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Series / Power

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"They say this is a big rich town
I just came from the poorest part
Bright lights, city life, I gotta make it"
- Theme Song by 50 Cent featuring Joe

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

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 on June 7, 2014, and ended after six seasons on February 9, 2020. Following the show's conclusion, Starz announced plans to expand the universe with four spinoffs: Power Book II: Ghost — a sequel series focusing on Ghost's son Tariq, debuted on September 6 of that year; Power Book III: Raising Kanan — a prequel series centering on Kanan, debuted on July 18 2021; and Power Book IV: Force — a spinoff starring Tommy, debuted on February 6, 2022. A fourth spinoff, Power Book V: Influence focusing on Tate, was in development but was later dropped.

No relation to the 1998 Linda Hogan novel.

Power provides examples of the following tropes;

  • Abusive Parents: Its revealed in Season 6, Episode 11, that Dre was raised by an verbally abusive mother who constantly called him worthless and worse as a little boy. As a result, Dre grew up believing this and went from a smart student in school to a criminal. Its implied after his mother found out he had a granddaughter, she plans to do the same to her. Which will be easy now that Dre is dead.
  • 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 the gangster and drug dealer, and 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, she can't keep herself off him.
    • Played with, the subverted in Season 6. After Tariq decides he wants to sell drugs like his father, he does so at a privileged, rich high school. Eventually, a girl finds out and confronts him about it, but seems to give into Tariq's charm, and decides to sell drugs with him. However, it turns out she was really acting undercover for the school's security to build a case against him and have him expelled from school.
  • 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.
  • Anyone Can Die: From season 2 onwards, no less than one main character is killed off per season. Season 6, in particular, has been going out of its way to erase the show's entire cast. They even go as far as killing off Ghost before the final season wraps up.
  • Back for the Dead: Terry Silver presumably leaves town about halfway into Season 5. He returns in the season finale just in time to get strangled to death by Ghost.
  • Big Bad: Turns out that the person behind the attacks on Ghost's operation is Kanan, Ghost's and Tommy's mentor.
  • Bittersweet Ending: It's a borderline Downer Ending. Most of the main characters who weren't killed do not have a bright future ahead of them. Tariq kills Ghost, gets away with it, and is prepared to start a new life in college. But Tasha is falsely arrested for the murder, which is bound to traumatize him. Paz discovers that Tommy killed Angela, only to realize that Tommy left the city, ruining her plans for revenge forever. Tommy's organization is dismantled, his mother disowns him for good, his best friend dies right beside him, and he's forced to start over in California. Tate and Saxe are the only two characters who get a fulfilling ending, with the former on his way to becoming Governor and the latter getting his job as an FBI agent back.
  • 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.
    • Season 2 ends with Angela and Jamie reuniting, Greg vowing to take down the former and latter, Tommy and Ghost no longer friends, Tasha discovering Shawn's dead body at the morgue. Lobos tasking Tommy with killing Ghost (or Holly and Bell will be killed) and Kanan escaped the fire.
    • Season 3 ends with Ghost being arrested by Angela for Knox's murder at club TRUTH during the club's most important event, and exposing him as Ghost to the media. Kanan gets to Ghost's son which results in him being kidnapped and held for ransom without Ghost knowing, which is part of a plot to murder both of them.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Ghost and Angela's situation definitely qualifies.
  • The Corrupter: Kanan becomes this to Ghost's son Tariq towards the end of Season 3. It becomes a plot to kidnap him for ransom as a trap for Ghost.
  • 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.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Andre Coleman, who's locked in a prison cell, drenched in lighter fluid, and set on fire.
  • Dating Catwoman: Angie with James, though neither of them knows it until the second season.
  • Death in the Limelight: Season 6, Episode 11, focuses on Dre and his attempt to get out of New York and start over in Vegas, being that's his girlfriend's wishes. Instead, we see Dre get into one bad situation after the other, learn some of his past, and when he finally has a chance to get out, he instead goes to try and kill Ghost, which results in him getting caught and put in prison for good where he is murdered shortly afterwards.
  • 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!
