Previously on Power Book III: Raising Kanan, Lou-Lou broke his golden rule when he asked Unique for a favor asking him not to bring any smoke to Camacho’s showcase that Lou-Lou bankrolled. Jukebox got over her stage fright and hit the stage with Famous before all hell broke loose due to Lou-Lou’s quick thinking when he spotted one of Unique’s goons at the show. Raq feels the squeeze on her business after losing her major drug connect, and she kicked Symphony to the curb for helping Kanan behind her back. Speaking of Kanan, he has found a new way for the family to sling dope and make some serious money. Raq’s loyal soldier Scrappy got hands and feet put on him for failing to carry out Unique’s plans being outed as Raq’s snitch.
We’re At War
The episode opens up with Raq dropping Scrappy off at the hospital after Unique’s crew left him on her doorstep, beat to a bloody pulp, missing an eye and a kidney. Lou-Lou reaches out, and it’s time for some retaliation, telling him “batter up,” which is code for her brother to go get the strap, or in this case, a tech-nine. Lou-Lou warns his sister once he makes this hit, the two drug crews will be at war. Raq informs him they have already been at war.
While this is going on, Uncle Marvin is overseeing Kanan’s plan to sling dope to white folks by using a gas station on the Van Wyck Expressway, and things are looking good…so far. We zap back to Lou-Lou, and he is ski-masked up and is about to take out his target, who is at the moment preoccupied and has his mouth full of his girlfriend, we’re going to assume. Anyway, Lou-Lou’s aim needs some serious work cause he missed his target, and the homeboy manages to escape. Lou-Lou would later blame the gun when Uncle Marvin ponders how he missed such an easy target.
Lou-Lou would get an unannounced visit from Unique while picking up a sandwich from his favorite diner. Unique tries to recruit Lou-Lou to his crew even after he just tried to kill one of his men. That same guy Lou-Lou almost filled up with bullet holes is also at the meeting and is surprised to learn that Lou-Lou tried to take him out.
Lou-Lou is flattered by the offer but turns it down, making sure to point out his loyalty to his sister and make sure to clown Unique and his boy at the same time.
Break up to Make Up
Raq eventually links up with Kanan for dinner with him and his new boo, Davina. His mama gives him a status report on Scrappy, and Kanan is visibly stunned hearing how bad he got messed up and even expresses regret for pressing him. Raq tells her young budding crack dealer that it’s all a part of the game.
With that out of the way, Raq finally meets Davina, and she is stunned by her beauty. However, she has no idea that her son has another surprise up his sleeve for her. He also invited Symphony, and he shows up Raq is not pleased. In fact, she is so mad that she has to go outside so she won’t make a scene in the restaurant.
Symphony does his best to plead his case that he messed up big time by going behind Raq’s back and doing the one thing she told him not to do. However, cooler heads eventually prevail, with Raq realizing that Symphony did what he did out of loyalty to both her and Kanan. The two love birds kiss and make up and head back inside for dinner with Kanan and Davina. It’s a touching family moment.
The night would end with Kanan taking Davina home and Raq leaving with Symphony to make up for the lost time in his apartment. In front of Davina’s home, Kana and his boo are having a moment, and Davina decides now is a good time to ask him about Famous’ lyrics in his song “Streets Need A Body” that seemingly reference Buck-Twenty and his demise. Kanan dismisses it as rappers just talking sh*t on songs and nothing more. Date night for the young couple abruptly ends when the neighbor pops out with Davina’s baby sister. Davina heads inside, and Kanan offers to help babysit, but Davina tells him she will be okay.
Meanwhile, Kanan’s mom is finally getting some action from Symphony. Now that the two of them are back on the same page, it’s obvious to see they are also in love. Raq is impressed with Symphony’s relationship with Kanan and ponders if he is ready to have kids, specifically with her. Symphony is not opposed to that idea.
Kanan wastes no time and presses Famous about the bar that messed up his night the next day at the arcade slash pizza restaurant.
Famous explains he was just using it to make his song pop, but Kanan warns him to stop using his life as source material for his songs in the future. Following the tense moment, the two buddies see eye-to-eye and dap it up.
