An entire hour with Tariq pushed into the background made for a bit of a mixed bag overall.
The spotlight was off Tariq in Power Book II: Ghost Season 1 Episode 6, in the sense that his screentime was lessened (or so it seemed), but everything still revolved around him. Tariq was still an important topic of conversation amongst everyone, from Tasha's trial to the continued fracture in the Tejada household.
And Tariq was none the wiser that his name was in literally everyone's mouth.
Let's start with the trial because things were finally starting up, as the first witness was due to be called and the jury selected.
It wasn't very smart for either Saxe or Davis to think that they could trust the other one in the long term. They entered into a partnership based on them both getting something in return, and how they got that something wasn't nearly as important as getting it.
So, if they had to lie to the other or cheat, that's always what they were going to do.
Davis will need to pull out all the stops to get Tasha acquitted, and he knows that. And if he has to throw Saxe under the bus, he will do what he has to do.
2-Bit being the only one (outside of Tommy) still kicking makes sense because he was always the smartest one out of Tommy's crew. He was always a step ahead, and even though he prided himself on not snitching and staying loyal, it would have made no sense for him not to take Davis's deal.
Who does he need to be loyal to at this point? Himself.
And that was a pervasive theme throughout this installment. What kind of person are you, and at the end of the day, who are you looking out for?
Saxe would be wise to look out for his best interests moving forward, which he will because it's Saxe. But everything promises to get far more interesting now that Tasha seems to be at least slightly catching on to the fact that Tariq's name keeps getting brought up a lot.
The whole trial dynamic is off to a good start, and while that storyline is intriguing and holds its own, the Tariq/Tejada story is where the fireworks are starting to spark.
Monet's slowly losing control of her family, and while the cracks have been there since the beginning of the series, they're slowly getting bigger and bigger.
Dru is in love and less concerned with listening to what his family has to say about it. Diana is floating aimlessly in this limbo where she's loyal and wants some freedom from her mom.
Then you have Cane, a one-person wrecking crew who marches to the beat of his own drum. He's out of control, and at this point, everyone sees it, but is it too late to do anything about it?
Kidnapping Brayden and Trace and dropping them off in the middle of the city to sell a bag full of drugs was about as reckless as it gets. Brayden is a lot of things; naïve and immature are the first things that come to mind, but he also has a sense of loyalty to him, and he follows through.
Cane: Good job. Look like you made some friends.
Brayden: I'm not scared of people, Cane. But Trace is. Can we go get him now?
Cane: Yes, Ms. Daisy.
He's loyal to Tariq and his brother, for that matter, and he's not afraid of getting his hands dirty. It was looking dicey for a few minutes when he approached a group of random men on the corner hoping to sell them drugs, but he used the little bit of charm he has to make nice and eventually get his product sold.
Tariq doesn't trust many people, and I'm not sure he even fully trusts Brayden, not with EVERYTHING, but he's always trusted him enough to keep him close and ask for his help because he knows that Brayden will be loyal to him in the long run.
There are very few people in Tariq's life, outside of Tasha, that he can say that about.
He most certainly isn't loyal to the Tejada's in the larger sense, but right now, he's doing right by Monet, which is to say he's selling her product and getting Monet her money.
And that's what's important to Monet and what she's trying to get her children to see. She wants money in her pocket, and she wants her family in the clear, but Cane's behavior brings the kind of attention they don't need on their family.
Cane is an interesting character because it feels like he's been groomed to be the muscle and the man of the house with Lorenzo locked up. He's seemingly relished in that role, but as he grows and sees his mother's relationships and connections grow as well, he's not only somewhat jealous, he's mad.
Monet: Cane is not your son. He's Lorenzo's. Just like I'm not yours. I'm Lorenzo's, too.
Ramirez: Next time Cane fucks up, maybe that's who you should call. Don't call me.
He doesn't like either Ramirez or Tariq's presence in Monet's life (or Diana's), and he's acting out through violence.
We don't know much about Lorenzo, but one thing that's crystal clear is that he's still the real man of the house, no matter what Cane would like to think.
As we move toward the end of the first season, there seem to be two separate things at play.
There's the trial and Tasha's freedom versus the potential fall of the Tejada dynasty. And Tariq will find himself right smack in the middle of both things before he knows it.
He has always managed to find his way out of trouble, but he's needed some help along the way, which begs the question, who is going to step up and help him this time?
Is there anyone out there who's willing to put Tariq before themselves?
Everything Else You Need To Know
- Every episode has a larger question based on whatever book is being read in Tariq's canonical studies class. This one was a little on the nose with the whole right versus wrong thing, but it's interesting to see how almost all the characters, save a few, are much more alike than they'd ever want to admit.
- It's not clear if we're supposed to be rooting for Tariq to be with Lauren or Diana because, at this point, neither relationship makes a ton of sense right now.
- Riley continues to sneak around, and as perceptive as Tariq can be, the fact he hasn't looked further into her is strange.
- Who had 2-Bit walking out of jail scot-free on their Bingo card?
There hasn't been a bad hour yet of the new series, and things are starting to heat up. I can't wait to hear what you guys think and what your predictions are for the rest of the season?
Were you surprised Davis crossed Saxe?
Should Tariq be more suspicious of Riley?
What will Cane do next?
Make sure you leave your comments down below, and remember you can watch Power Book II: Ghost online via TV Fanatic anytime!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.