Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 3 Episode 5 Review: Brothers and Keepers

Spoilers

It’s so hard…to say goodbye…to yesterday.

When the next hour begins at a grave site with the Boyz 2 Men version playing and Raq silently wiping away a tear as she looks on at the service from afar, dreaming about another life and how things could have been.

Okay, I’m not actually sure if that song was a thing during this time period of the series, but the bottom line is the end of Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 3 Episode 5 was as game-changer as big as any we’ve seen across the Power Universe, as we say goodbye to an OG.

Can you believe it’s already midseason? There’s something about a Power series that means it has to fly by, and this season certainly is.

While it’s been a little slow at times, it’s also clearly been building to something.

Kanan’s ascension into supervillain has been slow-going, and that’s precisely the way it should be. We already know where he’s going, so the fun part here is watching him get there.

It’s nice that Kanan hasn’t slowed down his hustle even after getting schlepped out to the suburbs with Raq. And while he’s never exactly been one to play by the rules, one would think the legal consequences might have him tampering things down.

But no, he’s still working, spending time on the streets and ignoring Raq at every turn.

Raq wanted Kanan back under her roof, but it’s becoming increasingly clear she didn’t think everything through. She seemed to underestimate just how hard-headed Kanan could be, and now she’s seeing that the control she fought to get back isn’t really there.

Kanan is working to make something of himself away from his mother, but pushing Famous away feels like our first real taste of how Kanan will eventually come to treat those around him.

Kanan seems to forget he was the one who basically forced Famous to work with him, and now that Famous isn’t working to his standards, he’s treating him very nastily.

Famous is a lot of things, lazy and unfocused being a few things, but at his core, he was a decent friend. At least he was to Kanan, but apparently, none of that matters now, as the business has become more important than a lifelong friendship.

Adult Kanan Stark didn’t care about anyone but himself, and I don’t want to hear that he cared about Tariq because all he did was manipulate him and put him in danger time after time. He tried to pit him against Ghost for selfish reasons.

That’s not caring about somebody.

As a child, Kanan’s surrounded by the life, yes, which includes drugs, violence, and death, but there was love there, too. For as dysfunctional as they were, Kanan was loved by his uncles and his cousin, and even Raq in her warped way.

Hell, even Howard has been showing him he’s willing to help if he can. No one is leaving Kanan out to dry, but we’re seeing Kanan so singularly focused on his business that it’s affecting his relationships, starting with Famous.

And I have a feeling there will be some issues with Kanan pursuing Iesha.

Have you ever seen Jukebox happier than she’s been since joining Butta? She has an almost permanent smile on her face, and it’s so nice to see her feel confident in her own skin.

Jukebox has always been unsure of herself, and it’s not like that’s suddenly gone away, but you can see that when she’s told about her talents, she’s starting to believe it more. She’s slowly gaining that confidence, and Iesha seems to be the perfect person she needs in that group to connect to.

There seemed to be a moment between the two on the sidewalk where they vibed. Even Marvin could see that, but Jukebox gave her blessing to Kanan to chat up Iesha, and I just have a feeling it will end badly somehow.

It feels like when we reach the end of Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 3, Kanan will have burned many bridges, and we’ll see him take that turn.

Kanan inadvertently disrupting the best thing in Jukebox’s life? That could certainly be why future Jukebox isn’t headlining at Madison Square Garden and instead living a much different life.

Side note: when things for Jukebox inevitably break down, it will hurt like hell if she and Marvin’s newfound bond and understanding suffers as well.

Marvin continues to show what it means to reframe your thinking and make changes for the better. The whole notion that no one can change is crap. As is never giving anyone the chance to prove they can change.

Sometimes, it doesn’t work out, but what if it does? What if someone actually takes the time to do better and be better?

Everything about Marvin teasing Jukebox when she got in the car was priceless and felt completely authentic. Marvin messed up a lot in the past, but he’s trying to improve, and Jukebox is far from dumb.

She wouldn’t be as accepting of Marvin now if she didn’t truly feel it came from a genuine place.

And Marvin hasn’t just stopped with Jukebox. He’s also slyly trying to spread his positive attitude to Raq and Lou-Lou, who are both as stubborn as hell.