Detective Howard Is Still Desperate
Detective Howard is dying, and he needs help from his alleged son Kanan. Not heeding Raq’s warning to stay away from her son, he pops up on Kanan and Jukebox. Before Howard approaches him, he hands Jukebox a vial of crack. We will revisit that in a second because it plays a vital role in this episode.
Anyway, Howard tries to tell Kanan he is his father without directly saying it, confusing the young man. Howard’s eager partner is just as curious as to why he is so concerned about the young teenager. During a conversation with his mom, Kanan tells Raq about the encounter, and she brushes it off as him being a cop and just saying nonsense. We are intrigued to see how this plays out further down the line.
Crack Kills, No Seriously It Does
This episode was one of the sadder ones, specifically because of what happens to Jukebox. Jukebox is on an emotional high following her performance and is still going strong with her new girlfriend, Nicole. The two of them are excited because Nicole asks Jukebox to be her date at the big dance. Jukebox happily agrees to attend and even considers wearing a dress, something completely out of the norm for her: she is always rocking Polo gear.
Jukebox goes dress shopping and quickly learns that dresses are something she just won’t be able to rock with. The sales associate is clocking Jukebox while trying to make a selection, something Black folks are deeply reminded of during our shopping experience.
While she is trying to find some suitable drip to wear to this dance, her cousin Kanan takes his crack cooking to another level. At the trap house, Kanan and two D-boys speak about how things are going well at the new location. Kanan notices they are pretty low on supply and that what’s left can’t be stretched further. The two D-Boys laugh at Kanan because they feel he has no clue what he is talking about until he reveals it was his idea to move the operations to the Van Wyck Expressway.
One of the D-Boys pulls out an additional product bag, and Kanan suggests they use it with their remaining product. Kanan puts his recently learned crack-cooking skills to use mixes up the product. They chop it up and decide to test it out by handing it out to the local crackheads before selling it to the white folks. The local addicts gladly take the new product and smoke it, but it hits them too hard and kills them instantly.
Word gets back to Uncle Marvin that addicts in the neighborhood are dropping like flies after smoking the newly mixed product. The crew members snitch on Kanan, telling Marvin it was his nephew’s idea to cook it and give it out. Marvin is worried that they sold the bad crack to the white customers cause if white users start popping up dead, that means the police will come sniffing around. Marvin and Kanan will both be in trouble with Raq, which is why Marvin says they will not be telling his sister. They assure Marvin only the local crackheads got the product, but boy, they are dead wrong.
This now takes us back to Kanan’s crack vial he handed to Jukebox to hide before Detective Howard spoke with him. After hanging out with Jukebox at the showcase, Nicole, who now has a drug habit, finds the vial of the laced crack and takes it for herself without Jukebox knowing.
Sticking with Jukebox, she decides to wear a tuxedo instead of a dress. She likes her look so much that she decides to bust out some dance moves to celebrate. At the same time, she is dancing. Raq walks and sees her niece.
Raq loves Jukebox’s looks and shares a touching moment with her young niece. Meanwhile, at Nicole’s house, she is upset that her parents, specifically her mom, set her up with a boy she could care less about. To make matters worse, Nicole’s mom is “worried” about her daughter getting pregnant at the same time in straight denial about her daughter being a lesbian.
Nicole’s mom leaves, giving her some peace to herself. She uses the moment to listen to the tape given to her by her boo with a special song on it. While listening, her mom calls upstairs for her to come down and take pictures with her date. To calm her nerves, Nicole decides to smoke, and guess what she pulls out the? The laced crack.
That left us pondering with one question? How in the world can you just smoke crack and think no one is going to smell it?
Anyway, Nicole takes one hit, and like the addicts in the hood, she instantly dies. Meanwhile, poor Jukebox is waiting for Nicole to show up. She has no idea that her girlfriend is now dead because of the crack she took from her cousin.
Poor Jukebox. Also, Kanan is in a world of trouble when Raq finds out about this.
Photo: Starz / Power Book III: Raising Kanan