seems poised to be the one person that may actually get what he wants. That isn’t to say that his journey to this point has been smooth, the man did get barbecued inside of an abandoned building. He did kill his own son, and more than a few people would be happy if he were dead. But Kanan has managed to work his way into the “good graces” of just about everyone, and in turn, he uses the information from these people to further his plan. He got Ghost to tell him about a plan to make Tommy to “radioactive” for the Italians and Kanan beats him to the punch. In terms of vulnerability and weak spots, Kanan has far fewer than anybody else on the board, and that’s a frightening thought. Kanan has even managed to get in good with the Italians, using the old I’m going to rescue you from a situation that I set up, ploy. Funny how that scheme always seems to work.
The Italians are a storyline that while necessary, only muddies the pool in my opinion. Teresi is so obvious in his attempts to get information from Tommy. Does anyone else see that? Tommy has his guard up and is suspicious, but the aforementioned shooting will possibly cause him to slip. Notice how worried he was after the Kanan “rescue”? He speeds over to Teresi’s to make sure he is okay. Meanwhile, Kanan is sowing seeds of discord with Vincent and his crew. Telling Vincent, that the driveby was a result of Tommy’s drug beefs. Now Tommy has his “family” looking at him through a suspicious lens, while he tries to deal with everything coming down on him. Tommy still has Dre and the Jimenez cartel to worry about.
Speaking of Dre and the Jimenez “brothers.” Alicia is back! So, if there was any confusion as to who holds the reins in the cartel, that is now crystal clear. Alicia is cold, calculated and pragmatic. Nothing seems to rattle her and she stays cool under pressure. She likes to toy with Dre, sexually, like her brother. But even in that situation, you can see the difference between Diego and Alicia. He acts out, and is petulant. She remains calm and collected, ultimately getting the results she wants. Alicia surprising Dre and learning about her brother’s incidents at the clubs are all small potatoes for her. She knows Diego is a problem and will handle him in some fashion. Though it seems she’d rather have someone else do the deed.
Alicia tells Dre to teach Cristobal how to manage all of the club business, Dre resists and is not happy about this new arrangement. This is akin to what Lobos was doing with Ghost back in season one. Remember when Lobos told Ghost to give Tommy more responsibility, which would, in turn, reduce Ghost’s risk but increase Tommy’s. Alicia is doing the same thing here with Dre. But to what end? Maybe she wants to elevate Dre, so they can begin some type of romance? Diego is already suspicious of this and many of you have said the same in your comments. Time will tell.
Time is something all the characters wish they had more control over. Nobody more than Ghost. If he could do it all over again, in other words, turn back the hands of time; would he do it the same way? Everything is closing in on Ghost this week. His excessive drinking to cope with the pain of losing Raina has dulled his senses completely. When Ghost now says “I have a plan” is anyone confident of its success? Tasha finally does what she should have done a while ago and decides to leave him. The scene where he asks, “you’re leaving me?” and she responds, “you left me a long time ago, remember?” was powerful. Again, all the choices Ghost has made, places him in the exact predicament he finds himself in. Tasha is right in calling out Ghost’s inability to grieve and attacking the Queens Child Project (QCP) as an empty monument that won’t do what he hopes it will.
Earlier in the episode Ghost is unable to deliver a speech at Truth during an investor event for the QCP. The tremendous amount of guilt is weighing him down physically and emotionally. This scene is jarring to the attendees and threatens to slow the momentum of the QCP. Not one to see his plans thwarted, Councilman Tate steps in and sees that he needs to remedy this situation quickly. He later brings in Dre to serve on the board of the QCP, hoping he is someone that will be more stable (read: controllable) than Ghost. This is likely to be a huge miscalculation on Tate’s part. He seems to truly believe that these drug kingpins really care about a public image. In Ghost’s case that was likely true as he was attempting to leave the life. What makes him think Dre wants that? While Dre may be a younger “version” of Ghost, he’s still way too involved in the life to really be that concerned with local and state politics. This will likely end poorly for Tate, and end his Gubernatorial bid before it really takes off. Good riddance. Tate is a character I won’t be sad to see go.
One character we can’t shake is Angela. For better or worse both she and Ghost are in it for the long haul. Despite what many pockets of fans hope or believe, at its core this show is about the love between these two characters. Yes, there are plenty of power dynamics (pun intended) in place, and several key players and minor characters that move in and around them. But, the magnetism between them is unavoidable. Angela, was out of the gates quickly this week, seemingly about to emerge from the wreckage with a great professional victory, sidestepping a landmine, and a new love interest. Not so fast my friends. Angela and the Feds apparent win by arresting Diego and Alicia was too good to be true. We all saw this coming right? As quickly as they were arrested, DEA agent Steve Tempio had them released. As an aside, the interplay between the various law enforcement agencies at work in this week’s episodes is exactly how things play out in real life. One agency makes a move, and a larger more influential one asserts its authority and power, and big-time criminals essentially avoid prison. Prisons aren’t filled with the leaders of major cartels or crime organizations. It’s all the low-level criminals with a few middle men and known names. You ever wonder why that is? But I digress…
Angela goes from literally being on top of the world to in the depths of despair in about an hour. Tempio is not who he says he is and she has her suspicions now about his connection to the Jimenez’s. To make matters worse, she’s now aware of a wiretap/surveillance by Mak and Saxe with Tommy Egan being the target of their investigation. That matters of course because it can blow back on her and Ghost and all the shady and illegal dirt they’ve done over the last four seasons. To make matters worse, NYPD detective Blanca Rodriguez is not giving up. She has her Pinterest board hidden in her office with all the lines and dots and all roads point back to Ghost and Angela. Rodriguez even has Angela’s colleague Darryl in her office, no doubt explaining to him that Angela is the reason he’s been suspended.
In times of crisis and utter duress, we revert back to the familiar. It’s no surprise the episode ends with Ghost and Angela meeting in the diner. The waitress asking, “Do you two know what you want?” was brilliant. All of the machinations, lies, murders, coverups, can be traced and connected back to these two in some form or fashion. Six degrees of separation with Ghost and Angela. In this moment of deep despair, they both have nobody but each other to turn to. In truth, that’s what they both seek. When Angela walks in and sits down, the first thing she does is comment about Ghost’s facial hair. Their ability to compartmentalize the disaster their lives have become and just be present with each other if only for a brief moment underscores the importance of the relationship on a micro level (for each other) and a macro level (the world of Power).
As stated in the beginning, this was the weakest episode of the first four, but when the others have been B+/A- level a B – show is not that bad in the grand scheme of things. This episode has left us with some questions that need to be answered and storylines that need to advance forward or come to an end.
A few extra thoughts:
What do y’all think? Get at me on twitter and Instagram @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!
