All I need in this life of sin…is me and MY BRAYDEN!
I imagine this is the new soundtrack of Tariq’s life because he OWES Brayden.
Rarely have we seen Tariq in such peril, where he was literally back against the open air but with no way out. But then again, Power Book II: Ghost Season 3 Episode 10 was no ordinary finale.
Just when you thought things would go his way, the rug got swept out from under him, and the war was on.
Think about where we started with Power Book II: Ghost Season 1 to where we are now.
Many of us weren’t even sure what to make of a series driven by Tariq, who’d spent season after season on the original Power delving further and further into villainy.
Why would we want to watch a series about Tariq? He’s just the WORST.
Well, that was incredibly poor thinking on our part because if we learned anything from Power, it’s that these writers and this universe can make anything compelling if you give them the time and space to work their magic.
And over the first three seasons, they’ve crafted a beautiful tale of a young man, failed by those who should have been protecting him, navigating the adult world with little support, a constant target on his back, and a brilliant mind to guide the way.
This finale was a stellar feat from beginning to end, as Tariq became a true lone wolf, and he was probably closer than ever to joining Ghost in that graveyard like so many people have suggested he would.
While the ending will surely be what sticks out the most, a lot led up to that meeting in the warehouse.
For starters, Tariq was on the hunt for Tasha after she went missing, and Tommy came back to clear the air with Tariq during a scene that felt very much like vintage Power.
It was nice for the series to show us the aftermath of Tasha knocking Tariq out, and while the Tommy and Tasha reconciliation felt a little rushed, it also felt true to their relationship and their history.
Tommy came all that way to kill Tasha, but no part of me thinks he wasn’t debating whether he could go through with it.
At one point in time, all Tommy had were the St. Patrick’s. They were his whole life and the family he had always wished for. Tasha betrayed him on a very personal level, and that pain was definitely driving alongside him in the Mustang.
But what was killing Tasha going to do for him? It wasn’t going to bring LaKeisha back. It wasn’t going to help his life in Chicago. All it would do was hurt other people and create more enemies for himself.
Tommy and Tasha were always close, and that’s also why Tommy felt so hurt by Tasha. But their truce felt like the right thing for both of them.
Tasha didn’t want Tommy dead. That’s why she saved him. And while I don’t think we’ll ever see those two riding around the city, smoking blunts, and cracking jokes, they should be able to rest easier knowing they don’t have to look over their shoulder for the other anymore.
Tariq, always the Mama’s boy, was, of course, ready to do whatever he had to do to find Tommy, including a middle-of-the-day face-off in the streets, but Tommy used his time with Tariq to try to impart some wisdom as only Tommy Egan could.
Tommy has lived and breathed this life for as long as he can remember. And he’s survived by knowing how and when to make the right moves.
Tariq had no business going after Monet alone because it would only invite more problems.
Tommy knows better than anyone what it’s like to be a loner, but when he’s making a big move, even he knows that he’ll need backup because he can’t do everything alone.
Tariq had good reason to want to go after Monet, but it wasn’t the right time.
The most pressing issue for him was getting rid of those RICO charges, and he was tasked with getting it done because the two people capable of causing the most damage were his ex-girlfriends.
Like most men in the Power universe, Tariq has been incredibly unlucky in love.
Effie broke his heart, and Lauren broke his spirit.
Tariq really let his walls down with Effie, and he even started talking about the future in a way that made him sound a lot like his father when he was in his Angela Valdes lovesick era. He saw something special in her and within their connection, but the second he felt betrayed by her, it was a wrap.
And with Lauren, he could never be his true self with her. She saw what he wanted her to see, and it’s why she’s been so conflicted with how to deal with everything because a pretty big part of her still wanted to believe the guy she fell for wasn’t the nightmare so many made him out to be.
But the truth about Tariq has always been a mixture of facts and perception.
Tariq is a murderer. Tariq is a drug dealer. Tariq has done terrible, unforgivable things. I also don’t believe that Tariq would ever hurt Lauren, and how he felt for her was real.
Getting Lauren to recant meant threatening something important to her, but Tariq should have known the minute he brought Cane into things that it wouldn’t go exactly how he planned.
Because Cane thrives on chaos and only follows his own agenda.
Lauren: Jenny and Blanca were right, weren’t they? The drugs, murders. It all comes back to you.
Tariq: No, listen. It wasn’t supposed to-
Lauren: Don’t. This is the last time you lie to me.
Lauren’s decision to recant was the right one, even if it hurt her heart to realize that there was no part of Tariq she could trust or love anymore.
Jenny Sullivan got another L, but she did it to herself, honestly. Like all the failed attempts before her, she got in over her head, and her obsession with “justice” went off the rails, and she became a person who would do anything to win.
She used Lauren, just like she used Saxe, and Lauren screwed her over, and Saxe ended up dead.
Getting the RICO shutdown was a win, but damn if it didn’t set the plan to bring Tariq down steadily into motion.
Who would have thought Diana, of all people, would be the one to set Tariq up?
Diana’s sole character trait at one point was having a crush on Tariq. But she’s become a fully realized character over the years, gradually becoming herself and the woman she wants to be regardless of what those around her demand her to be.
She and Monet have been constantly at odds because Diana has refused to bend to Monet’s will at every turn, and her anger over Lorenzo’s death and Monet pushing herself into another position of power over the children really set her off.
And Dru, as well.
There’s been a clear disconnect between the Tejada siblings all season, which has only intensified since Lorenzo’s death. Cane is only ever interested in what works for Cane, so while he wasn’t happy with his mother, he also wasn’t rallying the troops against her either.
