Will Raq ever be able to get out?
That seems to be a question we’ll be asking ourselves all season long because if Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 3 Episode 2 taught us anything, it’s that she’s not entirely out yet.
And as long as she’s got enemies, she’ll always be a part of the game.
I love a little time jump and after the decision to have Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 3 Episode 1 pick up right after the events of the previous finale, a two-week jump allows everything to settle and us to get a real sense of where the characters are at this season.
Raq and Unique were still hooking up, and I know there was much debate about this after the premiere, but right now, it feels like two adults having fun more than anything else.
Raq and Unique have a history of being adversaries, sure, but what they’re doing has nothing to do with business. No one is trying to trick the other or creep into their heart just to stab them in the back.
There’s nothing for either of them to take from the other—at least not right this instance.
We saw Raw have her domestic moments with Symphony in the past, but I’m not sure we’ve ever seen her look quite as peaceful as when she was eating ice cream with Unique. There’s such great tension and chemistry between the two that really come out when they get quiet moments just to exist.
But even if I’ve decided that Raq and Unique aren’t currently playing each other, I’ve still got one eye looking sideways at Unique because of his relationship with Pernessa. He’s obviously trying to have his cake and eat it, too, which will come back to bite him eventually.
It always does.
But anyway, Raq and Unique getting snatched up by Stefano’s men meant Raq getting an ultimatum that ensured she’d have to do his dirty work.
It’s funny seeing Raq proclaim she’s out to people and expect little pushback. She got lucky with Joaquin being on the opposite side of Juliana, but Stefano was quick to tell her that if she didn’t help him, he had no qualms about helping someone else take her out just because.
Raq: So you want me to kill Sal cause you and your goobers, you’re too shook to handle your own business?
Stefano: You want him dead, too. We’re on the same team here.
Stefano’s an intriguing villain because he does seem to be about business first and foremost, as well as keeping the heat off him. He’s smart, and he’s calculating. And he wanted to get Boselli out of the way before there was a chance for him to cause more damage.
Raq will get her hands dirty when needed, but a job like taking out a mob boss would require both inside knowledge and a plan.
Marvin being Raq’s go-to now is so fascinating, especially as he sits between Raq and Lou-Lou.
Of all the characters in the series to this point, Marvin has had the most impactful growth journey thus far. And perhaps one of the greatest things he’s ever done, albeit by force, was attend those anger management classes because he actually took a lot away from them.
He’s a calmer man now and much more methodical in his approach. And probably most important of all, he tries.
He listens when people speak, thinks about things, and doesn’t immediately jump to an ugly and vile place he can’t return from. With Lou-Lou, he lets him feel what he’s feeling toward Raq, and he doesn’t pick a side.
Lou-Lou is deadset on drinking himself silly to mask his pain about the fractured relationship with his sister, dissolution of his business, loss of a romantic relationship, and general disdain about his current life.
Would it be nice for Marvin to step in more? Sure, but there’s also so much he can do right now when Lou-Lou is so set in his ways.
Marvin not having his brother to help him with anything related to Raq means he’s needed someone else to have his back, and DeMo has been that person.
The whole set-up to kill Boselli should not have worked in all reality. Marvin getting up that close to pull the trigger and still getting away was pretty fantastical, but it was a thrilling scene nonetheless.
Taking on the mailman garb was just about the only way for Marvin to get that close to everyone in broad daylight, and it worked out for the best. But now that Stefano got what he wanted, does anyone believe he’ll be content to let bygones be bygones with Raq?
Perhaps he will, but the way his first question to Unique when he came by for that chat was to ask him if Raq was really out pretty much tells you he both doesn’t believe she can stay out, nor does he necessarily want her out.
Props to Unique for turning a negative into a positive by being at the wrong place at the wrong time when he was scooped up alongside Raq and then using it to try to team up with Stefano.
Again, Stefano seems to be a man about business, and even with him and Unique getting off to a rocky start, he didn’t just shoot down his idea to team up. And it’ll be exciting to see if Unique can create an opportunity for himself with the mafia.
It’ll also be interesting to see how Ronnie fits into all this.
They are taking their time with Ronnie and bringing him into the larger picture. Right now, he’s just a menacing figure that slurps his cereal, irons his clothes, and scares the crap out of Pernessa.
