Ah, it’s good to be back in the Southside, where family dynamics are more fractured than ever, the cops are swarming, and Kanan Stark has finally begun to look like THE Kanan Stark.
Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 3 Episode 1 was a stellar start to another season of a series that has exceeded all expectations since its debut.
Things in Jamaica Queens have never been more unsteady, lines never clearer, and we’ve only just begun.
One of the best aspects of the premiere was the decision to drop us right back into the madness that was the final moments of Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 2 Episode 10.
Where they could have easily employed a time jump, allowing wounds to heal and cooler heads to prevail, we dove right back into the aftermath of the mafia attack, with a badly injured Marvin literally taping up his would and Raq finding a way to cover her tracks.
Even in death, Crown could not catch a break.
Raq was never going to sit in that hospital room and detail out for the police why people shot up her home and various other properties connected to her. She needed someone to take the fall, preferably someone who couldn’t refute her claims, and Crown was the obvious choice.
Since we’ve met Raq, she’s always been ahead of everyone. She sees the various pieces on the board and can predict what moves someone else will make before they’ve even made them.
And isn’t that the blueprint for all the Power masterminds?
But this attack and its subsequent fallout, while not shocking, seemed to light a fuse in her.
This ambush, which was seconds away from costing her everything, was the final straw for her. But just how realistic is it to think you’ll be able to walk away from something you’ve spent nearly your whole life building?
If I actually thought Raquel Thomas could walk away from the business and never look back, that’d be one thing, but it’s hard to imagine that being the case.
Plus, who’s to say she’ll even be able to walk away that easily? Will things with the mafia and Marchetti disappear?
Raq made this decision all on her own, and I love that it wasn’t met with universal understanding or acceptance because it shouldn’t have been. Lou- Lou tried to get out, and Raq not only said he couldn’t but insulted him in the process.
Lou-Lou may be the leader of the Raq haters club, but Kanan appears to be following along in his footsteps, and you can’t blame either of them for feeling that way.
Lou-Lou has been put in these awful situations, and he’s been put in the line of fire, same as Raq, but when he tried to leave it all behind and find something different, he wasn’t allowed.
Now, his business is in ruins, literally shut down by the cops currently with blood staining the floor, and Raq’s pulling out of the business, so what does he have left?
Lou-Lou and Marvin are big boys, and on the one hand, you could easily say that their lives are their choice, and it’s not fair for them to put it on Raq.
But Raq also says she owns people and yields a lot of power, so in a way, they were bound to their choices the minute they made them, with no room for negotiation.
There’s an interesting divide between Lou-Lou and Marvin, with one firmly anti-Raq and the other seemingly her closest ally. During their little chat, Lou-Lou was looking for him to agree with him and jump on the hating bandwagon, but Marvin was much more diplomatic.
It’s probably why he called Kanan instead because he just wanted someone to be on his side.
And Kanan’s at a point where he’s more than willing to indulge in a little Raq bashing because he’s reached his limit.
We’ve watched the relationship between Raq and Kanan steadily decline since the very beginning of the series, and we’ve seen Kanan give his mother chance after chance, to be honest. Still, it’s become clear to him that he’s better off on his own than under Raq’s thumb.
You don’t live here. The fuck outta here with that. You live wherever your mother live. Understand?
Marvin [to Kanan]
It’s sometimes easy to forget that Kanan is a child because of how much he’s gone through at a young age, but he’s still a teenager. It was funny to see Marvin look at Kanan like he was crazy for backtalking his mother, but that’s where Kanan is now.
He’s incapable of seeing things from Raq’s perspective, and you can’t exactly blame him. She’s put him in devastating situations, lying to him in ways many would find unforgivable.
But the bottom line is that he’s still a child, and it’s hard to see what path he has moving forward with just Famous along with for the ride.
One thing that’ll be very intriguing this season will be seeing Kanan’s growth in the weed game, as that seems to be the road he’s looking to travel. Raq once promised him the keys to the kingdom, but it feels like he’d rather start from scratch now than take anything she has to give him.
