When I first watched Power, I binged on the entire first season in one day. I was hooked on a show that featured nuanced characters who aren’t necessarily likable, but found a way to dig deep under my skin. I was rooting for Ghost the entire first season, watching him find his truth, as he continued to get sucked into this illegitimate life, when he clearly wanted to tag out. Despite loving Tommy and Tasha’s characters, it seemed that this man just deserved a way out. Now, at the end of Season Two, my original thoughts have been entirely subverted, as I realize that Ghost has done this all to himself.
All of this makes the anticipation for next year’s third season much more fun. Showrunner Courtney Kemp Agboh has given Ghost many hidden compartments within his psyche and it’s worth being skeptical about even his smaller, genuine moments. He works like a machine—there is always a plan in action for him to get everything he wants. Ghost is a father, a husband, an adulterer, a business man, a cold killer, a manipulator and while I wouldn’t necessarily say “good,” he shows his benevolent side when he wants a character to chase a life that differs from his. Shawn is an example, before his untimely death, having been under the wing of Ghost’s protection. Kanan is right: “He wasn’t my son no more. He was your son.”
Yet Ghost is not above killing or setting someone up for his own gains. Kanan is proof of his past catching up. The rest of his past is unaccounted for; how many Rollas or Kanans are there? How many individuals are waiting in the shadows for Ghost’s weakened state? We finally get to see another part of him that Omari Hardwick flawlessly portrayed in last night’s episode—guilt, mixed with fear, due to a blood-stained La Araña (spider) card on his desk, which is a sign of Lobos’ enemies. With two lives on his conscience, how many more from the grave are going to return to deliver Ghost’s comeuppance?
In addition to the presentation of Ghost’s character, I am in awe of what the writers accomplished in sixty minutes. Power has its faults, despite being a solid show. It defies genres because it’s not afraid to head in any particular direction, however, that doesn’t mean it’s a seamless work of art, every time. I have lamented throughout this season that the storylines can move at a glacial pace, but when the creators are mindful of all the narratives they’re juggling and tie them together in complete satisfaction, I’m hooked. Last night’s delivery didn’t defer the gut punches I craved, and the writers did so much more by delivering all of this emotional destruction. “Ghost is Dead” was a slow burn that crawled through you since the very first episode of the season, culminating with peak performances by everyone.
We watched as Ghost killed his entire network (or in Ruiz’s case, relocated), because eliminating the toxic limbs of his organization means he can freely enjoy the straight, legal life as a businessman. At the same time, “James” illegally set up Simon Stern by planting a robbery in Truth, while giving all the stowaway book records to Stern’s wife for the divorce proceedings. Ghost maneuvers any way he can to deliver the final blow to his foes, but it’s amusing that his life as a businessman parallels the shadier one. Ghost is blind to the fact that he is the same shark straddling in both worlds; the legitimacy of one business doesn’t erase this.
Angela is living in her own pool of regrets. We find the suspended lawyer in her bedroom, compartmentalizing life with Jamie by placing all their memories in a bag, to stake a claim in the corner of a closet. This scene is efficient; Angela’s bedroom represents the truth of their relationship, and their continual efforts to move past it have proved fruitless. After, whatever Angela came to terms with in the bedroom places her at Mike’s office to confess, we think this is the time that Ghost suffers some comeuppance, but Angela has twisted her investigation to force a light on Greg and his continual stake-outs, and files a sexual harassment complaint. It’s a low blow to say the least, and if we needed another reminder that Angie and Ghost belong together, this is it—their minds are so similar in their strategic maneuvering, you have to wonder about Angela’s past. Also, Ruiz left town with Isabel, his daughter, so Angela’s disciplinary hearing is canceled. Ghost did good by his woman.
Towards the end of the second act, Kanan and Ghost have their final confrontation, or so it seems. While I’ve called Kanan reckless all season, another glimpse forces me to pause and rethink my observations. Ten years is a long time to contemplate someone’s murder for setting you up, and from what we gather between Ghost, Tasha and Tommy, Kanan always seemed to be a walking time-bomb. Can we blame him for his impatience for revenge? I don’t think so. Fortunately for Ghost, Kanan walks with a big stick and even bigger mouth; all of his plans are discovered, which inspires Ghost to kill Vladimir, Swifty, make an attempt on Lobos, then Kanan. The fight is brutal and it seems to be the end of the two when Ghost sets the building on fire (using Kanan’s body as kindle), until the Fire Marshal realizes that someone broke out of a door. Kanan might be alive—so I guess we have a possible enemy for next season!
The best confrontation is saved for last. Tommy has suffered from doubting Ghost all season, but often brushed his instincts aside for his brother. But his alarms go off when he hears about Kanan’s setup, and learns that Dre killed Pink Sneakers in Miami. By the time Holly finds him and Belle walking in a park, Tommy is conflicted. The confrontation between the two is pure poetic motion—he addresses Ghost’s holier-than-thou attitude, reminding him of his “drunken” father and absent mother, and wonders out loud when it was going to be his turn to get clipped for being a “problem.” They hold guns to each other’s faces, both shaking at their standoff. It takes Dre to interrupt for Tommy to move on, but he’s presented with another dilemma. Lobos is alive and knows that Ghost attempted to kill him. He threatens Tommy with this offer: either he kills Ghost or Lobos kills Ghost, Tommy and Holly. And the dog.
Tasha is livid. The coroner calls her to identify Shawn; she knows that Shawn confronted Ghost the previous night, so it’s not hard to see how she blames Ghost for this. Also, it’s really messed up that Tasha loses her husband and side piece at the same time. She deserves something good.
Hardass fed agent Mike Sandoval works for Lobos! So all the time I wanted to shake Angela for ruining her career with her secret investigations, she was in fact, right to do so as she was saving her life and Ghost’s. This might be hard to stomach—but I’m sorry Angela. I will do better by you.
Speaking of Angela, her confrontation with Ghost was everything I wanted. I just hope she has something to lean, besides Ghost and her work. She needs a friend or family member to be there. Where was her sister?
I’m still pissed off about the death of Shawn. Nothing, NOTHING, can change the fact that I want Sinqua Walls next season!
Angela and Ghost are okay, as long as he tries to remain “Jamie.”
Tommy is everything. Holly is everything. Belle, is everything. Please, Lobos, don’t touch a hair on their beautiful heads.
Iris A. Barreto is a writer for Fangirlish, freelance writer for Paste and social media intern for Pink is the New Blog. Heavily caffeinated. Forever lost in Westchester, NY & NYC; all GPS apps hate her. You can follow on Twitter.