Series / Power

Power is an American drama series airing on the Starz network, created by Courtney Kemp Agboh and produced by rapper 50 Cent, who also has a supporting role on the show.

The series focuses on James "Ghost" St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick), owner of Truth, the hottest new nightclub in New York, and major player in the NYC drug trade. Ghost sees Truth as his retirement plan; a way out of the game and into legitimacy, but must face struggles as his drug business comes under attack from rivals and the law. Meanwhile, his personal life is no less a struggle; his wife, Tasha (Naturi Naughton) and best friend and partner Tommy (Joseph Sikora) both try and drag him in deeper into the drug business.

Further complicating matters is the reunion between Ghost and his highschool sweetheart, Angie (Lela Loren), the woman who he never fell out of love with, and - unbeknownst to Ghost - one of the lead prosecutors trying to bring down his drug empire.

The series premiered in June 2014, and was renewed for a second season four days after the first episode aired. It was renewed for a third season in June 2015, soon after the second season started airing.

Power provides examples of the following tropes;

  • The Alcoholic: Some throw-away lines mention that Ghost apparently used to have a drinking problem. At the start of the series he's sober, but the stress of his home and work situation has him slip. He does stay sober while he's working, though.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Tasha and Holly. Tasha loves the idea of Ghost as the gangster and drug dealer, not James St. Patrick the businessman. Holly was initially cold towards Tommy, but after watching him beat a man senseless in a fit of jealousy, can't keep herself off of him.
  • Anti-Hero: In the tradition of the countless gangsters who have come before him, Ghost is a family man trying to attain legitimacy and is deeply morally conflicted about his more criminal activities. Most obviously he can be seen catching himself in the mirror many times in the first few episodes.
  • Badass: Ghost, Tommy, and the woman in the pink sneakers.
  • Big Bad: Turns out that the person behind the attacks on Ghost's operation is Kanan, Ghost's and Tommy's mentor.
  • Black Best Friend: Ghost is literally this to Tommy, but Tommy performs the function in Ghost's life and business.
  • Cliffhanger: Season 1 ends with Tasha taking a good bit of Ghost's money in preparation for their imminent divorce, Holly getting shot by the woman in the pink sneakers, Ghost getting a look at said woman's face, Ghost diving deeper into the drug game than ever, Tommy finding out that Angela is a US Attorney, and Kanan getting released from prison.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture
  • Contrived Coincidence: Ghost and Angela's situation definitely qualifies.
  • Cowboy Cop: Angela has been shown to have a propensity for bucking protocol, not the least of which is her carrying on an affair with a coworker.
  • Dating Catwoman: Angie with James, though neither of them knows it [spoiler: until the second season.]]
  • Dramatic Irony: Ghost and Angela's relationship; she doesn't know he's the drug distributor she's trying to catch, he doesn't know she's the federal prosecutor who's after him.
    • Season 2 has Angela believe Tommy is Ghost. Go Figure!
  • Drugs Are Bad: Played straight when a girl OD's early in the first season, but generally averted when it comes to the drug business and Tommy's drug use.
  • Everything Is Racist: Tasha is sure that the school is racist for giving the role of Annie to a white girl instead of her daughter. It's suggested she may well have been right about that, she does jump to the conclusion fairly quickly.
  • Fanservice: The show is fairly equal opportunity in this regard; James and Tommy act as Mr. Fanservice; while Angie, Tasha, and Holly act as Ms. Fanservice.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Ruiz is understandably outraged when he finds out that one of his soldiers, Nomar, has been quote-on-quote "fucking his little girl".
    • Dre, being a father himself, was reasonably outraged at Kanan killing his own son, Shawn.
  • Good Parents: One of Ghost's most humanizing features is that for all his moral failings in terms of his business, he is an excellent father. When his eldest daughter is passed up for the lead role in Annie, he consoles her by telling her that he knows how it feels to work hard for something and not get it, and that sometimes in life you don't get what you want on the first try, and that the only thing to do is to keep working at it. Tasha, meanwhile, is more irate at the school passing up her daughter for a white girl and demands that she and Ghost fix the situation; while she's well-intentioned, James insists that part of their job as parents is to prepare their children for the fact that sometimes in life, you lose, and that they aren't going to always be there to fix every problem. Never the less, Tasha goes behind James' back and bribes the school to give their daughter the part.
  • Genius Bruiser: Ghost fits this trope well.
    • Kanan showcases this trope in "Three Moves Ahead" as he described being set-up by Ghost.
    Kanan: Cops pulled us over talking about the taillight blown. Search the motherfucking car, find the dope, take me to jail. Come to find out the taillight wasn't blown. Motherfuckers unscrewed the taillight. They set me the fuck up.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Tommy!
  • Hello, Attorney!: Angela.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Or really anti-heroes. Tommy is expressly said to have a thing for ginger women.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Ghost and Tommy. Their friendship falls apart by the end of the second season.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Tommy. He reveals key information about his illegal business to a person in Holly who has showed herself to be untrustworthy when dealing with his partner and surrogate family.
