The Day of the Girls
In episode 4 of The Power season 1, Tunde travels to Saudi Arabia, where girls’ powers have been banned. The country doesn’t allow journalists in the country, but he sneaks in with his student visa to investigate how the country’s laws are affecting its women.
In the streets, men beat women they catch practicing their powers. Tunde films as women surround men to protect one girl from being beaten. When the police interfere, one girl zaps an officer. Once the offers have been scared off, some women rush the girl to the hospital. Those remaining march the streets in protest.
Tunde continues to film as the women electrocute all men who stand in their way. When the police open fire on the protestors, the women rush to help those who get shot.
Other women want to join the protests, but are trapped in their homes by the men in their house. More violence is required to get them out. Once they’re free, the young women start transferring their powers to the older women, causing celebration in the streets.
Tunde comments in his report that it is inspiring to see this freedom being transferred. He states that today will be known throughout history as “The Day of the Girls.”
The protests get bigger throughout Saudi Arabia as police take martial action, beating women and girls. In the shootings, a mother notices her son fighting women. She asks him to show mercy and let them pass through. “Heaven lies at the feet of your mother,” she says, asking other women and girls to help down the men who want to be on their side. Many men decide on peace, handing over their guns and letting the women pass.
Some women in Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, shock any man they see. They turn on Tunde until a woman named Noura defends him and walks him away. She tells him his job is to watch. He can’t get involved.
When it’s time for him to leave the country, he returns to get his stuff to find it’s been rummaged through. Noura thinks the government wants his footage and has likely put him on a no-fly list. They’ll have to find another way out, but it won’t be easy with the fights going on in the streets.
Noura houses him in her friend’s apartment for the night. He tells Noura he’ll help her if she needs to get out of here, but she’s irritated he thinks he knows this place after 24 hours. She’s fighting for freedom, but she doesn’t want to leave. She loves her country. Tunde was thinking he could be her savior when, in reality, she’s been his.
Meanwhile, Allie tests her ability to hijack minds with her powers on the convent’s chickens. But she goes too far and accidentally kills one.
Witnessing this, Veronica insists to Maria that the girls’ power is of the devil. She specifically doesn’t trust Eve. Maria, on the other hand, feels there’s something special about her. She thinks she could lead, but Veronica wants her out as soon as the storm passes.
Later, Allie shows other girls the extent of her powers. Holding a dead bird in her hands, she makes its heart beat again. Maria witnesses it too.
Allie tells the other girls their powers are not an accident. They got them because they needed them. It’s a different world now, and they just have to take it.
When one of the girls at the convent has one of her seizures, Allie again uses her powers to heal. Another girl films while she stops her from convulsing.
Again, Veronica doesn’t like what “Eve” has done. She tells her it’s time for her to go, but Allie defies her, and the other girls stand with her in unison.
Bernie shows Roxy that he’s killed one of the men who killed her mom, but it’s not enough for her. There were two men, and she won’t rest until both of them are dead.
After a stint at a club with her brothers Terry and Darrel, Roxy decides to go after her mom’s killer herself. And since her brothers can’t stop her, they follow after her.
After showing up at the culprit’s place, Roxy tries to kill him with her powers. He pleads with her, and her brothers try to drag her away, but she lets loose everything she has to kill him while his family watches from the window. In the scuffle, Terry gets shot.
As Tunde prepares to leave Saudi Arabia, he reports that it’s the dawn of a new day in the country. But liberation has its costs. “For every action, there is a reaction,” he says. Tunde thinks they need to ensure that the price won’t be too steep, but he has hope in people’s inherent goodness.
The episode ends with someone picking up Tunde in a car and getting him out of the country.
The Episode Review
Tunde has been an especially interesting character to follow so far. He’s stepped on a woman to get to where he is now and yet seems to position himself as a champion of women’s rights. He’s certainly putting himself in harm’s way to cover these protests, so you have to give him some credit. But will The Power see him reckoning with the privilege he took advantage of to get here?
I really like how the show is handling men’s response to “the power.” You have many supportive men like Tunde and Rob. But The Power also shows how long it takes for some men to even acknowledge that women are more powerful than them. For most, it takes the electricity crackling right in front of their faces. Otherwise, it’s life as usual, harassing women at bars, etc.
I do wish the show would touch more on those women and girls who believe their role is to be submissive. In reality, there would be women who refused to use their powers and would stop others from using theirs.
We have minor representation of this with Veronica’s character, but the show fails to realize that this stance of women would result in a much larger movement.
The protests in Saudi Arabia display a marvelous sight of women supporting women–but it doesn’t succeed in giving a multifaceted portrayal of women. For the show’s intense focus on sexism, it largely fails to show where much sexism comes from–that is, internalized within women themselves.