SPOILERS follow for The Power Episode 8.
Episode 8 of The Power was packed with big moments — from Allie (Halle Bush) influencing someone’s mind for the first time to Rob (John Leguizamo) telling Margot (Toni Collette) that he wants a divorce. But the most climactic event was undoubtedly the one that unfolded in the final moments of the episode. Tatiana (Zrinka Cvitešić), who has been trapped in her marriage to Carpathia President Viktor Moskalev (Alexandru Bindeau) her entire life, reaches her breaking point.
Tatiana has long resented her husband, who she was pressured into marrying at a young age. Viktor does not treat Tatiana like a human being, and has never once valued her voice. In this episode, him kicking her dog was the final straw. Tatiana decides to kill the President — though not with her new ability that allows women to produce electricity from their fingers. Instead, she grabs a gymnastics trophy from her once-illustrious career as a gymnast, and beats him to death.
ABOUT THAT WEAPON OF CHOICE…
“I think killing him with electricity would be too human for him,” Cvitešić told Fandom. “He was one of the two people who stole her childhood, and she lived her life with him not being able to speak, feel, think.” The other person that Tatiana felt had stripped her of a future is her mother, who coerced her adolescent daughter into the union. “She lived in a cage — she never left the palace,” Cvitešić continued. “I think it’s a beautiful metaphor because he stopped her Olympic gymnast life, so [by] killing him with the trophy she won.”
Executive producer Naomi de Pear further discussed Tatiana’s specific weapon. “She definitely kills him because she’s got the power,” de Pear said. In Amazon Prime Video’s The Power — which adapts Naomi Alderman’s novel of the same name — teen girls around the world, and later adult women, learn to use this newfound electrical ability. “But the fact that she uses [the trophy] and she uses her bare hands, I think is just so cathartic for me as a viewer because I hate him so much — but then also gives such promise of what she’s capable of later,” de Pear said.
The murder is a pivotal moment for Tatiana. “She never dreamt to have her own life back in her hands,” Cvitešić said. “So once the opportunity comes along she just takes it because she’s a natural born survivor.”
Of course, there are major implications for where Tatiana lies on the moral spectrum after this move. “I think one of the joys of the series is that you find yourself supporting a character doing something that in a normal story, you’d go, that’s terrible, it’s an act of violence,” executive producer Jane Featherstone said. “But in our story, because of the reversal of thinking, [you’d go], maybe that’s a good thing because he’s tortured her.” It’s intended for audiences to have mixed feelings about Tatiana and other characters. “The whole thing is you then sit back and go, I shouldn’t be feeling like that, and that’s the whole crux of our story,” Featherstone said.
‘HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE’
After Tatiana kills Viktor, she murders her assistant Solongo (Bayra Bela) and frames the innocent girl for Viktor’s death. Alderman, author of The Power, spoke on the character’s motivations. “As they say on the internet, hurt people hurt people,” she said. “Tatiana, as as she’s shown in the show, has not had a great time in her life — she appears to have it all and as she says, ‘Do you think this has all cost me nothing?'”
Alderman also talked about how the character’s past has shaped her. “Tatiana, after all turns out to be somebody who could live with Viktor for the past 20 years,” the author said. “That also maybe tells us something about her.”
Showrunner and executive producer Raelle Tucker said that she does not believe in villains and heroes. “I think that everyone exists somewhere on the spectrum,” Tucker said. “And one of the exciting things about telling Tatiana’s story across the season is that you get to watch how she became what she is.” She is one character whose early years are shown. “I think it’s a very human, grounded story that unfortunately a lot of women can relate to,” Tucker said. “And that feeling of coming from nothing and striving so much for a dream and having that dream ripped away — and being seen as just a sort of piece of meat to someone.”
It’s a devastating story, no matter how you look at it. “What she does to Solango, what she will get to do in future seasons if we get to make more of them — some of it’s just inexcusable,” Tucker continued. “So it’s not about us championing the behavior. It’s about us understanding how someone could get to a point where they would take actions like these.”
The Power is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.