‘Power’ Is Back And The Only Way Out Is Through

Season 4 starts out behind bars and that’s a good thing

There’s a line in the very underrated Constantine where the main character tells someone God’s just “a kid with an ant farm” and I gotta imagine the writers on Power see themselves in a similar light. Of course there’s a plan and an arc for the season, but they probably smile wider than Amber Rose’s hips when they put their characters in situations to make them squirm and be uncomfortable. For three seasons now, we’ve watched James St. Patrick — “Ghost” in the streets! — always be a step ahead. Yeah, Ghost has been in slightly uncomfortable situations, but for the most part, he’s lived two or three moves ahead of everyone coming for him.

But then season four started and it’s clear papa’s got a brand new bag. The “papa” in this instance being the writers and the trajectory of the show because I’m not sure if there’s a word to summarize Ghost’s situation. This being the internet however, there is a gif.

To catch anyone up, last season ended with G in handcuffs and being perp walked out his own club by his girlfriend. While this is going down, his mortal enemy is holding his son hostage and texting his wife for ransom money. Like that gif says, it’s a tight situation and in this first episode, the anaconda vice is becoming inescapable. It’s all made worse because of four little words Ghost utters and everyone believes for the entire hour: When I get out.

There’s a belief held by every character that Ghost will make bail and be able to dodge a prolonged stay in prison. The world around him is coming apart at the seams and there’s not a damn thing he can do about it. Kanan has wormed his way into Tariq’s life, Dre continues to be a duplicitous douche, Truth is under (temporary?) new management, and he and Tommy still aren’t completely healed. Meanwhile, Tasha is doing her best to hold it down and keep what’s left of her family together, even when the Feds come knock, knock, knocking on their penthouse door and Angie Valdes leads the charge with a warrant in hand to search the premises.

Speaking of which, is it cool if I digress a bit? It is? Awesome. So about that scene between Tasha and Angie…

Besides it being incredibly awkward for homeboy in their just doing his job and being in the middle of these two throwing shots at each other, it was just an awesome scene. There’s so much backstory and current story between these two so word, every look, and every piece of body language can be translated into something deadly. Tasha telling Angie she didn’t want Ghost bringing in bedbugs from her place was one thing, but saying she’s not dumb enough to have a loaded gun in a house with children was the real home run. I don’t know what the future holds for these two, but if the lords of shade are listening, please put them together early and often. I don’t ask for much, so do me this solid. Digression over.

With everyone operating under the impression this would be routine and Ghost would be home, there’s an underlying laxness to the proceedings, even with the frantic overcurrent. Tasha and Tommy are trying to figure out how to get bail money, but it’s easy to get the sense they know it’ll work out because things always do for them. Dre is busy doing Dre things and seemingly not thinking ahead at all, but that’s because he’s going about business as usual. At least until the end.

Once it becomes clear Ghost isn’t making bail — thanks to the wonderful addition of Fast and Furious’ Sung Kang — the urgency kicks in. A fissure starts to show between Dre and Kanan as the former knows he’s bug food if he gets caught playing both sides and needs the latter to stay way from Tariq. Tommy makes a phone call to Ghost’s lawyer to talk business, and Tasha tries to summon more strength than she already has. Oh and Ghost? Well, if it’s one thing prison guards don’t take too kindly to, it’s inmates trying to pull elaborate escape plans like The Shawshank Redemption or Tango and Cash. But if it’s one more thing they don’t like, it’s cop killers. Since Ghost is accused of murdering one, they’re now going to make his life a living hell. Even they were convinced he was getting out.

Now all we need to see is how Ghost is going to react to being behind bars for the time being and hopefully it’s life-altering. He’s still getting out, it’s just not happening as soon as he thought. That’s the part where the kid with the ant-farm breaks it open and introduces one of them to his boot.

Marcus Benjamin is a danger to the public, an alum of American University, St. John’s University, a screenwriter, and has an intense relationship with words. Witness his tomfoolery on Twitter,@AbstractPo3tic.

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