The slow build with Ronnie is working right now, but they must be careful about letting it last too long. There’s a massive disconnect between Ronnie and Unique, but there’s too much of a power imbalance right now for a rivalry between them to make an impact.
I wish we knew more about Ronnie before his prison stint because he seemingly has no one else in his life outside of Unique. And yes, he seems scary and like someone you don’t want to mess with, but we don’t know much else.
They’re setting him up to get revenge on that doorman who disrespected him, but continuing to showcase his instability and intimidating nature doesn’t help us see him as a viable adversary because he can’t go up against anyone if he’s all alone.
Unique seems to want to protect him, but he also appears extremely wary of him.
There’s a lot of story to mine here, and of all the various threads currently being woven, this may be the most appealing of all.
It’s a testament to the series as a whole and how engrossing this hour was that we’ve made it this far in the review and haven’t even touched upon Malcolm Howard yet.
Fresh off cold-blooded murder, disguised as a suicide, Howard put on quite the mask as he slipped into grieving ex-partner to give a pretty damn good speech at Burke’s funeral.
Everything he said for the most part about Burke was valid because it really was her pursuit of not just justice but proving that she was worthy of putting on the shield that aided in her losing her life.
It’s wild how unwilling anyone is to even consider for a second that Burke may have been telling the truth. Baptiste wouldn’t even let Adina say more than ‘thank you for meeting with me’ before he shut her completely down.
Howard can’t possibly get away with killing Adina, so what will he do if she doesn’t give up?
Adina won’t be the only thing Howard has to worry about, as a task force is setting up shop in the precinct. And they’ve got a mole somewhere close to the action.
I’ve said it once, and I’ll repeat it: Power series LOVE a task force. And Power Book III: Raising Kanan has been without one, so they were well overdue.
On the one hand, a task force is bad news all around for Howard because of his connections to Raq and Kanan, but on the other side, having them in the same building could provide him with opportunities to get intel and maybe even steer the operation away from places he doesn’t want it to go.
Just like Raq, we know Howard will get his hands dirty when he needs to, and he’ll need to because Boselli’s murder will only push the FEDs even more and inevitably point them toward Raq.
Everybody got they hustle, Fame. We just got to find ours.
Elsewhere during this busy hour, Kanan was looking for the next hustle, and we’re starting to see those Kanan skills emerge.
He’s always been rather perceptive, and instead of just jumping into some money when Paul offered him a courier job, he thought bigger. He asked questions, gathered information, and then found a way to parlay this knowledge into action.
Seeing Kanan become Kanan is so great, even if adult Kanan Stark is the worst. He and Famous are struggling, and even though they need money desperately, Kanan is still thinking five steps ahead.
A quick buck is one thing, sometimes needed, but setting yourself up for future and long-term success? Well, one might say that’s very Raq of him.
A marijuana delivery system could work, and it’s an excellent starting place for Kanan. If he can find a way to expand that beyond weed, he could quickly become a significant player in the streets.
And look out for what happens the further away Kanan gets from needing Raq.
Their fragile relationship is already teetering awfully close to the edge, and Kanan finding his own game may be the final push that separates them forever.
Everything Else You Need To Know
- The Boselli baptism scene and the subsequent shootout gave Godfather vibes.
- Nicole’s father continuing to look out for Jukebox has no business being as sweet as it is.
- Jukebox giving up music makes sense on the surface because she was starting to associate it with so much pain. But we didn’t see her waffling with the decision all that much before she showed up at Lou-Lou’s and seemingly changed her mind.
- Lou-Lou apologizing to Jukebox was necessary, and I’m happy he did it. It’s also nice to see everyone offer her sincere condolences about Kenya.
- All the different names Stefano came up with for Unique were crazy! The best one had to be ubiquitous.
- Raq needs to think bigger than trying to buy Kanan’s affection. It’s obvious he wants her to be completely vulnerable with him, but he also doesn’t see her side of things as the adult in the situation. She thinks she’s protecting him.
- Marvin starting his little side hustle could be good. Hopefully, he gets DeMo on board because they make a damn good team.
Another compelling hour in the book, and much to ponder as we progress. A fast start can only mean good things for this season.
Drop into the comments and let me know what you thought about the hour! Don’t be shy, people. There’s so much to discuss!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on X.