Warning: This review includes spoilers about Season 1 of Starz’s television series Power Book IV: Force.
When Power Book IV: Force premiered after the Season 2 finale of Power Book II: Ghost on Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022, it made history as the most-watched series premiere in network history, racking in 3.3 million multi-platform views in the U.S. alone. By mid-season, it had already been renewed for a second season with STARZ CEO/President, Jeffrey Hirsch, stating, “Fans have been eagerly awaiting Joseph’s return as the iconic ‘Tommy Egan’ and from the show’s record-setting debut, it was clear right away that they want to see another season of him taking on this new city.”
Despite the praise from television executives, it seemed that fans weren’t as receptive to Force, compared to the other spinoffs in the franchise. However, as evidenced in Sunday (April 17) night’s nail-bitting Season 1 finale, Force is equally as riveting as the early seasons of Power—thanks to Joseph Sikora reprising his role as Tommy Egan, new heavy-hitters by way of him taking over Chicago’s drug game, and, of course, some familiar faces.
I’m not going to pretend that Force entered the Power universe on 100. Initially, it was a low simmer as fans were reunited with Egan en route to California from New York as mentioned in Season 1 of Ghost. He winds up taking a detour to Chicago, where ends up settling. The grandmother who his estranged mother, Kate, told him was dead was indeed very much alive, residing in an assisted-living home. This is also where he finds out that he has a half-Black brother named JP whom Kate abandoned as an infant. After the deaths of James St. Patrick and his fianceé, LaKeisha Grant, Egan needed this news because outside of them, he only had himself to rely on.
In regards to building his own drug franchise, the Chicago players—the Flynn family and CBI—didn’t take too kindly to Egan’s newfound presence in their city. Yet, he does what he can to find new associates, learn the lay of the land, and naturally, in turn, makes new enemies. Over the 10-episode run, we learn one of CBI’s lower-level runners is actually JP’s estranged son, Darnell f.k.a. D-Mac.
Egan’s new love interest is revealed to be the ex-girlfriend of Victor Flynn, thus creating a love triangle when Liliana from Power, Season 1, is reintroduced. For those who need a slight refresher, Liliana used to be a courier for Ghost and Tommy before the hitwoman in pink sneakers slashed her face, making Liliana too recognizable to run for them. Tommy told Ghost to kill her, but instead of doing so, he sent her away.
When she heard about a white man in a mustang stirring up trouble in Chicago, she presumed Tommy came to finish the job, but when the two realized it was pure coincidence, she became his right hand in the takeover.
This confrontation-turned-reunion isn’t the only one Tommy has to endure as he finds himself at war with the Serbs…again. Between the internal issues with CBI upon Diamond’s release and the Flynns also dealing with familial drama, Tommy sees this as a perfect time to introduce a new designer drug, Dahlia, to the streets with his new associate, Claudia Flynn, who gets shut out of her father’s business and decides to take matters into her own hands.
Keep in mind that all of this happens in the latter half of the season, so unlike most new series, fans have had to build a relationship with Tommy for years, and regardless of how some feel, he is a cherished and pivotal character in the Power cinematic world.
With Force, we see him as a true leader, making moves he deems necessary because one thing hasn’t changed—Tommy Egan is about his money and keeps his personal connections at a minimum. By the time the finale rolls around, everyone wants him dead, and in turn, JP, D-Mac, and Liliana’s lives are all at risk as well. While all is not lost at the end of Season 1, it’s Liliana whose life comes to a tragic end and fans are reintroduced to Agent Medina, Det. Blanca Rodriguez, and Jenny Sullivan who I’m sure will blow a fuse once they realize that Tommy is not dead as they and other federal agents assumed. The finale was an emotional end to one part of Tommy’s new life in Chicago, but the feds getting reacquainted with him provides for an intense cliffhanger.
Though Force co-exists with Ghost, the two shows and its characters don’t cross paths once Tommy is out of New York. This is for the better. Tariq St. Patrick is getting into enough trouble by himself and Tommy needs to prove a point to himself, a point that he’d been trying to make to Ghost for six seasons—he is capable of being a kingpin without his help. Nobody said things would be easy, but following the intensity of Season 1, Force set itself up for greater things to come in Season 2.
For those fans craving the nostalgia of the original series, go watch it, but dismiss that completed story from your mind when you sit down to watch Force. Like Tommy, this installment aims to stand on its own and doesn’t try to be anything besides itself, and honestly, that’s enough.
Power Book IV: Force Season 1 is streaming now exclusively on STARZ.