Tommy can’t escape trouble, can he?
Settling into a new city is hard, but only Tommy would get kidnapped almost immediately after deciding to stay in Chicago. But he wasn’t taken by the person you’d expect.
No, Power Book IV: Force Season 1 Episode 2 saw Tommy and Diamond driving around the city all day together, reluctantly bonding and trying to stay alive.
Power Book IV: Force Season 1 Episode 1 was a great starting point for the series, but this hour was naturally less about the set-up and more about the action, with arcs established for the season.
Tommy doesn’t interact with the Flynn’s here, and that’s actually a good thing after the pilot’s events, where Walter banished him from the city like he has that kind of authority.
The Flynn’s will be a long-term nemesis, but for that inevitable battle to feel earned, Tommy has to make his own mark in Chicago because right now, it’s just not a fair fight.
And that’s what we get here. Vintage Tommy Egan figuring out the best way to do what he does best; move weight.
Things don’t go to plan when he happens to be walking around town with Diamond and is scooped up by a crew looking to exact revenge on Diamond, but Tommy wouldn’t let the fear of death stop him from trying to push his agenda.
I knew that Tommy and Diamond’s dynamic was going to be good, but it was even better than I anticipated. Where Tommy is brash and all bravado, that he backs up every single time, Diamond is milder but every bit as cunning and intelligent as Tommy.
Diamond: Who you work for?
Tommy: Nobody. I ain’t got no ties.
Diamond: Man alone don’t last long in these streets.
Tommy: Well, that’s some deep shit.
Spending the day driving around town and making drops while the cops are flooding the streets forces the two men to spend a significant amount of time together, and their quieter moments in the car are some of the best of the episode.
Tommy uses the day to not only scout the city but scout the landscape of the drug business. Diamond, fresh off a lengthy incarceration, does the driving while Tommy makes the actual drops, and Diamond is kind of lucky that Tommy is such a pro.
I have no doubt Diamond would have figured out a way to get it done with or without Tommy’s help, but it didn’t hurt to have the two of them working together. Given the circumstances, it was as efficient of a day as it could have been.
There was such an emphasis on the increased police presence in town that it was only a matter of time before they were pulled over, but the scene was jarring and tense and as real-life as it gets in this day and age.
Diamond’s refusal to make any sudden movements was justified at the moment, with the energy surrounding the unwarranted stop becoming increasingly charged. And as it escalated, you could feel Diamond’s fear radiating off him, with Isaac Keys playing the scene beautifully.
Thus far, Isaac is doing such a fantastic job with Diamond, who is by far the most interesting newbie we’ve met in Chicago. He was a man on top of the world, running a massive organization, who now finds himself behind the times and trying to adjust to his new reality and his new role.
Diamond’s demeanor and attitude are in almost direct contrast to everyone else around him, but it works so well.
Before things could escalate to the point of no return, Tommy was there, and in Tommy fashion, he worked both his charm and his privilege to get the cop to let them go. Where nothing Diamond said could be believed, all Tommy had to do was exist, and his word was bond.
Diamond’s comment about being gone for fifteen years and some things never changing was the damn truth.
The goal of the day was to get the drops done and to save Jenard, and they pulled it off in the end, but Tommy wasn’t ready to just be done with the Sampson’s, and you have to respect his hustle.
He got money for his troubles, but he needed not only to show Diamond and Jenard who he is and what he’s capable of, but he also needed some collateral should he ever need a favor.
Tommy’s sheer viciousness can sneak up on you sometimes, and that’s because you’ll be laughing at some witty comeback one second, and you let your guard down. But the next second, Tommy is lighting someone on fire, and you’re flashing back to all the destruction he’s left in his wake.
And speaking of the past and Tommy, there was a MAJOR blast from the past in the form of Liliana.
You remember Liliana, right? No, well, I didn’t either at first.
But she was the drug runner that got slashed in the face way back during the early Power days, and killing her or keeping her alive was something Ghost and Tommy went back and forth about. And obviously, she was kept alive, and she moved out to Chicago to start over.
Considering how she rolled up on him, you can’t blame Tommy for trying to get rid of her once and for all. For starters, part of the allure of Chicago was starting over in a place where he’s an enigma. He wants to remake Tommy Egan into the man he needs to be for the Chicago streets.
But he also doesn’t need someone from his past creeping around who he can’t trust. She’s a long-standing loose end that needs to be eliminated once and for all, but things don’t go as planned, and he never gets the shot off, but he does come upon product. And it’s product that Liliana was trying to hide.
After Tommy and Diamond linking up, the next pairing I have been clamoring for is Tommy and Claudia. And this “spider” cocaine has got to be the same drug that Claudia is trying to peddle to her old-fashioned family.
Why the fuck do you insist on pushing your way into a room where you’re not welcome? Just run the fucking books. And the legitimate fronts. That’s it. He runs the fucking streets.
Walter [to Claudia]
Though her father underappreciates her talents, Claudia is headstrong and looking to expand and not stay stagnant. That would make her a perfect ally for someone like Tommy, who is never content with the bare minimum.
He wants to be the greatest, and to be the biggest damn drug dealer around, you have to be hip to what the streets are demanding. And if they’re moving beyond your product, then you need to move with them.
Walter is a curmudgeonly man with antiquated gender ideas, and he’s also in poor health. He’s processing a lot (or more likely not processing at all), and his little angry outbursts come out at Claudia the most.
He’s pushing the business on Vic, who acts like it’s everything he wants one second, and then he slinks off to make googly eyes at Gloria, and suddenly his family and the role prepared for him eels like it’s the last thing on the planet he wants.
And I believe him when he talks about his love for Gloria. He doesn’t seem to be lying about that, but he also doesn’t seem to be in a rush to leave his legacy.
Gloria: Why’d you come back?
Tommy: Finally found a reason to stay. Don’t worry it ain’t you.
Our love triangle officially kicks off here, and Tommy is about seven steps ahead of Vic, though currently it feels like Gloria’s heart is still with Vic and her everything else is eager to get to know Tommy.
Seeing how Tommy was supposed to be anywhere but Chi-Town, and he especially wasn’t supposed to be kissing his girl, expect more fireworks between Tommy and Vic.
And that could cause problems for his new business endeavors.
Everything Else You Need To Know
Tommy barely knowing JP but trying to help him out is typical Tommy. If you get in his circle and stay loyal and trustworthy, there is nothing he won’t do for you.
The cracks between Diamond and Jenard are forming, and it’ll be fascinating to see if they fix things or drift further apart. Their philosophies are so opposite right now, and Jenard has the streets, so one of them will have to bend to the other, and right now, I can’t see who that would be.
We meet D-Mack briefly when he’s assisting Jenard, then we casually learn that he’s JP’s estranged son! Tommy has family all over the place.
Tommy would find that diamond in the rough apartment, complete with a map of the city ready for him to explore.
Things are moving a little slowly with this series to start, but that’s not a bad thing. Tommy is beginning a whole new story, and I appreciate them easing us into this world instead of throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks.
It makes for an intricate story that is just taking off, and I’m eager to see it build upon itself week after week.
What did you think about Liliana’s return?
What should Tommy’s next move be?
Are you here for the love triangle?
Drop your comments down below and remember to watch Power Book IV: Force online via TV Fanatic so you’re all caught up!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.