Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 3 Episode 3 Review: Open For Business

Spoilers

Ronnie is set to be a major problem.

Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 3 Episode 3 felt like another set-up hour, as we’re slowly getting into the meaty part of the season. New business opportunities are arising, the FEDs are upping the ante, and the family dynamics are floundering more than ever.

Things may be moving slower this season, but the series is still as engaging as ever.

One thing that feels different about Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 3 thus far is how fractured and separated things feel, even though it’s to be expected.

The core family unit of Raq, Kanan, Marvin, Lou-Lou, and Jukebox isn’t what it used to be, and it adds this interesting layer to the season now because everyone is genuinely off doing their own things independent of one another.

It’s not as if every storyline ever has involved the whole family working together like some Jamaica Queens Scooby gang, but it’s noticeable how separate things feel.

Take Lou-Lou, for example. He’s always had his own side thing going on, right? He had the studio, and he’s always been making music on the side, but he’s also always had a foot in Raq’s house.

Now that he’s sworn off Raq forever, it’s left him in this perpetual state of self-loathing, with Marvin there a little bit, but not really. So, now we’ve got Lou-Lou mostly off on his own, ambling around with little direction, and it’s difficult to see where this storyline is headed and why we’re to be invested right now.

But in saying that, this is Raising Kanan, which has proven time and time again to be one of the strongest dramas around. I’m trusting the process here because while things may be a little muddled currently, in an instant, all will make sense.

For Lou-Lou, he made a significant step forward when he apologized to Shirley and offered to help her with her club. Lou-Lou remains haunted by all the death and destruction that has been a part of his life, and music provides him with the direction he desperately needs.

We’ve never fully explored the Thomas siblings’ upbringings. Still, we can glean enough through direct confirmation and observation that Marvin and Lou-Lou needed guidance at a certain point in time, and Raq provided that for them.

And without Raq there in any capacity, we’re seeing Lou-Lou adrift, but pouring his energy into something positive could only be good for him.

Much like Raq’s insistence that she’s out of the game feels half-assed at best, there’s no way Lou-Lou doesn’t eventually find himself drug back into his dysfunctional family drama, but just getting some time to get his head back on straight is exactly what he needs right now.

All he’s done since being the leader of the hate Raq campaign is let people down. And that’s not Lou.

Speaking of letting people down, Lou-Lou’s failure to be there for Jukebox should have consequences, but his absence at her audition was hardly noticed when she had Marvin there, and she did what she always does: sing her heart out.

Seeing as we know how Jukebox’s story eventually ends, much like Kanan, there’s an extra buzz around her storylines because it fills in these puzzle pieces we never thought we’d get the answer to.

We see Jukebox sitting with that Army pamphlet, and it’s clear she’s at a bit of a crossroads. Music runs deep through the bones of that family, and even though Jukebox briefly chose to step away from it after a series of devastating losses, it’s still intrinsically part of her.

While her audition may have been short and sweet, it felt like she made an impression. And if a girl group is next on her journey, it’ll be fun to see how this experience shapes her future because it will.

Kanan’s journey is leading him toward his first solo business project, and it’s fascinating to see adult Kanan Stark jump out.

The weed delivery business feels antiquated in 2023, but back then, it would have been considered revolutionary. It’s why no one is ready to jump on board right away because it’s such an unknown.

No one knows whether it will work or how much heat it could bring them. They’ll have to take a risk, and while Kanan had a pretty good pitch, I couldn’t blame Famous for being less than enthused to jump into a risky business venture, especially when Raq was stopping by with endless cash.

Look, Famous does need to get up and do something. But the way Kanan forced him to be his righthand man basically against his will? There’s no way that doesn’t come back to hurt him someday.

Adult Kanan wasn’t exactly known for being a good friend or having significantly deep connections with others. But younger Kanan has had a lot of good friends, none better than Famous.

These two have been thick as thieves from the jump, but as Kanan morphs into a soulless young man, we may see the relationship with Famous become one of the first casualties of this change.

