You've got to admire Tommy's hustle.
Tommy is singularly focused on making money, and when the opportunity presents itself, he will stop at nothing to make it a reality.
And that was on full display during Power Book IV: Force Season 1 Episode 3 where Tommy sought to do the impossible and bring the biggest drug dealers in Chicago together for the greater good of drug making. And it went about as well as you'd expect.
We've gotten little peeks behind the curtains of the Flynn family, but here was the most time we've spent with them as a whole, from Walter down to Claudia.
Of course, we already knew their dynamics, but a little extra time with Walter just reinforced our first impression of the man; he's horrendous.
And not just borderline horrendous. He's not the bad guy you hate because he's against the guy you're rooting for. No, he's the racist and misogynistic bad guy that you can't wait to watch self-destruct.
The Power Universe is chockfull of villains and anti-heroes. And it's a testament to their writing that they've been able to cultivate deeply flawed characters and people want to root for.
Tommy is the definition of an anti-hero, yet he's arguably one of the universe's biggest stars. But even the straight-up baddies are usually more defined by the fact that they're against the characters you like more than they're just purely evil.
Well, Walter Flynn is the exception because the man is that awful.
Tommy's grand plan to get the Flynn's and CBI to the table hinges on getting both sides to agree to work together, and since we're as new to this world as Tommy, we aren't privy to the underlying issues between the two sides that's bigger than race. Though race plays a huge role.
This Chicago is far from the only city split along racial lines these days. Maybe New York isn't quite as segregated, though they aren't immune either, but it's this naivety about how real a role race can play in business that gets Tommy in over his head.
For Tommy, nothing will stop him from moving weight. He takes in Liliana, someone he's wanted dead for ages because she's of use to him. He can put aside just about anything for the greater good.
But Tommy isn't everyone. He's built differently.
Walter wouldn't lower himself to work with a black crew even if it means his whole operation is in danger of falling out from underneath him. He's a scrooge stuck in his old-fashioned ways, and Chicago will pass him by shortly if he doesn't change.
Especially now that he's pissed Claudia off yet again.
Claudia would do well to step out on her own because her father will never give her the respect she deserves. And I'm not even talking about respect as a businesswoman and a component of the family business.
He doesn't even respect her as a human being. Pawning her off to flirt with men and close deals is not only demoralizing; it's demeaning. It's depressing to watch Claudia have to sit there and take the belittling her father so readily dishes out.
And Vic is of NO help because he's stuck adhering to his father's ways even when it's making him miserable.
Vic is stuck between his roots and his love, and it's also depressing.
We're still learning about Vic and trying to get a handle on who he is and what he's after. He's capable enough and not afraid to get his hands dirty when it comes to business, but when he's with Gloria, that suave guy who pulls wads of cash out his pocket at the police station like it's no big thing is gone.
Vic: I saw you with him.
Gloria: So, that's why you did this? Cuz you're jealous?
Vic: Because I want you to be happy.
Gloria: If you want me to be happy, Vic, then stop trying to buy me. And start standing up for me.
He turns into a bit of a puppy when he's with Gloria, and you can tell the love is there, and you almost want to root for him to do something, but it also seems like this may be a story that's run out of pages.
Gloria is done waiting, and it sounds like she'd been waiting for a long time for Vic to put her before his father. And look, obviously Vic has a lot invested in both the family business, and he cares about his dad, even if he's terrible.
And who even knows what Walter would do if Vic tried to run away from his "obligations" and marry Gloria instead.
One tiny gripe I have is how much more I'd like to see of Gloria outside of this love triangle that is relatively one-sided right now. But maybe that will come the deeper she gets in with Tommy because I'd like to see her beyond just being a love interest for the boys.
And same goes for JP, who hasn't been given a whole lot to do thus far beyond decline Tommy's money and show him small pieces of a childhood he doesn't remember.
Bringing this newfound blood family into Tommy's life is definitely a storyline worth exploring, but thus far, it's such an afterthought that it's hard to get invested in it. And that's nothing against JP, who is a totally serviceable character.
It's still early, so I don't want to nitpick too much when we're still building this brand-new dimension of the Power Universe, but it's their fault for creating this cavalcade of endearing characters that I want to know better.
But getting back to the main plot here, once Tommy reluctantly got Walter on board, he had to work on CBI.
Next to Tommy, Diamond is easily the most fascinating character on the show right now. We're watching him in real-time try to reclaim a legacy that he's been away from for years.
There's no doubt that Diamond and Jenard love each other. They're brothers, and you'd like to think that bond supersedes all else, but CBI is also their life and their livelihood. And right now, things are in flux because it's unclear who the boss is.
Diamond: I'm not the old Diamond.
Jenard: Yeah you damn sure right you not.
We're still getting to know the ins and outs of the drug game in Chicago, but from an outsider's perspective, Tommy's plan seems like a smart move. Expansion is never a bad thing because it allows for growth.
Though, you can understand Jenard's resistance because Walter, in all his disgusting glory, clearly is not a person you want to work with or someone whose word you should take at face value.
A person with that much hate in their heart isn't a person to be trusted.
But on the flip side, it's a power play to expand beyond the blocks they're used to and push their capital to new levels.
A showdown between Diamond and Jenard has been brewing since Power Book IV: Force Season 1 Episode 1 because it's clear that the brothers don't approach business in the same way. They're also two alpha males who want to sit at the head of the table when there's only one chair.
CBI is Diamond's, but when you're away for something for so long, it morphs and changes, and you can't come back in and try to bend it to your will. CBI is what it is now, and Jenard frankly knows it better at this point and time.
While I knew things were going to come to a place where a line had to be drawn, I didn't think there was going to be an actual fight! Personally, I didn't think Jenard stood a chance, but he hung in there until Diamond got the upper hand.
Look, if we were supposed to believe Jenard threw that fight, then it went entirely over my head. It looked like Diamond won pretty handily in the end, but that's seemingly not the case. And Jenard wants to create chaos from the inside out, it seems.
If I had to guess, he's willing to let Diamond run things, for now, banking on it collapsing all around him so he can swoop in and be the man again. Just like he was 15 years ago when Diamond went away.
This fight feels like just the beginning of the battle for CBI.
Everything Else You Need To Know
- Someone get Tommy on a boxing broadcast, stat.
- The beef between the Flynn's and CBI running deeper than just their skin color was something I didn't necessarily see coming, nor did Tommy. And that kind of complicated history is another reason why I feel these two sides should be wary of the other even if they can forge a working partnership.
- So the spider cocaine and Claudia's drug are not the same. I was way wrong. But it will be difficult for Claudia and Mai to do everything themselves, and I love the idea of her and Tommy working together behind everyone's back.
- Tommy is so cold toward Liliana. I doubt this is the last we see of her, though.
- Bennigan has beef with Diamond, AND he works for the Flynn's. Everything is messy in Chicago.
- And we already got the police sniffing around Tommy! It's only been like a week!
- I'm trying to get on Fat Tony's fitness level if we're being honest.
- They keep honing in on the card that came with this coke, so it's going to come into play eventually. So, any ideas where this coke came from?
The story is moving along rather nicely now, so do let me know in the comments what you're liking and where you see the story going next.
Remember you can always watch Power Book IV: Force online via TV Fanatic to stay up to date on all the drama!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.