The Power – Season 1 Episode 1 “A Better Future is in Your Hands” Recap & Review

A Better Future is in Your Hands

In The Power Season 1 Episode 1, Margot Cleary-Lopez, mayor of Seattle, muses on the fact that women are living in a world they never imagined. “All we had to do,” she thinks, “was burn down the world that was. Every revolution begins with a spark.”

Six months earlier, this world has not yet come to pass. But in different parts of the world, teenage girls start to notice changes in themselves: a similar power rising from within them all.

Margot’s daughter Jos feels it as she hatefully scrolls through her mother’s social media feed. Later at school, she accidentally gives her crush a static shock through the lockers. Feeling something off about herself, she keeps rubbing her neck, until her classmate Kat notices and promises to enlighten her about what she’s experiencing,

Kat has had the same power for two weeks now, and shows Jos how to manipulate it to her will. In the process of learning, Jos shuts down all the lights in the surrounding area.

In London, Roxy Monke attends the wedding of her brother. There, she asks her father Bernie Monke, a crime boss, for a job. Bernie’s given jobs to her brothers, but he thinks she’s too emotional, and refuses her.

Drunk off wine from the wedding, Roxy later accidentally starts a fire with the wine bottle and her electrical powers. But these powers don’t fully manifest until she returns home to her mom. That night, men break into their house. As one of them grabs her mom, she feels a surge of power. Roxy rushes at one of the men and hurts him with an electric shock.

She’s knocked out by the other man, however, before she can do anything else. She wakes up to find the men gone and her mom dead. When she returns to the wedding reception, she’s covered in blood.

In Nigeria, Tunde tries to make it as a journalist. He initially ignores his friend Ndudi’s lead on a group of women trying to awaken their magic powers. But when he experiences a strange electrical shock from a woman he hooks up with, he shows up at the gathering to take the story from Ndudi.

He films women playing with sparks from their fingertips, but they soon catch him and turn on him. When Ndudi defends him, one of the women sends a shock to her head, and they all run.

And then there’s Allie, a teen in Alabama whose foster parents infantilize her for her inability to speak due to past trauma.

During church services, a voice speaks into Allie’s head, calling out the pastor for blaming his sin on the first woman, Eve. Allie tries to run, but the voice persists. It calls itself her guardian angel, telling Allie she doesn’t have to fear ever again. She now has the power.

The voice tells her she’ll know when the time is right, assuring her, “A better future is in your hands.” At dinner, it tells her to speak, so she does for the first time in months. She tells her foster parents she doesn’t want to eat meat anymore; she never understood the joy in taking a life. Instead of being overjoyed by her ability to speak, the Montgomery-Taylors tell her to know her place. But this never was her place.

When Mr. Montgomery-Taylor follows her to her room, the voice in Allie’s head wonders how many other girls he has sexually abused like he is about to take advantage of her.

Mrs. Montgomery-Taylor apparently knows what her husband is about to do, but she distracts herself by turning up the radio to drown out any noise. Allie has been raped by Mr. Montgomery-Taylor before, but is able to stand up to his abuse this time. With her newfound powers, she grabs his face and electrocutes him. With that, the voice tells her to run.

She doesn’t know where she’s going, but the voice in her head acts as her guide. Eventually, Allie comes across an aquarium where a presentation is being held about electric eels, who give off shocks to stun their prey. The voice tells her this power has been around in nature before her. “It’s the most natural thing in the world.”

The eels, the presenter says, can use this ability to hijack their prey’s nervous system and control them. And the most powerful of them hunt in packs. Sparks leap from Allie’s hands, the eels turn to look at her from their tank.

The Episode Review

The premise of Prime Video’s The Power, based on the novel by Naomi Alderman, is simple but effective. Women are powerless in so many aspects of their lives. Roxy is considered too emotional for a “man’s job,” Margot receives gendered insults on her social media posts, Ndudi is powerless to stop Tunde from stealing her story, and Allie faces sexual abuse from someone in a position of authority over her. So what happens when the switch is flipped? How will the world adapt to women coming into a strange new power over men?

The drama series doesn’t answer these questions yet, but it sets the stage for an intriguing exploration of gendered power dynamics. And a strong cast of unique characters should carry the show a long way even if it fails to live up to themes that deserve a complex treatment–but I have high hopes that it won’t.

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You can read our full season review for The Power here!

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