Ghost (Omari Hardwick) is home — but he’s still being haunted by prison. He startles awake in the penthouse after dreaming about beating CO Marshall Williams’ (RIP Charlie Murphy) head in. Looking over, he realizes that Tasha (Naturi Naughton) didn’t sleep in the bed next to him. Why would she?
Showering and putting on one of his usual suits, Ghost tries to become James again, but he’s not quite feeling like himself. Entering the kitchen, Tasha is there, but none of the kids are (apparently, they’re all at sleepovers). In the absence of his children, Ghost tries to approach Tasha about starting over. He promises that everything that went down between himself and Angela (Lela Loren) is a wrap. Tasha is unmoved. She tells her husband that she just watched Angela blow up her life for him. She also informs Ghost that she’s just dealing with him for the sake of appearances. What did he expect?
At Truth, the Feds have unlocked the doors and Ghost is feeling pretty pleased. He smiles for the first time in forever as he turns on all of the lights. That is until Simon Stern (Victor Garber) rolls up on him talking about a business deal and debt owned. Apparently Stern loaned Tasha some coins. In exchange, Stern wants Ghost to be the CEO of a new real estate venture. He needs Ghost’s Black face for the tax credit and publicity. In the midst of their conversation, Ghost’s burner phone rings. It’s Tony Teresi (William Sadler) wanting to know why Tommy (Joseph Sikora) hasn’t been in touch. Ghost tries to buy more time with the old Gangster (if you recall Teresi knows Ghost killed Marshal), he hasn’t been able to get a hold of Tommy since he got out, but Teresi is getting impatient.
In some empty house in Queens Juke Box (Anika Noni Rose) is holding Tariq (Michael Rainey Jr.) hostage, but the boy doesn’t know it yet. He’s so damn gullible that he believes he’s just chilling there until his new friend Slim (who is really Kanan (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson) arrives. Juke Box is getting annoyed because Kanan hasn’t confronted Ghost yet and she’s had to come up with ways to get Tasha off of Tariq’s back.
In Manhattan, Tasha and Keisha (La La Anthony) are having brunch. Keisha is PISSED! She’s ready to reopen her weave shop and get it back legit, and she’s also irritated that she hasn’t heard a word from Tommy. Tasha tries to talk her friend off the ledge, but it’s clearly not working. Tasha texts Tommy to find out where he’s been but we all know, Tommy doesn’t have his phone.
In Chicago, Tommy meets with Jason Micic (Mike Dopud), the head of the organization. He tells Tommy that Ghost is out of jail (which Tommy didn’t know) and that he’s impressed with the work he’s done thus far. Jason informs Tommy that he thinks he would be a good replacement for Milan (Callan Mulvey) and that he wants him to run both the East and West Coasts. In return, Jason asks that Tommy cut all ties with Ghost (yeah, that’s never gonna happen). Though he’s ready to get back on the road for NYC, (why is he driving 22 hours?! I guess he doesn’t want a paper trail) Jason informs Tommy that he’ll be staying the night to celebrate his potential promotion Chicago style.
In New York, Julio (J.R. Ramirez) confronts Dre (Rotimi) about meeting up with Kanan (PAUSE. Where did Dre get that Benz from?! Who does he think he is?). Dre tells him it’s all good that he was just feeling Kanan out. He also tells Julio about some guys who are having beef with their connect and that Cristobal (Matt Cedeño) has been running his mouth about the extra keys Julio gave him. Julio tells Dre to set up the meeting to try to pull these new guys into the fold. Ugh, I hate Dre, I wish he was smoother with his lies and manipulation. Ghost would never.
Meanwhile, in Queens, Tariq is ready to get going, and Juke Box is tired of babysitting. To buy some more time she gives Riq some purple drank. At the St. Patrick’s penthouse, both Tasha and Ghost are on ten. Tasha wants to talk to Ghost about their petulant and now missing son, but Ghost is pissed Tasha made a deal with Stern without consulting him. He tells her that money from Milan should have been enough. She tells him it wasn’t, and that he’ll figure out how to get out from under Stern just like before. Do you know that Ghost has the Black nerve to tell Tasha, “I don’t know how I can trust you”?! THE AUDACITY OF THIS NEGRO. Tasha is unbothered, and she basically tells him, “same.”
