Last week, I ended my review of S6E9 with “Next week is the last episode of Power before the series breaks over Christmas, and I predict we’re in for a major cliffhanger.”
Oh. My. God. I did not expect that cliffhanger. OK, looking back, maybe I should have expected it, but as the moment approached, all I could do was hope something would happen to stop it. I guess you need to tell yourself: nobody is safe in Power.
So last week, we witnessed some pretty intense and hurtful words between Tariq and James. I’ve been left feeling a little sorry for him, and I think James has been feeling a little sorry for himself, too. As this week’s episode begins, we join James sitting on his bed calling up his son, telling him they need to talk. “I want you to understand some things and share some things that only your father can say to you.” Seems a little late for fatherly advice, but who knows what he’s wanting to get off his chest.
James gets a call from Ramona, and the smile on both of their faces when they hear each other’s voice is very recognisable. That smitten kitten look that Angie used to have around him too. In Power, that look has come to mean danger is on the horizon. Anyway, Ramona tells James to turn on the TV where the news reports that James will be Walsh’s new running mate, and Ramona tells him his life is about to change. Before replying with a very prominent “I’m ready,” James pauses, and he looks almost sad. I suspect he took a moment to think about Angela, and the fact that with Ramona, his entire life is about to change. Originally, James wanted to go clean and be with Angie. He seems to have held on to that dream, only without her.
We join Saxe in Warner’s office, and he is met with a pleasant “How the fuck did you get in here?” Saxe wants him to search James’s hotel room to find the phone that he had Dre plant for him, but that can’t happen because James has an alibi for the night Keisha died. He isn’t suspected (officially) of anything else, which I find quite humorous.
James is forced to look for another site for the Queens Child Project. So he visits who turns out to be his uncle, who he hasn’t seen in quite some time, in his grandfather’s old bar. He makes his uncle an offer for the place, reminiscing and telling him he plans to turn it into a place where children can come to learn about music and play on the stage, and it will all be part of Raina’s legacy. We get a glimpse into James’s family, who we don’t hear much about, and his uncle mentions that he told his grandfather that they needed to pay off drug dealers. It seems that doing so could have helped his family. It isn’t made clear, but he agrees to sell the place to James, and just like that, James is Walsh’s new running mate, and the official announcement can be made.
Blanca approaches Warner with the evidence of dirt from the QCP site being found with Terry Silver’s body in the car, and she wants a warrant to search James’s hotel room. Warner tells her the same thing that I have said multiple times about Blanca: “you’re starting to sound like Saxe.” She is! And I don’t like either one of them.
Even though he shouldn’t be anywhere near this case, Saxe approaches Tate with Blanca to question him about the night Terry was murdered, and Saxe pushes him to lie. He tells him that if he heard James mention Tasha’s affair, they can arrest James right now for the murder. Blanca doesn’t approve of his methods, but of course, Tate lies and tells them he knew about it. I guess Blanca is going to have to weigh out her morals versus her hopes to see James get the death penalty.
James, back at his hotel room, texts Ramona to meet him. Angela appears, in her beautiful ghost-like form, and congratulates him. It always saddens me to see her return; it feels like an unfinished love story that you just long to come back knowing it never will…
She talks to him about Ramona, and warns him to let her see the new, good side of him, and not tell her everything. She also tells him he is free now, and I think he wants to be, even if the thought of leaving Angie behind breaks his heart.
When he sees Ramona, he tells her he got a new site, and she kisses him whilst not thinking, and backs away. Of course, he kisses her back, and thus is the start of the romance Ramona has been waiting for. She’s a smart woman, and I do question why she is so blind when it comes to who James is, but in the moment, it seems like a beautiful time for them both.
So, Blanca is able to get a “sneak and peek” warrant for James’s room, so everything should be left exactly where it was. But, when she finds Terry’s phone, she can’t let it get away. She takes it with her. However, when she shows it to Warner, well, he isn’t stupid, and she should have clearly seen that it was a setup himself. James would know better than to leave the main piece of evidence lying around for them to find, right?
James visits Raina’s grave, something I don’t think I’ve ever seen him do, and is met by Tasha. He tries to have a talk with her, but ends up just making her mad. He tells her that he met Ramona, and he officially releases her from their marriage. He says he won’t be in her life because he has a whole new life and “no one can stop me now.” By the look on her face, she certainly might be able to stop him.
Tate, for some reason, approaches James to warn him about something. Only he doesn’t get to tell him what that is, because he is cut off by continuous insults from James. He tells Tate, “losing is a skill; I am glad you have become an expert in it.” Even when Tate calls him back, James talks about how he’s a winner now, nobody can stop him, he’s on a mission, and apparently his goal is to make as many enemies as possible in one episode.
Tariq comes to meet his dad, but he doesn’t want to talk. He’s simply delivering Dre, who wants money to get out of town. Ironically, Dre came to James for help (which seems quite out of character now), but then he asks James if he can trust him. Why are you here if you can’t? One thing is for sure: Dre shouldn’t be here, but nonetheless, James tells him he’s going to help him like the “little bitch he is” and gives him a meeting place where he will give him the money. Only thing is, James gives the cops footage of Dre headed to the roof where Jason’s body was found. So instead of him, the Feds meet Dre at that meeting point. Yet another person pissed off by James.
Tommy comes calling on James next. They meet somewhere private, and he tells him he knows he didn’t kill Keisha. He also informs him of Proctor still having the recording against him and Tommy, and I imagine James feels pretty abandoned by that—especially with Joe not being there to defend himself. James is pretty rude to his brother here. He straight-up says that he doesn’t need Tommy, but Tommy needs him to function, and that he’s leaving him behind, and again “no one can fucking stop me!” He seems pretty persistent on that, and I suspect it’s giving people ideas rather than convincing them to back off. As they talk, two unknown people start shooting at them, and Tommy runs away, leaving one of the guys dead on the ground.
