The sixth and final season of STARZ series Power returned with a vengeance on Sunday. The cast and crew have been building up the anticipation for “The Final Betrayal” for months on Twitter, and I have to say their efforts worked; they got us worked up and I couldn’t be more excited for the show to be back. It was a surprise announcement earlier this year that the show would end after Season 6, and I think one thing fans know for sure is that by that last episode someone has to come out on top.
So first things first, the theme song to the show is one of my favourite parts, and for some reason they decided to go and change it to a different version of the same song? I was so ready to sing along, but that threw me off. Why? Who made this decision? Perhaps the idea was to change the entire theme of the show, along with the massive shift in the story line.
Season 5 left us on a pretty huge cliffhanger. James St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick) and Angela Valdes (Lela Loren) were back together again in their old high school, clearly in love, in each other’s arms, until Angela spots Tommy (Joseph Sikora) with a gun aimed at James. She pushes him out of the way and willingly takes a bullet for him. Tommy didn’t intentionally shoot Angela, but we could assume he wouldn’t care much what happens. We were then left not knowing if Angie was alive or dead.
Season 6 begins shortly after this event. We are met with James at the hospital waiting for word on Angela, when her sister bursts into the waiting room screaming “Murderer! You killed my sister!” before collapsing into James’s arms. This is the moment we, and James, realise that Angela is dead. It was such a heartbreaking moment; Paz (Elizabeth Rodriguez) was so flustered when she entered and so emotional that I hardly had time to grasp what she was shouting, it was when it hit James and his eyes widened in horror, shivers went all down my body. Angie is gone. What will James do now? I genuinely feel so sorry for him, despite all he has done wrong, the love of his life is dead, and honestly I can see him spiraling completely from this, and reverting back to his old life completely as Ghost. Only difference is this time Ghost has nobody to support him, he killed his marriage over Angela, and he ruined his relationship with Tommy too, again over Angela. He gave up his whole life for her and now she isn’t here, and he has nothing—he has every right to lose his mind right now.
Looking back on the promotion for Season 6, perhaps we should have guessed Angela would be dead. Tommy and Ghost could have overcome anything besides that, because love makes you blind to all other relationships and can get dangerous. This is the one thing that had to happen for this season to become The Final Betrayal. Despite the storyline of Ghost and Tommy being major drug dealers in New York City, I see Power as a primarily relationship-based show, that’s where most of the story comes from, and what will inevitably bring everything else to an end.
Cooper Saxe (Shane Johnson) has become completely obsessed with the James St. Patrick case through working with Angela, and I think approaching her sister so soon after her death to request an autopsy was completely unfair. He is always pushing boundaries and never knows when to give up. Perhaps he should take this unfortunate opportunity to back off a little, but there’s no way that’s what he is going to do.
Interestingly, this scene did bring to mind the question of ethics behind the autopsy procedure. I’ve always seen an autopsy and recognised that it’s necessary for police investigation, but I have never considered what emotional impact it must have on the family of the deceased. Perhaps I’ve been quite heartless, because Cooper Saxe sure comes off that way.
Meanwhile, we finally now get to catch up with what Tommy did after the realisation that he just shot a federal agent. We join him handing a gun to Keisha (La La Anthony) to throw in the river. I’m immediately disappointed in Tommy. I know, this is an emergency situation, but Keisha has a child and she doesn’t need to be involved in this, she certainly doesn’t want to be involved in this. Again, love makes you blind to the dangers you’re facing, so even when she doesn’t want to, she does, for Tommy.
Following this, Tommy and Ghost reunite, but not in the way I wanted to see. Would it be too much to ask for Ghost to go around to Tommy’s house with a heart full of forgiveness and for them to reunite with a hug and some whisky? Apparently it would. Instead they get into a huge fight in Tommy’s apartment, who knows where that would have ended had Tariq (Michael Rainey Jr.) not interrupted and broke it up. Tariq at this point hates his father more each day, and it honestly gives me the chills every time he calls his father Ghost instead of James.
I can’t stand Cooper Saxe. Who can, though? It appears he believes he’s on to something here. Saxe confronts James’s lawyer Joe Proctor (Jerry Ferrara) about leaking information to Ghost that there was a female witness going against him, whilst thinking that James killed Angela thinking it was her. This guy’s causing trouble even whilst he’s way off the ball.
This moment also raised the question of who is really to blame for Angela’s death, and in my opinion, while Tommy did the shooting, I think it’s pretty obvious that Ghost is to blame. From the moment they spotted each other in Truth in the first episode, she was headed to this fate.
Back at work, Saxe is confronted by a new boss, and for any fans of Californication out there I found it quite hilarious to see him walk in to see Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler). It’s hard to take that guy seriously after the things we have seen him do.
I found it surprising that Saxe confessed to being the leak so quickly, and got Jacob on board with his plan to get everyone involved in this case the death penalty. It really makes you question why the hell Saxe cares so much about this case. Just for Angela? Or is he losing his mind too? Perhaps now that it’s been made clear to him that Jacob owns him now that he’s helping him, he might actually try to behave and work by the book. But probably not.
Ghost and Tasha (Naturi Naughton) have their rather unsuccessful reunion in this first episode too, and when I heard him tell her “the woman I love is gone,” all I could think was “what the hell are you doing?” Even if that’s the truth, which it is, what Ghost needs right now is someone fighting on his team. He used to know how to lie to get that, but he’s ruining any chance he has at this point—maybe he genuinely doesn’t care anymore. He just wants revenge for Angela’s death. To prove me right, Tasha announces she wants a divorce, probably being pushed over the edge by seeing the fact that Ghost murdered her lover, Terry Silver (Brandon Victor Dixon). A divorce was a long time coming, in this particular case.
