Power (Starz) Review “Who Are You?”

Power Episode 4 (1)

Ironically for a show that only plays one note over and over again, Power dared to name its fourth outing, “Who Are You?” Well, you are a show about a man who wants to be a nightclub owner but is entrenched in the world of drug dealing. That man struggles with the pull between two worlds each week and has the same conversations with his wife, lover and best friend until the viewer begins to feel like Troy in the season one episode of Community where Annie locks him in a room to observe how long it takes him to break. There is a general consensus that most network series–generally not premium series, but clearly Power did not get that memo–will repeat the information found in the pilot throughout the first three outings in case viewers come in late. Four episodes in and Power is still repeating the same information sprinkled with nonsensical and lengthy sex scenes featuring Tommy, of all people.

Let us break this down. Tasha and Tommy do not want Ghost to focus on the club. Ghost focuses on the club. They complain about it both to him and behind his back, while he continues to turn over delicate drug business to Tommy and Tasha, both of whom have proven to be startlingly incompetent human beings. Ghost sends Tommy into a meeting with all of the other drug lords to find out who has been hitting their dealers. Tommy, the guy whose idea of subtlety includes lighting a man on fire and then choosing to believe that when the guy says a fat man is behind the hits, it could only be one of their close distributors because he’s the only fat man in the New York drug trade, I guess? (He’s dead now, by the way.)

Meanwhile, Tasha continues to shop and whine about not being in the loop. She also rather nonchalantly asks if she and the kids need to get out of town for a few days. The prospect that there could be a hit out on her family seems to delight her– I had hoped Tasha would grow into a fascinating and complex woman who had reasons for enjoying the thrill of being entrenched in the drug trade, but she has no reasons. She likes having money, but for some reason has no interest in gaining this money legitimately. Instead, she continues to tease her bodyguard and Ghost’s protege, Shawn, in order to get information about what Ghost is up to.

What she should really do is ask Holly, the waitress with a taste for cocaine and sociopaths, since she spotted her boss having sex with Angela. Yes, even Angela disappointed in this episode. Ghost confesses he has a family and Angela spends some time trying to give back the bauble he gave her last week before finally saying screw it and sleeping with Ghost in his office at the club. This happens after he puts the necklace back on her neck in a disturbingly blatant act of possession. Of course, this has to happen for maximum dramatic effect when Angela inevitably discovers who Ghost really is and has to have an internal struggle over whether to turn in her beloved Jamie. However, seeing Ghost continue to view women as merchandise week after week does not win the guy any points on the sympathetic scale.

Meanwhile, Ghost continued to be torn between his two identities. This sounds interesting, but in practice it just means he spends half of the episode inserting curse words awkwardly into sentences as he tries to suss out who is after his people (spoiler alert from the future: it’s the Spanish dude) and planning a Vogue party for the club. Omari Hardwick is so much better than this flat material.

Power has been renewed for a second season, but unless this show does something new soon, it’s going to be playing to an empty house.

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