Power Episode Recap: How Ghost is the Weakest Link, Tommy is Being Played By Everyone & How Angela’s 1-Night Stands Always Come Back to Haunt HerRead Now
Consequences. For most of us, this is something we learn very early in our lives. Every action has a result or effect. Often times, it’s not immediate, but make no mistake it is a certainty. Unfortunately, when we commit acts that are anything less than above board, the consequences can be quite damaging to us individually and collaterally to those around us. In theory, we supposedly get better as we get older and learn from our mistakes. Sometimes we do, sometimes we make mistakes on even bigger scales. Last night’s episode of Power finds so many of our characters in predicaments of their own making. But what’s crazy is, they all keep making the same mistakes and poor choices and the higher the stakes get, the more deadly and dangerous the consequences. Are We on The Same Team, is the title of the episode and it alludes to every group that seemingly appears to be on the same side…
Let’s begin with Angela…the Head of Criminal for the Eastern District has NYPD (detective or sergeant?) Blanca Rodriguez hot on her heels. Angela is able to stay slightly ahead of her by pulling rank and jurisdiction. But she may have played her hand too early, sending her subordinates into Rodriguez’s office to take the files and fold them into her “investigation.” So, for those counting at home, that another obstruction of justice charge that can be tacked on to her growing list of crimes. This is the thing about lies. You have to keep lying to cover up the previous lie until it all falls apart. What makes this even more dangerous for Angela, is she has no idea that her colleagues (read: teammates) are all plotting to take her down. She’s so caught up in covering her tracks that she can’t see right in front of her. Rodriguez isn’t going away, it’s clear to her that Angela is hiding something and despite being officially off the case something tells me that won’t stop her. All she needs to do is find a sympathetic ear at Eastern. Lucky for her there is no shortage of people that would want to take Angela down. I could totally see her connecting with Saxe. Of course, he’ll want to smash, so that will bring its own set of issues, but comedy for us.
After Rodriguez leaves Angela’s office, Angela and Tasha meet for what seems to be bi-weekly meetings between girlfriends. Anyone else notice that the frost between these two has melted? I’m not saying they’re going to become besties and hang out at the spa, but there is a shared understanding and I think respect for each other somewhere. Naturi Naughton and Lela Loren have way more screen time with each other as the seasons have gone one. I like what showrunner Courtney Kemp and the writers do with these two characters. They are consistently forced to confront each other and navigate each encounter deftly. At that moment in the restaurant, they both have a look of recognition that they are where they are, mainly because of the choices they’ve made. I truly believe they both want it to end, but how?
With the discovery, by Angela and Medina, that Alicia Jimenez is, in fact, the leader of the cartel with her brother, Angela will really be locked in on trying to get a warrant to move that case forward. Something else that will keep her way too occupied to see that Mak and Saxe are running their own investigation into her connection to Ghost and Tommy. There is no way she makes it all the way through this unscathed, right? Does she have any allies at work that would warn her? We spoke about Agent Donovan possibly helping her, do we think that’s still viable? Also, there is her new friend. DEA Director of Public Enrichment Steve Tampio. Anyone else, read that “I’m only here for one more night” line as bs? He’s going to be a player the rest of this season for sure. But is he a friend or foe? If Agent Medina briefed him, I’d say foe and Angela better watch her back…
Speaking of friends and foes…your boy Dre is really on one right now. He’s another one that can’t see the forest for the trees. He’s so worried about making sure that everyone knows he’s in control, that in fact, he has no control or authority at all. He’s so insecure about Diego that he constantly has to flex and say how tight he runs his organization. Think back to season 1, when Ghost had a similar situation with Lobos. Ghost always managed to make Lobos feel as though he was in charge, which he was, but he did it without kowtowing and never looked weak. Can we say the same about Dre? He has a problem with managing up. Another subtlety that shouldn’t get overlooked is Dre’s inability to comprehend any Spanish. It would be great if he was fluent, but just knowing some key phrases would be helpful. That dynamic helped Ghost in his dealings with Lobos and his primeras. Dre has been around Spanish speaking people for at least three seasons now. Get it together man!
Dre has a problem brewing with “Spanky” and “2-Bit.” We talked about that in our last couple recaps. With Kanan playing on “2-Bit’s” fragility it’s only a matter of time before Dre’s middle management starts becoming a real problem. Pancho doesn’t like that Cristobal’s been promoted to #2 and Arturo seems like a very shaky primera, now that he’s the leader of the Toros Locos under false pretenses. Dre is learning, the hard way, what it truly means to be a leader.
Diego and Dre have such a tense relationship. You can see it every time they are in the same room. Diego dressing down Dre in front of his men yet again doesn’t sit well with the young pup, but he’s got to figure out a new way to handle all of this. The cracks are starting to show.
As a quick aside, a few of you have mentioned that Dre knows exactly what he’s doing and he’s playing Kanan with the whole “2Bit” being upset thing…let’s say that is the case. Then that would mean Kanan making it to season six is unlikely. This proposed scenario would mean a battle is coming and one of them has to die. It’s a possibility, but that’s giving Dre a lot of agency and temerity and I just don’t buy it. Is he leaps and bounds smarter and more aware than Ghost?
Also, given the moves Kanan made this episode, purchasing weight with Tommy and getting back into the picture on the drug front suggest otherwise. Kanan has been planning to take over since he was in jail back in season one. He knows how all of the various systems work and who the connects are. Killing Dre is the tie that binds him, Tommy and Ghost. Once that’s done and Ghost has no “skin in the game” what’s next?
As for Ghost, he and Tasha are still in the midst of coming to grips with the death of Raina; it is still so raw, and to complicate matters they are both handling their grief differently and in many ways separately. If you’ve heard about the stages of grief, no doubt you’re referring to the Kubler-Ross model. The stages include shock, denial, anger, bargaining, testing, depression and acceptance. The thing is, there is no one way to grieve and it isn’t as though you move through this in a linear fashion. Anger seems to be the trait they most often display. Understandable as it plays better for television and theirs is so visceral by nature.
Tasha is at a point where all she wants to do is protect the two children she has left and get rid of the people she feels are responsible for her daughter’s death. That’s really interesting because during the confrontation with vigilante Ghost (more on him in a minute) she tells him no matter how many people he kills it won’t bring Raina back. Yet, still in all, she wants Dre and Kanan dead. Her showdown with Kanan outside of Tommy’s apartment was great stuff, you saw the lengths she would go to, against a man who in that physical space clearly had the advantage. She has no back down in her. However, her position is still precarious. Ghost and Tommy are her family but they are working with someone she wants no part of and who she knows is a threat and the reason she lost Raina. It would be one thing if she could lean on Ghost, but she really has no one. Well, except Keisha. Who has turned into a pretty good consigliere. How about Keisha telling Tasha, essentially, your kids are messed up and one of them is dead because of you? Takes a special kind of friend to deliver a message like that.
You know who could use a friend like Keisha? Ghost. My man is on his drinking vigilante tear. Remember in season one, when Ghost and Angie were having their affair and Tasha talks to Tommy about why Ghost has been acting weird she asks, “do you think he’s drinking again?” Drunk vigilante Ghost gives us new depth to an already complex character. This version of Ghost makes all kinds of reckless decisions. He’s a fan of the single malt scotch (as am I) when that gets in his system who knows what he’ll do next.
