Power We’re In This Together Review
Starz‘s Power: Season 4, Episode 4: We’re In This Together featured a pendulum that swung in James ‘Ghost’ St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick)’s favor and against him. Like any drama of note, fortune can not always be on the side of the protagonist. During We’re In This Together, fortune gave with one hand (e.g. the gun found in the club being thrown out) and took with the other (e.g. all St. Patrick’s businesses being shut down).
The court room scene where the gun was eventually deemed not admissible as evidence was one of the best scenes in We’re In This Together. It was Ty Jones‘ finest acting scene in Power and Attorney Joe Proctor (Jerry Ferrara) really showed off his cross-examination prowess. The cherry on the top of the scene was Terry Silver (Brandon Victor Dixon) pointing out a clear-cut example of his previous theory of the “angry black man” and how detrimental that supposed phenomenon could be to either side during a court case.
Like the sit-down scene in The Kind of Man You Are, We’re In This Together featured a brief meeting of two criminal leaders where one made a demand and the other person acquiesced. In We’re In This Together, it was Ghost that had the upper-hand on Tony Teresi (William Sadler). Serving someone up the same bitter pill that they forced you to swallow must have been a sweet experience but Ghost kept his business-like composure throughout it. He kept the terms simple and to the point so that no animosity was created. There was no gloating. It was a very smart approach and bespoke of the strategist that James ‘Ghost’ St. Patrick had always been.
James St. Patrick’s businesses and LaKeisha Grant (Alani ‘La La’ Anthony)’s hair and beauty shop being closed by the government was an unexpected but welcome narrative move by We’re In This Together‘s writers. If the criminal case dragged on, the St. Patrick’s now merger savings would be drained: court and lawyer fees, rent payments on the apartment, club rent payments, utility bills, cellphone bills, food costs, gas costs, and tuition for two students in a private New York City high school. James St. Patrick and Tasha St. Patrick (Naturi Naughton) were two very smart individuals. Two intelligent people like the St. Patricks would have prepared for a rainy, criminal day like the one they were enduring in advance: they would have bought their apartment years ago and not still be renting it. They would have paid their children’s school tuition in advance for a year. They would have followed that protocol at the beginning of each school year. If anything happened with their finances or cash flow, it wouldn’t have interrupted their children’s education. They would have had a year to figure things out. Tasha St. Patrick (Naturi Naughton) would have returned to college, gotten her accounting degree, and worked for a reputable company. By doing that, the St. Patricks would have always had a legitimate source of income for their family, one the government couldn’t take away, and something completely separate from criminality. Tasha being a working accountant would also have had the added benefit of making the St. Patrick’s legitimacy cover broader and more believable.
That is what smart, real world criminals would have done. As I said, the St. Patricks were smart but only so far as the confines of Power and its narrative will allow them to be. Like when Little Finger from the A Song of Ice and Fire novels was translated into his HBO’s Game of Thrones incarnation and was subsequently stripped of much of his intelligence, the TV St. Patricks are dumb-downed versions of what their real world incarnations would be like.
Since Kanan (Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson) returned to New York City, he had been a contradiction. Kanan was what Ghost said Kanan was in Season 2 of Power, a street criminal that thought small, who was incapable of thinking beyond the street.
For a small-scale thinker, Kanan had been a virtuoso at manipulating young minds during the last two seasons of Power. Like Amanda Waller from The CW’s Arrow and Suicide Squad, making people do things that were against their best interests came easily to Kanan.
Kanan already had Dre firmly in his pocket, now he had Tariq St. Patrick (Michael Rainey Jr.) through coitus in We’re In This Together. Kanan had been providing Tariq with the distractions that his young mind craved since his father left Tariq’s household months back and then was incarcerated. Now Kanan served up to Tariq his first major sexual experience. Tariq’s mind will be bent on that experience (and all those of its ilk that follow) and his growing gratitude and affection for Slim a.k.a Kanan. Kanan had fashioned himself into the friend that Tariq thought that he needed at that time in his life. Kanan had created a fantasy island for Tariq, filled with camaraderie, petty theft, cash, alcohol, and sexual liaisons. In We’re In This Together, Kanan continued the creation of criminal son Tariq, the type of son that Kanan always wanted Shawn to be.
Assistant United States Attorney Angela “Angie” Valdez (Lela Loren)’s discovery at the end of the We’re In This Together introduced a moral dilemma for the attorney. What will A.U.S.A. Valdez do about what she discovered?
Because of the recording, Valdez knew for a fact that someone planted the Greg Knox murder weapon in Truth but not who or when. A.U.S.A. Valdez did know that someone wanted Ghost convicted of murdering FBI Special Agent Greg Knox. The first things that Valdez will ask herself are: why is that? What’s the motive?
If someone other than Ghost placed the gun in Truth (and Valdez knew someone did), it could have been an FBI agent or someone that entered Truth under the warrant that turned up the gun. If Valdez told the prosecution what she had found in the surveillance recording, it might alert that person.
That placed Assistant United States Attorney Angela Valdez’s into a conundrum: she had to reveal what she had found. The prosecution had already been burned once for holding back / not looking for the tape of Special Agent Knox pulling over Ghost the day Knox was murdered. A.U.S.A. Valdez would not be stupid enough to risk that again. If the defense, through the discovery process, had the surveillance tapes that the prosecution had, then the Ghost defense team already had the gun / plant evidence but they hadn’t found that section of the recording yet (or they would have used it already). The defense team probably hadn’t scrutinized the recordings thoroughly the way Valdez had.
Will Valdez send the defense team an anonymous tip about the surveillance recording? Will Valdez keep what she had found a secret, surmising that it might have been the real Felipe Lobos mole that planted the gun, and try, somehow, to smoke the mole out?
So many tantalizing questions. Power: Season 4, Episodes 5: Don’t Thank Me is going to be an entertaining episode regarding this storyline.
I didn’t expect Homeland Security Employee Bailey Markham (Lee Tergesen)’s storyline to end the way that it did. What was incredible was that Thomas Patrick “Tommy” Egan (Joseph Sikora) left direct evidence of having committed a murder with Defense Attorney Joe Proctor. Tommy Egan didn’t realize it at the time but he had placed himself into his lawyer’s pocket. Now Attorney Proctor had leverage over Tommy if Proctor ever needed it. If Tommy threatened Proctor, Proctor had the recording. If Tommy didn’t do what Proctor wanted, Proctor could release the recording. If Proctor ever got arrested on a serious charge and needed leverage with the prosecution to get a deal, he had the recording of Tommy Egan killing Ruiz. Joe Proctor could also testify against Tommy in court about Tommy killing Bailey Markham in front of him in exchange for dropped charges, full immunity, and witness protection.
Tommy Egan was so smug, glib actually, following Markham’s death, saying how Proctor and he were now in bed together. Tommy was right on that account. What he was wrong about was who was the “Top” and who was the “Bottom” in that bed.
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