‘Power’ Recap: Lies, Damn Lies, And Tariq

Things get a lot worse for Ghost before they possibly get better

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Well, don’t actually stop me because I’ve got stuff to write, but just go with me here. Two teenagers fall in love and despite warnings from friends and family, decide to pursue a relationship. That one decision leads to a lot of bloodshed, a lot of heartache, and way too much loss for every single person in their orbit, resulting in a tragic ending for the two lovers and their families.

If you said James and Angie then yeah, you’re paying attention. But if you also said Romeo and Juliet, then you’ll realize the couple at the center of Power have a lot in common with literature’s most famous love affair. Angie walking into Truth threw this entire world on its axis and no one’s recovered from it yet. But like Shakespeare’s tragedy, their relationship is filled with lies upon lies. Power has always focused on honesty — or the lack thereof — in its universe. “Things Are Going to Get Worse” is, for the moment, the culmination of their original sin while showing how damn near every character on this show treats lying as an artform.

Before we get there though, a couple things get out the way. First, LaKeshia and Tommy had relations. Of course it’s steeped in more lies as Tommy clearly isn’t being honest about his intentions and Keshia is going to get caught up, but it’s also an example of Tommy’s impulsive nature. They had no chemistry whatsoever in their scenes together, which possibly speaks to the fact it shouldn’t be happening to begin with. There’s no way this has a happy ending and unfortunately for my male gaze, Keshia may not be long for the world of Power.

Secondly, Tariq, is cruising for every single bruising he can get right now. Besides popping sh*t to his moms in front of his little sister, he had the audacity to refer to his dad as “that n*gga.” Now look, not getting along with a parent is easy to sympathize with, but I’ll be damned if those words should ever come out of this spoiled brat’s mouth. Ghost almost smacked fire out him last season when he compared Angela to a female dog and this too deserves a Red Foreman style ass kicking.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, the bigger issue here is James’ fate. The FBI, also filled with liars, finally got the man where they want him thanks to some planted evidence and a bunch of seemingly insurmountable evidence. It continues an idea from last week’s episode that the writers feel the need to bury their main character so that his eventual triumph feels powerful and earned. Omari Hardwick puts in work this episode and ironically is the only honest person this time around. He’s broken and can’t figure his way out of it. For once, the man with every answer for every angle can’t do a damn thing and it makes for a compelling watch. Two moments in particular standout, the first being the moment he has with his family. It’s agonizing watching him tear up while trying to fill his kids with confidence that he’ll be okay. We’ve seen James as Ghost, James as Jamie, and James as the owner of Truth, but rarely have we seen him as a father and for those few seconds, we get to see these three kids truly are the most important thing in his world. Even if we’ve forgotten it as an audience, the character never has.

And then there’s the phone call between he and Tommy. I’d be remiss and a terrible person if I didn’t mention Joseph Sikora’s performance this entire episode. He goes from charming to psychotic on a dime, but during this call, he becomes the best friend we all want. James and Tommy haven’t seen eye-to-eye in a long while, so it’s cool to see them not be frenemies and back to being the brothers from season one. Of course the circumstances suck, but the wordless acting Hardwick and Sikora do here is pretty astounding. So much is said about their relationship without either of them having to actually say it and if you’ve ever been that close to someone, you can relate to every single emotion there. In a world filled with BS, this was one of the most genuine moments in the show’s four seasons and it was powerful — no pun intended.

But what to do about Angie? She’s sidelined most of this episode as a bystander but it’s clear the gears in her head are turning and she’s probably going to do something to jeopardize her career, which brings us right back around to the Romeo and Juliet analogy. She and James discuss their relationship — separately — in the episode and their union is a talking point for every damn character at this point. Judging from the looks she gives, the questions she asks, and the wine she drinks, that love for James is as strong with her as the force is as strong with Luke Skywalker. She may regret walking into Truth that night and she probably really believes it, but raise your and if you think she’s going to feel that way once she wakes up in the morning?

Exactly, keep your hands down. These two are either going to be the death of each other or the best thing to ever happen to each other. The only sure thing is that people will die while they figure it out.

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