“Power”, Angela Valdes, & Wanting That Old Thing Back

I don’t watch a lot of television. Every now and then, though, a show will catch and hold my attention. I decided to give the 50 Cent’s new series, Power, a shot. I started the first episode with low expectations because the synopsis didn’t sound that interesting. I like being wrong. This is a dope series! It’s the type of show that’s manly while still full of enough drama and conflict. I finished Power after binge-watching in the span of 3 days.

[If you’ve never seen the show, there are spoilers in the post.]

Cannot wait for June 6!

The show weaves through the dichotomy that exists when a drug dealer wants to get out of the game. The main character, James “Ghost” St. Patrick, is one of New York’s most feared dealers who is, at the opening of the series, making a splash in the nightlife industry with the opening of a club. In the first few episodes, Power drives home the notion that the majority of guys in the drug game are brilliant; it’s just used in a more creative and dubious manner. With all of the bravado, gun-pulling, and promises of violent vengeance, the one aspect of this show that caught me off guard was the character Angela Valdes.

Angela Valdes holds quiet a bit of leverage over Ghost. She is an active yet background threat to his empire. For some balance in the story, Angela is written as James’s (or Jamie as he’s known to her) idealistic “way out”. She’s the bridge from who he used to be to who what he wants to be. She is his girlfriend zero.

I’ve written a few times here about girlfriend zero. I even adopted it as a hashtag on IG. As the show moved on, I could see how Angela may have been the catalyst to Jamie going left when he should have gone right. (no pun)

Without going into too much detail, they were high school sweethearts. Jamie was sprung, nose-wide-open over this girl. But her parents hated him. And when it came time for graduation, Angela went off to college and he stayed behind doing what he was good at. The path in which Angela is brought back into his life is dangerous. However, their relationship develops into a focal point of the show. The secondary plot is continuously pushed forward at a few points where James is stuck between his responsibility as Ghost and the raw emotion and lust he feels for Angela. They both know that Angela is the one that got away.

Jamie and Angela venture back to the old neighborhood in 1 episode

Jamie and Angela venture back to the old neighborhood in 1 episode

What I like about Angela Valdes’s duality in the show is that it depicts the effects of girlfriend zero not always being adverse. Girlfriend zero is mostly hailed as a man’s ignored emotional baggage; the one who ruined him for the women he’ll encounter later. Although in Power, that’s not entirely true. Angela and Jamie went their separate ways and he becomes Ghost. Ghost hooked up with a woman that worked for his lifestyle, they settled down, and created a family. He’s a present father and your typical husband. Ghost is perfectly fine in his adult life. Until Angela shows up.

She becomes somewhat of an escape for Jamie. In many of the scenes, it comes across as though they need each other to get away from the grind of the lives they chose. Jamie and Angela are falling on “the old times” but who James is now is the sole reason why they can’t go backwards.

As I finished up the season finale, I combed through my archives to get the exact quote I used that seemed so fitting. “The woman that makes you choose love for the 1st time might not be the woman that benefits from that choice and the changes that come with it”. When it comes to your first love – that soul-ties, genuine type of love- you never know who that person will evolve into. When it doesn’t work out, that relationship occupies a permanent spot in your mind and your heart. Yeah, Jamie moves on and winds up doing okay for himself minus the alphabet boys lurking. But inside of him is a place that doesn’t forget Angela. Whether men and women want to admit or not, it’s impossible to forget a girlfriend/boyfriend zero. You just learn how to live without her/him. Until they show up without notice or provocation. And then you’re faced with the decision to leave that door closed and always wonder or open it knowing you could get hurt again.

Outside of this show, I don’t think it’s impossible for two people to re-connect and have a happily ever after. I think sometimes getting that old thing back means you’re dealing with the person who doesn’t just love the idea of you. There’s something to be said for the person who helps you become who you really want to be by accepting the truth that love is a journey. I mean, that’s why women love The Notebook right?


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