Television

Michael Rainey Jr., Alix Lapri, and Cliff ‘Method Man’ Smith Talk The Return of Power Book II: Ghost

Power Book II: Ghost Season 3 is almost upon us, and you know what that means? It’s time to prepare ourselves for another season of mayhem.

Fresh off a killer Power Book II: Ghost Season 2, the major players are back for another run around New York City, as they all do what they do best; look out for themselves and the bottom line.

Tariq, Effie, and Davis will be there taking care of business, and we got a chance to talk with their portrayers, Michael Rainey Jr., Alix Lapri, and Method Man, on Power Ghost press day about what’s coming up for them this season. And you’ll definitely want to hear what they say about the craziness we’re about to encounter in the series’ third act.

Power Book II: Ghost Season 2 Episode 10 ended with a bang and headed into this new season, everyone is in different places.

Effie and Tariq’s relationship is still on fire, though there may be some cracks in the foundation.

As Lapri explained, when asked where we’ll meet Effie when the series returns, “She’s lying. I think she’s in a little bit over her head. She’s feeling very guilty about it because of the space that she’s in with Tariq.

“So I think a lot of the conversations that they start to have right off the bat in the first episode, there’s always an underlying theme of deception or yeah, I feel like I can really trust you guys. You guys are my family.

“And so it’s weighing heavy on her that, boy, like, ‘Oh my gosh, I just really did this to him, and he doesn’t even know.’ She’s kissing him, she’s loving on him, and she’s having his back, but she doesn’t really. So complicated.”

While it may be complicated, Rainey Jr. said, “If she didn’t do what she did, she wouldn’t really have his back.”

And that’s an interesting way of looking at Effie’s actions.

Rainey Jr. explained what kind of place Tariq is in: “I would say the space that Tariq is in, obviously covering, trying to keep in the back of his mind that he has to cover up his tracks from the heist and being on the camera.

“Obviously, he’s getting deeper and deeper with Effie. Meanwhile, she’s betrayed him fully. So, he’s definitely in a difficult space. He’s using his trust a lot more. He’s putting his trust in people around him.

“He’s trusting Brayden. He’s trusting Effie. And we’ll see how that unfolds. We’ll see how trusting people, you see where trusting people gets to him, which is why he wanted to trust them.”

The Tariq and Effie relationship has seen many ups and downs, and ultimately, the two just can’t seem to get the other out of their system.

“I think she does like him,” Lapri said when asked what keeps pulling Effie back to her on-again beau. “She likes him. And it’s kind of in the way that you feel safe with anyone that’s comfortable, even if it’s not the best choice for you.

“Knowing someone, being in a space with them, and working together brings you closer. In a sense, I think they were only ever supposed to be friends or best friends, but when they became more is when things started to get really settled.

“So I don’t know. I don’t know. I guess it’s maybe his charming looks, or who knows? Maybe she’s stuck on stupid. Who knows.”

Meanwhile, not much has changed when we meet back up with Davis. “He’s right where he’s been,” Method Man told us. “I mean, the big misconception of Davis is that he’s just in it for the money. It’s impossible, or else he wouldn’t work as hard as he did.

“I think Davis is more focused on his win and the power that comes with it. So, let’s just nip that in the bud now.”

Davis has been an intriguing character since he showed up, and it’s been tough to get a handle on who he is and what he’s ultimately after. We learn something new about Davis every season, and it appears this season will be no different.

As Method Man said, when asked about what we’d continue to learn about the lawyer, “That he’s human. He’s flawed, just like any other character in the storyline.

“I have to give kudos to the writers for having so much on their plate because there are so many different storylines going on as we speak, and for them to find time for little old Davis? Great. And it’s a good storyline.

“So all I can tell people is to keep their eyes and ears open. Everything ain’t what it always seems. And if you like some of the prior cliffhangers from this show, you’ll love these.”

Everyone on Power seems to be motivated by something, and each season we’ve seen Tariq motivated by family or a desire to get away from the specter that was his father. But what’s driving him in season 3?

“Man, obviously, his family still. That’s always going to be his main motivation. Just make sure that he has enough to make sure that his family’s good, his grandma, his mom. But his main motivation is just getting money.

“He’s got to get the money. He went through a whole lot of different stuff in school. So certain things are not so in your face as they were before. He’s not entitled to certain things that will come from him doing well in school.

“He just has to grind. He has to make sure he’s getting what he has to get. So, he’s always motivated by something. Just the game, just being able to survive and being able to make sure everyone is as well.”

And what about Davis?

“Well, it’s always been about power,” Method Man explained when asked about Davis’s motivators. “And I think with that, the fact that he needs power in order to free his brother, I think that’s a crutch.

“It’s kind of like a scar on his person. He can get everybody. He can help everybody else but himself. And it’s kind of frustrating. This is why Sax comes into play, and he’s playing checkers, not chess, with the system. And will he get burned or not?

“It’s up to you guys to watch the show and find out.”

Something we do know about Davis, though, is that he’s always going to have his hands in a few different pots. And that doesn’t seem poised to change this season.

“I think he’s going to maximize his role in every one of these people’s lives,” Method Man told us. “Why? Because it brings revenue. The more Tariq stays in trouble, the more revenue.