He’s capable of murder which we knew since the series’ pilot episode. But now, he seems to have a much lower bar to hurdle in terms of making justifications for murder. He’s been drunk dialing Angie for the last couple episodes. How much you want to bet he starts stalking and following her soon? He has the pending fight with Tasha over Raina and ultimately the choices they made to put them in the position they’re in. We spoke last week about the unholy alliance with Tommy and Kanan and if that isn’t enough he has Councilman Rashad Tate.
Because of his nefarious activities, Ghost can’t go to a therapist and seek help. He’s a gangster. Shades of Tony Soprano and Dr. Melfi come to mind. Anyway, he has no proper mechanism or tools to deal with what is happening to him. What do we do in times of crisis and under major duress? Revert back to what is familiar and makes us feel safe. For Ghost, that means the game and all that it entails. That type of mindset makes him exciting to watch as a viewer but it means he is also at his most vulnerable.
The situation with Tate and Linda (more on her in extra thoughts) is classic Ghost. Caught between the legitimate world and the criminal one, although one could argue, both sides are criminal. He is used to getting things done by hook or by crook and ends up getting played by Linda, who was just looking for a good time in the end. But, can we trust Tate on the Linda news?
Ghost and Tate are yet another set of people that present to be on the same team but clearly have two conflicting agendas. What will happen when Ghost learns of Tate’s Gubernatorial plans? He already feels some type of way that Raina was pimped out for donations. We know where this is headed right?
As for his unholy alliance with Tommy and Kanan, it’s about to get more complicated now that Tony Teresi has been released, and he appears to be working with the Feds. Will Tommy choose his want/need for a “father” over Ghost and his true “family?”
Kemp and the writers have spent the first three episodes setting the scene and moving certain pieces around on the board. If you’ve been paying close attention to the show, that means things are about to get crazy. I hope you’re strapped in fans. I know the series has been a little light on the action a lot of you like, but stay patient. I think you’ll be rewarded soon.
A few extra thoughts:
What do y’all think? Get at me on twitter and Instagram @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!
Power Episode Recap: Everyone is A Liar And There is No Way Ghost, Tommy & Kanan All Make it Out of This Season AliveRead Now
We are only two episodes in and the situation all of our main characters find themselves in is a powder keg on the verge of explosion. The unholy alliance of Ghost, Tommy, and Kanan – a partnership of necessity rather than choice – is so volatile. They have serious problems with Dre and the Jimenez Cartel and now Jason and the Serbs want a piece of them too. It’s early, but I’m going to predict one of the trio (Ghost, Tommy, Kanan) gets killed off this season! Dre is learning a valuable lesson in management vs leadership and how to truly wield power. Angela is still covering her tracks and has a threat to her career that she doesn’t know is coming. Tasha obviously still heavily grieving over the death of Raina is holding on as best she can, but she has to go through the all the stages of grief. Which means it will get worse before it gets “better.”
It was only a matter of time before Jason and the Serbs came looking for Tommy to collect on the “promises” he made them last season. As the NY distro Tommy also promised Jason, he would set up distribution on the west coast. Those chickens came home to roost so to speak at the beginning of this week’s episode. Two of Jason’s men are killed by members of the Jimenez Cartel, who quickly let them know, who the power is. The choice of weapons was very interesting in this scene. The Jimenez dudes had automatic assault weapons, while the Serbs had regular semi-automatic handguns. They had no chance. I wonder if that was deliberate by Courtney Kemp and the staff or did it just make sense logistically? The Jimenez men were patrolling the port and the Serbs were coming to check things out. The Jimenez Cartel appears to be the larger network, but there is some ambiguity there. The Feds talk about the Jimenez often, rarely if ever mention the Serbs. But there are times either in showdowns or interactions with the show’s main characters, they appear to be on equal footing. Something worth watching.
In any event, Jason is livid and he wants his money and his product, and whether Ghost or Kanan like it, they are caught up with Tommy on this. But as we know that’s only half or a quarter of their problems? The hit on Dre failed and they need to regroup. Tommy is in deep with Vincent and the “Italians” now that Carmine and Marco are dead as a result of the botched Dre hit. Tommy overstepped and is in way over his head as usual. Speaking of being in over his head…
Dre really comes off as a calculating guy that’s got everything under control or at least that’s what he projects. We use the moniker “Ghost 2.0” when talking about him. Does anybody think he handled that situation with 2Bit well? Getting in his face after 2Bit didn’t follow his instructions was straight emotion and instinct. He then proceeds to undress him verbally and loudly state who is in charge. True leaders, rarely if ever, have to resort to these types of actions. Think back to season one when Ghost and Tommy were trying to determine who was jacking their product. Tommy always wanted to go off instinct and emotion. Ghost would often urge him to think and use caution. If someone had to get dealt with they would, and Ghost was okay with that. He also did his best to engage in dialogue with his primeras and subordinates, flexing when necessary but always showing where the power resides. You could definitely argue that it backfired, but was that due to being a poor leader?
Also, the way Dre handles the Jimenez will be very interesting to watch going forward. Diego certainly has a way of using sex to intimidate Dre and show him who is in charge. If you think about it, so did Lobos in seasons one and two. Not in the same way as Diego. Lobos used his flamboyance to try and keep Ghost off balance, whether close talking or touches, etc. Ghost always kept his cool. Ultimately he and Tommy killed Lobos, but that was for a different reason. There is a deft touch that Ghost had when managing up to Lobs and leading his subordinates that Dre hasn’t quite developed. Will he?
Meanwhile, the Feds have their own version of in-fighting happening. Saxe, Tameika, and Mak all want Angela to go down. She has no clue what’s coming because she’s too busy covering her tracks and telling lies. Welcome back, Darryl. The researcher who was a huge help to Angela back in seasons two and three. He apologized for calling Angela radioactive. Don’t be so quick to make amends buddy, she did use your login to erase incriminating evidence. If someone decides to check his activity history I’m pretty sure that’s a fireable offense.
The Feds kind of had a big week. They have Maria Suarez’s testimony and she stated while in the trunk of the car the ride was bumpy. Donovan figures out they must have been driving in Meatpacking district on the cobblestone streets and Ghost has a club that opened that same night in the Meatpacking district. Too easy.
Angela is really something, the editor in chief of our site is on record as calling her a “horrible person.” There are countless examples of this being the case, so I can’t really disagree. But, at this point, I’m too invested to give up on her. It will be interesting to see if this plan to take her down comes to fruition or if she ends up saving herself or getting an assist from an unlikely source. In many ways, it feels as though Kemp and the writers have to keep this plotline going to keep Angela connected to the main action in the series. As she is no longer sleeping with Ghost, keeping her close required a bit more heavy lifting. But, with Ghost grieving over the death of his daughter and the voicemails he left for Angela, how long before those two are back in the sack? Grief is a powerful aphrodisiac…But before he and Angela reconcile, looks like we’re going to get vigilante, drinking Ghost from time to time. Who’s ready for that? The way he stabbed the man who drunk drove and killed the kid of one of the parents in the support group was brutal. They say nothing is worse than losing a child, we’re gonna see Ghost and Tasha do things even beyond what they’ve already done.
