We’re only two episodes into the third season of Starz’s most popular show, Power, and it’s become obvious that significant focus will be placed on Tommy. Following Ghost’s departure from the drug game, Tommy is tasked with running the drug empire without the help of his longtime and more level-headed companion, Ghost.
But Tommy does not possess the mental resilience to handle the large amount of weight placed on his shoulders. Considering the combined pressures that Tommy is now facing, he might just be the person who dies this season, instead of Ghost.
Tommy is a hot head – quick to jump into situations with little regard for any possible consequences. He doesn’t take being disrespected lightly. Hot headed characters in crime dramas, much like Rico in Paid in Full, Sonny Corleone in The Godfather, and Tony Montana in Scarface are typically introduced as cautionary tales, or foils for protagonists, and they end up either dead or in jail. Characters who use fear or brute strength as a means to acquire respect always end up in trouble. Tommy does not shy away from conflict with any person, regardless of the individual’s position. He wants to be an alpha male in a world where he is simply a beta, which cannot mean anything good for his character trajectory. Therefore, it’s looking increasingly likely that we’ll see him knocked down a peg, sometime soon.
Tommy feels as if he is misunderstood and that people do not respect him, so he acts out, often to the detriment of his personal relationships. Both Ghost and Tasha lied to Tommy for years over the reason behind their mentor, Kanan, ending up in prison. When he learns of this lie (and several other lies that Ghost and Tasha told Tommy), he rejects them – the two people who knowingly have Tommy’s best interest at heart. He deals with his problems by doing a copious amount of drugs from his own supply of cocaine. The fourth rule on The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Ten Crack Commandments” states, “Never get high on your own supply”. Tony Montana did not obey this important rule and we saw what happened to him.
In the first few episodes of season three, we are already witnessing the deterioration of Tommy’s mind. He cannot deal with the pressures of having to kill his friend, Ghost. The only motivation Tommy has left is his girlfriend, Holly. In episode two, Holly tries to reconcile with Tommy as he is mentally breaking down and reinstates his desire to kill Ghost. Holly can be read, in this exchange, as an epithet of Lady Macbeth. Holly is cold and calculating while Tommy cannot handle the guilt of killing his friend. Of course, if the Power writers meant for there to be a close resemblance to Macbeth this too does not bode well for Tommy.
Power airs Sundays at 9pm/8c on Starz.