If you are new to the Power universe, there’s a lot of catching up to do. For now, let’s get to the basics. James “Ghost” St. Patrick is dead, and in Power Book II, his college-aged son Tariq St. Patrick is the star of this new universe. In season one, we watched Tariq navigate life as a fatherless college student-slash-drug dealer whose sole focus is to get his mother, who has been convicted of killing his father, out of prison. He knows that she’s innocent because he is the one responsible for taking his father’s life. Tariq’s book smarts coupled with his street smarts allow him to survive crooked fame-seeking attorneys (Davis Maclean and Cooper Saxe), nosy nieces (Saxe’s niece), the infamous Tejada family (Aunty Monet and her crazy-ass son Cane), and overbearing professors who are complicit in exploiting Black youth (Professor Jabari Reynolds).
At the end of season one, Tariq’s mother, Tasha, names Ghost’s childhood best friend turned enemy Tommy Eagan as the head of their drug operation. She is released from prison but forced into witness protection. Eagan returned to New York seeking revenge against her and Tariq. Tariq concocts a plan that allows his “Uncle Tommy” to fake his death to spare his and his mother’s lives. Monet saves Tariq’s life (Tommy was about to kill him), and Tariq takes another life — he kills his college professor. Professor Reynolds knew too much and planned to write a book based on Tariq’s unique life circumstances.
So boom! Season two opens up with a frantic Tariq waking up during a dream about the final moments of Professor Reynolds and his father’s life, which keep replaying in his head. The introduction makes it clear that Tariq is suffering from some form of PTSD. On a family hunting trip with his best friend and former roommate Brayden Weston, Tariq cannot take the final kill shot of a deer. Apparently, for the Westons, taking the kill shot is a privilege not everyone can experience. But for Tariq, as he stares at the wounded deer, the images of Professor Reynolds begging for his life paralyzes him.
Tariq is not the only one who is suffering from PTSD. Monet is on edge. She is triggered by any sudden sounds or movements, and enters rooms or opens her front door with her gun cocked. When we last saw Monet, her bar had been shot up by her former connect Rico Barnes. Her son Dru, who has zero desire to be involved in criminal activity, was wounded in the process. Monet feels guilty for failing to protect Dru, and she’s aware that the game is changing. In Monet’s eyes, the best thing for her family would be to find a hustle that would keep her and her children alive and out of jail. This is where Zeke becomes a central figure in Monet’s story line. Zeke is a star basketball player at Stansfield who has hopes of making it to the NBA. His family, particularly his Aunt Monet, is determined to see this vision manifest in real life. If Zeke goes to the NBA and makes millions, the Tejadas no longer have to be caught up in the drug game. Physically, though, Zeke is not quite prepared to enter into the draft this year. Because of their current circumstances, Monet overlooks that vital fact and pushes a reluctant Zeke. Since things rarely happen as fictional characters imagine they will, we can assume that Zeke is either going to get hurt or not be chosen in the draft.
Season two doubles down on Monet’s persona as a cutthroat, overbearing mom who likes to make choices for others without considering how those choices will affect them. For example, last season, Monet chose to ignore her older son Cane’s call, and as a result, he couldn’t warn her about Rico’s plan to attack. In the premiere episode of season two, Cane shows up at his mother’s house to offer valuable information — he potentially has access to a new connect. Monet arrives at the door with her gun drawn and walks away after seeing Cane. Because drug dealers are controlling, a little crazy, and don’t trust easily, the connect followed Cane. He saw the entire exchange and is now aware there is strife within the Tejada family (not good). Monet’s other children, Dru and Diana, decide they want independence from Monet by the end of the episode.
On campus, word eventually gets out about Professor Reynolds’s murder. His colleague and former lover Caridad “Carrie” Milgram is called to identify his body by Detective Kevin Whitman. Carrie is all over the place. She apparently also used to date Whitman, and it was a calculated move on his part to see if Carrie had anything to do with Reynolds’s death (she didn’t). But she is still sleeping with Zeke. Yup, Monet Tejada’s nephew Zeke, the star player on the Stansfield basketball team. Remembering how afraid Monet made her last season, Carrie asks Zeke if his aunt had anything to do with Reynolds’s murder. Zeke presses his aunt, who vehemently denies any involvement (she’s telling the truth).
Tariq has difficulty visibly showing emotion about Reynolds’s death like the other students on campus. Of course, part of that is because he killed the professor. But also at point in his life, after countless losses and trauma, he is emotionally unavailable even to himself. Tariq is concerned with making sure it doesn’t get out that he and Cane are connected to killing the professor. They plan to frame officer Ramirez, which could work because his gun was used in the murder, but Tariq, eager to connect with his mother, answers Detective Whitman’s call to the burner phone, ultimately blowing up his (and Cane’s) spot. He also lies to Monet when she asks if he knows anything about the professor’s murder. Tariq is well aware of what could happen if Monet finds out you lied to her — and she always seems to find out.
So now, not only does Tariq have to pray that Monet does not find out about his lie or his involvement, but the police know professor Reynold’s murderer, or at least the last person who made contact with him, is still on the Stansfield campus. The gag is, Tariq never made contact with his mother, and her absence is seemingly affecting her mother. The youngest of the St. Patricks, Yaz, almost burns the house down attempting to cook breakfast for her grandma. She tells Tariq that their Big Momma is getting worse. He knows that he needs to come up with a plan to make sure that Yaz is good. Hopefully, Tariq won’t need to rely on Davis Maclean to get him out of the potential trouble with Whitman. Maclean has partnered with none other than Cooper Saxe, the former crooked FBI agent turned district attorney. The two bond over their desire for money and fame. We find out that Maclean intends to use Saxe to help get his brother out of prison. How?? We don’t know yet. What we do know is this odd pairing is bound to cause harm this season.
Despite Monet and Tariq both suffering from PTSD and having to literally blow out fires, the two share a small win. Monet retrieved the product from her new connect and was able to get it in Tariq’s hands by hiding the drugs in designer shopping bags. Tariq relies on Brayden to transport the drugs safely to campus. Being involved again in the drug game with Tariq is exciting for Brayden. He desperately wants to disassociate himself from the Weston name, but his father expects him to follow all Weston traditions, no matter how misogynistic or racist they may be.
This premiere episode leaves us with many questions that will hopefully be answered throughout the season. For starters, how much will detective Whitman find out? He appears to be a follow-the-rules kind of guy. Will he continue to pressure Carrie cause he is salty about how their relationship ended? Will Monet find out that Tariq lied to her? Will Zeke do well this basketball season? Will he get injured or go to the NBA? Will Tariq ever get to connect with his mom? What the hell will Maclean and Saxe be up to? What’s going to happen to Big Momma and Yaz? Now that Dru and Diana want their independence, how the hell is that going to fly over with Monet? Stay tuned. This ride will for sure be bumpy.