At Truth, Angela’s sister Paz tells James that she knows he didn’t kill her sister, but she pleads with him to tell her who did. Ramona listens in as Paz talks about Angie keeping James out of prison, and she hears Jamie confessing how much he loves Angela. After Paz leaves with no answers, Ramona tells James that she can’t compete with a ghost, but she also confesses that her and her ex-husband didn’t work because of the secrets they had. She questions him about why he needed to be kept out of prison. James is pretty dismissive of this, and insists everything is OK. Is it just me, or is this the exact type of shit he would say to Angela and Tasha when the real questions came up? Maybe it’s not the time for a relationship right now, James.
A confrontational meeting with Tasha leads to James suggesting he wants Tariq to confess to Raymond Jones’s murder, and also confronting Tasha about Keisha’s murder. He comes at her again with the “nothing is going to stop me, least of all you” so she lets him know that Terry Silver could come back to haunt him, and she tells him she hopes he gets everything he deserves.
In Raina’s room, he is met with the ghost of his daughter, and it’s quite a chilling conversation. Raina talks about her parents being the ones who taught her and Tariq how to lie, and that the lies eventually killed her. With a text from Tariq interrupting them, Raina disappears.
This episode almost gives James time with every member of his family, as if he were being given his final moments with them. And I think what he’s discovering from that is he wasn’t the family man that he thought he was. He wasn’t always a good father. When he sees his son, James suggests Tariq should confess, much to Tariq’s horror, and he confronts his father telling him to confess to him first about all the bad he’s done, and he asks him why he killed Breeze. James tells Tariq something that Kanan never knew, which was that he gave him one final chance, as he often does, before he killed him, but his hand was forced. But as the conversation reverts back to Tariq (before James has to confess to anything else, conveniently), Tariq tells his father everything he does is to help himself, and it’s never been for the family.
James convinced Vincent to get a burner cell to 2-Bit in prison. After his hilarious answer “new phone who dis?” he tells him he needs a favor that will get him money and revenge. We’ll have to wait and see what comes from that.
Tate is told by Blanca that the case against James was shut down, and they won’t need his testimony. They simply don’t have enough evidence against him, they never have. Saxe is also told that it’s all shut down, and we see him enraged at the possibility that he could go to jail while James walks free. We see him take out a gun after this conversation.
I am feeling a strong sense of S1E1 as James stands at Truth like nothing ever happened. He sees Ramona enter in a beautiful dress just as he saw Angie do that night, and he sprints down to see her. It’s like a pattern is beginning, a pattern of dishonestly in a relationship that had potential, perhaps. He doesn’t keep their romantic involvement a secret, as she requested, when he kisses her in the middle of Truth. She doesn’t seem to mind anymore; I suppose she’s flattered more than anything.
Meanwhile, Dre is in custody of the Feds, and tells Blanca he got set up. She already knows this, but what can they do? Well, she pulls another Saxe move, basically directing him into a lie. If he can tell her that James mentioned killing Terry Silver, she can let him go, and if he doesn’t, they’re both screwed. “No, he didn’t tell me that he did it. I was there. It was at his place.” “In the parking garage?” “Yeah… In the parking garage.” Dre will say anything that Blanca tells him to, and he will say it wherever she needs him to save himself. That’s the way you need to be.
Back at the party at Truth, Tariq asks his dad if he really wants him to confess, and leaves him with an ominous “Goodnight, Dad.” As James walks down a hallway, he is taken aback by yet another ghost. Kanan is waiting for him in the hallway. I was honestly delighted to see 50 back in the show, even briefly. I did not know that was coming, which is unusual because 50 is the worst for giving things away online sometimes.
Kanan tells him he’s a bad guy who deserves handcuffs and the needle, and James replies that Ghost deserves those things but James doesn’t. James brings up the fact that his bad side came from Kanan, but when it came down to it James tried to save Kanan’s son’s life while Kanan destroyed Tariq’s life. As Kanan disappears, Ramona finds James and wants to meet with him in an hour to chat, and probably plan their wonderful future together. They kiss, and it occurs to me that this could potentially be a kiss goodbye.
This is where we start to panic as we get towards the end of this extended midseason Power finale.
We see Saxe, approaching Truth with a gun. Dre is on his way somewhere in his car. Paz is on route with a gun herself. Dre gets out a gun as he walks. Tommy is waiting with a gun. Tasha is walking to the club, too…
We see Ghost turn the Truth lights out, and his office lights, and he stands on his club balcony in silence, almost as if he is waiting for something to happen. He looks concerned, as if he can hear something happening, and as we see Blanca approach Truth with papers in her hand, she hears a single gun shot.
A different version of “Big Rich Town” kicks in, and the episode ends as we see Ghost falling from the balcony in slow motion, a bullet hole in his chest, as blood slowly spreads across his shirt.
So many questions have arisen. Is James dead? It certainly seems to look that way.
The main question of “who shot Ghost?” has been making the rounds on the cast’s social media pages, but I keep wondering what those final five episodes will be like without James in them. Despite certain things, James has good in him, and he really was trying to go legit. It is a sad thought to think someone might have actually stopped him. It also reminds me of Breaking Bad, and the way that there was no other way for the story to come to an end in a satisfactory way if Walter White was still alive. Is that the same for James? Could the story possibly come to a close if he is still out there? Or has he put too much bad out into the universe for that to be acceptable?
We’ll be back in January when Power returns, and hopefully, we will have some serious answers.