It smells like a war is coming.
The rift between Unique and Raq has been brewing, and while they’ve been able to come to agreements in the past, it feels like after the events of Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 1 Episode 3, there will be no more niceties between the two.
The southside isn’t going to be big enough for both these giants to co-exist.
Raq is as dangerous as they come. To underestimate her is to find yourself in an awful spot because she is constantly thinking two steps ahead. Plus, she’s the kind of person to order a hit on your child who would then sit and say a prayer with you while you cry on her shoulder.
She’s as cold-blooded as they come.
Once her corners got hit, there was no way she would sit idly by and let everything she worked for go up in smoke. No, she had a plan, and she executed it flawlessly.
Every cop and criminal in this city knows that Malcolm Howard holds it the fuck down. Motherfuckers respect me! They fear me. I’m the motherfucking reckoning. That’s who I am. Question is; who the fuck are you?
Malcolm [to Burke]
Malcolm can go on as many diatribes as he wants about how influential he is and how much he’s respected in the streets, but at the end of the day, he’s kind of a snake. He sort of pledged loyalty to Unique, but when push came to shove, there was no loyalty when his job, and subsequently, his reputation was on the line.
His cancer diagnosis was brutal, as was his nonchalance about it.
One thing Power has always done incredibly well is shading in their characters to the point where the people you feel like you’re supposed to hate or be annoyed with are put on a completely muddled canvas. Many characters don’t firmly fit into either the “good” or the “bad” column.
They straddle that middle line, and Malcolm feels like that kind of person. On the surface, he’s dirty. But we’re also just scratching the surface on who the real Malcolm Howard is. Under the big persona and loud words, there’s a man underneath that feels anything but the big bad wolf of the southside streets.
It’s pretty apparent he and Raq don’t get along, and they probably never have for obvious reasons. But Malcolm was the play, and Raq used him to make her move.
Cutting off Unique’s supply accomplished a few things. It cleared his corners for starters, meaning all his regulars will need a new place to buy. But probably more importantly, it’s going to scare Deen, who was ready to pull the plug on Raw for a much more minor infraction.
Unique isn’t dumb, and he’s going to come back with a vengeance, but then again, Raq isn’t dumb either. One has to think she’ll be expecting retaliation and a big move, but at what cost?
She’s still keeping Kanan out of the game, but you can see Kanan’s patience thinning with each passing day. But much like his mother, Kanan is intelligent. And if Raq won’t let him in, then he’s got to find someone who will.
Cue Uncle Marvin, who is very much on the outside looking in. He has zero ideas what’s going on with Jukebox, and while it seems that Raq trusts him, she also keeps him at arm’s length.
Marvin appears to have a good heart, but he’s a little more reckless and less refined than a Lou-Lou, who soldiers on and does what’s asked of him in a much more lowkey manner. And Raq is nothing if not lowkey in the way she handles her business.
Loud and boisterous behavior calls attention. And that could be a number one reason why Marvin is a little bit on the outs.
Kanan was probably overselling himself as the Raq whisperer, but he was correct in the fact that their bond is tight, and Raq will at least entertain what he has to say. And that’s probably better than if Marvin had gone to her himself.
But does anyone think that Raq isn’t going to find out that not only is Kanan is dealing, but his supplier is none other than her own brother? Godspeed to both Marvin and Kanan when Raq gets wind of that arrangement.
Watching Kanan make his first sale is a trip because it’s so unlike the adult Kanan. And it goes beyond just the fact that Kanan is only a teen, but he’s literally making this move in large part to impress a girl.
Adult Kanan cares about nobody but himself. So seeing how this Kanan eventually morphs into the monster he becomes is one of the fascinating parts of the series. Though, it’s safe to say that transformation may be a long way off.
The Kanan and Davina connection is sweet, but one day she’s going to find out that Kanan had a BIG hand in Buck Twenty’s death. And it’s going to crush Kanan’s spirit because right now, Davina is about the only thing that can make him smile.
Ah, to be young and in love. It’s meant to be such a sweet and innocent time, but for Jukebox, her blossoming romance with Nicole feels like the calm before the storm. Marvin is suspicious of her, and Nicole is worried about her, and my money is on Marvin finding something out sooner than later.
We haven’t gotten enough one-on-one scenes with Raq and Jukebox, but they’re close, and it was nice to see the two of them bond over being happy. Will it be short-lived? OF COURSE. This is Power, after all. But let them take their wins when they have them and relish in them.
For her part, Raq is falling head over heels for Symphony, but this is starting to feel way too good to be true. But, of course, that could be because genuinely decent men are so hard to come by on crime dramas. So, with Symphony, I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.
And I wish that weren’t the case because he and Raq have all the chemistry in the world, and it’s so nice to see her genuinely get to smile when she’s with him. It’s a different, vulnerable side of Raq when she’s laying with him, and he waxes poetic about some fancy pants thing he’s learning.
They make a hot couple, but god, there is something there that feels…off. But I hope I’m wrong.
Everything Else You Need To Know
- Marvin and Toni? Marvin got the woman a whole dog after flirting with her one time. Whipped is the understatement of the century.
- Lou-Lou and Jessica are just not that compelling, but the idea of Lou-Lou finding something bigger for himself away from Raq is interesting. I’ve been laser-focused on how Marvin could be Raq’s demise, but what if Low-Lou breaks away and Marvin is the one that actually keeps everything together?
- Crown Camacho. What a name. Not sure how he’s going to fit into things, but he made a ridiculous first impression, and I’m ready for more.
- Deen’s security guard was a surprisingly easy man to bribe. But what if Deen finds out he was betrayed from the inside?
- The music on this show is next-level. They get every detail right about this moment in time that was the early 1990s. It’s so much fun to watch.
Well, we could be headed toward war!
How will Unique react to Raq’s big move?
Do you think Symphony is hiding something?
Are you rooting for all the romantic pairings?
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Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.