Power season 4 episode 1 kicked things off with James St. Patrick going through hell. Somehow by the end of it, he found himself in the innermost circle of it.
How terrible was this episode for Omari Hardwick’s character? Let us count the ways.
1. He’s still in jail – Despite everything that was attempted, he was denied bail with the judge ruling that she needed to make an example out of him. Even if innocent, killing a law enforcement officer like Greg Knox is a significant crime. Joe had some good arguments, but they fell on deaf ears. It also hurt him that he was up against a powerful prosecutor in John Mok (Sung Kang), a man determined to put Jamie away for the sake of A) justice and B) trying to propel his own career forward.
2. Angela is ruining his home life – One season removed from being his lover, she helped to lead a raid on Tasha’s home, upsetting Jamie’s daughter and throwing a wrench into their home lives. She made it, as a result of her actions, almost impossible for her and Jamie to ever get back together. Maybe she did it for justice, or maybe she did it for revenge. Either way, she didn’t do it for the glory given that John has zero intention of letting her get anywhere close to a significant position working on the case. He doesn’t want that sort of conflict of interest around.
3. He’s getting beat up in jail – By law enforcement, no less. As great as it was to get a chance to see the late Charlie Murphy on the show, did he really have to brutalize Jamie in the process?
The reason that we haven’t said the word “Ghost” once in this entire review (save for the title) is that Ghost wasn’t really a part of this. Jamie’s keeping his alter ego at bay while he works to ensure that he keeps his head above water and nothing else happens to him.
One of the big surprises here was getting a better sense of Joe’s home life, including his custody battle, as we started to see how big of a role he was going to have in clearing Jamie’s name and getting him home. He contracted Tasha, and made it clear to her that the last thing that she should do is tell Jamie about Tariq and his recent disappearance. That has been kept on the down-low for now, but there’s inevitably going to be some trouble on it later given that Dre is still keeping a cover for the kid, who is spending time with Kanan and being educated on the ways of hating his father / being a terrible person. To make matters even worse, even Tommy is drifting from him.
One of our major criticisms of season 3 was that the Kanan arc was a little too much of a slow play, and we still do feel that. Yet, if the show manages to find a way so that the past season-plus of hype are worth it, we’re fine with reversing course on it. The moment that Jamie finds out he is alive will be the moment that he turns back into Ghost and starts wrecking havoc. The problem is that the longer that Kanan survives, the more insulated he gets.
The Power season 4 premiere went exactly in the way in which you’d expect for it to: Consistently fantastic, consistently dramatic, and somehow twisted in a way we didn’t expect. Take, for example, Jamie still being in jail: This felt like a cliffhanger you’d see for an episode and that’s it. As it turns out, not so much. With Hardwick and Lela Loren continuing to deliver great performances, odds are that Power is going to continue to deliver some excellent episodes for many weeks to come still. Grade: A-.
Where are things going from here?
If you head over here, you can get some other news, including a preview for what is coming up next / the groundwork for the remainder of the season. (Photo: Starz.)