Speaking of grief, can we give it up one time for the acting chops on Naturi Naughton. She had some difficult scenes this week. The opening in Raina’s room, sobbing uncontrollably when Tariq hears her and comes in. The tremendous guilt she feels is obvious, it’s all over her face, she can barely stand. Then when Ghost comes in later in the episode and says it’s the first time he’s been in her room since the death. Tasha responds, “You can’t come in and I can’t leave.” Powerful stuff right there. I’ve lamented this show’s lack of recognition from the Emmys. If we’re submitting a reel for Naturi, that scene should be on it as well as the speech she’s forced to give by that snake Rashad Tate. This dude is pushing a Gubernatorial campaign. Unbelievable. We knew he had his own motives, and now they’re clear. Using Raina’s death for political advancement and the charlatan minister as his “gospel spreading pimp” is foul. But, this is ripped from the headlines. This type of thing happens every day in the communities we live in. Do some research on your local politicians and the ones that make campaign runs at the state and federal level.
Ghost and Tasha were ambushed by a man with his own political agenda and forced to bare their soul in front of strangers. This was a great scene because we saw all the emotion from Tasha. She almost goes too far, as the guilt weighs so heavily on her. At the end of the scene, she lambasts Ghost for putting her in this position. Sadness, guilt, anger, despair in a matter of 90 seconds or so. The line that stuck with me was, “I can’t help but feel responsible. We are all responsible..” You ain’t lying there, girl. Y’all did this.
Last night’s episode was aptly titled “Damage Control” and that is exactly where we find everyone. The fallout from the individual and collective actions all appear to be converging at once. The consequences of said actions will surely claim some lives and forever alter the relationships these characters have with one another. That’s one of the things I enjoy about this series. There are real stakes at play always when attempting to acquire and maintain power. Really good start to the season, two strong episodes in a row. We’re do for a real “HOLY SHIT!!!” moment soon.
A few extra thoughts:
What do y’all think? Get at me on twitter and Instagram @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!
Power Season 5 Premiere Recap: Someone Please Shoot Tariq, Is New Dre Better Than Old Ghost? Angela is Still a Horrible PersonRead Now
The premiere episode of season 5 begins in the immediate aftermath of the death of crooked NYPD officer Raymond Jones (Ray Ray) at the hands of Tariq. Police are on the scene and it appears there is more here than a simple murder. Ray Ray’s flophouse is full of stolen goods, and Internal Affairs (IA) is on the case when they notice the head of the Eastern District criminal division, Angela, is already on the scene. Yeah, because that doesn’t suggest to anyone with a halfway functioning brain that something is not quite right. Welcome back Power fans!
This was an excellent way to open the premiere episode titled Everyone Is Implicated. The St. Patrick family and their criminal deeds have not only come home to roost with the death of their eldest daughter Raina, at the end of last season. But these people are radioactive. Anyone that comes into their orbit gets their hands dirty either out of obligation, loyalty, love, or just plain happenstance.
For Angela, this is nothing new. Her hands have been dirty since the first season when she and Ghost started their affair. Now it’s even more complicated because of her high profile position. Forgetting for a moment all of her past misdeeds, and there have been plenty. At the end of last season, she helps Tasha locate Tariq in Washington Heights who was on his way to handle Ray Ray. She confronts Tasha early in the episode about what she believes went down, thinking she gave Tasha, means, motive and opportunity to kill Ray Ray. Like the lawyer she is, Angela believes she is an accessory to murder. Tasha drops a bomb on her that changes things ever so slightly. When Angela learns that it was, in fact, Tariq who killed Ray Ray, with Tasha’s gun, a whole new problem emerges. The ballistics report from Tasha’s gun is in the federal system when they match the bullet from the crime scene, that will be all the evidence needed.
This leads to a Tasha and Angela scene later in the episode, which has quickly become some of my favorite scenes. Tasha asks Angela if she’s deleted the ballistics record from the database when Angela says not yet, but if she does it she’ll be doing it for Tariq and Raina. Tasha quips right back, “you’ll be doing it for yourself.” These two women have been through “it” together and for better or worse they are tethered. Both were/are in love with the same man. Angela broke up Tasha’s family and there is a level of guilt she will always carry around with her because of it. In some ways, she feels responsible for Raina’s death and Tariq’s breaking bad. As always, good acting from Naturi Naughton and Lela Loren here.
Meanwhile, Ghost, Tommy, and Kanan are on their vengeance tour looking to eliminate Dre. A task that will not be easy. Of course, the problem here is how long these three men remain a solid team that trusts each other? My bet is, not long. Dre has fully made the transition to Ghost 2.0. He’s certainly had his hiccups and missteps but has, so far, avoided death and is seemingly set up for success, with the backing of the Jimenez Cartel. But for how long? He lures Ghost, Tommy & Kanan into a trap and Ghost winds up getting shot.
Kanan comes in guns blazing and prevents things from getting worse for Tommy and Ghost. The “three musketeers” try again to get Dre, again to no avail. They send some of Kanan’s crew in the front door and Tommy’s new Italian brothers in the back door but Dre deftly escapes death. The fellas need to rethink their strategy for coming after Dre. Showrunner and EP Courtney Kemp could’ve killed Dre in this episode, but kept him alive. I’m sure that was quite a decision, there will be a payoff later on this season. Now whether that means Dre or Ghost dying, time will tell. That’s what we’ve come to expect from Power.
The episode ends with Raiana’s funeral at the charlatan Reverend Macedon’s church. Councilman Tate has Ghost over the barrel and has turned what should be a time of mourning and grief into a media circus and performance for his benefit. Tasha’s mother and LaKeisha express their concern but nothing can be done at the moment. This is one of the minor plots, but it’s another issue that Ghost has to deal with that will likely create more problems down the road. The pivotal moment during the service comes when Tommy lets Ghost know that Kanan’s men are in place and ready to take out Dre. Tariq overhears and during his eulogy, he breaks down, heads to the bathroom and sends a text to Dre letting him know trouble is coming. What a punk move by Tariq. He still thinks Dre is his friend and has no idea, he’s being played. How many of you think that Tommy and Ghost “whispered” that loud enough for Tariq to hear? Maybe…Also, he can take those crocodile tears somewhere else. Your sister is dead because of you.
This was a good way to start the season, as usual trouble is brewing on all fronts but this time it’s not just Ghost who’s in danger. Everyone is actually implicated in something and the consequences for all involved range from jail to death. Buckle up, it’s going to get crazier and more intense.
A few extra thoughts:
What do ya’ll think? Get at me on twitter and Instagram @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!
Film festival fans rejoice! The annual Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) begins today, Wednesday April 18th and runs through Tuesday, April 29th. BSO will be live during the festival bringing you movie previews, reviews, and interviews with the people behind many of this year’s projects. This year’s lineup includes 101 new features, shorts, Tribeca TV premieres, VR, and the ever-popular Tribeca talks series. A daunting task for a veteran attendee, much less a newbie. But, we are here to help guide you.
Here we go, in no particular order, the films, talks, shorts we want to see:
Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story
This documentary series, executive produced by Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, attempts to be the definitive look at one of the most talked-about and controversial events of the last decade. It recounts the life and legacy of the titular 17-year-old child, who was shot and killed in Florida in 2012, and whose tragic death led to the rise of the #Blacklivesmatter movement.
