Previously on Power Book II: Ghost, we learned that there is a power struggle going on within the Tejada family. Tasha thought she was ready to take the stand, but MacLean (Method Man) proved otherwise. Riq (Michael Rainey Jr.) is still struggling at Stansfield and decided in order to help his mother, he to make a deal with the devil, aka Monet (Mary J. Blige). Now it’s time for Riq to put his plan in motion.
Business Is Booming For Riq, Tasha Is Worried About Her Son
The episode opens with Riq getting a call from his new supplier Monet. The de facto head of the Tejada family breaks down the commandments when it comes to doing business with her before she sends Riq on his merry way. Following his phone conversation, we learn that he is about to meet with Stern, but not the Stern we immediately thought of. Turns out he has a meeting with Stern’s new HUSBAND… Sebastion Kamal-Stern (Abubakr Ali).
Just like his husband, Bash is very ambitious and also conniving. Riq is there to present his new idea about an app called Course Correct that he wants to help use it to provide tutoring to the students of Stansfield straight to their doors. Bash knows Riq has something else up his sleeve with this idea and wants in. Riq pitches him an opportunity he cannot refuse and offers him 5% of the gross revenue. In exchange, he doesn’t tell his racist boo about what is going on. Bash agrees.
After his meeting, Riq gets a phone call from his mother, and she is S T R E S S E D after she got that phone call from Lorenzo. She tells her son to get a gun to protect himself, but Riq explains that all avenues to acquire one are all gone. Tasha informs Riq about stash locations where his father and Tommy would hide pieces in stash boxes just in case they needed them later. Riq does eventually find that piece that will draw the attention of MacLean’s investigator, Paula.
Back to his plan, remember that app Course Correct? Well, Riq plans to use it to help sell drugs on the campus, and it works like a charm. Through it, students will be able to either get weed, uppers, or downers whenever they need. The money comes in quickly, and he and Brayden are swimming in the dough.
But the plan works too good, and they sell through their product quickly, and Brayden warns Riq that they can’t keep up with the demand. He also tells Riq that the comp on campus is not too happy about the fact he is losing out on business. Riq has a plan for that, of Course. While at a party, Riq tells the dealer that Brayden is the one selling drugs. The dealer approaches Brayden, and a fight breaks out between them. Riq’s plan works like a charm because the dealer gets thrown out of the school for putting hands on Brayden, who happens to be the son of the university’s biggest donors.
MacLean Has A New Plan To Help Tasha, Saxe Plays Dirty
MacLean is still hard at work trying to get Tasha out of jail and off the hook for the murder of her ex-husband. He gets a visit for Riq, who hits him off with payment. Riq is not too happy about the mock trial MacLean conducted with his mother. MacLean explains to him that he only did that to test Tasha, and she failed, and now they know not to put her on the stand.
Riq then pitches the idea that they should put him on the stand to vouch that his mother is not the kingpin. MacLean shoots that down, explaining that a jury would, without a doubt, believe he is lying just to save his mother. Instead, he explains to Riq his new plan is to shift the focus from Tasha to Saxe and expose his maleficence, and he will be recused from the case pushing it back to a local court and having it possibly being dismissed. Riq is down with the plan but warns MacLean not to miss when it comes to going after Saxe. After Riq leaves, Paula expresses her concerns about Riq and taking his money, being that they have no idea where it is coming from.
MacLean gets right back to work during a hearing with the judge calls Blanca Rodriguez back, but this time to testify against Saxe. Despite getting her to point out just how crooked he is, Saxe somehow manages to flip it around and makes it look like Blanca was just as thirsty to put James behind bars and was willing to bend the rules like he did to make that happen. While that was a victory for Saxe, MacLean manages to get a small win out of the situation because now the judge is curious about Councilman Tate’s (Larenz Tate) involvement after Blanca revealed that Saxe coerced him into lying on Ghost.
MacLean thinks this could be a great thing, but John Mak and the DNC are one step ahead of them. Tate meets up with Mak and the DNC rep to discuss the subpoena he was slapped with. Tate doesn’t want to do it, but Mak and the DNC rep was like, we don’t give a sh*t…literally and informs Tate that he will testify at the hearing and help make the case that Tasha is calling the shots and James was an upstanding citizen.
Despite pressure from MacLean, Tate does what he was instructed to do and defends James and very convincingly. MacLean calls Tate a “lying ass n*gga” before he leaves.
Now, remember that gun that Paula saw on Riq? She brings up the fact that she spotted it on Riq after some extramarital sex with her coworker MacLean. We should have known these two were sleeping with each other. During their boot smoking session, the wire payment she requested from Riq goes through, confirming her suspicions that money is coming from a shady LLC. BUT, they both had an epiphany as to how they can get Saxe after failing miserably with both Tate and Blanca.
That’s right, Tamieka! MacLean sends her a subpoena disguised as a floral delivery, and now she will have to come in testify against Saxe, and he won’t be able to flip the testimony in his favor like he did with Tate and Blanca.
Sticking with Saxe, he still has to make his case against Tasha and Riq and knows the only way he can do so is going back to his old playbook. The investigator he recruited to help him isn’t with it and warned him that he is only doing things by the book. An opportunity presents itself when Saxe’s niece is brought to his office after being arrested by the cops trying to buy weed. After going back and forth, Saxe makes her an offer and promises not to tell her parents that she got arrested if she goes to Stansfield and spy on Riq. She accepts her uncle’s request.
