TV Show Review

TV Review: POWER: Season 4, Episode 10: You Can’t Fix This [Starz]

Omari Hardwick Joseph Sikora Power You Can't Fix This

Power You Can’t Fix This Review

Starz‘s Power: Season 4, Episode 10: You Can’t Fix This was the resolution of all the bad decisions that Tariq St. Patrick (Michael Rainey Jr.) had made during the last two seasons. You Can’t Fix This was a transitional episode, one in which Tariq stepped from the civilian world into the world of his mother and father. Tariq did so because of the overwhelming desire for revenge but the why was inconsequential. The act was still murder. The perpetrator was still a murderer. For that seminal moment in Tariq St. Patrick’s life, like a high-schooler at graduation, Tariq was surrounded by the people that cared about him the most in the world.

Duality played a large role in You Can’t Fix This. Michael Rainey Jr. delivered his best performance-to-date in Power, during an episode that saw his character’s criminal dalliances apex and conclude (presumably) in an auspicious way.

The lead up to Tariq’s shootout was beautiful, its escalation the best scene in You Can’t Fix This. Two freight trains raced towards each other – parents and friend ran up apartment staircases while Tariq confronted NYPD Officer Raymond “Ray Ray” Jones  (Marcus Callender).

What followed was a Rubicon being crossed and a sloppy murder scene cleanup. James “Ghost” St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick), Tasha St. Patrick (Naturi Naughton), and Thomas Patrick “Tommy” Egan (Joseph Sikora) admittedly didn’t have a lot of time to think after entering the Ray Ray murder scene but their criminal minds should have kicked in. In part, they did – they got rid of the body. In large part, they did not – they left blood on the floor and didn’t pry the bullet out of the wall. The St. Patricks and Egan could have done three things to make the room look anything but a murder scene: 1.) one of them could have run into the kitchen for cleaning supplies while the other surveyed the room for stray bullets in the wall. They could have taken Tariq, looked at his gun clip for how many rounds he fired or asked him. If Tariq fired twice but there was only one bullet in the body, the other bullet had to go somewhere (which would have led them to the wall and the bullet encased there), 2.) the St. Patricks and Egan could have made it look like a botched robbery gone wrong. They could have turned over furniture, ransacked the apartment (as if looking for something hidden), and stolen Ray Ray’s hidden money. Instead, the St. Patricks and Egan left exposed stacks of currency and tons stolen property everywhere. To any police officer or detective, that scene would not look like a robbery. No robber would leave bundles of cash laying around after breaking in and killing so they could steal. That was the St. Patricks and Egan’s second biggest mistake, and 3.) the St. Patricks and Egan could and should have burned the entire apartment. Nothing gets rid of physical evidence like fire. The fire wouldn’t have gotten rid of the slug in the wall but it would have burned the floors and consumed the blood on it. That was the St. Patricks and Egan’s biggest mistake in You Can’t Fix This. If Showtime’s Dexter taught the viewer anything it was to never leave behind a viable crime scene.

With any screenplay, whether it’s for a television show or a motion picture, there are going to be things kept off-screen or left up to the viewer’s imagination. When Kanan Starks magically found Tommy Egan as Tommy was about to walk into an Italian mob bar in You Can’t Fix This, this was one of those moments. How did Kanan find Tommy? Then there were moments in You Can’t Fix This that defied all semblance of logic. Why would someone as smart as Andre “Dre” Coleman (Rotimi) use traceable, gang-inked local hitmen to try and kill Kanan? You’re mistaken if you blame Dre for that blunder. It wasn’t his fault. Real-world Dre never would have made a mistake like that. That blunder was manufactured by Dre’s creators (as was the Jimenez meeting face-to-face with Dre’s primeras). Screenwriters can sometimes be strange creatures e.g. they create a smart, ambitious, thinks-on-his-feet character, someone with all of the pluses of the main character and none of the minuses. Then, for narrative expediency, the screenwriter will dumb-down that smart character at a critical moment so that the main character or a cadre of main characters, can prevail. This happens all the time in television (e.g. Dexter) and in film screenplays (e.g. Avengers: Age of Ultron). It happened with Dre in You Can’t Fix This and in That Ain’t Me. It was moments like those that made the viewer grind their teeth together. There may come a point where screenwriters are smarter than the material they are writing instead of relying on illogic and school-taught screenplay writing formula. A few of those writers exist (e.g. Paul Haggis and Andrew Kevin Walker) but none of them writes for Power. In Power‘s future, perhaps they will hire a screenwriter that creates a smart character, good or bad, that is intelligent in everything that they do without fail, 100% of the time. That is how that character got to where they are and they have no intention of having it taken away. We are not at that point yet. You Can’t Fix This proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Tasha St. Patrick’s prescience at the end of You Can’t Fix This about what is coming next season on Power i.e. her murder trial was interesting. Did she know that a mistake had been made at Ray Ray’s crime scene, did she sense something, or did she remember something after the fact? Since it was her gun that was used to kill Ray Ray, it can be assumed that she was being proactive in retaining council. She sacrificed love and a meaningful relationship to save her son from prison. It was selfless and brave and spoke to Tasha’s underlying character. Tasha was positioning herself to be Tariq St. Patrick’s shield if and when the police ever came knocking on their door next season (and they will – the murder weapon is in the police database).