This is not Jay’s first foray into the documentary series genre, as he was the producer on Time: The Kalief Browder Story, which won a 2018 Peabody Award. The subject matter is so omnipresent, and given our current political and social climate, more films like this while undoubtedly difficult to watch, are necessary if we are to see change.
Say Her Name: The Life And Death of Sandra Bland
One of the more enigmatic cases in an all too familiar scenario that seemingly occurs daily in this country. Sandra Bland was pulled over and arrested for a traffic violation in Waller County, Texas, in 2015. Three days later, she was dead, having apparently committed suicide while in police custody. The case gained national notoriety but three years later, we are still left with many questions and no answers.
Directed by Kate Davis and David Heilbroner, this documentary follows Sandra’s family for the two years following her death as they search for answers within the justice system.
For decades the Black roller-rink community has thrived in cities across the country. Fostering camaraderie, shared experiences and hosting performances by hip-hop legends like N.W.A. and Queen Latifah. These skating rinks serve as the hubs for an art form that blends skating and dance, with different styles based on regions. Like many things enjoyed and celebrated by Black culture, it is in a precarious state and under attack from the mainstream. Re-zoning policies have led to rinks closing and long-standing admissions policies, and racially coded “Adult Nights” have nearly banned black patrons.
Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown visit black rink owners and skaters in cities all across America as they introduce this art form to their kids, and dive into the cultural history of skate and the racial politics impacting its present.
The struggle of the rural working class comes to the big screen at TFF. I know, you’re probably bored of hearing this story. But, this one stars the brilliant Tessa Thompson and rising star Lily James. The two are estranged sisters who come together in a moment of crisis. An unexpected pregnancy and the likely loss of home. What do we do when faced with the pressure of basic survival?
Writer-director Nia DaCosta’s debut is an emotionally-charged small-town thriller that weaves timely themes of an economic downturn and the ever prevalent opioid crisis into its intimate story of two sisters just trying to get by.
Tribeca Talks: Storytellers – Alec Baldwin With Spike Lee
Two of the industry’s best storytellers will share the stage at TFF and discuss their relationship to film, their favorite movies, and what makes for a compelling story. Baldwin is an acclaimed actor known for his work on Beetle Juice, The Hunt For Red October, Saturday Night Live, and 30 Rock. Lee, an Academy Award-winning director and producer has brought us groundbreaking films, including Do The Right Thing, Malcolm X, 4 Little Girls, When The Levees Broke, 25th Hour and Inside Man.
Louis, who, 24 years after committing a violent crime is on the verge of release from prison. Facing an uncertain future on the outside he encounters Beech, a newly incarcerated young man who offers him much needed-friendship, though not without unfortunate complications. The younger inmate is a mirror of his older counterpart, stirring instincts within Louis that had long been buried beneath a tough exterior.
One of the best actors living, Jeffrey Wright, delivers a powerful performance as the O.G., Louis. Madeleine Sackler films on location at an actual maximum security prison, using real inmates as actors and extras. This picture has a stark level of realism that gives insight into life as an inmate in America.
A Karate Kid reboot. Need I say more?! In a limited edition television series, Ralph Macchio (Daniel) and William Zabka (Johnny) are the executive producers and star in the series. Thirty years after the All-Valley Karate Tournament of 1984, a down on his luck Johnny Lawrence seeks redemption by reopening the infamous Cobra Kai karate dojo. This reignites his rivalry with a now-successful Daniel LaRusso, who has struggled to maintain balance in his life without the guidance of his mentor, Mr. Miyagi. This will be worth it for the nostalgia alone. No word on if Elisabeth Shue (Ali) makes a cameo.
There are literally hundreds of films, documentaries, shorts, live talks, tv premieres to choose from. This is just a small sampling of what we will see. Tickets are available at the official festival website. Prices are $10 (matinée screenings before 6pm, Mon–Fri), $20 (evening and weekend screenings) or $40 (conversations and special events). You can also purchase passes for individual days or the entire festival.
In last night’s season finale of Power, the St. Patrick family went scorched earth in an attempt to avenge Raina’s death and settle family business. You Can’t Fix This was emotional, engaging, and the St. Patrick’s will never be the same.
The episode opens in the aftermath of Raina’s murder at the hands of dirty undercover cop Ray Ray. At this point, only Tariq knows who committed the murder and he is consumed by guilt and ultimately vengeance. Tariq has become a master liar and uses his skills when questioned at the police station. The other set of footprints mentioned by the investigator belong to Ray Ray and Tariq needs to settle that score.
Tariq’s evolution as a character has been remarkable this season. In truth it has been happening ever since Shawn was killed but the curve really accelerated this year. For most of the season many of us wanted to see him get clipped for all the lying, disrespect, and overall sucker behavior. But Tariq is a new man now. Gone is the innocent kid from season one. His coming of age marred by tragedy, his parents’ fall from grace, and his indoctrination into “that life.”
Ghost and Tasha are faced with the worst horror imaginable, the death of their child. In the parking garage scene before entering their penthouse, we see a tremendous amount of emotion, and Omari Hardwick and Naturi Naughton acted brilliantly in this scene. Throughout the series’ run, the Hardwick and Lela Loren (Angela) on screen chemistry gets a lot of praise, and rightfully so. But, Hardwick and Naughton really have a special on screen dynamic, and because of who their characters are and what they’ve been through; it has a different level of richness.
Speaking of family bonds, nothing like tragedy to get the gang back together. One of the enduring themes of this series is the power of family. In the end, when everything is at its worse, and you have nowhere to turn family is all you got. For better or worse. This particular family is built on a criminal enterprise, which of course adds its own set of drama.
How dope was it to see Ghost and Tommy back together, dressed in all black everything, gun toting and laying waste to everyone in their path? Ghost’s initial thought that the Jimenez cartel was behind the hit was proven incorrect when he and Tommy used the nail gun to torture Uriel. Imagine getting literally nailed to a chair and then shot in the head?
Part of the problem with acting solely off assumptions and half-truths, particularly if you’re in a state of revenge, is the collateral damage. Uriel has nothing to do with Raina’s death but Ghost does find out he was behind killing Julio at the behest of Dre. Stick a pin in that storyline.
Meanwhile, back at the penthouse Tasha is holding down the fort while Ghost is out on the revenge tour. Their spot is filled with family members offering condolences, and Tasha’s new lover Terry Silver drops by. Nice of him to pay his respects but anybody see it as kind of disrespectful that he professes his love to Tasha the day after her daughter gets killed? Silver does say as much, so I guess we can’t be too hard on him. Love won’t be denied and all that.
It was interesting watching the Terry and Tasha scene, specifically when he asked her if she knows anything. Terry knows Ghost is a criminal, and I’ve always thought he’s suspected Tasha had some level of involvement. He finds out later in the episode when Tasha choses protecting Tariq instead of being his lover.