Do you see any way these two find common ground?
We know that adult Kanan Stark holds a grudge, alongside a severe issue with trusting people. It was always safe to assume the grudge was born from what Ghost and Tasha did to him, but it’s become clear that his lack of trust and empathy started long before they betrayed him.
That’s perhaps the most remarkable thing about Raising Kanan: the proper dissection of Kanan Stark.
We’re watching a young man slowly turn into a heartless mega-villain and seeing all the little moments that made him the way he was. It’s utterly fascinating, and Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 3 feels like the point where Kanan will be taking those clear steps toward full-blown villainy.
So, what? You two getting back together?
Kanan [to Raq and Howard]
You could see shades of that patented Kanan manipulation during the brief conversation between Kanan and his parents, which was supposed to be a chance for the three of them to exchange notes and make sure they, you know, kept to the same stories to protect themselves.
But Kanan used that whole conversation to get eyes off him and onto Burke, who had no idea what she was up against when she decided to come after Howard.
Burke was always at a disadvantage regarding her position in the department, considering her gender and the lore of her father.
There was a point when I thought Howard and Burke found a level of understanding that could have carried them through, but Burke may have skirted lines here and there, but always in the pursuit of justice.
Howard skirts lines and many other morally corrupt things to save his own skin.
Things kept going from bad to worse for Burke, which should always be the first sign that someone is about to kick it: that and a suspicious increase in screentime.
The craziest thing about the Burke situation was how spot-on she was about everything. It took her two full seasons, but she had pieced everything together, and if she could have gotten one person, just one person, to regard her reasonably and not as some emotional woman who was spiraling.
Burke was no dummy, but why she decided to meet with Howard alone is beyond me. She came prepared with a gun and a recorder, but did she not think Howard, who’d done a hell of a job covering his tracks, wouldn’t come ready to protect himself?
This is Power. There will always be murders and suspense and things that genuinely shock you, but Burke’s death was more than just a shock. It was a declaration.
Howard’s not playing around with protecting himself and protecting Kanan and Raq, by extension. And considering where this story started, that’s a hell of a fascinating turn at this point in the story.
Another fascinating turn? The evolving Raq and Unique relationship officially moved from frenemies to lovers in an instant.
Look, the chemistry between Raq and Unique has always been there, and it’s no surprise they finally gave in to it. But long term? I don’t see it.
These two are almost too much alike, and while I’m all for them having a little fun, I don’t fully trust Unique, nor do I see any way these two would ever commit to one another in any kind of meaningful way.
Raq’s loyalty will always be to herself and Kanan first, and who knows what Unique is ultimately after. Let’s not pretend like he didn’t say he had a plan before he marched himself out to the suburbs to seduce Raq.
They can have their fun for now, but decisions must undoubtedly be made as it only stays peaceful on the Southside for too long.
Everything Else You Need To Know
- Marvin has actually put in work to be a better father, and that’s why I appreciated how he showed up for Jukebox. It was very touching to see him try to be there for her as she navigated Keisha’s death.
- We know Jukebox eventually becomes a cop, so will Burke’s death spur her to head in that direction one day?
- Ronnie’s a scary man. He seems like the opposite of Unique from the outside and his demeanor, which is such a great contrast. He came out with a chip on his shoulder, and seeing how he and Unique operate together will be magnificent television.
- I love the idea that Raq having this new house suddenly changes who she is at her core. Me thinks it won’t take very long for danger to find her there as well.
- Marchetti seemed rather upset with Boselli, but what will it all ultimately mean?
- I’m still not over Lou-Lou calling Kanan over to the old house solely so he could have a friend to talk badly about Raq. Whew, this family is going through it.
This series is truly special for various reasons, and this premiere was a great starting place for a season that will further explore the evolution of Kanan.
Lots to discuss after this one, so don’t be shy and drop into the comments to discuss it with me!
I’ll be here all season breaking it down, and I can’t wait to see what this season brings.
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on X.