Here is the problem – that isn’t what Real-world Tasha St. Patrick would have done. Hiring a lawyer would have been Choice B for that smart and shrewd individual. Choice A for Real-world Tasha would have been to leave the country that evening with her children for a non-U.S. extradition country e.g. Venezuela. All of it would have been under the clever guise of having reached her breaking point (the death of her daughter pushing her over the edge), of not being able to stay in the city for a another second, and of needing some space from James St. Patrick. Tasha would have written a letter attesting to those facts, that it would be good for the children to get away, saying she would be back in a few weeks after clearing her head.

That letter would have been the perfect cover for leaving the country. The need to get away after a traumatic event is a mindset that anyone could understand, even for someone without no family. The newspapers and magazines would have bought it hook, line, and sinker.

By being out of the country and in a non-U.S. extradition country: Tasha and Tariq couldn’t be extradited back to the United States, arrested, questioned, or tried for NYPD Officer Raymond “Ray Ray” Jones’ murder. The police wouldn’t even have an alibi for Tasha or Tariq to refute. James “Ghost” St. Patrick could tell the police, when they came knocking, that his wife and children had already left by the time he returned home. Ghost could tell the police that they had left their cellphones behind before heading to the airport, the rationale being that his wife would call him when she was ready to talk and not before.

It would have been a perfect and clean getaway for Tasha and Tariq.

The writers of Power did not want that. The writers didn’t want Tasha and Tariq St. Patrick off the show for half of next  season or for nine-out-ten episodes of it. The writers wanted that arrest (Tasha St. Patrick), they wanted that trial where Tasha eventually takes the stand in defense of herself for killing a corrupt police officer after he killed her daughter (for maximum self-righteous effect). Power‘s writers wanted all of that juicy drama so they dumbed-down Tasha and her decision-making in You Can’t Fix This until Tasha arrived at Choice B.

There will be no globetrotting for Power, no Tasha St. Patrick setting up another appendage of her husband’s criminal organization (like Milan, like the Jimenez) in Venezuela (creating new sources of income and product for that organization and new drama for Power). There will be no narrative or locational expansion for Power. No growth. Power is going to stay in New York for all (or almost all) of its narrative (a beneficial strategy up to Season 4).

Who is looking forward to Tasha St. Patrick’s police officer murder trial next season?

Leave your thoughts on this Power You Can’t Fix This review and this episode of Power below in the comments section. Readers seeking more Power can visit our Power Page and our Power Facebook Page. Readers seeking more TV show reviews can visit our TV Show Review Page, our TV Show Review Twitter Page, our TV Show Review Facebook Page, and our TV Show Review Google+ Page. Want up-to-the-minute notification? FilmBook staff members publish articles by Email, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and Facebook.

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Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created ProMovieBlogger.com and Trending Awards.com.

  • Edward

    It’d be completely out of character for Tasha to leave the country and seek refuge in a foreign place. Writers also have to be mindful of a character’s essence and fundamental personality when making narrative decisions. Tasha isn’t someone that can operate on her own without Ghost’s financial support. That’s why this season saw her trying to create an independent life for herself. What would a show be if all of its characters operated on 100% logic and objectivity? What would any show be if that happened?

  • “It’d be completely out of character for Tasha to leave the country and seek refuge in a foreign place.”

    If that is true, she is a fool. How do you know everything that she would do in every situation? I have seen every episode of Power and I don’t know what Tasha would do in every situation.

    Tasha would not be seeking refuge. She would be taking a break from her recent traumas. A breather. People do that all the time. Tasha would simply be taking her breather in non-U.S. extradition country.

    Clever…like her character.

    “Writers also have to be mindful of a character’s essence and fundamental personality when making narrative decisions.”

    Agreed. Well said by-the-way.

    “Tasha isn’t someone that can operate on her own without Ghost’s financial support.”

    I agree and disagree with that.

    Tasha needs Ghost’s “legitimate” financial support…now but not in the future. Tasha was studying accounting in college before she met Ghost. Tasha can manage money.

    If she divorces him, she won’t have any legal recourse about his “illegal” money. The reason she needs the legitimate cash is because they are under a microscope because of the dismissed murder case against Ghost and because Ghost stole and spent the almost all of their legitimate cash for the hotel deal. Neither of them can use their illegal cash to make big purchases, pay school tuition, etc. They’d have to explain where the money came from. When the scrutiny subsides, they can start using the illegal cash again.

    Tasha and Ghost are adults. They can split, come to an financial arrangement, and not ruin each other’s life.

    “What would a show be if all of its characters operated on 100% logic and objectivity? What would any show be if that happened?”

    The show would be more or less like Narcos – the smart, ruthless characters are consistently smart and ruthless. It gets the better of them sometimes but it is always within the bounds of the established character.