Later on, we discover that even Proctor suspects James as Angela’s killer. He suggests that James speaks against Tommy if he was the murderer. James comes back with a line that could define the season: “I’m putting Tommy in a body bag, not a prison cell.”
Tommy finds himself fighting against his distributors while fighting his way back into the drug business. He kills yet again, this time shooting Poncho (Franky G), one of his own gang, and it looks like psycho Tommy is officially here to stay. He lets his workers know that you’re with him or you’re against him from here on out, and it’s clear to see at this point where Ghost lands on the scale, considering he has been resting on the edge for such a long time.
During a meeting with Cooper Saxe, Proctor, and Jacob, Ghost practises his classic poker face, which is the best I’ve ever seen, I must say. He claims he doesn’t know anything and won’t say anything. Do I think James will ever turn Tommy in? No, I think he would rather kill Tommy or even see Tommy leave for good than put him in jail. During the meeting Ghost tells the men that Angela was loyal to him until the end. I always knew that she would be; that kind of love is what you risk everything for, but Angela’s death is proof that you will really have to lose everything as a result. It’s not just words when it comes to love.
After breaking up the fight between his father and his uncle Tommy, Tariq seeks help from Tommy and they head up to the roof where Tariq reveals he wants to spread Kanan’s (50 Cent) ashes so he can finally be free. I did find it quite disturbing that Tommy smoked some of his ashes, but that’s what to expect from a psycho. Tommy and Tariq in this scene really seem to bond over a mutual hatred of Ghost, and while I get where Tariq is coming from, Ghost has never intentionally hurt his son, so it’s a hard thing to watch. Tommy seems to be becoming more of a father figure to Tariq than Ghost ever was, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing.
On the way back to his school with his mother, when Tariq learns of Angela’s death, he really has no reaction. He showed a similarity between himself and Ghost here, in that he is insensitive to death, and when you’re that way in the world he has been raised into, I can see Tariq fully turning over to the same business his current male role models are involved in and killing for no good reason.
At a dinner later that night with her mother, Tasha is just as bewildered as I am when her mother actually suggests that she gets back together with Ghost. Is she out of her mind? She may not know all the details, but she knows that Tasha has been through so much with Ghost and Angela, and she even knows about Terry. Tasha tells her mother how she believes that Ghost killed Terry Silver and she has a look of revenge in her eyes that Tommy has when talking of Ghost. Turns out that the final betrayal might not be simply Tommy vs. Ghost but the world vs. Ghost.
At this point in the episode, I realise that 44 minutes had gone by in the blink of an eye, and I could see that this episode has to come to an end with a declaration of war.
Ghost makes another stupid move here. He approaches Paz and offers to pay for the funeral. This was all wrong, and I can’t see in any way how he expected that offer to be a welcome one. Paz tells Ghost that the next time she sees him he will be in handcuffs, and I think we all know where she was heading when she left…
Yep, there she was, straight to Cooper Saxe. I support going to the police if you believe someone murdered your sister, and Paz is a good person. But I wish she could see the whole picture here.
It’s almost an emerging pattern in film/television for someone grieving a loved one by playing their outgoing voicemail message repeatedly. And as Tasha sits in her car doing so I can’t help but feel guilty that she didn’t even have a love as strong as Ghost did, but she lost all that she had because of her husband. She lost Ghost, she lost her life, she lost Raina (Donshea Hopkins) and she is losing Tariq and Keisha in this story too. This is an episode of grief, and I’m honestly feeling guilty for everyone.
Tariq decided to comfort his father or at least extend an olive branch during his time of loss, and expressed how he felt when he was “the only one who cared about what happened to Kanan.” That fact hadn’t occurred to me until that moment. This phone call represents the classic disconnect between all parents and their children, no matter how close they are, there are always things that one can’t share with the other, and in that case it’s almost impossible to gain any real understanding between the two. When Tariq confesses to his friend he is simple playing nice for now, we immediately need to question what he is planning. Could he have worked out a deal with Tommy to kill Ghost, or is he seeking revenge for Kanan somehow?
Tommy seemingly has lied his way into working again, and is insistent that he and Ghost are fine with each other. However, this is tested when his boss sends out his car with a decoy inside, and the car is shot up by a hooded Ghost in the parking lot. I expected a declaration of war, but I didn’t expect a murder attempt so soon. It makes sense though, considering the state of mind that Ghost is currently in.
The powerful final scene of the episode switches between Tommy and Ghost. Tommy turns to Keisha and regrets that he didn’t murder Ghost, and she vows to help him, which I still don’t support by the way. While Ghost enters Angela’s apartment, he is being haunted by flashbacks of their relationship. This scene really mirrors the separation between brothers in its mirroring of their actions. As Ghost leaves Angela’s apartment, he says “I’m sorry, Angie” and of course I imagine everyone in the audience is crying. Tommy, on the other hand, announces to Keisha that “this is war” and the episode came to end with a vengeful atmosphere. Power really knows how to use a soundtrack to make you emotional.
The fight ahead of us I believe will be long and emotionally taxing but it’s going to involve all the mind games and action we’ve been craving since Season 5. This was such a strong first episode to a final season that for once I don’t think will disappoint.