Monet Wants To Learn About Riq’s Operation, Drew Lives In His Truth
Monet runs a tight organization, and if you get outta line, her goon/son Cane will check you. We get an excellent example of that during a meeting between Monet, Lil Guap, and his GTG crew. She is not too thrilled because his social media antics have brought so much heat on the street, bringing unnecessary attention to her business. To punish them, they cut the GTG crew’s supply.
Lil Guap was not feeling that decision and while Monet and Cane were walking away, calls her a “punta.” Monet heard him and presses him to say again, but this time to her face. Before he gets the full word out, Cane begins to whoop his ass for disrespecting his mother. After the beatdown, Monet tells Cane she can always depend on him.
Back at the Tejada residence, Cane breaks down what happened at the meeting with GTG to Diana and Drew. Drew wonders who will replace them, and Monet walks in at that precise moment to tell them that they have a new business partner and it’s Riq.
Cane is not on board with the idea, but Monet explains that there is a lot of money to be made because of the wealthy white students at Stansfield. Monet asks her Drew what does he think, and he pretty much cosigns working with Riq. Diana suggests that they should go to the school to see what Rqi’s operation looks like. Monet agrees and sends Drew to check on her new business partner. Monet is still not feeling what Diana did reaching out to her dad behind her back, so she takes Diana’s other phone.
Drew wastes no time and pops up on Riq, who is surprised and not too thrilled to see him. Drew even accompanies Riq to his art class, and this is where we learn an interesting tidbit about Drew. Lorenzo’s choice to take over the business is gay, and he reveals that as he flirts with one of Riq’s male classmates, he is paired up with. Drew and the student who also happens to be on the basketball team head back to his dorm room for some extracurricular activities. The moment is interrupted when Riq blows up Drew’s phone. Drew decides to call Diana, but he doesn’t know that his mother took his sister’s phone. Monet gets Diana to answer Drew’s call to find out what’s going on. Drew has no idea he is on speakerphone and tells Diana he is not with Riq and that he needs her to bring a lot more product to the school.
Monet instructs Diana to head to the school. We all know Diana is down for that being that she wants to see Riq. The Tejada family is officially a mess.
When Drew returns home, Monet presses him for the money he collected from Riq. He tells her it’s in his bag. While taking the money out, Monet discovers the sketch of the gentleman Drew got intimate with at Stansfield. Monet tells her son that despite his dad thinking he is too soft to run the family business, she believes he is fully capable of doing the job. Monet wants him to be careful because everyone won’t come except him like family. Monet also is lying. She believes its Cane that should take over.
Riq Has Plenty of Options, Jabari and Milgram Are So Damn Toxic
Right off the bat, we knew we’re going to get some interesting love triangles in Power Book II: Ghost, especially with Riq. Both Diana and Lauren made it evident as hell they want Riq, and he clearly knows that. When Diana shows up to his dorm, she wastes no time making her move kissing Riq before their makeout session is interrupted by Drew. Diana also reveals that she doesn’t care what her momma has to say about Riq. She wants the boy.
Riq also finally gets his chance with Lauren as well. During class, Professor Milgram announces a new fellowship program that the Canonical Studies program offers students. Lauren seizes the moment to invite Professor Jabari to her parent’s house for dinner. Professor Jabari accepts the invite but insists that another professor be present for fairness, so Professor Milgram is also invited. Jabari also suggests that a fellow student be asked to come so it wouldn’t look fishy and Riq volunteers. Lauren warns him not to be late because her mother isn’t a fan of people being late.
Welp, Riq is late, of course, because of his earlier meeting with Diana and rushes to get to Lauren’s house. Once he finally gets there, he has already missed dinner but is right on time for dessert. Lauren’s parents are extremely bougie and try to play Riq, but the boy is witty and intelligent and manages to counter their hate. Meanwhile, the shade between Jabari and Milgram was on full display at the dinner table.
It got so bad that Lauren and Riq decide to excuse themselves. Once they are alone, the youngsters have that face-to-face conversation they needed to have. Lauren lets her intentions be known and finally kisses Riq. Once again, Riq’s makeout session is interrupted this time by a doorbell and Lauren’s mother telling her she has a visitor. When they get downstairs, it’s none other than Lauren’s boyfriend from Washington D.C., Malcolm, and she pretends to be thrilled to see him while also being embarrassed that Riq has found out he exists.
Riq plays it cool, kinda ignores her, but when they finally see each other is class again, they have a convo. Riq explains to her that he’s not mad. Lauren notices Diana blowing up his phone. He cooly tells Lauren like her, he has options, so he isn’t mad. Okay Riq, we see you.
Jabari and Milgram head back to his office and have another heated argument. Milgram reveals to Jabari that she knows he is sleeping with his students. The two exchange barbs back and forth, and once again, her urgers get the best of her, and she has sex with him once again.
We are already annoyed with these two, and also why don’t they have these sexual encounters in their homes, not at the school?
Tasha Gets An Unsettling Text Message
Tasha is already nervous as hell know that Riq is working for some shady ass individuals. She’s also well aware that someone is watching her, but she has no idea who it is. She thinks its the correction officer who has been bothering her since she arrived, but we know it’s not.
The episode comes to an end when she gets a text message containing a photo of Riq at school the Drew took with a haunting message stating that Riq is making good money and “earned another day about ground.” Looks like things will be intensely lit on next week’s mid-season finale.
Photo: Starz / Power Book II: Ghost