In The Power Season 1 Episode 5, Carpathia cracks down further on women and girl’s use of the power. The first six girls to exhibit the power in Carpathia were killed. Eventually, all but one of Tatiana’s female servants are taken away from her.
A sex trafficking ring stops taking in girls, wary of their powers. The news travels to Zoia Donici (Tatiana’s younger sister), who is one of many women trapped in a cell by her traffickers. When Zoia learns that girls are getting powers, she comes up with a plan.
A flashback shows Tatiana and Zoia in their childhood. Tatiana endured harsh training for the Olympics. While training one day, a finance minister (who is now her husband) asked her on a date. She was unable to refuse him.
In the present day, President Moskalev invites a group of scientists to their home to examine a skein from one of the girls they have killed. Tatiana sits in on the investigation of the organ to learn that three deaths have resulted from removing the new organ from girls’ bodies.
Meanwhile, Margot adapts to becoming the new face of a movement. Tunde interviews her, but when she gets into the controversial topic of Governor Danden trying to control women’s bodies, Helen cuts the interview short.
Ever since she went public, Margot has been getting threats. An anonymous streaming persona called Urban Dox rallies up men to live up to their calling as “apex predators,” and Margot is one of his new targets. Rob catches their own son watching his videos.
Rob then gets word of research on the new organ from Carpathia. Anna wants him on a sensitive project that would use the research to create a medical suppressant for women and girls who don’t want their powers. But the research has been obtained unethically, by performing surgeries on girls without their consent.
Rob tells Margot about the research, but she already knows. He’s worried that she’s not taking the situation seriously enough. Rob is appalled by the girls’ deaths, but Margot thinks their deaths could at least mean something if they use the research for something good. Rob doesn’t think the government has anything “good” in mind, however. So, he calls his old friend Declan and tells him about the confidential documents and the government’s plans to use the research to suppress OED.
He then attends a party with Margot where he gets drunk and Danden accuses Margot of having EOD. By the end of the party, Declan has leaked the research to everyone there, crediting his anonymous source as “The Scarlet Minnow.”
Margot immediately realizes The Scarlet Minnow is Rob, and she worries that Declan will sell him out. Back at home, Rob claims this is all Margot’s fault. She never even asked him about his day; she hasn’t in years. She’s only concerned with her career, and is only there for the kids on autopilot. She thinks EOD can only be empowering to women and yet doesn’t see how Jos is struggling to control her own body.
Later, Margot checks in on Jos once Rob is sleeping. She apologizes for not being there for her enough. The mother and daughter smoke marijuana outside together, and Margot asks what Jos thinks about her recent decision to go public with information about EOD.
Jos tells Margot that she’s stuck in the mindset she had growing up. She thinks girls need more protection now. But in reality, getting the power means being able to live without constant fear.
Margot asks Jos to give the power to her. When Jos sends an electrical jolt to her, she understands what Jos meant. It feels incredible.
Back in Carpathia, Tatiana tries and fails to get the power from another girl. A flashback shows her engaged to Viktor, who prevented her from pursuing the Olympics because he didn’t want his wife to be distracted. Angry that her mother wouldn’t help her, Tatiana packed up her things and left her mother and sister.
Now, Tatiana finds that her only female assistant has EOD and forces her to give it to her. At the same time, Zoia and the other imprisoned women enact their plan to receive the power. The deaf girl who brings them food transfers her powers to them, and they start their own uprising, inspired by the women in Saudi Arabia.
The Episode Review
Even if its heavy-handedness at times diminishes the show’s effectiveness, this episode of The Power introduces some more intriguingly complex scenarios resulting from the global shift in power dynamics.
I appreciate the acknowledgement that not all women are going to want their new power, which may result in self-harm. It makes Rob’s and Margot’s decisions on what to do about the Carpathian research all the more difficult. But I wish the show would dig further. The main examples we’ve seen of women reacting to their new organ are positive. I just can’t believe that would be the case in a real-life scenario. More women and girls would be resistant to embracing this new power.
What I can buy as realistic, and what this episode did well to highlight, is the wave of antifeminist rhetoric brought on by an anonymous streamer. Urban Dox is obviously spewing destructive hate, but the situations of the boys listening to him are complex.
Matty, for instance, may be poisoning his mind with hatred for all women, but he feels some justification for this–the abuse he and other boys experience from girls at school.
However, I’m sure neither he nor Urban Dox thought to criticize men for unjust uses of power before girls got EOD. But then, people in power hardly ever see their actions as oppressing others. I think we’re going to continue to see that from both men and women in this series.