I’d be lying if I said I weren’t in my feelings. Did Effie really kill Lauren? Tariq is his father’s son for sure! Remember, it was his father’s actions that cost Angela her life. And similar to his father, Tariq’s demons are beginning to haunt him more frequently. Episode nine begins with us in the middle of Tariq’s nightmare. Professor Tate presents a thoughtful question on the lecture room’s board “Is there any such thing as a fair fight?” Professor Reynolds, Kanan, Ray Ray, Lakeisha, Proctor, and professor Milgram all show up and blame Tariq, whether directly or indirectly, for their deaths. They also accuse him of not playing fair. Was it fair that he left Proctor’s door unlocked so Tommy could sneak in? Or that he set up Cane? Like most of the people who died, Tariq’s unable to take accountability. Ghost calls Carrie’s phone, and Tariq refuses to answer. The more he tries not to be like his father, the more he becomes his father. As he tries to exit, Lauren shows up (foreshadowing her death?), and he begs her not to go into the classroom. Surprisingly, she encourages him to answer the call. Dream over.
Awakened by his phone ringing in real life, Tariq answers Davis MacLean’s call. MacLean is trying to figure out what Jenny Sullivan and Rashad Tate have on his client. Tate is Sullivan’s next witness, but little does she know, Tate is corrupt and self-serving.
Fishing for information, Tate goes to his brother to inquire about Jenny’s motives. The detective tells him that Jenny plans to use him to repair Carrie’s image. During their conversation, Kamaal casually mentions receiving frequent calls from a drunk woman who has identified herself as a potential witness in the Jabari Reynolds murder. Because the woman keeps changing her story, the younger Tate brother doesn’t believe her. He asks his brother for advice, but the councilman, realizing that this is valuable information that can benefit him, advises Kamaal not to say anything. He wastes zero time saying something to Tariq, though. With the fate of Tariq’s future in the hands of Tate, he’s forced to get him tangible proof of Sweeney in Blackface, even though he knows it will piss Brayden off. In the courthouse bathroom, Tariq slips the Sweeney photo to Tate, ensuring Tate will come through for Tariq on the stand. And that he does!
While on the stand, the judge is not impressed with Jenny’s questioning of Tate. Things get even odder when the councilman announces to the courtroom that his brother is employed by Jenny’s office and is working directly on the case. It sounds like a potential conflict of interests to me, and I’m sure the jurors would think so too. On cross-examination, Davis questions Tate on Kamaal’s investigation, knowing that he would tell the court about the potential eyewitness the prosecution has been ignoring that said she saw two men at Jabari Reynolds’ murder. Davis calls for a dismissal of the case, arguing a Brady violation. For those of us who have never taken a law class, the Brady Rule states that prosecutors are required to disclose any evidence favorable to the accused. Agreeing with Davis, the judge gives Jenny 48 hours to prove her office didn’t withhold exculpatory evidence.
Meanwhile, the community is under the impression that Carrie committed suicide. Zeke is having difficulty coping with Carrie’s death and the news that Monet is his mother, so he reaches out to Dante. The two meet over drinks, and Dante sells him a dream. He suggests that Zeke take a break from school to work with a private coach (that he will pay for) to prepare for the draft. Knowing that Zeke is upset with Monet, he pushes for Zeke to continue a relationship with her.
As Dante tries to piece together his imaginary family, Dru and Diana plot to save theirs. Since Monet, Cane, Tariq & Co. robbed Mecca, Lorenzo now doesn’t have access to any product, and he’s pissed! Dru tells him the truth about what happened, and Lorenzo demands that they get his drugs back. Diana has been semi ostracized because of her outburst at dinner, airing all of the family’s dirty laundry. She wants nothing more than to get back on her papi’s good side, so she cons her way to gain access to the roof from Tariq. After a few tears shed for Tariq and sex with Everett, Diana and Dru are able to use Everett’s keycard and Tariq’s QR code to recoup all the drugs without anyone noticing a thing. Lorenzo wastes no time and gets the drugs out to the streets quick! As the cash comes through the car window with his son by his side, Lorenzo is in his element.