In a warehouse somewhere, Dre and Cristobal meet up with some of Julio old’ gang homies. They’re pissed because Julio should have been dead when he broke from their organization, but Ghost brought his freedom (this is why Julio is so loyal to Ghost). Now that Ghost is out the game, the men plot to trap Julio and kill him. I’m really trying to understand Dre’s arrogance and why he thinks he deserves to be distro so bad. He’s not even that clever.
In Chicago, Tommy has liquor, women and an assortment of meats spread out before him. He’s too drunk to realize something isn’t right until Jason and his men lure him outside and he finds himself hit over the head and locked in a trunk.
Back in NYC, Dre apparently moves real fast because Julio walks right into his trap with his old gang brothers. Three on one, Julio knows it’s time to pay up, blood in and blood out. He gives it all he has but in the end, the leader of the gang cuts off his 718 tattoo and leaves him bleeding out on the floor. If this ain’t the end for Julio, it’s certainly going to be the end for Dre because Julio is done tryna keep it cute. Let us pray that Julio isn’t dead because he’s too fine to die and Dre deserves all of the retaliation that Julio can muster.
In the trunk in Chicago, Tommy awakens and realizes that he’s about to die. When Jason and his henchmen scoop him out, he’s standing in front of a shallow grave that has been dug for him. Petar (Aleksandar Popovic) the middle man between Jason and Tommy arrives and Tommy realizes he’s been set up. Apparently, Jason thinks Tommy killed Milan without the green light. Tommy insists that he was set up. Out of the blue, Milan’s ex-bae Tatiana (Irina Dvorovenko) roles up confirming Tommy’s story. Jason shoots Petar in the head and Tommy is free to go.
Later on the road, Tommy is a few miles away from Cleveland, Holly’s hometown. He decides to make a detour before heading home. Once he arrives, he pulls up on an old white man who is giving an open house. It turns out, the old man is Holly’s uncle and he used to rape her as a child. Tommy obviously murders the man with a baseball bat and it was much deserved.
In NYC, Kanan finally runs up on Ghost and tells him that he has Tariq. He ushers Ghost into the car and says that they want money or else he’s gonna have the boy killed. In Queens, Juke Box is fed up and as Tariq tries to head out, she hits him over the head with her gun. Riq goes down hard. In the car, Ghost is trying to reason with Kanan to let his son go. He also tells him that he doesn’t have any cash since he just got out of jail. Kanan isn’t moved, so Ghost does the only thing he can think to do — rob Tommy’s stash house. (How messed up is that?!)
Kanan and Ghost snatched the money and in the midst of it, Ghost learns that Tommy is out of town. Unfortunately, it’s not even a smooth hit because Kanan kills one of Tommy’s men. In the midst of the robbery, Ghost tells a distraught Tasha that he’ll pick up Tariq. (She thinks the boy left his friend’s house to go see some girl in Brooklyn). These kids have too much freedom.
In route to Queens, Ghost learns the Juxe Box is holding Tariq and Kanan realizes just how messed up the situation is. His cousin is a loose cannon and he’s actually learned to care for Riq. (I think.) He gives Ghost a gun and they both run in the house to try and save Tariq. Juke Box immediately realizes it’s a setup and pulls her gun on Riq. She forces Kanan to tell the boy who he really is and why they struck up a friendship. Kanan also tells Riq that he killed Sean, his own son. (He says he would do it again too!) Tariq is visibly distraught and devastated by the revelation. In a split second decision, Kanan kills Juke Box bringing the entire hostage situation to a close. Ghost quickly scoops up his distraught child as Kanan heads out, money and gun in hand.
It appears that he and Ghost are finally square but Tariq will never be the same.
Power airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Starz.
Aramide A Tinubu is a film critic and entertainment writer. As a journalist, her work has been published in EBONY, JET, ESSENCE, Bustle, The Daily Mail, IndieWire and Blavity. She wrote her Master’s thesis on Black Girlhood and Parental Loss in Contemporary Black American Cinema. She’s a cinephile, bookworm, blogger and NYU + Columbia University alum. You can find her reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, read her blog at: www.chocolategirlinthecity.com or tweet her @midnightrami