With the season damn near finished, Power is finally back in story-burning mode. "Trust Me" rushes through one subplot after another at a feverish clip, plowing through as much plot as the writers could stuff into the hour.
It's certainly a curious title, since the episode reveals how no character on this show can trust any other. Everyone from the main figures to the bit players have their own singular agendas — and they're all keeping them close to the vest. Much like last week's episode, this one also focuses on how these characters are figuratively locked under somebody's stranglehold. And yes: I'm only making this point in case that scene where Tommy listens to "You Really Got a Hold on Me" wasn't on-the-nose enough for you.
Ghost is so intent on getting away from Milan's grip, he's gone back to drinking again, as he goes bar-hopping for inside information. (I totally forgot how much of a teetotaler he was back in season one.) After last week's beating, Tommy decides to get his grip loosened by distributing pills with Milan — who sees a possible protégé in him — while hiding certain details about Milan's whereabouts from Ghost. Sandoval tries to end things with Hugo, but Hugo wants money and a plane ticket, or else his ex-wife and daughter will get it. Ruiz is done cooperating with the Feds, so he jumps back in the drug game — and he may even become a distro himself if he takes Ghost's advice. And Angela conducts her own investigation of the Lobos murder so M.J.'s quietly bitter ass won't have a case against her.
Trust is gained and lost in this episode. The former happens when Kanan gets closer to Tariq and an on-edge Dre while they're shooting hoops. Kanan later picks the boy up at his school with the intention of killing him, since that's the kind of cold-blooded bullshit Kanan does. But before he plugs one in the back of that boy's head, Tariq starts kvetching about how much he hates his dad. Much like the burgeoning relationship between Milan and Tommy, Kanan sees an opportunity to take the kid under his wing, in the hopes that he'll take down Ghost for him.
As for the latter, Tasha and LaKeisha's friendship essentially dissolves. After a surprise visit from Milan, LaKeisha finally finds out that Tasha has been using her salon as a money-laundering front. Tasha tries to mend the situation by giving LaKeisha a bag full of hush money, but just after she leaves and LaKeisha goes in the back room, Tommy saunters in, possibly ready to fulfill Milan's order to shut her up permanently.
Considering how Tommy has given zero fucks as of late, it's difficult to know if he will follow orders or pull another act of mercy like he did with Callahan. After all, he not only plugs several bullets into Hugo when he starts talking smack about Holly and the dog, but practically stays stone-faced as the Korean primera gets killed by one of Milan's goons during that impromptu meeting at Truth.
Tommy also gets an intense face-to-face with Angela, who stops by his mom's house to verify Tommy's alibi regarding the night Lobos died. Tommy and Angela know they're stuck in the same boat with Ghost, struggling to stay out of the jail and not get the death penalty. But just like Ghost and Tommy, Angela appears to have her own agenda, and it may involve Knox — again.
After trying to convince Knox she's not the leak, Angela goes over to his apartment to show him the long-awaited security footage of Ghost and Tasha entering the Odette Hotel. We get a brief bit of Angie feeling sorry for herself, and then Knox leans in for a kiss, prompting her to head to the door. But right when Knox asks if he could walk her to her car, she turns around and oh-so-dramatically says, "I'm … just … so … cold." Of course, that leads to them butt-bald-nekkid in bed. Even though they have makeup sex (or should I say, sorry-I-said-you-were-stalking-me sex), Knox still doesn't trust her. After their romp, he texts Medina about possibly taking both James and Angela, since he thinks she works for him.
If Knox only knew: Angela is basically done with Jamie. Right after she lets him know where their relationship stands — "We're not friends. We're not lovers" — he hands her the cell phone from Hugo's coat. But even after she brings the claws out, Jamie still loves the chick, which he admits when he gets his drink on at the bar. Emotion aside, he quickly figures out the bar is a front for the Serbians. (You gotta find a savvier way to get those cigarettes, Milan.) When he eventually tracks down Milan's hideout, he also sees Tommy entering the place.
So, there you have it. It's always a dizzying, intriguing ride with these people, isn't it? As the third season comes to a close, it seems that the main players are less concerned with power and more concerned with desperately regaining control of their lives. I assume the season's final two episodes will continue to build on that theme. And I also assume they'll be as double-stuffed as "Trust Me" is.
- Have we seen the last of Karen Bassett? Now that she's signed with those dickheads across the street, it seems like she's on her way out.
- Someone finally suggests that Sandoval might be the leak. Unfortunately, that person is Saxe, and nobody takes him seriously. (Hell, I chuckled at the "White Donovan or black Donovan?" line.)
- It was damn-near-shocking to see Tommy turn down food from Milan. Then again, Milan is known as "the motherfucker that eats people."
- Speaking of Tommy, we're also reminded of his favorite torture tactic — setting people on fire — when he asks Hugo if it's ever happened to him.
- It was great seeing Patricia Kalember as Tommy's mom, if only to hear her say that she and Tommy like watching Judge Judy and Maury together.
- This episode is particularly on-the-nose with its music cues. Along with "You Really Got a Hold on Me," we get Kenzie May's "Honey" playing over Angela and Knox's roll in the hay. The song reaches the line "We're putting bandages on battle scars" right when Angela kisses Knox's still-healing chest wound.
- Am I the only one who thought the scene between Angela and Tasha in Tasha's apartment lobby was quite Dynasty-ish?
- In case you were wondering, Drina cigarettes are a thing.
- Dear God, I still hope Lobos is dead.