Power In My Best Interest Review
Starz‘s Power: Season 3, Episode 10: In My Best Interest showed James ‘Ghost’ St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick) reach the mountain top and then fall victim to his own hubris and oversights. Ghost never explained that he broke up with Angela Valdes (Lela Loren) to save her from Milan (Callan Mulvey). Ghost never explained to Angela the situation that he was in, the threats, and how he surmounted them all to keep himself, her, and his family safe. Everything he said to her at key moment in In My Best Interest were interpreted in a completely different ways by Angela. Ghost was so wrapped up in himself that he couldn’t see this.
The error that eventually led to Ghost’s arrest was Ghost’s belief that Milan would care about Ghost and Angela’s relationship status. Milan was smart enough to know Ghost would still care for Angela, whether he broke up with her or not. Milan would have seen the break up for what it was: an ill-conceived gambit to save Angela. Milan still would have killed Angela if he had to anyway.
Because of those facts, the entire break up was a futile endeavor. It didn’t serve the purpose that it was supposed to. For a character as smart as Ghost, he should have known all of that beforehand, thus never executed it in the first place. Did Ghost really believe that Milan would spare Angela because Ghost had broken up with her? It was absurd. How was it possible for Ghost to be so smart in some areas and not see the simpleton logic of situations in others? Ghost was a walking-talking contradiction during many episodes this season including In My Best Interest.
Ghost was also a fool in In My Best Interest. Tommy Egan (Joseph Sikora) told Ghost for months to kill Angela Valdes. Tommy told Ghost that Angela knew too much and that Ghost was not seeing the situation clearly. It turns out that Tommy was absolutely correct. Ghost should have killed Angela during the Lobos case (maybe even before that). Tasha St. Patrick (Naturi Naughton) spoke about protecting Ghost from himself during In My Best Interest. Tommy should have done the same. When Tommy hears about Ghost’s arrest by Angela Valdes, it will be Tommy’s “I told you so” moment.
Tommy showed growth in In My Best Interest. Keeping his own counsel and doing what he thought should be done, not what Ghost told him to do, was a move toward self-reliance. Tommy is becoming the leader that he also thought he was by earning the respect of others around him, much like Malik El Djebena in A Prophet.
The court case in Season 4 of Power against Ghost will be completely circumstantial. All the authorities will have is his fingerprint outside Knox’s apartment and Knox’s investigation of Ghost. That’s it. All Attorney Joe Proctor (Jerry Ferrara) has to do is answer the question of how Ghost’s fingerprint got on the window (and express to the court that Ghost was unperturbed by Knox’s investigation). Attorney Proctor we say that Angela planted Ghost’s fingerprint outside Knox’s apartment because she was angry that Ghost broke up with her. Since Angela found the fingerprint (where no one else looked – chain of evidence), Proctor will be able to question her on the stand. While on the stand, Attorney Proctor will rip her to pieces.
Ghost has no criminal record. Proctor will use that to his advantage. Proctor will argue: “So out of the blue, James St. Patrick just kills Greg? Because he was afraid on Knox’s theory? That makes no sense.”
Ghost will say that he was on the verge of a large business deal and wouldn’t have jeopardized it by committing a murder out of the blue. Since he was innocent of being a drug dealer, he had no reason to be afraid of Greg’s accusations. He certainly had no reason to kill him.
Some of the jurors will buy that argument (unless Angela can prove that James is Ghost, which she can’t do. If she proved James was Ghost, Ghost would have nothing to lose by talking about Angela and cutting a deal. Angela knows this and therefore wouldn’t try to prove James is Ghost. She will strive to prove that James was afraid of Knox and place James at the murder scene.)
Watching In My Best Interest was a confounding ordeal. Not just for Ghost not explaining himself to Angela after Milan’s death but with Angela arresting Ghost. Ghost had enough on her to send her to jail for decades. Angela knew this yet still made the gargantuan error of arresting Ghost herself instead of via a proxy. If she had Ghost arrested instead of doing the arresting herself, she would have eliminated her exposure to his wrath. Her calculation was that Ghost wouldn’t rat on her because he would also be exposing himself as Ghost, a major drug dealer in NYC. Here are the flaws in her logic: 1.) she underestimated her opponent, again. Ghost has already proven that he is smarter than she is. 2.) He can expose her via proxy, like she should have done.
Ghost’s lawyer will say Angela planted the fingerprint outside Greg’s apartment as retribution for the breakup. Like I said, Angela arresting Ghost was a big mistake. She should have handed the evidence over to someone else then transferred out of the NYC office.
FBI Special Agent Greg Knox (Andy Bean) accusing Mike Sandoval (David Fumero) of his crimes in his apartment was idiotic. Agent Knox has worked criminals in integration before and may have even been undercover. How could he not know that Sandoval, after all that had happened (and all that Sandoval had done), wouldn’t want to be exposed? Knox should have used all of persuasion and evasion skills the FBI taught him to get Sandoval out of his apartment (as a friend and colleague, completely unaware of Knox’s true intent). When he was gone, then Knox should have called it in.
I really hate it when a smart character is suddenly written stupidly for narrative expediency.
In the real world, Knox would have put on the performance of a lifetime, acted casual, as if nothing was wrong, and told Sandoval what he had secretly recorded via the Ruiz bug. Instead, Knox blithely believed that a turncoat and a rat would suddenly become noble and allow himself to be arrested. Knox already had evidence to the contrary i.e. Sandoval visiting the apartment of one of Lobo’s employees to reclaim evidence yet Knox still acted as though Sandoval turning himself in peacefully were a distinct possibility. It made no sense.
What also made no sense was that Sandoval would come over to Knox’s apartment with a silenced handgun. For what? Sandoval must have received dozens of phone calls from excited agents that had discovered tantalizing evidence in the past. Did he bring a silenced handgun (and the burner phone that could send him to prison for life) with him on those occasions as well? Come on. There is erring on the side of caution and then there is writing something that doesn’t really make sense to move your plot along. This was another example of the latter.
Kanan proved to be an enigma in In My Best Interest. He killed an innocent old lady for her apartment yet was apprehensive about ransoming and killing Tariq St. Patrick (Michael Rainey Jr.). Kanan liked Tariq, that was clear. He was also a remorseless killer. Kanan killed his own son. So why the apprehension about killing Tariq? It didn’t gel with his past actions.
Jukebox (Anika Noni Rose) was wonderful during the Kanan / Tariq scenes in In My Best Interest. She was far smarter, ambitious, and cold-blooded (a dark accomplishment) than Kanan. Pushing Kanan to kill an innocent child said a lot about her character in a minimal amount of words. She will be the silent partner in the kidnapping and extortion operation. If it all goes wrong, she can walk away with her hands clean. Kanan can’t. He was stupid enough to send evidence of himself with Tariq to Tasha St. Patrick’s phone.
Writer / creator Courtney Kemp Agboh has set up Season 4 of Power quite nicely but she also revealed the show’s primary pattern: Ghost will never get out (like Don Michael Corleone). There will always be some hindrance that keeps him from completely severing ties with the criminal world and his past association with it. The same pattern (in a different form) exists on Ray Donovan and the same pattern (in a different form) exists on Shameless. I think a new formula is necessary.
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