Ghost takes a brief stop on his killing spree to make “funeral arrangements” and meets up with Councilman Tate and the charlatan church minister. You all saw the shakedown coming right? Tate may not be a criminal in the most literal sense but he is a shady dude. Using Raina’s death as an opportunity to create a media narrative is foul. Tate also seems adept at pulling the moral high ground card on Ghost, telling him innocent men’s daughters sleep safely in their beds at night. That moment with Tate and the minister registered in Ghost’s subconscious. The death of his daughter obviously means he will never be the same, but it also means the past will never escape him. The dream he once had of going legit is dead and maybe for the first time he truly believes that.
When Tommy learns the identity of Raina’s killer from Kanan and informs Tasha who the intended target was, she goes into full mama bear mode. I’ve always enjoyed the way Power frames these moments. The eerie music in the background and all the machinations going through her head was tremendous. The sequence of finding out the news, asking the assembled guests if they’ve seen Tariq, the realization he went to the office and the search for the gun was brilliant. Then calling Ghost only to realize his cell is in the desk. Tasha will go to the ends of the earth to protect her son, and she does, enlisting the help of an unlikely ally.
Angela is now the head of the eastern district’s criminal division and that means trouble for the St. Patrick clan. Maybe not in the short term, but in the long run it will be problematic. Angela helps Tasha locate Tariq because he’s Ghost’s son. Despite their complicated relationship Angela still loves Ghost and will do just about anything to help him. She warns Ghost at the beginning of the episode not to do anything to jeopardize his future and she tells Tasha the same thing when she asks for help in locating Traiq.
The moral predicament that the series places Angela in is interesting. She knows Ghost’s family and wants to help, but she is an assistant United States attorney. Her mission is to uphold justice and prosecute offenders of the law. Angela, like most of the characters in the series, lives in a gray world. There is a clear right and wrong, but life isn’t lived in black and white. The choices made have consequences, and actions that seem right in the moment often have unintended negative repercussions.
The episode builds toward a pivotal moment in Washington Heights, a neighborhood in upper Manhattan. Tariq is on a mission to kill Ray Ray; Ghost is on his way to do the same, when he sees his son entering the building. Tommy and Tasha arrive on the scene as well. This was one of the most powerful moments in the show’s four-year run. Tariq gets the revenge he sought and killed Ray Ray.
In this moment Tariq sees the family unit in a way he knew was there but is now undeniable. He knows what his father and Tommy are going to do with the body; he knows they are escaping law enforcement. The moment it all comes together is when Tariq and Tasha are back at the apartment and they stop in the basement to burn his clothes (evidence) in the furnace. Tasha then gives him explicit instructions on how to scrub himself from all the residue linking him to the murder. This was such a powerful moment for mother and son. We may not have liked Tariq for much of the season, but dude is a man now.
One of the things I enjoy about the way Courtney Kemp manages the series, is the subtle winks and smiles she has with the audience. She senses when “we need a win” and she gave it to us at the end of the episode. The sight of Ghost, Kanan and Tommy in the car together plotting their takedown of Dre was perfect. An excellent way to end the episode and set us up for what is to come in season 5.
This episode was tremendous, the perfect way to end the season and leave the audience with anticipation for what’s to come. Obviously the major plot point will be the triumvirate (Ghost, Kanan, and Tommy) trying to take down Dre. What a meteoric rise for Dre this season. He is the new super bad on the show. Now that he is in with the Jimenez cartel and has a solid group of primeras, taking him down won’t be so easy.
When the authorities begin to investigate the death of Ray Ray, what evidence will they find? The only bullets fired were from Tasha’s gun. Will the ballistics match to anything? Angela suspects Ghost is responsible. Will she start a crusade to bring him down or is she barking up the wrong tree? If she finds out it was Tariq, what does she do? Maria is back and is telling tales about Ghost killing Miguel Alvarez all the way back in the pilot episode, how will that play out? For now, Ghost, Kanan and Tommy are aligned, with the introduction of Tommy’s Italian connections, how long before things start getting muddled?
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.
This will obviously be the last recap until next season begins. I want to thank all of you for riding with me this season. Recapping this show is a labor of love and I do this for the people. Keep reading BSO and following me for unique content in sports, entertainment and pop culture.
Last night was the penultimate episode in season 4 of the Starz prestige drama Power, and it was excellent. That Ain’t Me was light on the big action scenes, but left us with a shocking death and the St. Patrick family will be out for blood in next week’s finale. Tommy has lost control of his network, is snorting coke and being set up to get worked over by his dad. Dre is seemingly the man at the head of a drug network. Kanan is still lurking in the weeds. Ghost may have temporarily secured leverage over Simon Stern, but now has to deal with Councilman Tate. Angela received a promotion and is now the new head of Criminal Division for the eastern district of New York.
It finally happened! One of the St. Patrick twins got killed. But it wasn’t the one everyone was hoping for. In many ways, Courtney Kemp and the writers had to go here to give the show more room to flex its muscles. R.I.P. to Raina St. Patrick, daughter and sister, a good kid who didn’t deserve to go out like that. Her death will have a serious ripple effect. Tariq will have to live with the fact that his lying got his sister killed. What will make it even worse for him is the fact that his sister was going out on a limb to protect him. Despite how shitty he treated her, she still loved him and wanted to help him because he was in trouble.
This lean addicted, lying, punk ass, disrespectful bum Tariq now sees the game for what it truly is. He thinks he’s hard and knows how to handle himself, thinks he ain’t shook. Well he’s definitely shook now. He really handled this entire situation poorly from jump street. Does he remain about that life? Or does the guilt eat away at him and he ultimately caves under the weight and kill himself?
On the lowest of keys that Tariq has been the star of Season 4, because you have to be a really good actor to be as hated as he is.
How clever was it of Angela to plant the seed in the new U.S. Attorney’s mind that she should be head of criminal division? In all honesty it is the right move. Saxe is too much of an ass kisser, Mak has too much hubris and as lead counsel botched the Ghost prosecution. Say what you want about Angela, but her tenacity and dogged determination wins the day. Does she do illegal and shady stuff? Absolutely. But everyone on Power does. She seems to be the best one at playing the game on the side of the justice system.
At the Gala when it was announced that she would be the new head of criminal, it was the culmination for her and she wasn’t surprised. It was as if she knew she was getting the gig? Anybody else notice that? To many it seems unfair that she get rewarded after all that she’s done. But, that’s how the game goes. Mak and Saxe are clearly none too pleased and will be problems for her moving forward.
The scene with Angela and Ghost at the Gala shows there is still chemistry between the two. Despite all the messed up stuff they’ve both done to each other, they have history. We learned Ghost had the option to go to Choate, but bailed. Interesting. That doesn’t fit the narrative that has been developed for us over the last four years. Angela got into Choate for a chance at a better life and left Ghost behind. Anyway, what’s next for these two? Will they reconcile? As the new head of criminal, Angela is a bigger threat to Ghost. But the directive from U.S. Attorney Robinson is to never speak the name James St. Patrick again.
Tommy’s need for family is clearly making him blind when it comes to Teresi. Knowing that Teresi is indeed his father has obviously changed his relationship with his mom. The scene where he’s rummaging through her things is great. Tommy’s singular focus of finding the birth certificate that legitimizes him was packed full of emotion. In her mind, she was protecting her baby from a bad man. Tommy holding and ultimately smashing the limited edition Kate Moscatelli Suzie Jane doll was a nice touch. These are precious to Kate, but he wanted answers. When he didn’t get the answer he was looking for, he threatened her. Revealing he killed Holly made it very clear to Kate that he would kill her, if need be. This looks like the end of the road for Tommy and Kate. No way that relationship is ever the same again, right?