    • At the end of season 3, Angela finally accepts that Ghost is a murderer, and he's finally arrested for one of his crimes. This is the only time in the entire series that he's actually completely uninvolved with the murder in question.
  • 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.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: During a talk in season 2, Holly realizes Angela had no idea James was actually Ghost. She immediately knows she can use this as leverage to get herself and Tommy out of the jam by threatening to reveal to Angela's co-workers how she's been sleeping with the target of their investigation.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: For all the horrible things most of the main characters do, they all seem to have some spouse, sibling, child, or parent that they love dearly, and they would do anything to protect them from harm.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Ruiz is understandably outraged when he finds out that one of his soldiers, Nomar, has been quote-unquote "fucking his little girl". A ''14 year old'' at that!
    • Dre, being a father himself, was reasonably outraged at Kanan killing his own son, Shawn.
  • 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.
  • 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. Nevertheless, 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.
  • Grey-and-Grey Morality: It's hard to find a single person among the main characters who isn't some shade of Grey. The criminals put a lot of stock in family and loyalty, often risking themselves to help each other out, while those in law enforcement don't tend to be above using underhanded (or even illegal) tactics in the course of closing a case.
  • Has a Type: Tommy is expressly said to have a thing for ginger women.
  • Heroic BSoD: Angela suffers this when she finally discovers the truth about James.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Ghost and Tommy. Their friendship falls apart by the end of the second season.
  • Honey Trap: This is what leads to Tasha's downfall at the end of the series. In an desperate attempt to cover for her son Tariq after he shot and killed his father, Tasha plants the gun of a guy she is dating at the club and uses sex to keep him from leaving her apartment so the police can easily arrest him. However, the guy is savvy enough to realize he might be getting setup when Tasha tells him of her plans to deal with Ghost. So after they arrive at the club and Tasha leaves to confront Ghost, he purposely goes to a local corner store near the club with security cameras and buys a beverage, around the same time Ghost is shot, clearing him of any wrong doing.
  • 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'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.
    • Angela is a prime example of this, as her unethical tendencies are so destructive & counterproductive, that they actively undo her work in trying to catch Ghost.
  • Hypocrite: A large number of the characters engage in hypocritical behaviour through the series but special mention goes to the following:
    • Ghost for his anger about Tasha's affair despite the fact that his own adultery drives a lot of the plot.
    • Cooper Saxe constantly uses tactics which are immoral and sometimes outright illegal in order to catch individuals who he sees as "the bad guys".
  • 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.
  • Internal Reveal: At the start of season 2, Ghost discovers how Angela is a federal prosecutor after him. Later on in the season, Angela realizes that James is Ghost.
  • 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 to varying degrees, with special mention going to Rashad, Tasha and Tariq.
  • Karma Houdini: A decent number by the end of the series: Tommy leaves and travels to the west coast after he ties up loose ends and is rejected by his mother Kate - who revealed that she always loved James more than him. Tariq got away with murdering a cop and his own father James, while sitting pretty in a top quality college, which he needs to graduate to get access to his father's fortune. Councilman Tate is able to recover his political career after it was seemingly over and ends up being the frontrunner and heavy favorite to win the Governorship of New York. And FBI agent Cooper Saxe gets his job back, though he is now under the thumb of his ex partner, John, who is now the head of the department.
  • 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.
  • Man Hug: Several times between Ghost and Tommy.
  • 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.
  • Murder Isthe Best Solution: That's the way many characters think in this series, particularly Tommy and Kanan.
  • 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.
  • 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 his own son Shawn, after he sided with James over him.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Happens twice in season 2:
