To borrow a phrase from the film adaptation of this week’s Canonical Studies text: The plot to get Tariq St. Patrick on the stand in his mother’s murder trial? It’s alive! It’s aliiiiiiiive!
Sunday’s Power Book II: Ghost starts with a discussion of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and ends with Tariq’s hiring Tameika as his lawyer and announcing that he’s going to confess to Ghost’s murder. In between, there’s an unsuccessful hit, the return of Epiphany (insert praise hands emoji) and some casual dismemberment. Read on for the highlights of “Monster.”
CANE REALLY GOES ROGUE | After cutting up the GTG guys he killed last episode and sticking them in an oil drum (while Lil Guap looks on, horrified), Cane is surprised to see his brother show up at GTG headquarters. Dru is incensed that Lil Guap is still alive, especially after the ambush outside the club. But Cane doesn’t want to hear it. “Either you with me, or you against me,” he tells Dru.
At home, Monet wonders why Dru didn’t kill them all — after all, he’s going to be the head of the family business now that Cane is out of the picture. And that business is experiencing a bit of difficulty: Cane took all of the Tejada dealers with him, and Rico is on his way with product to move.
Monet reorganizes her hustle by telling Tariq he’s got to move the cocaine in question. At Brayden’s suggestion, he reconnects with Effie, apologizes and gets her to sell the white stuff at Yale. She’s salty to him — with good reason — after he blew her off during her last day at Stansfield. He apologizes for that, then tells her that his mother wants him to do something really bad. (We’ll get to that in a moment.) “I can’t tell when you’re lying. I never can,” Effy says, and have I mentioned how much I like her? As they talk, she says that both he and she are monsters, and that he should make peace with that. “I accepted it about myself the night I turned you in to Choate. The sooner you accept it, the better off you’ll be.”
EPIPHANY RESURFACES | Saxe and MacLean visit Epiphany at the house of one of her regular customers, where she’s staying while the guy is out of town. They know she’s got some charges against her, but they float the idea that she could avoid jail time and retain custody of her kid… if she’s willing to testify at Tasha’s trial. Little do they know, Steven Ott has hired a photographer to tail Saxe. And when he sees the photos of the super-unethical joint visit to Epiphany, Ott demands that Saxe use them to destroy MacLean.
Meanwhile, MacLean leads Paula to believe that “Dr. Epiphany Turner” is an “expert witness,” which nearly makes Tasha’s eyes pop out of her head. “Epiphany ain’t no doctor. She’s a stripper!” she tells the investigator. Paula, who’s already suspicious of her lover/co-worker, realizes how bad all of this could be for their case. “If Saxe is calling her to the stand, what is Epiphany going to say about you?” she asks. Tasha realizes that Epiphany could easily name Tariq as being part of Tasha’s operation, so she asks Paula to pass along a message to Tariq: Epiphany is as dangerous as “Slim” — aka Kanan — ever was, and he should deal with her the way he dealt with him. (Oh, and Tasha 100 percent has figured out that Paula and MacLean are filing each other’s legal briefs, if you know what I mean.)
MAN ON A MISSION | Tariq tracks Epiphany to the house and is about to pull out his gun when she mentions that Davis MacLean and “some square white boy” (heh) were there. He’s about to do something very bad when she casually mentions that if she had the money to do so, she’d just go on the run. And later, in court, Epiphany is MIA when she’s called to testify.
Things devolve from there. Saxe and MacLean fight, and Saxe shows him the photos. Paula confronts Davis about lying about Epiphany and not telling her about his side deal with Saxe, and the level of their whisper-shouting is quite admirable. And when court is back in session, Saxe surprises everyone by calling Tariq as a witness.
DRU DOWN! | When Tariq goes to the bar to meet Monet, he’s very upfront about telling her that he gave Epiphany the money earned from selling Tejada drugs. She pulls a gun on him, and things are about to get very ugly and/or fatal, but then two cars pull up outside and start shooting up the bar with abandon. Tariq grabs Diana and gets cover, while Monet and Dru scramble to avoid the firestorm, too. Eventually, Dru decides he’s going to sneak out the back and try to sneak up on the shooters, but he winds up taking a bullet in the shoulder.
Cane shows up a moment later, having figured out that Rico — who was looking for a new distro — was trying to cut Monet out of the game. At the hospital, Dru goes into surgery and Monet tells Cane never to come around again. So Cane calls Ramirez, angry that the hit went awry and didn’t kill its intended target: Tariq. (Side note: Not gonna lie — I’m a little shaky on this point. The hit in question was the one at the bar? Or the one at Stansfield? I realize this makes me sound very dumb, but I cannot figure it out. Halp.) Anyway, Cane gets so angry that he winds up killing Ramirez. Oops.
TARIQ’S NEW COUNSEL | Later on, Paula serves Tariq his subpoena to appear in court and offers him some friendly advice in the process: “You need a lawyer, Tariq. Davis is setting you up.” We learn that she’s no longer working for him, and she shows him the graveyard video that Saxe gave MacLean weeks before.
So Tariq calls Tameika, who tells him to give her a dollar so she’s officially his lawyer and their conversations fall under attorney-client privilege. She asks him, point- blank: “Tariq, did you kill your father?” He takes a breath, then responds that he did, “not because I’m a monster. Because he was a monster.” Then, he announces that he’s going to confess everything when Saxe puts him on the stand.
CARRIE GETS IN DEEPER | Did we know that Carrie used to be a prosecutor? It’s totally possible that it came up before now, but it felt like news to me when it came up in this episode. Anyway, she and Jabari suggest that they form a buffer between the cops and the student body in the investigation of the dead body in the pool. So she starts asking Zeke questions and finds out more than she bargained for regarding GTG and such. But how much of that does she pass along — under the category of “anonymous intel from a random student” — to the detective in charge? It’s unclear.
When she returns to her office one afternoon, she finds Monet waiting for her. See, Monet has figured out that Zeke and his professor are sleeping together, so she threatens Carrie to stop poking around. “If Zeke gets in trouble for this swimming pool s–t, your name will be the first name out of my mouth,” she promises her.
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Are you ready for next week’s finale? Sound off in the comments!