Power: “Three Moves Ahead”

(Episode 2.08)

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Power: “Three Moves Ahead”

I’ve never been one for chess, since the game requires immense patience and ambitious planning; traits my Designer clearly forgot to include in my DNA. Power presents Ghost’s life as one, huge game of chess—one where I’m usually begging to see the moves play out faster, but not in this episode. Instead, it feels like we could have chopped up entire scenes and spread them throughout the second season.

Of course, just because “Three Moves Ahead” was chaotic, it doesn’t mean it was a bad episode; just that it fell a bit from Power’s usual scale. That the episode still kicks better than many other shows, proves just how good the series is.

Let’s discuss Angela. Angela cloning Ghost’s phone last week was genius. It left this writer gasping, because it seemed that Angie was finally ready to face the truth about Jamie and all the facets of his personality that are filled with smoke and mirrors. However, this could have been more effective two episodes ago, when Holly first rocked the fed’s world. With Lena Loren’s emotional bathroom scene, this device could have created more reverberations in the form of Angie reading texts from Ghost’s kids or worse, Tasha. That would have been fantastic—the other woman feeling regret over her love might have provided excellent motivation for Angie’s next move.

Tasha plays devil’s advocate so well, especially since she can talk about raising kids and overtaking the drug world in the same breathe. Ghost knows that she will never trust him again, and she insists that he gives her details of his new plan. As per usual, Ghost gives Tasha half of the blueprints, but she finds a way to add in her two-cents. Within this brief interaction, they decide that it’s best if Ghost kills Lobos—which, whoa—how did we get from 0 to 100 so fast? It would have been best if this plan had percolated for a while between the two, but okay, let’s shoot everything to the breeze.

The crack between Ghost and Tommy has widened to a chasm, but it’s intriguing how they continue to force the other to see things their way. Unfortunately, their cohorts are aware; once both men are in the new money room, the vibe is so tense, you’re forced to pay attention. Tommy is upset that Ghost still dreams of legitimizing his life, because how does one leave, unscathed? It’s true. Ghost has always forced things to work in their favor, but since Angela’s arrival in his life, things have changed. Tommy does the only thing he feels he has left; he runs to Tasha. Tasha, once again, was duped.

Lobos is in town, but instead of enjoying the Big Apple (and grabbing his money and hiding underground), he finds himself to be the target of other cartels. I would have to say my biggest disappointment with the show is Lobos’ development. We were made to believe that this character is truly insane and dangerous—perhaps on par with the “cannibal motherfucker” Tommy is afraid of, Milan. But Lobos’s paranoia from being on the lam makes him look like a joke instead of a major threat. If we could have seen a deeper descent in to madness, it would have come across better. When Lobos realizes he can’t control Ghost, the plan to kill him is made at the last minute, and the errand boy says he can take on Ghost’s duties. I’m not sure how, since he can’t even properly wrap a plastic tarp in the hotel, which renders this scene out of place. It’s almost comedic, when it shouldn’t be, but we don’t have to wait that much longer for this blunder to unravel.

Kanan is back in town and 50 Cent’s delivery of this character is just excellent. Kanan is holding his livewire act steady as he plans for Dre, Ruiz, Vladimir and Shifty to derail Ghost and Tommy once and for all. They all agree to work together. Shawn, lovely, sweet, innocent Shawn, doesn’t understand—but Kanan finally delivers the sermon that his son deserved to hear since his release from jail. It’s also a cheap trick; Kanan knows about Shawn and Tasha, so he plays that card to motivate his son to hatred. Shawn is understandably angry; he has Dre pushing his buttons and acting more like a son to Kanan; he wants to be with Tasha, and his dad was taken away from him. It’s enough to get him to say yes, and attempt to kill Ghost.

Angela’s time to shine is finally here. She figured out Ghost’s secret messages and followed him to the Carlton Hotel, readying Greg and their special task force. But everything went down too smoothly; Tommy and Lobos were both arrested, while Ghost is nowhere to be seen. Angela tries to call him, but he watches her from a window. It’s not until much later, when he texts her from a new number, that she realizes she was tricked into making those moves and Ghost found his way out of their clutches.

Stray Observations:

Tasha undeniably messed up by telling Shawn about the Lobos meeting. Shawn messes up by telling Kanan. Everyone is too paranoid and distrustful to even realize their mistakes.

Kanan is finally a millennium dude! His clothes received an upgrade. He’s also, disgustingly desperate for sex stories featuring Tasha and Shawn. Gag.

Jerry Ferrara is a new cast member, and you know what? I think he belongs on this show. It’s great to have another rich jerk around—but hers is also one I can dig. Playing a lawyer to save Tommy? I can’t wait to see what happens.

Iris A. Barreto is a writer for Fangirlish, freelance writer for Paste and social media intern for Pink is the New Blog. Heavily caffeinated. Forever lost in Westchester, NY & NYC; all GPS apps hate her. You can follow on her Twitter.