    • First, Tommy holds James at gunpoint, accusing him of setting Tommy up as Ghost so James and Angela can run off together. James is baffled by this questioning until Tommy reveals how Angela is a federal prosecutor and James realizes she's been chasing Ghost this whole time.
    • Later, Angela (thinking Tommy is Ghost) presses Holly on cutting a deal to turn on Tommy. Holly snaps that she knows Angela is trying to set up Tommy just to keep James in the clear. When Angela asks what James has to do with this, Holly suddenly realizes Angela doesn't know.
    Holly: Oh, you dumb bitch. You're the one sleeping with Ghost, not me.
  • Patricide:
    • During the "Who Shot Ghost?" series finale, it's revealed that Tariq, his own son, is the one that shot and killed him.
    • On a lesser extent, Tommy murders his father, Tony Teresi, in the penultimate episode of Season 5.
  • Our Hero Is Dead: "No One Can Stop Me" ends with Ghost getting shot in the chest and seemingly dying after plunging from a ledge. It's later confirmed that his wound was fatal.
  • 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.
  • Right Under Their Noses: Angela, Greg nor Saxe has no idea that their new boss Mike is actually working undercover for Lobos.
  • Sacrificial Lion:
    • Season 2 has Shawn, whose death proves that Kanan is willing to kill anybody in his way, and to show that Anyone Can Die.
    • Season 3 has Holly and Greg. The former's death was done to solidify that Tommy cares more about Ghost than Holly, while the latter's death was done to set up multiple plot points for season 4.
    • Season 4 has Raina, whose death changed the St. Patrick family's characters for the rest of the series and set up plot points for Season 5.
    • Season 5 has a villainous example with Kanan, who finally dies after spending the entire series causing several problems for Ghost and his allies.
    • Season 6, being the Grand Finale, has several of these.
      • First there's Angela, who succumbs to the gunshot wound she suffered in the season 5 finale. Her death permanently ruined Ghost's relationship with Tommy and turned them into enemies eager to kill each other.
      • Later it's Proctor, whose death accelerated the FBI's investigations with Ghost and his allies, and further exacerbated Ghost and Tommy's feud.
      • Then it's LaKeisha, who is murdered by Tasha after she was compelled into becoming a confidential informant—despite this not being her full intention. Her death was also a devastating blow for Tommy, and set up a new subplot centered around Tasha.
      • This was followed by Jason, whose death set up plot points involving Andre and Ghost framing him for his murder.
      • A few episodes later, Andre dies. After dozens of close calls and being involved in virtually every subplot for the season, he's finally killed in prison to show he's no longer important to anyone, and to show that he had it coming a while ago.
      • And finally, Ghost himself, whose death set off a Fair-Play Whodunnit arc and subsequently resolved all the main characters' plot threads, for better or worse.
  • Smug Snake:
    • Good lord, Ghost's temporary boss of the club, Simon Stern, is a smug man.
    • Andre Coleman also counts. He spends the whole show backstabbing and betraying anyone he can, then has the gall to ask the same people he's betrayed for help whenever he's stuck in a tight spot. The only reason why he ends up surviving as long as he does is by pure luck.
    • Cooper Saxe and John Mak are always extremely smug and condescending, particularly when dealing with someone over whom they believe they have moral superiority. They do have a few Break the Haughty moments near the end of the initial series which humbles them somewhat.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • These Gloves Are Made for Killin': Tommy stops his car while driving with Vibora Ruiz. He feigns it having technical problems as he puts on gloves before he leaves. Ruiz is a little suspicious, but not enough to get the gun from the glove compartment to defend himself in case Tommy tried anything. Turns out, Tommy really did plan on killing him and he does it by stabbing him to death.
    • Played With when Mike Sandoval visits Greg Knox at his apartment. He's wearing black leather gloves but takes them off after entering and has no intention to kill Greg. Until Greg finds out Mike is the leak for Lobos while Mike is still in the room with him. Greg reveals his knowledge to Mike who then shoots him dead before putting the gloves back on to frame Greg as the leak and cover his tracks.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: One of the main conflicts of the show is that Ghost wants to go legit and be than a drug dealer. The problem is his both his criminal and married partners, Tommy and Tasha, have no such interest.
  • 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.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: In "Forgot About Dre," Dre murders Agent Donovan mere minutes after the man was wounded trying to save Dre's life from a Cartel hit.
  • 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.