Power Book II: Ghost
Reunions typically evoke feelings of excitement, nostalgia, and appreciation — especially when a loved one returns home from jail. But reunions can also trigger feelings of resentment, anger, and tension — especially when a loved one returns home from jail. The Tejada family has been reunited, and to celebrate the real leader of the Tejada operation’s return, they host a welcome home party for Lorenzo. Everyone appears to be enjoying themselves except Monet and Cane. Rather quickly, they realize the roles they played and the power they acquired while Lorenzo was away are now in jeopardy. As he strategizes how to insert himself into the drug game, Lorenzo chooses Dru over Cane to be his right-hand man and praises Diana for getting him out of jail. He intends to prepare Dru to be in the position to run the Tejada operation if something were to ever happen to him and allow Diana to enroll in school. For Lorenzo, Diana belongs in a boardroom, not the streets. His renewed vision for the family surprises both Monet and Cane. Monet doesn’t think Dru is ready or even built for the job her husband is asking of their son. And Cane’s ego doesn’t allow him to understand why his father is playing Dru close instead of him. The way he sees it, his work while his father was locked up shows he has more experience and heart than his younger brother. He overlooks the fact that he also made many mistakes and often leads with emotion. Lorenzo recognizes that Dru has the qualities necessary to survive in the streets — a cool head, decision-making abilities, and strength. When Monet pushes back to inform her husband about their son’s “weakness,” Lorenzo reassures her he knows exactly who his son is.
There continues to be a power struggle between Monet and her husband as well as between Monet and Diana throughout the episode. He wants her to play her part as a kept wife, and she wants him to stop treating her like one of the kids and include her in all decisions. To protect her individuality, Monet secretly builds an alliance with the son she once abandoned. Ever since Lorenzo picked Dru over Cane and requested to meet his connect, Cane has become resentful toward his father. Monet uses this to her advantage.
When Zeke arrives at Lorenzo’s welcome-home party with a few of his teammates, Lorenzo treats him like a stranger. Monet quickly reminds him that Zeke’s her nephew, and though Lorenzo has heard a lot about Zeke, he claims never to have met him. After being frisked for weapons, Zeke and his friends are permitted to join the festivities. Scoping the party scene, Monet spots Dru’s boyfriend, Everett, and forces him to leave after telling him he isn’t ready for her son (remember, Everett snitched on Dru).
Meanwhile, Tariq appears in front of a judge, and attorney Sullivan makes a convincing case to prevent him from getting bail. Tariq tells Davis and Saxe he needs bail to take care of Yas. Saxe believes Tariq belongs in jail and will never get it. Davis shuts Saxe down, telling Tariq the right appellate judge can help. Tariq tells Davis and Saxe to arrange a meeting with Tate.
Back at Stansfield, Lauren confronts Carrie before class about Tariq’s arrest. Despite once being a suspect in the same murder case herself, the professor tells Lauren that not only is her boyfriend a cold-blooded murderer, her wire is what helped to secure key evidence in the case, and Lauren will have to testify. Lauren quickly realizes Carrie knew all along Tariq was the real target and lied to her. During class, Tariq’s guilt or innocence becomes the topic of conversation. The majority have decided he’s already guilty, and they question whether he can return to campus. In response, Carrie reassures them Tariq will go to prison for the rest of his life (she must not watch Power).
Tariq’s arrest has everyone shook, including Lorenzo. He’s well aware that if Tariq goes down for Ramirez’s murder, it can easily trace back to his family. Thinking Monet and Cane set Tariq up together, he reprimands his wife by questioning her decision-making abilities. Monet sets out to make it right by visiting Davis MacLean. She offers him $250,000 in exchange for any information on the case that could involve her family, and in response, Maclean demands double that amount. After confronting Cane about framing Tariq, Monet decides to come up with the extra $250,000 for Maclean through CourseCorrect (i.e., without her husband’s help).
Keeping their promise, MacLean and Saxe set up a visit with Tariq and Rashad Tate. During Tate’s visit, Tariq promises the councilman tangible dirt on Brayden’s uncle, Rick Sweeney. Tate agrees to help Tariq find the most appropriate appellate judge by pulling some strings. We then meet Judge Kenneth Lucas, a self-identified BIPOC ally who feels empathetic toward Black men trapped in the racist justice system. He reviews Tariq’s case and finds that Detective Ramirez’s badge, which was found in a shared dorm room with no forensic evidence tying Tariq to either murder, is grounds for granting him bail.