    Example: Dre not trying to kill Kanan for almost two seasons, as smart as Dre is, that never made sense, especially with all of the money he was throwing at Kanan, Jukebox, and Ray Ray. Dre could have easily used that money to hire ex-military, mercenaries with high-end battle skills, to kill all three of them, then hired those mercs as his permanent body guards. Instead, nothing in that regard from Dre for almost two seasons. Then when Dre did act, it was galactic amateur night.

    Pablo would have sent Poison and La Quica to kill Kanan (professional assassins, one of them a complete psychopath), not Wile E. Coyote and Daffy Duck like Dre sent.

    You’re right. I can’t expect 100% logic and objectivity from characters all the time. That was foolish. I admit it. What I do expect is consistency within the established characters 100% of the time. That is not too much to ask.

  • Edward

    Thanks for the reply. Your reviews are very good and I tend to agree with a majority of what you say.

    As far as Tasha leaving, I feel as though narratively that’d be hard to carry out because it’d involve Tasha being relegated to a minor character or maybe even shafted for the time being. And, even if she does have a firm background in financing it doesn’t mean she actually has the means to attain said funds in the short span of time all of this mayhem is happening. Her and Ghost are still relatively building their empire back up after Ghost’s arduous trial. So I understand why it seems easier to be stationary and roll with the punches. Tasha and Ghost are intrinsically tied to the hood. It’s become their playground of sorts. And they know how to maneuver through it like few can. Their both products of their environment while also simultaneously captives of their own reality. I think that dynamic is very interesting to see. It’s like they want to be progressive and move forward but their reality will never be as simple as getting up and seeking refuge elsewhere.

    As far as Dre, he is completely terrified of Kanan. When you’re shaken to the core by someone the simplest solution starts seeming like an insurmountable challenge. Ghost failed in killing Kanan and ever since then he’s become like a proverbial boogeyman. I think the show illuminates that well by giving Kanan scenes where he pops up randomly at locations and executes with precision and complete murderous intent. As cunning as Dre can be it’s a little more complex then sending assassins to hire a man he knows has escaped death once before. But you’re right. The showrunners could have at least tried to have a subplot that involved him sending thugs to neutralize Kanan. That would have been interesting.

  • “As far as Tasha leaving, I feel as though narratively that’d be hard to
    carry out because it’d involve Tasha being relegated to a minor
    character or maybe even shafted for the time being.”

    They did it with characters on Game of Thrones (I know that is a different animal entirely). It could work.

    “And, even if she does have a firm background in financing it doesn’t
    mean she actually has the means to attain said funds in the short span
    of time all of this mayhem is happening.”

    Agreed.

    “So I understand why it seems easier to be stationary and roll with the punches.”

    Roll with being questioned about a murder your son committed? Roll with being an accessory after the fact? Roll with the murder weapon being your gun? Roll with being arrested and tried for the murder of a police officer? Roll with taking all of those life change risks, decisions, and consequences?

    Or take a flight out of the country.

    Please. There is no choice. Take the flight.

    “Her and Ghost are still relatively building their empire back up after Ghost’s arduous trial.”

    Let Ghost and Tommy build it.

    “Tasha and Ghost are intrinsically tied to the hood. It’s become their
    playground of sorts. And they know how to maneuver through it like few
    can. Their both products of their environment while also simultaneously
    captives of their own reality.”

    That is very good. Here is the problem with your logic – Ghost has shown an ability, time and time again, to think outside of the box or in the case of your assumption, outside of the hood. Kanan is intrinsically tied to the hood. The hood is Kanan’s playground. Kanan is a product of that environment and is a willing captive of it.

    Ghost and Tasha are not. They see beyond the hood.

    “As far as Dre, he is completely terrified of Kanan. When you’re shaken
    to the core by someone the simplest solution starts seeming like an
    insurmountable challenge. Ghost failed in killing Kanan and ever since
    then he’s become like a proverbial boogeyman. I think the show
    illuminates that well by giving Kanan scenes where he pops up randomly
    at locations and executes with precision and complete murderous intent.”

    Kanan, the boogeyman. That was something that I hadn’t considered. That didn’t explain, however, why Dre didn’t move his family outside the reach of Kanan? He could have afforded to send them virtually anywhere. Instead, nothing. Dre might have been afraid, but for his family, he would have acted. Decisively, especially with his back up against the wall. The main character in Shotcaller did, dramatically.

    “The showrunners could have at least tried to have a subplot that involved him sending thugs to neutralize Kanan.”

    High-end, trained “thugs,” like Leon from The Professional. The best money could buy. Dre could afford it. Instead, he sent cartoons.

  • Edward

    We also have to take into account how Power is only ten episodes per season. Most of the stuff you’re alluding to would make the season bloated with extenuating content that could implode the entire season if one of the threads is loose. We know Power already has issues with juggling multiple story threads and adding to each other their complexities seems like a recipe for disaster. I’ve always appreciated that Power is an ambitious series that is cognizant of its limits. Many of the things you conjure up sound very interesting but they’d require so much more maintenance to carry out in a satisfactory way.

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