The same cannot be said for Monet. Her life has flipped upside down, and she now has to explain to her “nephew” that she’s really his mother. Monet tells Zeke about having him at 16 and how hard it was when they took Zeke from her. Zeke asks if she had anything to do with Carrie’s death. She says she went straight to Dante after Lorenzo kicked her out, Dante vouches for her — they both are lying. Zeke is not impressed and tells them his plan: to get drafted and never speak to either one of them again.
During a press conference with Zeke and his agent, as he announces he’s leaving Stansfield to prepare for the draft, someone tipped the media about his actual age, and his future crumbles right before his eyes. As Monet and Dante try to be parents of the year and fix Zeke’s PR nightmare, the three of them get shot at. Monet blames the information leak and shooting on Lorenzo.
While all of this is happening, Jenny works hard to nail Tariq. She switches up her strategy and goes after the Westons. Because of his fuckup, Kamaal gifts her with Ramirez’s dash camera footage. Jenny confronts Brayden with the recording on Lauren’s wire of him and Cane. Brayden denies knowing him, but Trace runs his mouth as if he’s getting paid to do so. Brayden holds it down by sticking to his story, but Jenny corners him when she presents a photo of Brayden and Trace from officer Ramirez’s dashcam. Trace is willing to testify, but Brayden isn’t. Well aware of Brayden’s loyalty to Tariq, Jenny agrees to immunity for both, regardless of who testifies.
Feeling guilty, Lauren attempts to explain herself to Tariq. In the midst of doing so, she tells Tariq about wearing a wire on him, and he tells her that Cane Tejada is on the recording and it would only be in her best interest to leave town. Tariq makes the mistake of venting to Effie about Lauren and the wire — they both view her differently. Effie thinks Lauren is a snitch and the reason why Tariq is in court in the first place, and Tariq believes that professor Milgram forced Lauren.
Deciding to take matters into her own hands, Effie tells Cane that Lauren got him on a wire with Brayden and Tariq is letting it ride. Cane tells Brayden to take care of the “Lauren problem,” or he instead will take care of the “Brayden problem.” Brayden is no killer, but he also knows snitching won’t do him any good either. He chooses not to kill Lauren. Instead, he gives her a bag of cash and tells her to disappear without contacting anyone, including her family. But Effie shows up, busts Lauren aside her head, puts her in the burner car, and drives off. When she returns from her little trip, she has a look of guilt on her face as she sneaks back into bed with Tariq. We are left to speculate whether or not she killed Lauren — if she did, that’s so fucked up!
While all the Lauren, Brayden, Cane, and Effie drama is going on, Cane has his own shit to handle. Mecca basically kidnaps him. He also yokes Cane up and tells him he knows he stole his drugs. Things turn for the worse once Mecca realizes his go-bag is gone. Cane denies taking it, but Mecca cuts his access off and locks him in the penthouse. With a tracker on the bag, Mecca knows the bag is on Stansfield’s campus with the one and only Tariq St. Patrick. He heads to Stansfield.
Thinking he’s about to die, Cane calls Monet. He tells her everything — how Mecca knows they stole from him, how he’s locked in the apartment, but Monet questions why he isn’t dead already and why he still has access to a phone. She tells Cane to send her a picture of Mecca.
After receiving a warning from Cane, Tariq looks in the go-bag. He finds bank accounts in Tejada’s kids’ names and a cooperation agreement for “Dante Spears.” He quickly hides the bag and reaches out to Davis for info on Dante Spears. Davis lets him know that Dante is a huge informant, so well connected that the Feds hid him out of the country.
When Dante arrives, Tariq uses the snitching information to leverage the hidden bag for an offshore $2 million account. Mecca agrees, but before he leaves, he brags about selling Lobos to the feds and thanks Tariq’s father for killing Lobos before he ever found out — plot twist!
Mecca returns to the penthouse to find Monet. She now knows that Dante is Mecca. Monet blames the hangar heist on Lorenzo and tells Dante that they need to kill him, then take off on that jet with the kids. Mecca asks Cane if he’s down — Cane says he’s in, and so is Mecca — I guess some of the Tejadas don’t believe in fighting fair.