Raq and Lou-Lou have been wholly separated this season, which has felt super bizarre because, by history, their stories have always been so interconnected.

But Lou-Lou has needed this time away to find something for himself and found it at Café Vous.

Let’s call a spade a spade here; this storyline is not the most interesting. I’m all about Lou-Lou’s search for meaning and further ingraining himself in the music arena, which is the one thing that seems to bring him true happiness.

But I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss seeing the Thomas family together.

Though, as we head into the back half of the season, if there were ever a time for the family to come together against a common enemy, now could be the time.

Because Ronnie has to go.

Ronnie has gone from zero to a hundred over the last three hours, as his quest to catch people in a lie and find work has meant doing whatever he wants to reach his goal.

On the one hand, I understand why Ronnie has been unwilling to take everyone’s word on everything. He was away for a while, and he’s returning to what feels like a whole new world.

Imma tell you one last time, Ronnie. Raq out the game. She ain’t involved here. It’s just us, man! Lane wide fucking open!

Unique

In his mind, Unique lost something he built, and on top of that, he’s now chummy with someone who was before a mortal enemy. It’s confusing to him, and that’s all understandable. But what’s not understandable is his unwillingness to trust his brother even a little bit.

He’s been pushing back against Unique from the start, and nothing we’ve learned about their dynamic suggests Unique was someone Ronnie couldn’t trust in the past. And he’s been honest with Ronnie now.

He’s not lying to him about Raq being out of the game, and he’s not lying to him about the new business opportunity. All signs point to Unique actually wanting to help Ronnie, but Ronnie doesn’t want to believe it.

During Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 1, Unique was presented as the primary antagonist, and it’s a role he played well. I’d honestly half-forgotten some of the things that happened between him and Raq until Pernessa threw them in his face during their argument.

In many ways, Unique’s lucky he made it as long as he did. Though, being taken out by his brother can’t be how he thought things would go.

One thing about Unique is he’s always been smart. He knew Ronnie killed Deen, and he started to understand that he wasn’t going to be someone he could easily contain, but killing him wasn’t an option. Otherwise, he would have never turned his back on him.

It’s interesting because Ronnie killing Unique did feel like it was spur of the moment, especially considering his earlier talk with Juliana, who said Unique has to go without saying it.

In that conversation, Ronnie seemed to have Unique’s back. He was willing to separate himself from Unique, so long as it got him work, but his reiterating that Unique wasn’t going anywhere felt like his way of saying, ‘I’m not him, but that’s still my brother.’

But all logic gets thrown out the window with Ronnie the minute he feels disrespected. Unique trying to put him in his place was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and Ronnie just snapped.

Unique wasn’t a good person per se, but on this show, who is?

But even having said that, he was an integral part of the story, and his relationship with Raq was such a special thing for both characters in the way it helped humanize them and shade in their identities outside criminal masterminds.

The Power Universe has NEVER shied away from main character deaths. We already had one earlier with Shannon Burke. But this one feels even more significant, especially in how it catapults Ronnie into super-villainy.

There is nothing Ronnie won’t do to reclaim what he feels is rightfully his, and that means EVERYONE should be scared.

Everything Else You Need To Know

  • Howard trying to get cute by having Demo talk to the task force only backfired when they decided to look deeper into Raq. She may be off the hook for now, but we haven’t seen the end of that investigation.
  • Is the mafia angle over this season already? Stefano was MIA, and they haven’t done much with that whole thing since Marvin killed Boselli.
  • Famous keeps putting out banger after banger. Café Vous was feeling his latest song!
  • Pernessa may end up being a wildcard in the fallout from Unique’s death because what if she blames Raq? She and her son will be all on their own, and what if she takes things she knows to the police or someone else in hopes of avenging Unique or getting a payday?
  • The way Ronnie crept up on Kanan was so odd. I keep waiting for Kanan to tell someone that Ronnie is watching him, but he’s apparently unbothered.
  • Raq and Unique as adversaries was cool, but we were robbed of seeing them as partners. Not enough time was dedicated to that chemistry!

If you said you saw Unique’s death coming, I won’t believe you! I kid, but the chessboard has been completely altered with Unique gone, and there’s no telling how things will play out now.

Do me a favor and drop all your thoughts below so we can discuss everything about this wild hour!  

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

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