The children of Power are going to need therapy. So. Much. Therapy.
This week, I’m talking specifically about Elisa Marie Proctor, who loses her father mere days after her mother’s fatal overdose. And she’s on the phone with him a minute or two before his violent murder takes place. Even with everything she’s already gone through, no way that’s not going to leave the deepest, rawest of marks, right?
The same could be said for Tariq, who does something truly stupid in this week’s hour and winds up in real danger of losing his life. I mean, I know I like to rag on the kid, but he didn’t create himself, you know? Or, as he says during the episode: “Dad, I’m just like you. How could you expect me to be any different?”
We all better pray for little Yaz, is all I’m saying. Read on for the highlights of “King’s Gambit.”
WHO’S PLAYING WHOM? | Tariq and Effie are playing chess in his dorm room when she lectures him for using the king’s gambit, an opening that she thinks sets him up to lose. But in just a few moves, he’s bested her. “You never even saw me coming,” he says smugly — and just remember that in a few minutes, friends. Their game is cut short when Vincent texts, demanding that ‘Riq show up with all the pills he promised. On Effie’s way out, she texts someone else, “Think the competition’s out of product.” Ooooh, sneaky!
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Tariq retrieves his stash of pills from a hiding place, then bags them up — along with some other tablets — in his boarding school’s audio-video room. He’s unaware that Effie’s watching him from the shadows. He makes the delivery, and Vincent is happy. Easy peasy lemon squeezy, right? WRONG. Not long after, there’s a knock at ‘Riq’s door: It’s the dean of Choate, and he’s got Tasha with him. Apparently an anonymous tip (heh heh, Effie) let the school know that Tariq was selling baby aspirin to his fellow students. And the fact that the kids didn’t know they weren’t getting illicit substances is no defense: Tariq is expelled.
SAXE’S SECRETS ARE OUT | At the Assistant United States Attorney’s office, Warner is livid: Maria Suarez is changing her story, and by the way, he knows all about the FBI almost-raid on her apartment. Saxe confesses about knowing about Ghost’s bribe and also comes clean that Dre is his off-the-books informant. Blanca and Warner then inform him that Lindsay is dead. “You have just f–ked this up every which way possible, haven’t you, Saxe?” Warner asks him, his voice dripping with contempt.
The two men visit Proctor, telling him that Maria actually is planning to ID Ghost, and that the lawyer will go down if he doesn’t start to talk. Then Saxe uses a trip to the bathroom to surreptitiously grab the bugged unicorn keyring from Elisa Marie’s backpack. After they leave, Proctor wastes no time in letting Ghost know that Maria has got to go. “If you do not kill Maria, everything you’ve done will go public. Everything,” Proctor says. “It’s you or Maria. Who’s it gonna be?” But he isn’t convinced that Ghost will do what he says, so Proctor quickly arranges a meeting with Tommy. “If Maria testifies against both of you, I’m next on the prosecution’s dance card. We are all connected,” he tells the blonde hothead. “And we all have a lot to lose if Maria testifies.” Tommy doesn’t need to hear any more, and he asks where he can find her.
THE LAPTOP IS DEAD… | Just when Proctor thinks he’s solved his problems, Saxe confronts him outside his apartment with the recording of Lindsay’s death. If Proctor will tell him who killed Angela, Saxe promises, he’ll erase the recording and no one has to know that Proctor did nothing while his ex-wife expired before his eyes.
Inside, while Elisa Marie dozes on the couch, Proctor loses his stuff to Benny. He admits he set Lindsay up for failure by faking those bar results (GOOD EYES, all of you who picked on that last week!) and lying about getting engaged. “She asked me for help, and I let her die,” he says. “You’re a good judge of character,” Benny assures him. (Side note: Ha!) Proctor’s cousin asks about Bailey Markham’s laptop, which he always said would be his insurance policy if things went bad. But the lawyer says he got rid of it, because it was the only thing that linked him to Markham’s murder. Then Benny offers to kill Ghost and Tommy, but Proctor says he’ll handle things himself… and then he accepts the gun that Benny offers him as a final “insurance policy.”
