The Power – Season 1 Episode 6 “Sparklefingers” Recap & Review

Sparklefingers

In The Power Season 1 Episode 6, UrbanDox continues to spread the message that men have gotten soft and must take back power from women for the good of humanity. One of the streamer’s listeners stands outside Margot’s home–probably plotting against the mayor, or simply seething as he thinks about the position of power she holds.

Margot and Rob talk to each other for the first time since their fight, but they can’t get past it. She feels she can’t trust him, and he feels she doesn’t care about doing the right thing. At work, Helen asks Margot to keep her power quiet, as women in their office are getting fired just for having it.

Tunde returns home to Nigeria for a wedding, where he reconnects with Ndudi and tries to convince the groom-to-be not to cancel his wedding just because his fiancée has the power.

Roxy visits Terry’s graveside. He died in the struggle after Roxy killed the man responsible for her mom’s death. Her other brother, Darell, admits to her he doesn’t want to be part of their dad’s business anymore. Roxy, being extremely powerful and intimidating, ends up making herself useful in Bernie’s business, however.

Jos uses her powers in an intimate scenario with Ryan, and it seems to make him uncomfortable. When she doesn’t stop after he tells her to, he pushes her away, causing her to injure her lip. Blaming him, she runs off.

Jos later apologizes to Ryan, but he reveals it’s not her power that freaks him out. He didn’t want to have sex because he hadn’t yet told her that he was born intersex, with both genitalia. She doesn’t mind this, but she doesn’t appreciate another secret he’s been keeping.

Because he has higher levels of estrogen, he gained the power when she accidentally shocked him before they started dating. Jos is angry that he never told her, but he doesn’t care. It’s his body, and he doesn’t owe her anything.

Governor Danden declares a statewide public health emergency, meaning that all women have to test for EOD. Margot has to sit down for the test, which sends a shock through her body, but she manages to pass the test by not showing that she’s feeling pain.

She’s able to hide her EOD for now. And she returns a threat to Danden–she’ll see him in the primaries because she’ll be challenging him for the Senate seat.

Rob gets a drink with Declan, who is about to go to Carpathia for a follow-up investigation. Rob vents his frustrations about Margot. He never before had a problem being with a powerful woman, but he and the kids didn’t sign up for this. They’re all in danger because of her public stance.

Rob keeps these feelings to himself when Margot announces to her family that she’s going to run for senate. Matty blows up about how the male voice is being lost. He thinks Margot and Rob are a prime example of how women are emasculating men.

That night, Margot and Jos smoke together again. Jos says she supports her mom. The two of them agree to keep Margot’s EOD a secret, even from Rob, until the election.

Margot’s family stands with her as she announces her campaign for Senate. But something horrifying happens during the announcement. The man who stood outside her house earlier sets himself on fire, the words of UrbanDox ringing in his mind.


The Episode Review

The prominence of UrbanDox makes for some tense storytelling, teasing that sometimes those to be most scared of are those closest to you. In the Cleary-Lopez household, Matty is right there, his bitterness and radicalization perhaps posing the greatest threat to Margot.

I have been hoping for a more nuanced explanation of what determines who gets the powers. I’m glad we get a bit more information through Ryan and his confession. But I’m even happier with the series’ attempt to be more inclusive in its discussion of sex and gender. If your premise is that girls receive powers due to being an oppressed group, you have to ask what that means for trans and intersex people. The Power is starting to do that.

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3 thoughts on “The Power – Season 1 Episode 6 “Sparklefingers” Recap & Review”

  1. Wonderful to see the show fulfill the intentions of the author of The Power.

    The show has been explicit about the science behind skeins and why it also goes to trans men, trans women, intersex people, non-binary people, gender non-conforming people, as well as a variety of cisgender people. It’s also clear why there are TONS of cisgender women who do not get the power.

    A skein is a biological manifestation dependent on lots of different factors. People who say “it only goes to women” missed what the author made clear first in the book, then what she makes even more clear in the show.

    Trans women are women, and they get the Power. Intersex people get the Power too. It depends on a bunch of biological factors independent of a cultural concept of a gender binary. In actual nature, no living creature is simply “male” or “female.” We have a ton of biological factors that we group together according to social, cultural, and medical concepts. But like the author says in the book, “man” and “woman” are just shell games. The words only have whatever meaning we give to them.

    The people involved with the show, including the author of the book upon which the show is based, have given interviews confirming and explaining these aspects. The show is very deliberate about expanding representation for who the power goes to and to be explicit that is it NOT divided according to women vs men.

    I wish the show had a way to be more obtrusive about the science behind skeins and why it also goes to men, trans women, intersex people, non-binary people, etc. It is very obvious to me, but I am obsessed with the book and the show so some stuff stands out to me. I will keep writing my expansive recaps at TRANSlating Everything so as to help make this clear for all of us watching the show 🙂

  2. You’ve missed the point. Girls get EOD because evolution needed to provide a physical power to women because they were at risk in human society where males had physical dominance and used it to hold power of all kinds and exclude women from power. (Physical, financial etc….) so it does make sense do ask about the rest of the disempowered in the world. A different story, but an interesting thought.

  3. Yeah.

    Girl don’t receive powers due to being an oppressed group – they receive powers because of some evolutionary quirk that affects females.

    If the show stays true to the material then no, transwomen wouldn’t get the power while transmen would. Dude being intersex with higher levels of estrogen falls in line with why he has the power.

    This a sex thing not a gender identity thing.

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