The fifth episode of POWER is epic. I can’t begin to express how awesome the writing, direction, and performances are in Sunday’s latest installment.
“Help Me” is a plea from the men. Tariq, Ghost, Tommy are all put in positions where they need help, and this plea is refreshing. For so long, men have been the ones to give help but are the last to ask for it. This is not only evident in this show but also in real life.
Tariq dreads spending a day with his father because he hates how he thrust the children into his new life with Angela. He expresses this to his dad, and Ghost apologizes, saying a real man apologizes when he is wrong. After his apology, Ghost embraces Tariq. After a few seconds, Ghost releases, but Tariq still holds on, cradling his dad’s chest as if he’s longed for that hug. Ghost re-embraces him and allows him to hold on as long as he wants. This moment was a tearjerker. Although Tariq is a teenager, he is still Ghost’s baby. We’ve all heard the phrase “mama’s baby,” but dads refer to their children in the same way. This tender moment shed light on a few themes regarding father/son relationships: tenderness; transparency; and forgiveness.
The antithesis to the father/son relationship is Kanan. He shows up in Andre’s apartment, creepily playing with Andre’s daughter. He asks her, “do you want to fly?” while moving her closer to a window. We all know that he is capable of killing children because he killed his own. Andre is devastated to see him handling his child and pleads with him that he is still on his side to destroy Ghost. Andre is a pawn that will probably be soon sacrificed. It is a shame because he seems to be turning into a smarter yet still sweet version of the late Sean. His scene with Tariq was really special. He confirms that Ghost cares very deeply about Sean despite what Tariq thought.
Tommy’s mother, Kate, shows up unexpectedly, and we get to witness more of their somewhat oedipal relationship. Kate kisses Tommy on the lips a little too long, as Holly looks on, disgusted. Kate is Tommy’s standard for dating a woman: White, red hair, and somewhat of a basket case. Holly fits the criteria perfectly. It is interesting to see how judgmental Holly is as she sees Tommy and his mother snort cocaine together, as if this is normal mother/son behavior like cooking or watching the ball game.
Holly is neither comfortable with how close Tommy and his mother are nor is she comfortable with how close Tommy and Ghost are.
Kate tells a story about Ghost coming to Tommy’s rescue as kids when Tommy was bullied because he was White. Kate explains that Ghost is as much her son as Tommy is. Tommy smiles at her story. Her story reminds us that Tommy will never kill Ghost. This is also a deeper realization for Holly. She tells Tommy that she hired the Jamaicans to kill Ghost because she knows that Tommy will never do it. Tommy, in a rage that his brother might be dead, strangles her with his bare hands. I knew it! I didn’t think Tommy would be the one to kill her, but lo and behold, she is dead. It is unfortunate that Tommy still doesn’t know that she is pregnant. The only one who does know is Tasha. I am sure she will reveal it to Tommy in due time, but when he does find out, he will be devastated.
Ghost is almost killed. As he and Tariq are on their way to a sports game, a car rams into them. Ghost gets out of the car and is met by a crew of men heavily armed. Ghost is convinced that he is about to die. The first thing he does is looks back at his son in the car with headphones on, oblivious to what is going on, and then he closes his eyes, ready to meet his maker. Out of nowhere, Ghost’s confidant comes in and kills the crew. Ghost was very lucky. I think his karma affords him that kind of help, so I bought this part of the story. The slow-motion of Ghost’s impending death had me on the edge of my seat. I am so glad he is not dead. However, will the Jamaicans want revenge? Yes, Holly hired them to assassinate Ghost, and yes, they failed, but one could argue that the Jamaicans were set up. Not only does Ghost have Lobos looking to have him killed, I think the Jamaicans might come after him as well. Oh, boy.
Ghost is shaken up, and he assumes that Tommy hired the hit on him. Dressed in all black, he breaks into Tommy’s apartment, prepared to kill his brother. However, he sees Tommy on the floor next to Holly’s body lifeless. Tommy is clearly out of it. As Ghost approaches, Tommy says, “Help me.” And of course, he does.
Before Holly is killed, she says that what Ghost and Tommy have “isn’t normal.” This is what she couldn’t understand all along. She couldn’t understand the family dynamic at all. Although Tommy’s mother is a hot mess junkie, that is still his mother. Although Ghost has done some questionable things to Tommy, that is still his brother. What killed Holly was her imagination of who she thought Tommy was. Tommy is a family man. He is loyal to those who have a history of being loyal to him. Holly, although his muse, continued to go behind his back to do things her way, and that is not how Tommy operates.
The episode ends with Tommy and Ghost in the car saying that they must kill Lobos together. The brothers are back, and they are going to fight to stay alive. Lucky for them both, they have Angela working on their behalf, so who can stop them?
I can’t wait to see what the show has in store next week. This is what I call awesome TV.
Season 3, Episode 5 (S03E05)
Power airs Sundays at 9PM on Starz
Jennifer Ford | Contributor