I Call the Shots
Joseph Sikora as Tommy, Callan Mulvey as Milan.
Well, it happened again. We just witnessed Power’s typical plotting-and-scheming in the penultimate episode of the season.
Around this time, the show usually realizes it has to wrap up a few storylines before the season ends. It’s no different in “I Call the Shots,” which finds everyone making moves to get what they want. And while it was fun watching these characters get their cunning on, I couldn’t help but feel confused. What the hell do these people actually want?
Despite the episode’s title, it appears that many of the characters just want control over their own lives. But the control they crave also affects their relationships with others. As Ghost scrambles to come up with a way to get rid of Milan, his relationship with Tommy continues to be strained and tense. It’s quite apparent they don’t trust each other, especially after Ghost sees Tommy enter Milan’s hideout — or when Milan, the man with eyes everywhere, tells Tommy that Ghost saw him enter the hideout and also informs him that if Ghost doesn’t get checked, Milan is gonna sic his boys on him again. A pissed-off Tommy confronts Ghost and gives him an ultimatum: “I chose you over Holly. This time, you better choose me.”
Um, when did this shit turn into a Sadie Hawkins dance?
Holly may not have been right about a lot of things, but she was right on-the-nose about Tommy and Ghost’s weird bond. I could call out the latent homoeroticism that’s spread all over that “choose me” line, but Tommy and Ghost’s friendship appears to be steeped more in co-dependency than in repressed sexual desires. Despite the fact that Tommy’s been walking around as dead-eyed (and deadly) as Schwarzenegger in the Terminator movies, he still wants to be a loyal sidekick, the Scrappy-Doo to a fearless, charismatic Scooby-Doo. (Is it any wonder why he’s gotten so cozy with Milan, who calls him “Tomas” and refers to him “his apprentice?”)
Alas, Ghost is always out looking for number one. He wants out of the drug game so his kids can have legit money one of these days, which means he isn’t quite eager to discuss his plans with Tommy. And poor Ruiz gets stuck in the middle of their little thing when Ghost tells him to arrange a meeting with Milan so he can pass along the info to Knox. Tommy finds out that Ruiz is working with Ghost thanks to a call from Tasha, who just had a roll in the hay with Ghost. (More on that later.) Once again, Tommy shows he gives zero fucks by driving Ruiz home and eventually stabbing his ass when he stops underneath the L.I.E. to check on his car. Tommy confronts Ghost about lying to him (again!) and Ghost tells him he isn’t gonna stop scheming until Milan is dead and he’s out for good. He urges Tommy to give him more time with a plan, but Tommy refuses. Instead, Tommy tells him he’ll come up with the plan — and it seems that plan involves telling Milan they need to kill Ghost.
Given how Ghost keeps juggling one thing after another, maybe death’s sweet embrace might not be a bad idea. Along with convincing Ruiz to flip on Milan in this episode, he informs Angela that the Feds can’t legally touch him or Angela if they find out Proctor initiated that Lobos prison search, and he also sets up those douchebags Andy and Albert by having them arrested in front of new partner Karen Bassett. If that isn’t enough, he still had time to speak at his kids’ career day, telling the class about being a club owner and how work has affected his home life. This definitely pays off later, when he makes a late visit to Tasha’s place and they have a rather dramatic, one-night stand. (Man, those faces!)
While Ghost is back in the sack with Tasha, Angela hooks up with Knox, who’s been getting closer in the hopes of taking down both her and Ghost. After some late-night action, Knox pilfers through Angie’s purse and finds the flip-phone Ghost gave her. With help from Medina, the phone leads him to an apartment building where he sees shifty-ass Sandoval. He was presumably coming out of Hugo’s place, cleaning it for any remnants that might pertain to him. So, Knox practically has an ID on the leak; it’s a lot more than Angela has. When she called the phone earlier, Sandoval picked up right as a helicopter was flying outside, letting both parties know they were in the same place.
Let’s see, what else? Oh yeah, Kanan still tries to matter. I gotta admit, Kanan’s whole arc has been disappointing. Just like last season, he’s trying to Iago his way through dismantling the St. Patrick family. This time, it’s through Tariq’s sullen ass. Kanan (or “Slim,” to Tariq) continues to be a bad influence on little man’s life, encouraging him to be a badass and steal a pair of Jordans from a shoe store. (You know Tasha is gonna ask where the hell he got those shoes. And why the hell he needed to steal the shoes anyway? His family’s rich!) I still don’t know how Tariq plays into Kanan’s plan to destroy Ghost, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Dre nips that shit right in the bud. Even though Kanan tells him he can’t fess up to Ghost and he’s outta options, Dre does extend an olive branch to Tommy, reminding him that he tipped Ghost to the Koreans planning to blast on him. Tommy later decides to work with Dre after all, when they both get rid of Ruiz’s body.
So, everyone’s pairing up to get things done, everyone’s keeping things secret from everyone else, and nobody has resolved anything. I’ll be very surprised if this comes to a satisfying conclusion next week.
- I see Saxe has turned into the clueless white guy who dispenses info to other characters. Next to Kanan, Saxe is a woefully pointless character.
- It’s funny watching Ruiz push aside the meal Milan offers him so they can talk about business. This show never lets you forget that people think Milan is — ALL TOGETHER NOW! — “the muhfucka that eats people.”
- When that kid asked James if Fetty Wap has ever been in his club, you could tell this episode was written last year. I mean, Fetty Wap is so 2015. They should’ve looped in Desiigner or Future instead. (It doesn’t make a difference which one, since they both sound the same.)
- Still no sign of LaKeisha. After watching Tommy do away with Ruiz, the thought of him going all Adriana on her doesn’t seem all that plausible.
- Now that Kantos is working for Andy and Albert, he returns to the club to ask for Stern’s guest list. He also reminds Ghost that he could’ve dropped dime on all of his secrets after he fired him, but he didn’t. (For a guy the show keeps painting as a sleazy ladder-climber, Kantos does have an unwavering loyalty.) Ghost repays him for his silence by not only giving him Stern’s guest list, but making sure Kantos isn’t around when Andy and Albert are picked up by the cops.
- Patricia Kalember also returns as Tommy’s mom, if only to listen to Juice Newton’s “Angel of the Morning” while drinking in the kitchen. (Man, between this and Deadpool, that song has been getting a lot of mileage recently.) As if that isn’t enough, she also calls Knox and Medina “Agent Asshole” and “Agent Dickhead.”
- I never understood Ruiz’s aversion to selling pills. Was he so set in his ways, he didn’t see how much white-kid money he’d be swimming in? (Julio certainly figured it out when he was selling in a club full of kids.) Also, do you think Ruiz’s button recorder got the info on Ghost from a loose-lipped Tommy after Milan’s meeting?
- Lobos better be dead.