Kanan has always been ambitious, and I applaud him for trying to do something on his own without Raq’s help, but at the same time, why not use what Raq is giving you to help further your situation?

Turning down the car and slapping the money onto the ground as it burned you make for cool moments where you can act unbothered and better than your mother, but the smarter play would be to take what she’s giving you and turn it around to help build yourself up.

As long as she’s willing to buy his forgiveness with money and gifts, he should be taking it until she realizes it won’t work.

Raq’s at a weird place where, deep down, she has to know she’s lost Kanan, but she’s unwilling to confront her faults because she truly believes everything she’s doing is best for Kanan.

Being a parent is weird like that because you do so much to protect your children, but sometimes how you protect them means alienating them.

And with Raq, it’s not just that she continues to lie to him, but probably moreso everything that happened with Howard and feeling like so much of his life has been a lie.

How do you get past this? Should you get past that?

As long as Raising Kanan is on the air, we’ll probably deal with those questions. And whatever the answer, Raq will still try to protect her son.

We saw that during this hour when she asked around about him now that she knows the FEDs are lurking around the corner. And while keeping tabs on Kanan is essential for various reasons, she has yet to learn there’s a potentially bigger threat than the FBI taking pictures of her on the sidewalk.

As previously mentioned, Ronnie Mathis will be a problem.

This was the hour we started to see what Ronnie was capable of and, more importantly, what he was thinking.

He’s not a man who takes disrespect lightly and is clearly patient, but only to a point. He’s not too afraid about getting sent right back to prison since we see him beating people down and stealing money and cars like it’s no big thing.

He and Unique have a fascinating dynamic because they’re so different, and it feels like Ronnie is defaulting to Unique only because he needs to catch his bearings first. He’s been out of the game for a minute, and he needs to see the whole board before he makes any moves.

The brothers don’t fully trust one another. Hell, it’s hard to tell if they even like one another, but they’re also brothers. There’s a reason Ronnie went straight to Unique’s when he got out, and there’s a reason Unique hasn’t kicked him to the curb even though he clearly makes everyone around him uncomfortable.

Unique: Like I said before, Ronnie, I’m still getting some shit together right now. It’s gonna take a little minute.
Ronnie: While you take your minute, Raq eating our fucking lunch.

Ronnie’s still stuck in the past, to the point where he sees Raq as his biggest opp, which couldn’t be further from the truth, though Ronnie didn’t know that.

Perhaps the biggest thing I learned about Ronnie here was that he’s thinking, thinking. He’s reactionary, we saw that during the beating, but he’s also methodical.

He knows about Unique and Raq now, but he doesn’t bust into Raq’s house to get rid of her like he’s wanted to do all along.

No, instead, he goes to see Kanan. He goes to look after the person who means most to Raq.

He’s playing chess, not checkers. But when will everyone else realize they’re a piece on his board?

Everything Else You Need To Know

  • It took me a while to remember who Gerald was and why he’d call Marvin for help. But this was just another notch on the Marvin redemption tour that’s working because it doesn’t feel forced. It feels like Marvin cares to each day be better than the day before.
  • I’m officially a Unique and Raq stan, okay! They always had chemistry, but their little talks are sweet and get each other on a different level. And right now, neither one is playing the other. You can’t help but think it’s cute.
  • Famous was annoying, but he did not deserve to get slapped up like that!
  • Howard is SO good at what he does. He seemed to genuinely get Adina on board with dropping the investigation into Burke with some solid lip service. It’s no wonder he’s gotten away with all his crap over the years.
  • I look forward to seeing Unique and Quân working together because their first interaction was GOLD.
  • I’ll be curious to see what happens with Stefano now that he knows how closely the FEDs are watching him.

They say time flies when you’re having fun, and time is flying right now!

As always, there’s a lot to talk about after this one, so drop your comments down below and let me know what you thought about the hour and where things may be headed next! 

Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on X.

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