Premiering on June 25 on Starz, the fourth season of Power is a sobering tale of truth and interconnected consequences. Intoxicated simultaneously by new castmembers and higher stakes than before, the Courtney Kemp-created series executive produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson sees the looming threats that have always hung over the New York City-set drama come crashing down to reveal a world of the worst possible situations – which makes for pretty great television.

Power already is the most-watched series on the premium cabler. But now with The Fast And The Furious alum Sung Kang joining the crew as an ambitious federal prosecutor determined to put Omari Hardwick’s James St. Patrick away for the killing of an FBI agent, this 10-episode season  truly has put pedal to the metal. I’ve been a fan of the drug-dealing drama and its brighter lights aspirations since its June 2014 debut, but this season, from what I’ve seen and as I say in my video review above, is one of those rare occasions where something you already are well disposed to exceeds your expectations anyway.

From the opening episode that picks up right where Season 3 ended, with Hardwick’s St. Patrick, aka Ghost, being arrested by his lady love and Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela Valdes (Lela Loren), this is a finely calibrated acceleration that goes for deep-wound revenge and new allegiances in front of and behind bars, where money gets tight and the harsh media spotlight reveals everyone’s underbelly.

With strong performances by Hardwick, Loren, Jackson as the ruthless Kanan, Joseph Sikora as Ghost’s closet friend and sometime drug kingpin partner Tommy, and Naturi Naughton, this season also sees a bigger presence for both Entourage alum Jerry Ferrara and Alani Anthony. Subtitled “His Darkest Hour,” Season 4 also has great portrayals of inner struggle and open conflict by Rotimi Akinosho as Dre and J.R. Ramirez as Tommy’s new second in command Julio. Add to that the sheer star power of Kang, who fits the Power vibe as naturally as fine tailoring, and a career-defining portrayal by the now-deceased Charlie Murphy as a vicious federal marshal.

No spoilers for a season of dirty money, clean money and the blur on both sides of the law. But when it all goes down to rock bottom for Ghost, his wife Tasha (Naughton), their son Tariq (Michael Rainey Jr), Tommy and Angela, almost no one is ready for the dramatic fall. That seems almost too heavy for Power, but at its core the reinvigorated bounce of the show navigates the peaks and valleys with ease, which again makes for highly watchable TV.

Click on my video review for more of my take but know this: Whether you are an old fan or new to the game, this Starz series is sharp and smart TV you shouldn’t miss.

This review originally ran on June 22