While being fitted with his ankle monitor, Saxe repeatedly reminds Tariq to avoid any criminal activity as Davis explains the terms. Tariq is not permitted to leave Manhattan without permission, he’s allowed to visit MacLean’s office as he pleases, and authorities will know his location at all times. He has to stay on campus or at the apartment he’s renting from Lauren. Saxe’s previous encounters with the St. Patrick’s family begin to influence his judgment of Tariq. He continues to imply Tariq’s guilt and even flat-out asks him why he killed the cop, but Tariq never folds because he didn’t kill the cop. He asks Davis if they got in touch with his mother, and Davis tells him no. After Tariq leaves, Saxe confirms Tasha’s in New Mexico, but they agree it’s best not to tell Tariq. Davis makes Saxe give his word never again to ask Tariq for a confession.
Now free (kind of sort of), Tariq heads to his dorm room to take a shower and find out if Brayden was in on setting him up. Brayden admits to kicking it with Cane — the robberies, shoot-outs, moving of a dead body, but he assures Tariq he wasn’t aware of Cane’s agenda and only participated in helping Tariq get the money he needed for his sister. Hearing about Cane and Brayden’s budding friendship for the first time, Tariq lashes out at Brayden. The two get into a heated argument about who told whom what, rich fathers, access, and privilege. Tariq questions Brayden’s motives for wanting to be involved in street life, and he reminds Tariq he made the same choice Tariq did.
Still pissed at Brayden, Tariq sees Lauren for the first time, and she immediately notices his ankle monitor. He communicates his disappointment — Lauren never showed up to support him in court. She tells him she is confused and doesn’t know what to think especially since Professor Milgram shared with the class that there was enough evidence to convict him. Tariq reveals that Carrie is smashing Zeke and that her only agenda is to protect him. After hearing enough and realizing Lauren can’t be down for him the way he needs her to be, he ends the relationship. Before Tariq storms off, Lauren asks for her keys to the apartment back. He promises to return the keys once he retrieves his belongings.
Effie shows up to check on Tariq. Because she understands his lifestyle, he can vent to her about all that happened. He vents, and they have sex. With the help of Effie’s perspective, Tariq squashes his beef with Brayden. Brayden comes clean about his pitch meeting with the Tejadas, and Tariq comes clean with Brayden about 2-Bit and the GTG pool murder as well as Jabari. Tariq asks Brayden to get him the photo album he promised Tate, and the two agree for Brayden to continue his bromance with Cane. They expand their business by officially making Effie a crew member in charge of re-ups and transportation. Brayden will cover the meetings with Bash and handle the app and tutors. And until the heat passes on campus, they will stop dealing on Stansfield. Though Tariq feels he can’t trust Monet, the two need each other, so they continue doing business together, but this time Effie will be Tariq’s main point of contact.
With new information about Milgram, Lauren confronts her again, and this time, she doesn’t back down. Carrie continues to play dumb and dirty. But her manipulative ways will more than likely backfire. Saxe, about to enter Jenny’s office, overhears Jenny arguing with Lauren about testifying, but he’s unfamiliar with Lauren’s voice; he realizes this is the witness who helped get Tariq arrested. Saxe doesn’t know who she is to Tariq but gets a glimpse of Lauren as she exits. If he pushes to get Lauren’s testimony thrown out, it will likely ruin his relationship with Jenny.
Back at the Tejada household, Lorenzo shares what he thinks is exciting news with Diana. She will be attending St. John’s University. Diana is pissed and tells her father Stansfield is her dream school, not St. Johns. Once he shares that St. Johns was her mother’s choosing, Diana spills the beans about Monet’s exit plan that didn’t include Lorenzo. Lorenzo asks Dru about Monet’s exit plan. Dru tells the truth about Zeke and the draft, but of course Lorenzo isn’t down for it. Working for Zeke is not an option. Dru tells his father he and Monet need to get on the same page to keep the family together. Lorenzo agrees and decides to take his earlier advice on eliminating his competition. He challenges Dru to tail Kino that night, and Dru agrees.
The Tejada family isn’t unified at all. Cane plays his father’s face by not giving him the connect’s information. Jealousy pushes Monet to choke Diana and even threaten to kill her. Monet is still hiding that Zeke’s her son, not nephew. What will happen when Lorenzo finds out the connect is his wife’s sneaky link and former lover. “What’s Free?” reminds us that not every reunion is a happy one.
• Cane has lost his damn mind. The shit he pulled only proved to Lorenzo why choosing Dru is the best choice.
• Milgram has also lost her mind. She’s become obsessed with Tariq, and her manipulative interactions with Lauren have gone too far.
• Poor Lauren. She didn’t sign up for any of this. And that’s going to be hard for Tariq to believe.
• Will Dru live up to his father’s expectations? I sure hope so.
• What is Mecca going to do after meeting Lorenzo?