  • Hot-Blooded: Tommy. He's all about staying deep in the streets, burns a man alive, and has no qualms about killing Vibora. Ghost often acts as the hand that stays him.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: Holly is initially disinterested in Tommy, but after he beats the hell out of a guy who was flirting with her on their first date, she becomes instantly enamored with him.
  • In-Series Nickname: James "Ghost" St. Patrick. "Vibora" Ruiz.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: Several times with Jamie and Angela.
  • It's Personal: Angela verbally invoke this trope on Jamie after the latter's betrayal in "Time's Up"
    Angela:Fuck you, Ghost'''
  • Jerkass: Many characters are this.
  • Killed Off for Real: Nomar, Rolla, Anibal, Shawn.
  • Lady Macbeth: Tasha. She has no desire for her husband to get out of the drug game; she only wants him to get deeper into it.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Tommy and Tasha.
  • List of Transgressions: In "Who You Are and Who You Want to Be", it's revealed through an interrogation that Holly's rap sheet consists of repeated petty thefts from ages 13 to 15, but the third one, implied by Holly, was a friend's doing but didn't rat them out, resulting in getting eight months at the Ohio Reformatory for Girls. Then at age 22, she was arrested for Breaking and entering at Quail Hollow Country Club and stole some rich guy's fur coat. Almost got three years for it but skipped town before the arrest warrant was served.
  • Love Hurts
  • Love Triangle: Tasha/Ghost/Angela
  • Mafia Princess: Tasha fits this bill.
  • Man Hug: Several times between Ghost and Tommy.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Kanan.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: James puts on this persona, and there's some legitimacy to it, but he still enjoys the simple pleasures of his poor upbringing.
  • Moral Dilemma
  • Murder Isthe Best Solution: That's the way many characters think in this series.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Though he knows what his boss and his father did for a living and not totally defenseless, Shawn is seen as this by this superiors Ghost and Tommy, as he is very green, over-eager, and has yet to get his hands dirty as a soldier in the drug game. He also seems foolish enough to fall for the advances of his badass, drug lord boss' wife.
  • My Greatest Failure: For Angela, failing to protect Nomar, who was subsequently killed by Tommy for boning Ruiz's daughter.
  • Nice Guy: Shawn.
  • Number Two: Tommy is this when it comes to the drug end of James' business. The club end... not so much.
  • Oh Crap!: Pink Sneakers is in this mode after failing to kill Ghost at Truth, instead injuring Holly. She also realizes that Kanan will come after her for her failures.
  • Offing the Offspring: Kanan kills Shawn.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Tommy is the red to James' blue.
  • The Reveal: Episode 7, Loyalty, reveals who is behind the attacks on Ghost's organization; It's Kanan, having organized it from behind bars.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!
  • Secret Relationship: Ghost and Angela's affair. Their secret doesn't last long, however.
  • Self-Made Man: Ghost and Tommy. While they took over the business from Kanan, it only reached the heights it has under their leadership.
  • Shout-Out: Ghost's "Never turn your back on your friends and know when to talk and when not to" is practically the same dialogue as found in Goodfellas, i.e. "Never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut."
  • Something Completely Different: For the Starz network in general; most of their big shows for the past few years have been quasi-historical period pieces. While Power isn't so different in base concept from say, Black Sails, showing the morally complicated world of criminals trying to survive outside the law, it does so in a modern day setting.
  • The Stoic: Ghost rarely loses his temper.
  • Straight Edge Evil: Ghost used to have a drinking problem. He's sober at the start of the series, but slips up as he comes under stress. He also apparently doesn't like weed, and disapproves of Tasha indulging in it.
  • Sticky Fingers: Holly has them.
  • Straight Gay: Felipe Lobos.
  • True Companions: Ghost, Tommy and Tasha, although their relationship with one another gets really strained over the episodes.
  • Truth in Television: The judge in “You're Not The Man,” denying Angela an affidavit for a search warrant on Tommy is quite common in the real-life American legal system.
    • Saxe, being Saxe, presses a button to listen to the conversation between Tommy and his mother to which Greg points out it is illegal.
    • Proctor, Tommy's lawyer, mentions to Tommy's mother that her house could be taken away if it was determined the house was bought with money from illegal proceeds. Go Figure!
    • Proctor again uses this trope as pulls the evidence of the sketch of that Angela completed with the assistance of Ruiz’s daughter Isabella, which is illegal because she didn't have legal consent as Isabella was only fourteen. In summary, the case was dismissed with prejudice.
  • Villain Has a Point: Kanan's reasons to take out Ghost is because the latter intentionally set him up to jail. His anger is justified more when it's revealed that Shawn as a baby was in the backseat when Kanan was pulled over by the cops.
  • Wham Episode: Boy, oh boy!
  • Your Cheating Heart: James and Angela begin an affair in episode 4; James cheating on Tasha and Angela cheating on her FBI agent boyfriend, Greg (though the latter relationship is significantly less serious). Meanwhile, Tasha has been seducing Shawn, James' driver, for whom she develops feelings later on.