He knew there was business to tend to, which was more important than family drama.
But Dru and Diana had enough. Monet set Lorenzo up to be murdered and then jumped through hoops to get her own son to kill his boyfriend.
She did the absolute most for her own self-interests and then swooped in to become their boss.
It was too much.
Now, Diana and Dru are indeed their mother’s children, though, because they knew just what to do to set her up and get Tariq on board with the plan because the only reason Tariq was in the headspace to make a move on Monet was that he believed she made a move against him first.
Leave it to Tasha to ruin a plan, but damn it, if she wasn’t tired of Monet, just like everyone else!
Now, the goal was to get Monet killed, right? Her perfectly timed apology seemed to throw Diana off the original plan, and Diana ended up being in the car longer than she was supposed to, but if Tasha hadn’t come through, and Tariq had killed Monet, then what?
Were Dru and Diana going to still pin her death on Tariq to Cane and everyone else, like they pinned her attempted murder on him?
Tariq was way too willing to step into Diana’s plan without thinking it through, but he was also running off his own emotions and the thought that this would be murder without consequences if her children were setting it up.
If only Tariq had someone to talk things through with, but he had nobody when Brayden decided to quit on him.
What have we been hearing since the beginning of time regarding the “business”? And yet, you can’t ever really get out.
Ghost tried for so long to go legit, but he was constantly pulled back into the fire, continually trying to straddle the two worlds and finding it impossible to commit to either fully.
You can either be in or out, but once you’re in, it’s nearly impossible to get all the way out.
I can understand why Brayden wanted out. He killed his uncle, for goodness sake. He saw himself become everything he never wanted to be, and it basically scared him straight.
That high he got from rebelling was clearly no longer enough, and even though Tariq really is his family, that wasn’t enough to get him to keep going because once you kill your flesh and blood, the sky is the limit.
And isn’t that a scary thought?
But the thing about family and those bonds created between two people who have each other backs above all else is that it’s nearly impossible to break them.
How often did we see Ghost and Tommy completely at odds but still unable to entirely rid themselves of the other?
Tariq and Brayden have always been compared to Ghost and Tommy for obvious reasons, but for all their similarities to the original duo, they have a lot of things that set them apart.
Brayden wasn’t born into that life. He had a family. He had money. He had the world at his disposal, and yet he chose to risk his life and get into the business when it wasn’t all something he had to do.
Tariq and Brayden met when they were still kids, but they met at a prep school. They didn’t grow up in the streets and weren’t taken under the wing of a sociopathic master villain named Kanan Stark to learn the game.
They made a lot of choices for themselves, fully aware of what they were getting into, knowing the risks, and choosing to move forward, when there was no reason for them to do so.
But since they’ve met, there’s been a level of comfort between the two that has only strengthened over time, and if Tariq didn’t know it before, he sure as hell better know now that outside of Tasha and maybe Yas, there is only one person on the planet who will never leave him behind.
Tariq: I thought you was out, man?
Brayden: Nah, I couldn’t leave you hanging like that, are you fucking kidding me? What do we do now?
Tariq: Man, I don’t know. I think we just started a fucking war, though.
Tariq was dead. He had no final play. No magical rabbit he could pull out of his behind.
Cane was going to shoot him in the head, and nobody was stopping him if not for Brayden.
The way everyone crept forward to bury Tariq was so dramatic and cheesy, but it drove home the point that Tariq, the man with all the plans, hadn’t accounted for having the roles reversed and him being the one on the outside.
Brayden saved his ass in many ways, and while he’s lucky he made it out of there alive, he’s very much aware that the war is on. And it’s just him and Brayden versus everyone.
Maybe they need to keep driving to Chicago and shack up with Tommy for a minute until they figure out just how the hell they’re going to get themselves out of this predicament.
Even with the odds steadily stacked against him, yet again, and worse than ever, Tariq still gets my money.
He and Brayden may be broke and have minimal resources and zero people to help them, but their connection is stronger than anyone on the other side. They can do this.
So, are Y’ALL ready for war?
Everything Else You Need To Know
- Agent Young is Angela’s nephew? Why did I know that but also never fully put it all together until I saw Paz? I was slow on the uptick with this one.
- What do you think is on that flash drive Saxe left for Junior? Saxe had years and years to gather all kinds of information, and the fact he left it for Junior is VERY interesting.
- Run, Harper! I love Tate and his smarminess as much as the next person, but he’s not husband material, and he’s certainly never going to be the man Harper wants to believe he is. She’s lucky she overheard that conversation with Davis before she walked down the aisle.
- Effie and Lauren’s talk was a long time coming. And if that’s the last we see of Lauren, at least she got to tell Effie about herself before she went on her way.
- Of all the people turning on Tariq, Diana was somehow the most shocking because I didn’t know she had it in her. Also, that image of Diana and Effie looking at him right before he almost got clipped will no doubt haunt his dreams.
- Obi was a real one for tipping Brayden off on what would happen. He did not have to do that, but once Noma slashed up his perfect skin, he was ready to stick it to her in a different way.
- Noma versus Monet in season 4. I can feel it coming.
Another thrilling season down, and it went by too damn fast.
We’ve got some time until we figure out where Tariq and Brayden drove off and how they will fight back, so let’s spend it reacting to the finale and making predictions about the future!
I’ll be back for the next chapter, but in the meantime, drop me a line in the comments with all your thoughts.
And remember, you can watch Power Book II: Ghost online via TV Fanatic.
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.