The Power introduces us to a world that’s like ours… until it isn’t. The new Prime Video series puts an interesting twist on society when teenage girls around the world suddenly develop the ability to electrocute others. Understandably, bad accidents happen alongside righteous vengeance and overall confusion. We get to witness this changing world through the eyes of several girls with drastically different backgrounds and circumstances. The Power is based on Naomi Alderman’s book of the same name; however, many people may not be familiar with this story. They may be wondering how, exactly, do the powers work on The Power TV show? Let’s take a look at what the show reveals to us.
Spoilers ahead for the first three episodes of The Power.
Who Has Powers on The Power and What Are They?
As stated above, the only people who have powers on The Power TV show are teenage girls. At this point, not every girl has them but that will presumably change. Generally speaking, girls can shoot small but quite harmful bolts of electricity at others, whether by accident when they are upset/threatened or on purpose. Or, they can use them to illuminate a lightbulb or perhaps find their way in the dark. However, there seems to be a varying degree of power, ability, and control among the girls. Jos tends to get a bit, ahem, fiery with hers, destroying the family microwave and setting paper on fire.
She even admits to her parents that some girls have a better handle on how much force to exert when using their powers. And, when she combines her strength with a classmate, they are able to drain the power from much of Seattle through touching a light pole. Meanwhile, Allie/Eve has excellent control of her powers and the show hints (at least, through her mental dialogue) that she is the strongest of them all. When these girls touch things, they can easily leave charred marks on walls and damage people’s skin… or fry their brain. And, as we discover after episode three’s frightening plane crash, they can transfer the powers to adult women.
The Important Origin of the Powers on The Power TV Show
At the end of The Power episode one, we get a major hint about the origin of this ability. Allie walks into a marine life exhibit and we hear information about the electric eel. It is an animal who uses electrical impulses to stun its prey and lure things in by hijacking nervous systems. The eel uses three separate organs that come together to generate its power. In episode three, things go awry as girls are detained for having powers and panic begins to sweep around. Because there’s nothing more scary than a group that often lacks agency and power gaining something that shifts the balance.
Jos’ mom Margot (who is also the mayor of Seattle) takes her in for a CAT scan in hopes of getting some answers about how the powers work. Of course, Jos destroys the machine but not before it captures an image of her clavicle and chest area. The doctor discovers that the source of the power doesn’t generate from their hands at all, but rather a new organ that generates electricity and has “pacemaker cells.” Jos’ father Rob, a medical professional, and the doctor point out that all organs generate some level of electricity; however, this organ’s sole purpose is doing that. And, because so many girls around the world have this power, that means it is not some random mutation. Instead, it’s an evolutionary element that has “flipped on” due to survival/necessity.
This makes sense within the show and our general world for several reasons. First, we do see several girls’ clavicles, including Allie and Jos, glow with light. And, many of the girls we’ve met so far have dealt with some serious issues, including anxiety, abuse, murder, and other types of trauma. That will certainly cause a spark to happen. As far as our society, it is a believable thing because animals adapt and evolve to fit their changing environments all the time. In a world where girls and women often feel unsafe, it would make sense for the body to develop and eventually activate a way to protect itself from predators.
What Does This Power Mean for the Future?
Well, if girls can run free and do what they feel, then the power dynamics are going to change. The powers that be have long regulated and controlled things like access to abortion and birth control (among many things); however, there is truly no way to contain this. It will spark and spread, even if they do capture a few girls for “research.”
And when girls pass it on to women, the entire structure of the world will fall. A new form of evolution, indeed. As The Power TV show progresses, we will likely learn more details about how powers work in this universe and the ways it will be leveraged on a global scale.