From the beginning, Power has been linked to The Wire for its tale about African-Americans in the drug game. But where Power tried to distance itself from the hit HBO show was how it dealt with family and success. The Wire was all grit, hustle, and the inner-city of Baltimore. Power is the exact opposite. While the show is based in New York City, the backdrop is the rich side of Manhattan, private schools, and rubbing shoulders with the elite.
While Power tends to drift off into a world of fancy disco lights and real estate dealings, the rawness is still what draws fans in.
Much like The Wire before it, Power is still based on the friendship of two men, Ghost (James St. Patrick) and Tommy Egan. Both are from the same neighborhood, grew up together, and started in the drug business together. While their friendship grew, so did their empire. The same can be said for Avon Barksdale and Stringer Bell.
While all the same mindset, their tactics are different.
As great as The Wire was, there was still an element missing. Barksdale and Stringer may have come up together, but it wasn’t until the final season that fans actually felt their connection. With both trying to set up the other, it was then that fans felt betrayed by their characters as the game took its toll on what was a great friendship.
Power has done it differently. There is always a mention of Tommy and Ghost’s past as kids growing up. Tommy is “Uncle Tommy” to Ghost’s kids and his wife Tasha refers to Tommy as her brother. The connection between the two is real and has been played out during the shows entire run. However, there is a third member of the family.
When Power first aired, Kanan was incarcerated and we would later find out, it was because of Ghost. Growing up, Tommy, Ghost, and Kanan were friends but then Kanan got locked up and Ghost and Tommy blew up. While in jail, Kanan devised a plan for payback. Once he got out, the plan was set in motion.
Kanan used Ghost’s son to get to him, but in the end, he couldn’t go through with killing Tariq or Ghost. But then everything changed when Ghost’s daughter was killed by one of Kanan’s old partners. Instead of walking away, Kanan decided to help Tommy and Ghost get revenge and just like that, the old crew was back together. This is one element where The Wire failed.
The Wire never went too deep into the personal lives of their main characters. Stringer and Avon didn’t have kids so that element, which makes Power so powerful, couldn’t go any further than the rooftop scene (above). At the end of Season 4, we see Ghost, Tommy, and Kanan sitting in a car ready to go to war as one. Imagine how it would have been if Avon, Stringer, and Marlo found a way to work as a unit?
More great news for fans of Power. According to Vibe, the show was picked up early for a sixth season.