Where do we even begin?
Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 3 Episode 8 was the best hour this season, with several storylines moving forward and setting up the final two hours in spectacular fashion.
There’s almost too much to unpack after this one, but I will surely try.
Overall, Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 3 has been a bit of a slow-moving affair; even though the friction between previously tight-knit groups and the deaths have been coming fast and furious, it’s felt largely subdued.
And that’s not a negative thing, but it’s felt a little off at specific points in a way it hasn’t in past seasons.
Everyone is so scattered, but it truly feels like everything will converge over these final two hours, and we may be in for yet another bloody final chapter.
Raq spent much of the early parts of the season reiterating she was out of the game to the point where it became futile. And her decision to get back into the game felt inevitable because, at her core, that’s just who she is.
She became a person who moves weight. And she became the number one, a position she took on, thrived in, and won’t apologize for.
You can feel however you want to about Raq, and you certainly wouldn’t be wrong to have serious reservations about her parenting styles, but one thing you can’t say about her is that she’s complacent.
Since Raq decided she was back in, she’s gone full-throttle, taking over what Unique started and looking to take it over and do it better.
She just didn’t realize it would put her on a collision course with Kanan.
I’ve been thinking all along we’ve been building to Raq versus Ronnie, and I still believe we are, but I didn’t always see Kanan standing on Ronnie’s side.
This series may be titled Raising Kanan, but it’s also the origin story of Raquel Thomas, even if we don’t ultimately know what the future holds for her.
Raq’s the leader, and she understands what that means. It means the buck stops with you, and you don’t have time to sulk and get unfocused. You lose focus or track of your ultimate goal, and not only will you not be in charge, you won’t be here anymore.
So, on the one hand, I understand why she’s so laser-focused on business because she has to be. She’s already at a disadvantage, and with Quân over her shoulder, she has to make moves, and she has to make them quickly.
But her utter disregard for Lou-Lou was incredibly disheartening.
I was upset with Marvin during Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 3 Episode 7 because he seemed oblivious to Lou-Lou’s plight. More than anyone, he’s shown the ability to think beyond himself, and while he’s been busy helping Gerald at every turn, to this point, he hadn’t extended that same courtesy to his brother.
But he came around, especially once he seemed to realize that Lou-Lou was at rock bottom.
Showing up on Raq’s doorstep yelling for the whole neighborhood to hear that he’s a killer was certainly rock bottom.
Lou-Lou needs professional help because not only has he become dependent on alcohol to numb his pain, but he’s filled with an incredible amount of sorrow that probably sparks back to his childhood.
And that’s not something you just get over. It would be best if you had someone with schooling to help you parse through the steady stream of debilitating emotions. That kind of torment will consume you, and you saw how despondent and alone Lou-Lou had become throughout the hour.
While I love that Marvin was aware of Lou-Lou’s pain and wanted to help, I didn’t love that he just did whatever Raq told him to, which has been a common theme throughout the series, and have Lou-Lou tell it, it’s why his life is in ruins.
Marvin needed to tell Raq to chill for a minute, think outside herself, and help their little brother. Marvin is a whole adult, and if there was ever a time to step up to his sister, it was now.
And even if she said no, which she likely would, step up to the plate and do the right thing. It’s easier said than done, but how often do we hear people on this series wax poetic about the importance of family, yet in the moment it matters the most, it’s business over everything.
I’m not going to do too much on Marvin because, more than anyone, he TRIES, but he stuck to Raq’s script, and now it’s looking like a genuine possibility that Lou-Lou doesn’t make it out of this season alive.
He’s walking around like he has a death wish, and with seemingly no help in sight, that wish could become a reality.
The Thomas family, which is currently being held together by floss and Elmer’s glue, is only going to get worse before it gets better. IF it gets better.
Circling back to the Ronnie and Kanan of it all, while Raq was brushing off Marvin’s concerns at every turn, she wasn’t brushing off the real threat from her competitors in the streets.
It was kind of funny that Raq never even thought for a second that Ronnie and Kanan could be the other heroin dealers, but it did further reinforce that distance that gets wider and wider between mother and son.
Raq’s biggest mistake in the long run may be underestimating Kanan because she doesn’t seem to fully grasp just how much he’s changed. And how could she? They don’t have a relationship anymore.
Going to the social worker was the only hand Raq had to play that didn’t involve bringing direct harm to her only child, so it was smart of her to use it. But if her fatal flaw doesn’t end up being underestimating Kanan, it’ll be her failure to see how much of a threat Ronnie is to her.
And Snaps and Pop, for that matter.
Snaps and Pop are the most interesting new characters this season, even though we don’t spend nearly enough time with them.