Tommy is already “indebted” to Teresi. He had Sandoval killed while he was under lockup in the MCC and now Tommy is asking him for help in a war against the Jimenez drug cartel. At what point do we think Teresi starts looking to collect on these debts? Sure he’s Tommy’s dad and wants to help his son, but nothing is done for free. Keep in mind Teresi knows who Ghost really is. While Ghost may have beat the charges filed against him, Teresi is still a loose end. One that Ghost needs to tie up, and that will be difficult because of Tommy.
Dre and Cristobal’s plan to torch the warehouse containing the product is crazy. But Dre is willing to push the envelope, and that ambition has him close to wearing the crown as the biggest drug dealer in NYC. The plan was thought out carefully and executed relatively well. Tommy played it out like Dre expected for the most part. The problem of course is still Kanan. Dre and Cristobal thought they had that handled, but Kanan managed to stave off his own attempted murder and will now tool up for war. Dre has no idea what is coming at them from both sides.
Meanwhile for Ghost, he realizes Stern is screwing him over on the business end of the real estate redevelopment deal. Ghost reaches out to Tate for assistance who delays approval of the contract until it’s amended. Ghost tries to play it off like he was blindsided by Stern. When he reaches out to Tate for help, he plays the race card to get an already sympathetic Tate to do his bidding. But as is typical with Ghost of late, he underestimates Tate. He does Ghost a solid, but now wants something in return. Is Tate the clean cut politician he presents himself as? Besides, what politician isn’t dirty at some level? Ghost is finding out that the game is crooked on the legit side as well and he has just as many people looking to take advantage wherever there is an opportunity. Who do we think Alphonse, the “community liaison” is?
This was a really good penultimate episode, the murder of Raina will drive next week’s finale. Ghost, Tommy and Tasha will go scorched earth. There will be some collateral damage along the way, but at what cost? Will their fledgling alliance remain intact or fracture even more?
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!
Power Episode Recap: Tariq Runs Like McGregor Trains; Proctor’s End Game; Angela Still Has Some Ghost in HerRead Now
After last night’s episode, It’s Done, there are only two more episodes remaining in the season. The standard television practice has been to do something big in the penultimate episode and then use the finale to deal with the aftermath. Power has done both in its four seasons thus far. It seems to me that the show is at a tipping point in some ways. There needs to be a major turn for the story to maintain its juice. Even bigger than the previous three seasons. Last night’s episode gave us the payoff for the murder of Greg Knox. What else might have been foreshadowed?
The “A story” this week was the payoff we’ve been waiting for. Mike Sandoval finally got what was coming. We predicted death as the logical outcome for Mike as he was boxed in a corner with very limited options. See, the thing about covering your tracks, is that it usually involves you doing more of the thing you’re trying to cover up. Lying is the one we’re all most familiar with and the series has shown us countless examples of that. The other is murder. If someone knows something that is damaging to you, permanent silence is the only way to keep that secret from getting out.
Sandoval was already feeling claustrophobic last episode when he went to Donovan’s house to kill him. When he wasn’t there his panic level heightened, that coupled with his solo conversation with Mak had him bugging. When he saw Saxe this week he knew something was up, and Angela and the team played it brilliantly. They organized a sting operation and used Sandoval’s panic against him.
The scene was great. Who thought Sandoval was actually going to kill Angela? It would’ve been an interesting play by Courtney Kemp and the writers. But, as we all know Angela has a larger role to play later. Angela puts the pieces of the puzzle together and when she lays it out all out for Sandoval, he knows it’s over. Say what you will about Angela, but she’s like a dog looking for a bone (get ya’ll minds out the gutter). She wouldn’t rest until she solved Greg’s murder and make Sandoval pay.
Angela also knows how to play the game for herself, as we all know. Slick move, disabling the wire so there would be no evidence to incriminate her for her part in the prosecutorial misconduct. How convenient was it that her gun was available? She played that perfectly. Telling Sandoval that shooting her in the back will not look like self-defense was the opening she needed to turn quickly and fire the gun. Nice shot too. Got Sandoval’s shooting arm without killing him.
Was anybody else curious about the procedure following the Sandoval shooting? Would Mak tell Angela where they would hold Sandoval and their plans to question him? To that end, we knew Angela would use that information to her advantage. She tells Silver that Sandoval was the mole and where he will be detained. Why? Because she knew Ghost would find a way to have Sandoval killed. Not only does permanently silencing Sandoval save Ghost and Tommy, it also saves Angela. She knows this.
Having Teresi set up the hit against Sandoval is potentially a good move (it was their only choice) as it may take the Feds a while to connect the dots. That is of course, unless things with Teresi, Tommy, Kate, and Connie don’t all blow up.
The emotional subtext behind Tommy, Teresi, Connie, and Kate is so weird. Connie already suspects there is a connection between her husband and Tommy. Kate apparently knows the devastation that will occur if she tells Connie about her affair with Tony. This little love triangle has the feelings of some tawdry Atlantic City incident from the early 80s. An Italian guy messing around on his Italian wife, with an Irish girl; check out the history of the Italian and Irish in this country.
Our “B story” is the pending drug war that Tommy wants to start with the Jimenez drug cartel, and the threat he doesn’t know about, Dre. To be fair to Tommy, a lot has been going on for him. With Ghost being locked up, he had to look out for the family and deal with Jason, the Chicago connect. Plus he’s still dealing, internally; with the death of Holly, and now the revelation that Teresi is his dad will have his head all twisted.
The chaos and commotion was the perfect opportunity for Dre to lay in wait and plot his takeover from the inside. The primeras already don’t trust Tommy, and back Dre 100%. Ghost showed up in time to seemingly get Tommy the territory and demands he wanted. But now that Dre has met with the Jimenez’s (more on them later) and offered up the Bassett Hotel Group this will get even more interesting. Dre has to deal with Tommy and Jason on one side, and Ghost and his legit club business on the other. Can he deliver the Bassett group now that Ghost has been exonerated? For the primeras it doesn’t matter who the connect is, coke is coke. Dre wants to be the biggest goddamn drug dealer in NYC, he better be ready.
Does anybody see where this is headed? We’ve had deaths of fairly important people, but nobody really central to the overall world of the show. What do you think will happen when Tommy gets word that Dre has been plotting and met with the Jimenez’s behind his back? What makes you think Dre will let him find out? A showdown between these two is obviously looming, but what if Dre is the one that prevails?
The “C story” is Tariq and the life of crime he no longer seems to be interested in. What’d he think was going to happen when they gained access to that woman’s house? Seems like the violence and depravity that often accompanies that life is not for him. He decides to push the issue his sister Raina brought up at the beginning of the episode about attending Choate.
