What a delicious mess we find ourselves in.
One thing the original Power and all the spinoffs have mastered is the ability to utilize every single minute of an episode. They don’t waste time. The plot goes and goes, and you must keep the hell up.
Power Book II: Ghost Season 2 Episode 5 was jam-packed from beginning to end. And it was a perfect little midseason treat.
Tariq always has his hands in a little bit of everything, and that’s what the main character is supposed to do. But he’s been more than preoccupied with trying to get custody of Yas, which on the surface is ridiculous.
He’s a child himself, living in a dorm room, and he has no business being anyone’s guardian. But Yas is literally the last link he has to his family.
Ghost often preached about doing whatever he had to do to protect his family, no matter at what cost. And by seeking custody, Tariq was trying to not only safeguard Yas but also trying to keep that last remaining link from his childhood intact.
It’s noble, if not naïve, and you can’t knock his passion. He poured himself into doing whatever he could to get to that hearing and to come out with custody of his baby sister.
He would have sold his soul to the devil. And he kind of did when he bargained with Monet.
Cocky as ever, Tariq was more than happy to sell each Tejada down the river, and it wasn’t even a surprise that the judge was sympathetic to his cause because Tariq is one hell of an actor. Ghost blessed Tariq with his ability to think quickly on his feet and charm most things with legs.
And in that moment, he won. But unbeknownst to him, his downfall was right around the corner.
Seeing Tariq put in handcuffs shouldn’t have been as surprising as it was. I mean, thinking back to ALL the things Tariq has gotten away with, if you believe in karma even a little, then you had to know that eventually, his crimes would catch up to him.
Every dog has its day. And Tariq has had a lot of them.
But much like Ghost’s arrest on the parent series, it’s hard to see right now where the path forward is going to be for Tariq to beat the charges.
Ghost was on trial for a crime he didn’t even commit, and it still looked bleak.
Speaking of Ghost, did he have to leave that note? Even in death, Ghost had to get in one more dig at his son, who he warned over and over again was going to waste his future chasing after the lifestyle he so desperately coveted.
Even if this doesn’t fully destroy Tariq’s life and he manages to get Davis and Saxe or whomever to fight on his behalf, his life will be irrevocably changed like Ghost’s was. Priorities will skew, and loyalties will be tested.
You can’t have one hand in and one hand out when you’re in a business as dangerous as drugs. Liars surrounded him, and he had no idea because he wasn’t focused.
Lauren was playing her role to perfection, being the dutiful girlfriend while somewhat unknowingly helping to bring him down thanks to an assist from Carrie.
And if Brayden had spoken up one time about his budding friendship with Cane, perhaps Tariq could have started to piece some things together because that’s a bizarre dynamic to appear out of thin air.
What’s next for Tariq is a lot of self-reflection. Assuming he eventually gets off, he needs to figure out what he wants and commit to it. If he wants that life, then that’s his focus and priority. If he learned ANYTHING from Ghost, it’s that he was never able to adequately be both a family man and a part of the business.
He is alone, just like Ghost predicted because he followed the Ghost blueprint. He spread himself too thin and got way too arrogant.
Struggles with family and the life were kind of the basis of the hour, with Monet also trying to pit people against each other and gain some semblance of control back once Zeke was free of the murder allegations.
The problem within the Tejada family is that everything is tangled up together. They don’t have traditional relationships because their whole lives are with each other. They all live under that same roof, eating together, working together, and lying to each other.
At some point in the past, Monet changed from being their mother to being their boss, and the scales seemed to have never tipped back.
Cane is so many unflattering things and incredibly impulsive, but he also is a child desperately looking for his mother’s love and approval. When you boil them down to their most basic parts, his problems with Tariq are just a symptom of jealousy.
How often does he speak about Tariq not getting the same anger that Cane gets for basically doing the same thing he did?
Monet: I do whatever I fucking need to do to make sure this family and this business don’t fall.
Cane: But that’s the fucking problem. It’s always family and fucking business. What am I to you, huh? Your soldier or your fucking son?
Monet: You’re both.
Cane: Then what kind of fucking mother does that make you?
Cane wasn’t wrong to call Monet out on her behavior because she is a significant reason why they’re in the position they’re in. She doesn’t treat her kids like her kids. And it’s caused them to shrink away from her, losing all the power she once had over them.
Mecca’s offer of a do-over essentially was enticing because at the rate things were going, everything was bound to collapse. And Monet knew that, so whether or not it was what she wanted completely, she had to make a move.
Whether or not the kids would be receptive is another story entirely and not something we’ll probably get to see because life just got a lot more complicated for Monet with Lorenzo’s return to the Tejada household.
Talk about an awkward family reunion. And everyone knew it but Lorenzo, who was just as happy as can be.
We don’t know enough about Lorenzo to know how he’s going to play things, but my gut tells me he’s going to be looking to step right back into his role as head of the household and what that means for Monet is unclear.
And what that means for Monet and Mecca is even murkier.
Mecca is just straight-up scary.
Power loves a soulless villain without depth. And Mecca sort of fits that mold but not entirely. His feelings for Monet, which feel real, do makes things more complicated. And the show is also doing an excellent job of keeping his real agenda and motivations hidden from us.
There is something bigger at play here that makes him a far more compelling bad guy than, say, Lobos or the Jimenez’s were on the original.
Love triangles are tired and stale, but if we have to have them, make it as dirty as possible. And that’s precisely what’s about to happen with Monet/Mecca/Lorenzo because, for starters, we don’t even know how much Monet likes either one.
All of these dynamics are enveloped in power struggles, and it’s going to be fascinating seeing how Monet navigates her personal life moving forward.
With half the season already in our rearview, we head towards what should be a rather tantalizing closing half. Everything is pretty much in freefall right now, and with Tariq behind bars, will everything continue to fall apart?
Everything Else You Need To Know
- I don’t know what kinds of skeletons Davis has in his closet, but it’s not a shock that he does.
- Tariq walking through campus in handcuffs was such a powerful moment for the young series, especially seeing the faces of his classmates and even Tate. It wasn’t even like Tate was gleeful or anything, but his face gave ‘that looks about right’ vibes.
- Kamaal is a very good detective, but I do wonder if Tariq will be able to twist Rashad’s arm in some way to get his help against his brother. Because much like Whitman was laser-focused on Zeke, Kamaal has his sights set on Tariq.
- Nuff probably did talk too much, but what a terrible way to go.
- Carrie was always complicated, but she’s got a straight evil strike in her, huh? It was nothing for her to lie and manipulate Lauren to get what she needed.
We’ve got some time now to sit with what we know and anticipate what’s to come. With where things currently stand, the end of the season should be nuts, with literally everyone being affected by the events of this single hour.
Let me know what you think about where we’re at and what you hope to see when the show returns!
Were you surprised Tariq was arrested?
Is there anyone Tariq can trust?
Was Cane right to confront Monet?
After you drop your comments down below, watch Power Book II: Ghost online so you’re caught up and ready to chat!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.