They have big ‘get off my lawn’ energy one second and loving mentor energy the next. It’s entirely dependent upon who they’re talking to.
With Kanan Stark, they see an opportunity to still be relatively hands-off but also insert their influence as self-proclaimed founders of the game. They paid their dues and bid their time to now be in a position where they can have a footprint but not do any real work.
With Raq, they’re just minding their business, and suddenly, she’s in their territory telling them what to do, and they feel the need to reiterate exactly who they are.
And perhaps it’s because, despite appearances, they view Raq as a threat.
Snaps made a rather bold proclamation after Raq’s threats, and I certainly wouldn’t be taking him lightly, but is there a large part of Snaps that worries about what Raq is capable of? Of course.
Though that won’t stop him from continuing to garner respect.
And wasn’t that an intriguing conversation about respect versus fear, a common thread throughout the Power series.
Ghost was both respected and feared. Tommy is still respected and feared.
Raq is mostly definitely respected and feared. Remember during Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 1, how often Raq was talked about in a way that made it seem like she was untouchable?
She took what Defcon taught her, putting her blood, sweat, and tears into cementing herself as a powerful player in a male-dominated world. Respect your elders and all that, of course, but let’s not act like Raq is still the girl playing double-dutch on the sidewalk.
She’s sacrificed and done her part to establish herself as someone worthy enough to walk up to Snaps and Pop to have that conversation. Respect that.
Kanan was correct to equate fear and respect because to be genuinely feared must mean others respect what you’re capable of. But Kanan isn’t there yet, though we’re slowly seeing what it means for him to reach those heights.
Snaps: Your mother is good at this work.
Kanan: So am I.
With Ronnie as his muscle for now, he’s asserting himself as someone you don’t want to mess with. And that kind of power is only growing.
Now, we wait for the inevitable moment when competitors come together to make a deal or declare war on one another. And what a meeting that will be.
Elsewhere, if you’re like me and thought Gerald was a reformed jerk who was a vehicle to help Marvin on his quest to change, then you were shocked to learn he’s actually a rat.
I feel bamboozled and led astray because I didn’t see this coming, even when fans screamed that Gerald was shady. I’ve watched too much television to be tricked this easily, but that’s a testament to the writing and how they crafted this story.
We met Gerald during the anger management class in a vulnerable place, and when he showed up again this season, he continued to present that way. As viewers, you can let your guard down with a character like that.
While Marvin has been helping Gerald, now we know his drug problems caught the attention of the FEDs, and he’s using that help from someone who considers him to be a friend to ruin his life.
Gerald was coming on entirely too strong at the diner, and this was honestly the first time he seemed truly fidgety and like he was actively looking for incriminating information.
Marvin at least recognized that Gerald was overstepping, but did he realize he was a snitch? I don’t think he’d believe the man who had him sitting there eating pancakes with his daughters was actively plotting his demise. And he’ll be shattered when he finds out that’s the case.
But the real key to this whole thing isn’t Gerald; it’s Malcolm Howard.
He’s getting into the position where he’ll learn about Gerald’s identity very soon, and then he’ll have a decision to make. He could keep the information to himself and let Marvin take the fall for various things, leaving him, Raq, and Kanan out of the mess.
Or he could warn Raq and Marvin, which will undoubtedly trigger a wave of violence that may slow down the waves but won’t keep them from reaching the shore.
Decisions, decisions, decisions. There are so many things for everyone to consider as we approach the finale.
Everything Else You Need To Know
- Raq has been more than willing to get her hands dirty lately. She not only killed Juliana but taunted her in the process. And what a speech about winning and losing. You really won’t catch Raq slipping often, and if you do, she’ll make sure to remember it.
- Someone in the comments may be able to remind me. Does Jukebox end up in the military? Is that eventually how her dreams with Butta come to an end?
- Silly me for assuming Howard was going to get away with killing Shannon straight up because they’re not letting this go. Captain Burke, doing his own little investigation, could find him in a bad way, though.
- Has anyone hugged Famous yet? Every time he pops up, he looks like a shell of himself, making me sad. Justice for Famous!
- London Brown is the MVP of the season full stop. He has incredible comedic timing, and he’s nailing everything asked of him. He’s magnetic on-screen, and this hour was such a great showcase of his abilities.
- Krystal has to go. She’s a spiteful, mean girl, and her act is very tired already.
- Pernessa doing the right thing and not getting involved with the Raq and Ronnie beef, but casually mentioning his “girlfriend” was unintentionally hilarious.
I’ve crowned this one the best of the season, and I’d love to hear from you guys in the comments if you agree or disagree with that assessment!
So, do me a favor and let me know below, and also let me know what your predictions are for the end of this season!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on X.