The next morning, Proctor tells Saxe that Tommy killed Angela… and Saxe is mad that he didn’t say “James St. Patrick.” Their deal about destroying the recording stands, but Proctor turns down Saxe’s offer of witness protection, because the AUSA’s track record at keeping witnesses alive is pretty poor. So Proctor packs two suitcases and hustles himself and his daughter over to Ghost’s penthouse. He tells Ghost a story about having to testify against a villainous former client, and St. Patrick hesitantly gives them a place to stay.
…LONG LIVE THE LAPTOP! | Coincidentally, the penthouse is exactly where Tasha marches Tariq once they return to the city. Ghost cannot believe that his son got expelled for dealing on campus, but Tariq doesn’t seem bothered in the slightest by his dad’s anger. Ghost tries to reason with the teen that selling drugs will ruin his life, but ‘Riq looks around at the chic digs and flatly says that being a kingpin didn’t seem to hurt Ghost. It gets physical fast, but Tasha steps in to break them up. Then Ghost kicks her out.
Down the hall, in Raina’s bedroom, Proctor gives Elisa Marie a locket with a “secret” inside: a teeny computer drive that — given the way Proctor refers to it as his “insurance policy” — likely contains all the incriminating information from Bailey Markham’s laptop.
ADIOS, PROCTOR | Tommy sneaks into Maria Suarez’s apartment, overhears Saxe telling her that Proctor is now his witness, then waits until the AUSA leaves before stepping out and shooting the girl dead. He leaves with the money Ghost gave her.
From then on, Tommy is on the hunt for his shifty lawyer. 2-Bit gets Charlie, the bailiff who helped them poison Alicia Jimenez, to help them narrow down the search (and then kills him for being a “loose end”). Then Tommy uses that info, plus an inadvertent tip from Tasha, to figure out that Proctor is at Ghost’s. He calls Tariq, ascertains that he’s at the apartment, then tells him to turn off the alarm, leave the service entrance open and get the heck outta there. On his way out, the teen hears Elisa Marie sobbing while looking at pictures of her mom, and he takes her to get some hot chocolate.
That leaves the coast clear for Tommy, who slips in the door Tariq left open and levels a gun machine at Proctor. “You rat piece of s—t!” he cries, strafing the room with bullets. All of those gorgeous windows shatter as Proctor dives for cover. He miraculously only gets hit once as he runs around the room, shooting back at Tommy with the gun Benny gave him.
Eventually, Proctor barricades himself in Raina’s old room and calls Elisa Marie. He is relieved to realize she isn’t in the house, but starts to cry in earnest when he confirms that he probably won’t see her again. He orders her to go to Benny’s, then tells her he loves her before he hangs up. Just then, Tommy shoots his way into the bedroom, and Proctor realizes that his own gun is out of bullets. “It was a good run, Proctor,” Tommy says, and Proctor responds that it isn’t over. “It is for you,” Tommy says, shooting him multiple times in the chest. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the crooked defense rests!
TARIQ IN TROUBLE | When he returns home (after visiting Maria Suarez and finding her gone for good), Ghost is relieved beyond belief to get a call from Tariq. Per Tariq’s instructions, he arrives at Coney Island… only to run into Tommy, who thinks it’s a set-up. But what’s really happening is that Vincent has grabbed Tariq — he figured out that half of the pills the kid provided were just over-the-counter pain relievers — and now he wants $2 million. And if Ghost and/or Tommy don’t provide it? Tariq dies.
TASHA’S NEW HUSTLE | A neighborhood thug named Zigg tries to shake Tasha down for “protection” money in regard to the daycare. But she does a little digging and realizes that he deals in the area. And because she needs cash, she instead suggests that they go into business together. So he gives her a bunch of weight to move. Guys, are we seeing the birth of Ghost 2.0… and is it Tasha?!
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!