Tariq and Raina are both at crossroads. They are going through what we all went through at that age, the realization that our parents are not mythical, god like or superhuman. I touched on this in a previous recap. That fall from grace is a difficult thing for kids to handle, and is intensified when your parents are felonious, lying, murdering drug dealers. They are not equipped to handle any of this and their fight flight response is leaning heavily on flight. Tariq has already become a master liar and manipulator. We all eventually become some version of our parents.
Overall, it seems like the pacing is starting to get back to normal. A solid episode, if only because Sandoval finally got what was coming. The inability to secure the extra two episodes still has a lingering impact. But, all the pieces are in position for next week.
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!
Did the pacing in last night’s episode seem really fast, or was it just me? Many of you thought that about last week’s episode as well. Last week we learned that creator and showrunner Courtney Kemp asked Starz for a twelve-episode season, they refused. It seems that the material they have for this season would’ve been best served with an additional two episodes. Despite the frenetic pacing, which will continue through the finale, last night’s episode You Lied To My Face brought many characters up to date with what we’ve known for a long time.
Glad to see a lengthy dialogue scene between Ghost and Tasha. Omari Hardwick and Naturi Naughton really capture the emotions of a diminished relationship that still needs to exist on some level due to extenuating circumstances. You see it as they hurl insults at each other, show vulnerability, and make momentary peace for the sake of their kids. Good stuff by the actors, with some great lines. More on that in this week’s extra thoughts.
Mirrors are a consistent presence on this show, the creative team uses them to illustrate and illuminate who these characters really are. There is no hiding in front of the mirror. When Ghost and Tasha are arguing in the bedroom after he brings Tariq home, they are in their huge walk-in closet in front of the three mirrors. They both are exposed in that scene for who they are, liars and criminals. Tasha is trying to explain why she didn’t tell Ghost Tariq had been kidnapped before. Ghost is placing the blame on her, and she reminds him they wouldn’t be in this mess if he didn’t stray, among other things. We also learn that Tasha told Ghost to kill Kanan, and he didn’t. How ruthless is Tasha? She’s stone cold. Many truths throughout the show’s run have been exposed in front of those specific mirrors. Up until now they’ve been experienced by a singular character, either Ghost or Tasha. Having them both in front of the mirrors was really clever. The mirrors are about exposing parts of one’s self that are hidden. Tasha sums it up perfectly when she says, “You left me because our life together was real. And with Angela, you could pretend to be something you never were.”
Meanwhile, we told you this Dre coup might have a hiccup. When Dre and Tommy meet outside the warehouse before they discover Julio’s dead body. Tommy confronts Dre about Kanan. Dre dodges the bullet, for now. But something tells me he won’t able to keep the lie going. Inside the warehouse Tommy finds Julio’s body with the Toros Locos tattoo cutoff and tells Dre to set up a meeting. During the exchange we see Dre’s ambitions and just how cold he is. Julio’s body isn’t even cold and he’s asking for a promotion, which he ultimately gets. Tommy’s no fool and doesn’t buy that the dude the Toros Locos offered up, actually did the deed and killed Julio. Even though he does kill him. Shooting that man in the head and pointing the gun at Uriel was a show of strength.
We finally meet the leaders of the Jimenez Cartel, Diego and Alicia Jimenez. A brother and sister act no doubt introduced to be a part of the upcoming drug war. You remember the Jimenez Cartel, they were going after Felipe Lobos and had him stabbed him while he was in prison. Diego and Alicia forced one of their employees to overdose on coke and shot his woman in front of their kid. No joke. Tommy shows his development as a character in his scene with Diego and Alicia. He shows his hand and is not afraid to let them know that he was the one that killed Lobos and that Ghost had a deal with the locos that is still being honored. There is no way season one Tommy could handle this kind of meeting without saying the wrong thing or upsetting the applecart. He makes his demands and Diego and Alicia have to think, but he warns them not to take too long in deliberation. This is high stakes drug warfare now. Julio and Dre were playing at one level, but this is something else all together.
Can we talk about the suspended prosecution team running around the streets like a rogue 80s rock band? Saxe literally will believe any theory from anyone. First Sandoval convinces him that Donovan might be the mole. When Mak approaches Saxe about his contact with missing (we know he’s deceased) Homeland Security Agent Bailey Markham he rushes to tell Angela, whom he hates, that they need to push on the Donovan theory. At this point Angela and Donovan have already realized that Sandoval was in the office at Truth before the gun was discovered.
Speaking of Sandoval, we have been saying all season it’s only a matter of time before he runs out of options. He already killed Greg and was ready to cancel Christmas on Donovan. How does that storyline resolve itself? He is either found out or arrested, or he kills himself, right? He can’t continue on a killing spree. I suppose he can try and frame someone else. But they are closing in on him and it will look really suspicious when he points the finger at someone else.
On a side note, the Feds need to step up the security of their computer systems. All series long, characters can download files and video footage and pass it along to anyone inside and outside the office. Don’t the systems log this stuff? Donovan is currently on desk assignment. Angela, Sandoval and Saxe are all suspended and locked out of the office. Donovan just copied the files on a flash drive and walked out?
So, are we supposed to be on board with Traiq being hard now? Dude is hooked on Lean, plays violent video games all day, talks real greasy to his folks, and has no respect for authority. Not to mention he got physical with his sister in this week’s episode. Kanan twisted this kid’s head up and who knows what he’ll do next. In many ways he’s really just a typical teenager. Going through physical and emotional changes but he still lives in a world of black and white. He’s not equipped to handle the truths he seeks. He is experiencing what we all have, which is that realization that our parents are not these God like beings that are all powerful and do no wrong. They are human, imperfect, and fallible. The problem for Traiq of course is that his parents also happen to be murdering, drug dealing, criminal conspirators. Dude will be lying down on some therapists couch in 20 years talking about his feelings.
Terry is mad corny. How you going to say BeBe and CeCe Winans after Tasha says, “we could’ve been something.” Everyone see what’s happening here right? Yes, we predicted Tasha and Terry would smash. That was obvious. But Tasha is essentially playing Ghost from the first season. Remember when Ghost and Angela reconnected it was all about what his life would be like if he was with Angela instead, if he was legit from jump. Tasha echoes that sentiment when she says to Terry, “I just keep thinking, what if I had never met James. What if I had met you first?” Just like Ghost during the first season, Tasha withholds who she really is from Terry. But I’m skeptical of Terry. I think he knows more than he’s letting on. Not saying he doesn’t have any feelings for Tasha but something’s going on behind the scenes with him.
The episode ends with the reveal many people were waiting for. Tommy finally calls Tony Teresi who reveals, as we suspected, that he is in fact Tommy’s dad. Tony met Tommy’s mom Kate while she was a dancer at the Tropicana in Atlantic City. Apparently lusting after redheads is hereditary. I’ve written it many times before but it bears repeating. Tommy is an emotional character; the news that Teresi is his dad will definitely rock his world. The impact could be devastating and it’s coming at a time when he needs to be focused on other things.
Aside from the pacing this was an important episode to get certain matters cleared up, positions established and set the pieces in motion for the penultimate and the finally. Last night was episode seven, only three more remaining in this season. I see a war coming, and Ghost’s legal situation is not over yet.
A few extra thoughts: