The end of Power Book IV: Force Season 2 Episode 10 was epic. A fast-paced hour with plenty of jaw-dropping moments, the final hour put a profound exclamation point on a successful second effort.
The heart and soul of the series lies with Tommy Egan, its main player and the source of so many riveting moments throughout the season and in its final moments. And we were thrilled to get some time with the magnetic Joseph Sikora to talk about it all.
From Tommy and Diamond’s partnership to Tommy’s relationship woes and his appreciation for showrunner Gary Lennon, we covered a lot of ground in this informative chat.
This one’s for you, Power Force fanatics!
I wanted to start with Tommy and Diamond because that was a central dynamic in the second season. Their partnership worked out, but something was missing between the two of them.
I don’t know if it’s a level of distrust or what it may be, but can you talk about their evolution as partners this season and why it feels like they can’t completely trust one another?
Well, I think part of that comes from Tommy being smart enough to see the chinks in people’s armor and the familiarity that they share is that family. Is there a chink in the armor that they tend to make mistakes by the ones that they love?
And just like Tommy, ultimately, when he went to war with his own brother in Ghost, only to realize that that’s who he loved most in the world. I think that he sees that with the Sampson brothers.
So, he realizes that he’s never going to be on the level of these brothers because Diamond has made moves that would not necessarily have benefited him, but they benefit the Sampson brothers.
But I think that Tommy — unlike Tommy in the Power show when Ghost would say, “Think Tommy,” Tommy would get frustrated because he didn’t want to think; he just wanted to act.
Diamond says to Tommy, “Think Tommy,” and Tommy just looks at him because Tommy is thinking now.
And Gary Lennon has done an incredible job of bringing Tommy back and percolating that part of Tommy that is Ghost. And so now Tommy is thinking two and three steps ahead because it was dormant in Tommy. It always existed, just like Ghost said, “We’re two sides of the same coin.”
There is Tommy and Ghost, and there is Ghost and Tommy. Now Tommy is having to manifest the Ghost that’s always been there.
That’s so true. And when Diamond said in the finale, “It’s not all about you, Tommy,” I was like, “But isn’t it?”
Because Tommy, even though they are partnered, even though he’s a part of CBI, and he’s brought all these things like you just said, there are the Sampson brothers, and then there is Tommy.
Getting into the relationship with Mireya, Tommy’s been unlucky in love throughout the Power series, but he seemed to find this genuine connection. What about Mireya and their connection, that relationship, do you think really enticed Tommy?
I think that because, in a lot of ways, she’s a pretty interesting balance of both of his former big loves, and that would be Holly Weaver and Lakeisha Grant. And she’s like Holly in the way that they are magnets to each other.
Despite themselves, they can’t keep their hands off of each other, and they can’t stay away from each other even though they know better.
They both know better. Tommy knows that for women he loves, bad things happen, and this has been consistent. She knows that anybody she gets involved with ultimately ends in their demise because of her brother, and yet they can’t say no to each other.
And I think that’s very relatable because we, as humans, are idiots, and love is blind. Truly, that’s where it comes from.
But also, just like Lakeisha was from around the way, from the neighborhood, she was comfortable. Similarly, Mireya is from that world. Even though she’s not part of the life, she’s part of that world. She couldn’t help it. So, she understands Tommy in a way that a lot of people wouldn’t.
Just like Lakeisha understood Tommy in a way because they’re from the same neighborhood, in a way that many people wouldn’t.
I think that’s a very attractive balance, and I love that Gary has set it up like that because it’s true. And Carmela Zumbado, who plays Mireya, I think she’s great.
It’s always like it’s despite herself. She’s like, “Goddamn it, Tommy.”
Very true. And throughout the season, we see Mireya pushing him away like, “We shouldn’t do this.”
And he’s just like, “It’s going to be fine. It’s going to be fine,” then the season ends with her missing and Miguel finding out, Miguel taking her.
Do you think Tommy may have underestimated Miguel?
Totally. Totally. I think he underestimated Miguel, and I think that, kind of like you were bringing up before, he’s underestimating Jenard as well. And part of it, I think that he thinks that he’s got such a handle on Jenard and Shanti Showstopper.
I think Jenard reminds Tommy of Tommy, quick to violence, using his own supply — definitely the addict mentality.
But then I think, what interestingly, what Gary Lennon did again is we had a lot of wins for Tommy, slow and hard, but wins until Tommy got a little sloppy.
He’s kissing Mireya outside of the apartment. He’s making these small mistakes that are becoming significant. The FBI, the law is on them.
So it’s just a little bit like Ghost again, hubris, “I’m too smart, I’m too untouchable.”
But that’s when you’re touchable, and that’s when Gary ripped the carpet out from underneath Tommy’s feet, and Tommy loses the girl and could possibly lose the whole deal.
I also loved that they made Tommy question his mortality in a way that he almost never has, when he was watching his mother OD and die possibly, and not so much like JP thought he was just going to let her die. But he didn’t realize that this was a true stultification.
He couldn’t move. He was processing his mortality.
And I always say that Tommy lives because he wakes up every day ready to die. But then we saw this other difference in Tommy’s armor, and Deon Taylor did a magnificent job directing that.
He’s like, “No, I need more. I need to see that whole relationship since you were a baby. I need to see you when you walked in on your mother having sex with two men.”
All these things that Deon would say, you’re just like, “Whoa.” But he’s like, “I need it. I need more. It has to be that important of a moment,” and I think that we got it.
No, I love that you just brought that up because I was going to ask you what was going through Tommy’s head in that moment, which you just described to me.
But I also thought it was very interesting that at the end of Power Book IV: Force Season 1, Tommy’s watching D-Mac and JP and Kate in the hospital, and he’s looking at them, and they’re laughing, and it’s like the family he never had. But at the end of this season, it’s the complete opposite.
Do you think there could be hope for reconciliation there, and where do you think the breakdown was in the way that the family ended in season two?
Again, I loved it. I can’t say enough wonderful things about having Gary Lennon back and what a wonderful storyteller he is. Let’s also give some flowers to Joe ‘Jody’ Williams, our cinematographer and our director of photography throughout this season.
A million beautiful images and an incredible consistency, including when the door shuts on Tommy at the hospital after JP says, “You’re not part of this family anymore.”
I think that that was another wonderfully directed scene by Deon Taylor as well because Deon said, “What I want to be seeing is you having to make the decision of, ‘if I can just get in there, I can save my family,’ but you don’t.”
Tommy doesn’t. Tommy chooses the streets. Tommy chooses this other life. Again, this is a choice. And he’s like, “I got to see that choice. I got to see it. And he told me a million things. I want you to think as fast as you can have these thoughts.”
So what that really helped create was the effect of when a tire goes fast, so fast, it almost looks like it’s going backwards.
That moment was just, again, a very still moment, but there were a million thoughts going through my mind of, “Just let me in there, just let me see JP, just let me see D-Mac. I’ve got my nephew, my family, and my mother’s alive. I’m going to choose this other thing.”
So there had to be that thick conflict.
I also love that it’s a glass door. So, Tommy, it’s not like it’s just a door, and I can turn and walk away, and whatever’s happening there is happening there.
It’s a glass door. And I think, very symbolically, that means you still have to watch this because Gary wasn’t letting Tommy get to have his cake and eat it, too.
He’s not saying you can live in this glorified villainous lifestyle, still have everything, and have things be nice and dainty. You are going to be out of love. You are going to be out of luck, and you’re going to be out of life. So those are your only options.
And we watched that on Tommy, and a lot of that is reflected in that face.
I thought of that, too, with the glass. I was like, he’s got to look in and see what he’s lost, essentially, in that exact moment.
Yeah, you’ve got it. That’s it.
I thought Tommy’s growth this season, from Power Book IV: Force Season 1 to Power Book IV: Force Season 2, was fascinating.
Because in season one, he was coming in, getting his feet wet, and figuring out what he would do in Chicago, and this season, he cemented himself.
Could you describe Tommy’s growth from season one to season two and where we leave him?
I can do it in two words: Gary Lennon. It’s true, truly. I mean, he’s a master storyteller. Plus, he really developed the voice of Tommy.
When he came in, in season two, he really brought so much of his own life, being from the west side of Manhattan, being from Hell’s Kitchen, having his brothers be gangsters in real life, and just developing that whole Tommy vernacular and feel to it.
So, to have Gary back, I almost felt like I was cheating sometimes because it was like I did half the lifting because it was already there on the page.
He’s going to memorize the storytelling-wise. It was so great. And it was also having my partner back.
So, it was like Gary is, just like Ghost always said, “Tommy and Ghost are two sides of the same coin.” The Tommy character is one part Joseph Sikora, one part Gary Lennon.
***This interview has been edited.***
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on X.