“The more Sax finds out things about Tariq, and I’m on the inside getting, the more revenue. And the fact that Davis is, he is so focused on his end game that he may become blinded by it as well.

“And I don’t want to give up too much, but like I said, watch the season, and you’ll see all this stuff play out. We got some brilliant writers on this show.”

Will Davis end up working with the Tejadas? We’ll have to wait and see! One thing we can assume, though, is that Tariq will find himself back in the Tejada web one way or another.

“Well, Tariq and the Tejadas, you know how that goes,” Rainey Jr. shared. “As you can see in the beginning, you see Tariq and Monet, they’re working a little closer with each other and working together a little more.

“But it’s weird because it seems like whoever gets deep with Tariq or whomever Tariq gets deep with, no matter if it’s a relationship, no matter if it’s just work or business, it’s like things get rocky, things get rocky.

“So Tariq can’t really trust Monet, and Monet can’t really trust Tariq, but they work together because they know there’s something there that works, and they’re benefiting. So see how that unfolds, them not trusting each other, all that’s going to unfold crazy.

“They trust each other because they have to because they work together. But at the end of the day, don’t nobody trust anybody at night.”

Power shows no signs of slowing down, with three successful spinoffs currently on the air and the universe only growing and bringing in even more fans worldwide.

The series’ success is something none of the actors take for granted.

When asked about the most rewarding thing about being a part of such a storied series, Rainey Jr. told us, “Man, it’s so many different blessings that I’ve received throughout the years of being a part of this show.

“Just being a part of a show like this, that’s a blessing in itself. And the platform given to me from being on the show, I get to inspire a lot of people that are watching me, younger, older, same age.

“Just being able to have a voice that people will listen to, a voice that affects people. And I always want to say my words. I always want my voice to affect people in a positive way.

“So just having that platform, people listening, being influential in a way is a big blessing because you could do so many positive things with it. I would say being influential, just having a bigger voice.”

Lapri echoed those sentiments, stating, “And I think for me it just, A, it’s Power, we get to do so much cool stuff. There are so many cool roles, but something about being a drug dealer that shoots guns.

“So much fun. I love doing stunts. And I get to do so much on this show. But I think, too, I didn’t realize how much TV truly brings people together.

“I got stopped on the street by this couple when I was walking, and they were like, ‘Girl, I just want to let you know, Power saved our relationship. We were going through a really rocky time, and we didn’t do anything else.’

They were like, ‘Okay, every day on this day, we’re going to sit down, we’re going to watch the new episode. And then we would find ourselves laughing with you guys. We would find ourselves crying with you guys. And we would be shocked, losing our breath.’

“That’s so dope to me, getting to impact so many different people. And also, my niece gets to watch the age-appropriate stuff, and seeing her Tia on TV and sending me videos of it is like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God.’ I just lose my mind every time.”

With two seasons under his belt, we wondered how pleased Method Man has been with the audience reception to him and the formidable Davis MacLean.

“I mean, it came with an audience,” Method Man said. “I was lucky to even be selected to read for the show, let alone get the part. The audience came from the original Power Universe. A lot of this credit and kudos have to go to Omari Hardwick.

“What can I say about this man? His work ethic and everything resonated all the way into these spinoff shows because a lot of that crew is still around. They still work here.

“And I mean, we watched Michael grow up on TV. He’s an adult man now. So there are people who have watched him from 10 years old to 21, and those bonds cannot be broken.

“I don’t know if that answers your question, but as far as the Power Universe goes, it’s a real family behind the scenes. So, this is why it works so well for all of us.”

One thing about Ghost is you know each season will take you on a ride. And this season is poised to follow that trend.

So, how would Lapri and Rainey Jr. describe the season for Effie and Tariq?

“Oh my gosh. I would say huge,” Lapri said. “This season is huge. We do so many really big things. I was shocked reading it when I got these scripts. I was losing my mind.

“But a word I would use to describe Effie this season would be, what could I use to describe her? I don’t know if I could use a word. I would say a phrase, though.

“I would say controlled chaos because there are so many scenes that you see her, and it’s like a genuine oh shit moment. But she is so good at thinking on her feet, and she is so good at keeping it together. Whatever situation she’s in, even if there’s fear, if there’s rage, it’s very contained. So I really like that about her.”

Rainey Jr. told us, “I would say this season for Tariq is all about betrayal, disappointment, being let down by who you put your trust in, who you chose to trust, and who you were kind of fighting trying to not trust them.

“He wasn’t trying to trust anybody; he didn’t want to trust them. He was holding his trust very close to him. So yeah, I would say betrayal and disappointment. And then we see what happens when you trust somebody.”

Lapri added, “I’m telling you, it’s crazy, bigger than ever this season. Up until the very last second.”

And Method Man had one striking sentence for us that got all the wheels turning: “James was right about Tariq.”

Lucky for us, we don’t have too much longer to wait for Power Book II: Ghost Season 3 Episode 1.

And we’ll be back this season to cover it all for you at TV Fanatic!

You can watch Power Book II: Ghost at 9/8c on Starz beginning March 17th.

Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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