Power Book II: Ghost Recap: In the Power Universe, It’s Every Man for Himself

Power Book II: Ghost

Selfless Acts?
Season 2 Episode 2
Editor’s Rating 4 stars

Power Book II: Ghost

Selfless Acts?
Season 2 Episode 2
Editor’s Rating 4 stars
Photo: Starz

There’s no such thing as a selfless act in the Power universe — it’s every man and woman for themselves. Favors get done only if they get returned. And by coincidence, everyone is somehow connected. I’m sure you too were surprised by Monet’s past connection (which appears to be romantic) with Cane’s new boss, Dante. Now that we know Monet and Dante had a thing for each other, I have questions: When did she find time to be with Dante? Where was Dante all this time? Will he tell Monet that her son stole her dope? Would he harm Cane knowing he’s Monet’s son? A lot went down in episode two. Let’s get to unpacking.

Tariq’s grandmother has lost all of her marbles. She got a DUI, and now Yaz has to go into the foster-care system. Tariq can do little to help his baby sister or his grandmother from his college dorm. Tariq’s grandmother has been through a lot. The frequent losses have left Big Momma in a constant state of grief, which unfortunately has led to an uncontrollable drinking problem and an arrest.

When the police come knocking at Tariq’s door, he thinks they’re there for him. (Remember he killed his nosey professor?) What a relief to find out this time he isn’t under surveillance or wanted for questioning! But the relief is short-lived at the sight of Cooper Saxe. Tariq and Saxe’s relationship is more than a bit complicated, and the young St. Patrick knows better than to trust the corrupt lawyer. But now that Saxe and David Maclean are working together, Saxe is tasked with “greasing the wheels a bit” for Big Momma. What are the odds, right? A person who once tried to convict you and your mother for the murder of your father is now “protecting” your grandmother? As of right now, it’s not clear what the foster system will look like for Yaz or what effect it may have on her.

Tariq continues to be haunted by his dreams, this time by the memory of his mother. His consciousness, along with the voice of Kanan, repeatedly tells him to grow up. And in Tariq’s case, growing up means letting go of his only connection to his mother: the burner phone. Tariq screwed up when he answered Detective Whitman’s call, so now, to protect his and Cane’s secret, he has no choice but to give up the phone or he yet again risks going to jail for murder.

Detective Whitman, whom we can also call detective douchebag, is out to be the best cop ever, and this means snagging a suspect. Any suspect will do! The suspect he catches just so happens to be a woman he was once interested in. He pursues Caridad (Professor Milgram) in the most invasive, aggressive way. Following her home, approaching her close friend and AA sponsor, questioning others about her relationship with Professor Reynolds — basically, Whitman is determined to find any piece of evidence connecting Carrie to the murder. Whitman’s stalking forces her to reveal that she’s been having a romantic relationship with one of her students (this, unfortunately, is her alibi). A little reading between the scenes foreshadows that Carrie is unable to get in touch with Zeke. By the time the detective does, Zeke will deny being with Carrie the night of the murder, not out of malice but to protect her from the shame of their relationship.

Thus far, season two has not been good to Carrie. In addition to dealing with her co-worker and ex–boo thang dying and getting blamed for his murder, she has to cut off her youngin, and an ex-fling is trying to send her to jail. There’s even a moment when it seems like Tariq is willing to frame her for the murder. But he doesn’t, and we don’t know what changed his mind. He does throw the detective an alley-oop, but he chooses not to plant the burner in her office. Did I forget to mention that she’s now colleagues with Councilman Rashad Tate? There’s something off about a politician teaching a course on ethics. Just like Whitman is on a mission to nail Carrie, Tate is on a mission to land a Democrat a seat in congress by stealing the seat of Congressman Rick Sweeney. He’s hoping to count on Simon Stern to obtain some dirt on the ever-so-loved politician. Stern is not interested in helping Tate out, but luckily for Tate, Tariq’s best friend, Brayden, is like a surrogate nephew to Sweeney.

While Tariq is occupied handling family business, he leaves Brayden in charge. Brayden proudly steps up to call the shots while Tariq is away, but shit goes haywire. Cane stole his mother’s product right from under Brayden’s nose. This is his way of being welcomed back into the house. He is able to swap the drugs for sugar (WTH was he thinking?!). Because of this, Brayden and Effie get called out for the sugar product and end up fighting a big scary-looking guy and another girl. The good thing is they survive the ass whooping to relay the bad news to Tariq, who has to send the message to Monet.

Monet is in a class of her own. When we think about women in the Power universe, like Tasha and Raq, they want more for their children, even if it means supporting their pursuits in the drug game. Monet, on the other hand, has done nothing but hold her kids back. Instead of telling them all they can do and accomplish, she’s constantly controlling and talking down to them. Poor Diana. She knows she’s capable of doing more and has desires to go to college. Every time she mentions school to Monet, the conversation is cut short. Monet thinks Diana wants to go to school just to be close to Tariq or boys in general, and being in love is profitable for women in the drug business. After a rocky meet and greet with Effie, Diana takes another trip to Stansfield to visit her. She wants Effie to teach her all that she knows about going to school and pushing weight. Effie agrees. It’ll be interesting to see how Diana manages to keep this a secret from Monet.

Monet has been keeping some secrets of her own. She’s been pressuring Zeke to enroll in the NBA draft for her own selfish reasons. Zeke eventually finds out from Dru that Zeke’s future NBA career is Monet’s “retirement plan.” Zeke realizes he can’t trust that many people. Trust is hard to find in the Power universe. Saxe is sleeping with essentially the enemy. This makes him privy to information on Professor Reynolds’s case. Once he finds out Caridad is their main suspect and Tariq was an advisee of the professor, he automatically assumes Tariq has something to do with it (and he’s right).

This episode leaves us with so many questions: Will Caridad take the fall for Jabari Reynolds’s murder? Will Tariq be able to stay out of Saxe and Maclean’s way? Will Monet find out that both Tariq and Cane lied to her?? (Cane also stole from her, so that’s worse. She’s definitely capable of killing her own son.) Will Zeke turn his back on his Aunty Monet after realizing she’s just using him? What we do know is that no good act is done for purely selfless reasons.

Other Notes

• I’m surprised Lil Guap is still alive. He keeps messing up, and I’m sure with the way he uses social media all the time he will continue to get caught up. He may even cause problems for Dante and Cane.

• The sex scenes in Power!

• Tariq can’t seem to keep his love life in order … just like his father.

• The classroom lectures and debates are always thought-provoking. Do you find yourself participating? ’Cause I know I do.

• Brushaundria Carmichael always understands the assignment during these debates. I love that the Canonical Studies program at Stansfield has a diverse range of students. Black girls from the hood attend Ivy League universities too.

Power Book II: Ghost Recap