Television Review: Power, Season 2

That was a good season finale. When I watched the finale for Power‘s first sesason, I could immediately move onto the season two permiere, because it was all available on Stan. Having finished the second, much meatier season of Power (those two additional episodes are more than they seem), the first season seems more and more like a prologue to the show that the producers wanted to make in season two. And man, season two is good. Power isn’t The Wire, but I also don’t want it to be. This is a Starz show, which means it should be soapier, and it also doesn’t pretend to have the pedigree the way a Showtime show would. It just does what it wants to do.

I’m doing a season long review, even though I could have written a review for the season finale, because I watched the last two episodes this afternoon. I largely knew most of the events that happened in “Time’s Up” because I read Joshua Alston’s review over at The A.V. Club last week. I didn’t have time to watch it for various reasons that I can’t remember because it was a week ago, but I enjoy this show much more when I’m watching two at a time rather than on a week to week basis. The troubles of a television viewer in the Netflix era, I guess. I’m going to mainly focus on the finale, but to recap “Time’s Up”, Ghost got Tommy out of jail, and I thought their friendship was back on track. On the other hand, Angela and Jamie’s relationship seemed to be irreparable. Some words from Joshua Alston’s review:

It’s safe to say following the aptly titled “Time’s Up” that there’s no longer such a relationship as “Jamie and Angela.” In truth, that relationship has never existed except in the lovesick minds of Ghost and Angela, who have done their damnedest to keep their sandcastle intact in spite of the rapidly rising tide.

It’s kind of a shame that “Jamie and Angela” are together at the end of “Ghost is Dead”. When Angela tells her colleagues that everyone has a weakness – and that Tommy’s is his mother – it turns out that Jamie is hers. If the ultimate story of Power is the love between these two characters I’m going to be disappointed, but “Ghost is Dead” sets up so many potential conflicts for the show’s third season that I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. Because while Angela and Jamie are together at the end of the finale, they’re still lying to each other. They tell each other they’re okay, but their relationship (except for when they were in high school) is founded on lies, and they keep lying to themselves that they can make this work.

The Tommy and Ghost friendship however, appears to be dead, buried and cremated (yes, that’s a reference to something). After the thrill of Ghost getting Tommy out of jail and Tommy eating breakfast at Tasha’s, it’s all downhill from there. Once again, the problem with that friendship has always been the lies. Ghost has only ever told Tommy as much as he needed to know, and this week Tommy is finding out a bunch of things about which he was kept in the dark. I didn’t think that the thing in Miami would be particularly important, but apparently Ghost’s lie of omission was a betrayal. Add that to the fact that he paid Holly to get out of dodge, and Tommy is done. As far as the Ghost/Kanan war was going, he was willing to side with Ghost, but Ghost has done so much lying that any trust Tommy had in him after the dismissal evaporated fairly quickly. Since Ghost posed as an assassin from a rival cartel to eliminate Lobos’ network (Tommy’s information from Kanan was pretty valuable), Lobos wants Ghost dead, and he wants Tommy to do it. Despite Lobos’ threats, that’s still a big ask.

The one character who truly surprised me this week was Angela, who was truly diabolical and turned her (probably only) ally into her enemy. Her career was in danger because Jamie burned her, but instead of burning him, she made a sexual harrassment complaint against Greg (even if it wasn’t sexual, he was stalking her, so it’s warranted), after Greg accuses her of colluding with James. She loves him so much that she wasn’t willing to separate him from his kids who he hasn’t seen in weeks, and is facing a hearing before the Bar Association. This is where Ghost’s idiotic love for Angela comes in, because instead of killing Ruiz, he tells him that Lobos’ entire network is in danger, convincing him to flee with his family.

I truly believe that Power is a cynical show, given that Courtney Kemp Agboh worked on The Good Wife, but the unwillingness of the female characters to put the men they love in jeopardy is what gives me doubts. Angela accuses a coworker of sexual harrassment and gets him suspended. Tasha was apparently willing to run away with Shawn (poor Shawn), and is convinced that her husband killed him, and even all of that money couldn’t keep Holly away from Tommy. I believe that Angela and Ghost are so deluded that they can’t see straight, and that Holly and Tommy are soulmates because they’re both so fucked up, but Tasha? Last week she was convinced that her husband sold her out, and was going on the run with Shawn. While I believe that Shawn loved Tasha, I don’t believe that Tasha loved Shawn. I do believe however, that since she’s been with Ghost since she was a teenager (and we know she’s 30 now), that she doesn’t really know how to do anything on her own, and that’s an interesting story. Now that Ghost has chosen Angela, and Tasha believes that he killed Shawn, Ghost versus Tasha is the conflict I’m most looking forward to watching next season. RIP Ghost/Tommy/Tasha friendship.

Other thoughts:

  • Someone on the Lobos taskforce (I think it’s the new lead AUSA, but I don’t know anyone other than Angela and Greg) is working for Lobos, providing him with the phone he uses to call Tommy.
  • Speaking of Lobos, he really likes to make his threats clear by threatening to kill Tommy’s dog.
  • It seems that Kanan has either jumped in the River Styx or has a few horcruxes lying around, because he’s apparently invincible. I thought maybe they were cutting Kanan out of the show because of 50 Cent’s other engagements, but it just turns out that Kanan is invincible, having escaped a burning warehouse (where the fire was lit right next to his body) with a severe stab wound.
  • Things that didn’t work: The guy who seemed to be vascillating between Ghost and Kanan. There was no clear indication as to who he was loyal to, which was probably the intention, but it just seemed lazy.
  • Oh yeah, James worked with Penny from Lost to get his club back, because that’s the storyline that everyone was invested in. I think the dichotomy between the drug business and the club was an interesting premise for the show, but literally no one other than Ghost cares about Truth, so there are no stakes in that storyline.

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