Power (Starz) Review “Who You With?”

Maybe it was just my week away, but Power showed signs of improvement in “Who You With?”. The series continues to hit the same beats, but as the first season draws to a close the story is beginning to inch forward. I am beginning to realize the best way to appreciate Power is to accept the fact that all of the characters have a skewed sense of morality. They simply are corrupt people. In that way, how much I can care about them is severely limited because unlike other series where characters are morally complex, Ghost, Tommy, Tasha, Kanan, Holly and even Angela live in an insular world where their actions affect the larger community around them, but they only care about the immediate ramifications to their circle.

Viewed in that light, Tommy’s staunch loyalty to Ghost’s family and devotion to Holly almost make him seem like a good guy. Maybe in another life where he and Ghost had not been trained by Kanan they both would have become better men. As it is, Tommy is fiercely protective of Ghost, Tasha and Holly and his devotion is bound to end with him in prison or worse. As he confesses to Holly, if he ever goes down, he is going down for good. With Angela seeming to recognize his voice on the recording by the episode’s end, I have a feeling Tommy will be taking the fall for Ghost soon. The guy is still psychotic, but his blind loyalty almost makes me feel sorry for him. The drug trade is his life. He is not as smart as Ghost or as capable. Maybe this is the only life he was built for, in which case watching his best friend drift toward legitimacy also means Ghost is drifting away from him.

The same could be said for Tasha. Her willingness to build her life off the profits of addicts and dealers is not an endearing quality. In truth, Tasha has no endearing qualities. Like Tommy, she is not a good person. However, even the most selfish of people do not deserve to have their husband forget their birthday and walk out on their big solo number at the party they had to throw for themselves. At this point, both Ghost and Tommy are lying to Tasha and the frustration building within her is palpable. By the time Sean more or less confirms Ghost’s affair, Tasha has reached the very end of her patience, and I cannot bring myself to blame her.

Meanwhile, Ghost and Angela carry on their affair as if no time has passed and they are still teenagers. Their desire to turn back time has left them both with no high ground to stand on. Angela tells Ghost if he is a good man now, he was always a good man inside, but good men do not have affairs, especially when they have three children at home.

Maybe Power has been pulling a long con on us this whole time. Ghost is the protagonist, and his identity crisis has been the unifying theme of season one, but this man shows little to no regard for his family. Everything is about Ghost, including his affair with Angela. I do not believe for a second that the relationship is about love. It is built on pretend. When Ghost takes Angela back to the diner in their old neighborhood and ignores Tommy’s call, he is exercising his imagination in a destructive manner. There are people who are counting on Ghost within the dangerous world he has created and drafted them into, and even though the drug business is reprehensible, Ghost has a responsibility to Tommy, Tasha and everyone below him. The more he delegates while he is out chasing a fantasy, the more danger he puts everyone he supposedly cares about in.

Now Angela has a solid lead on Tommy and Ghost. She too will have to decide if she is willing to compromise herself even further for Ghost. Meanwhile, Ghost continues to play the innocent searching for a way back to an honest life. But he is not an honest man, not even with himself; if he was, then he would have realized he is the villain of his own story and everyone around him is going to pay for his indiscretions.

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