Power Things Are Going to Get Worse Review
Starz‘s Power: Season 4, Episode 2: Things Are Going to Get Worse had many touching moments, moments that outweighed some of the problems with the episode’s script and its handling of situations it engineered.
Tony Teresi (William Sadler), his imprisonment, and the storyline with his wife are the best new storylines in Power. The moment Tony appeared on-screen and his past began unspooling, it became obvious that he and Ghost would eventually cross paths. It was not clear, however, how that would happen until Things Are Going to Get Worse.
When Wilson Fisk asked his lawyer in Daredevil to find out about the current situation of two particular inmates, it was to marshal their loyalty. When Tony Teresi asked for intelligence on Ghost and Tommy Engan, Tony’s fishing expedition had the same purpose.
When a certain character’s last name was brought up and Tony pondered it, it was clear that he was remembering something from the past. The intuitive viewer who took all of those variables into account (e.g. the look on Tony’s face, his follow-up question, etc.) might think that Tony had a sexual relationship with that person’s mother in the past and that he was that person’s father.
The Tony Teresi and Connie Teresi (Mercedes Ruehl) moment between the prison visiting glass in Things Are Going to Get Worse was touching. It’s highlight was the part where Connie said she regretted not giving Tony any children and he responded that she had given him all that a man could every want.
Connie’s inclusion in Tony’s storyline and his love for Connie made Tony far more three dimensional and relate-able than he would have been if the Connie storyline was not present. It was also a well-executed motivating factor for Tony’s actions in Things Are Going to Get Worse.
The same can’t be said for Dre (Rotimi) and his actions in Things Are Going to Get Worse.
The situation between Dre and Kanan (Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson) was idiotic when it began last season, and it has continued to be idiotic, including in Things Are Going to Get Worse. If Dre was the smart criminal he was purported to be, had been raised on the street, and had seen any gangster or criminal movies, Dre would known that when a problem like Kanan arose, it should be expeditiously eliminated.
How many low, medium, and high-end hitman are there in New York City? How many could be hired anonymously?
Dre was paying Kanan, Jukebox, and their associate $45K a week ($15K each). Dre obviously had access to oodles of cash. With that type of money, instead of hiring a hitman, Dre could have hired a hit squad à la Scarface to kill Kanan. Dre’s choice in all of the episodes leading up to and including Things Are Going to Get Worse: do nothing, continue to live in fear, keep his daughter within easy reach of Kanan, and not take any proactive steps to end the reign of terror in his life. It made absolutely no sense. I can’t imagine a person raised in the environment that Dre was raised in, with the resources at his disposal, doing nothing yet that was exactly what he did day after day. Dre was willing to fly to Miami and stab-to-death a hit woman on orders from someone else to get that person out of a jam but it never occurred to Dre to do the same for himself? It’s something only a writer could dream up to string out a favored storyline they had created. The Dre / Kanan storyline in Power should have ended last season. Power writers Courtney Kemp Agboh, Safia Dirie, Jeff Dix, and Monica Mitchell shouldn’t have made Dre: a thinker, resourceful, and able to adapt quickly. If they hadn’t, maybe this glaring plot hole wouldn’t be so obvious. It was though and it has become increasingly detrimental to the real world reality that Power is trying to maintain.
When Kanan assaulted Dre in Things Are Going to Get Worse then turned his back on Dre, why didn’t Dre say to himself “enough is enough,” take out his gun (Dre told Ghost last season that he’s always strapped), shoot Kanan, and then call Tommy with the line “Guess who just showed up? Kanan. I shot him. He’s dead. I need the body removed from Truth.” Or Dre could have gotten rid of the body himself, quietly. Instead, Dre did nothing.
Tariq St. Patrick (Michael Rainey Jr.) sank a little bit deeper into Kanan’s clutches during Things Are Going to Get Worse. Tariq began to internalize Kanan’s words above those of his mother’s, his sister’s, and his father’s. If Kanan’s goal was to turn Tariq into one of his thralls like Dre, it was working. Kanan was becoming the male authority figure that Tariq looked to for advice and guidance. The worst part – Dre was letting it happen through his silence and in-action.
James ‘Ghost’ St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick) pretending not to be Ghost in prison was clever. Ghost’s moment with Biscuit (Guyviaud Joseph) in Things Are Going to Get Worse, though entertaining, was not. Ghost confirmed his identity with that hasty, reflexive action. Ghost also exposed himself to retribution by unknown assailants. When Ghost broke Biscuit’s wrist, Ghost had no idea whom Biscuit was associated with in that prison. What Ghost did was reckless. If Biscuit had belonged to a gang (and he might), Ghost would have had all of their members and their vengeance to deal with until a peace could be brokered. For a smart guy trying to keep a low profile in prison, Ghost’s action with Biscuit was incongruous with that goal and with Ghost’s intelligence.
U.S. Attorney Mike Sandoval (David Fumero) planting the gun in Truth (or any location that belonged to Ghost) was going to happen the moment Sandova heard James St. Patrick was arrested and Sandova didn’t throw away his FBI Special Agent Greg Knox murder paraphernalia. Seeing U.S. Attorney Sandoval actually do it in Things Are Going to Get Worse was like watching car race on a per-determined track where the outcome of said race was never in doubt.
When the phone call occurred between James St. Patrick and Tommy Egan at the conclusion of Things Are Going to Get Worse (an extremely dubious decision on Ghost’s part since the prosecution was trying to link St. Patrick with Egan), the viewer could feel the years of St. Patrick and Egan’s friendship culminate in that one moment. It seemed like both of them were holding back their emotions. The words between the two of them were carefully chosen, heart-felt, and bespoke of a bond that prison, threats, and potential death could not shake loose. If there was one person that each of them could count on with their dearest requests, it was each other.
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