Previously on the hood Wonder Years aka Power Book III: Raising Kanan, we learned Detective Howard is Kanan’s real dad, and Symphony came through in the clutch for the budding hustler, which will come back haunt him. Also, Jukebox will finally put her singing talent on full display at an upcoming talent showcase and at the same time down in the dumps after she and Nicole got caught messing around by white bae’s mom, who threatened to accuse Jukebox of rape; how caucasian of her. One interesting turn of events was Raq’s most loyal soldier, Scrappy, turning on her and joining Unique’s crew after a tussle with Kanan. This week’s episode further expounds on those situations.
Raq Pushes On
The plan to move the operation into the projects continues. The episode opens up with Raq heading to her recently acquired project apartments to see how the unlicensed work to convert them into a two-level trap house situation is coming along. When she gets to the apartment, she is greeted by the nervous-ass landlord, who warned her that there would be some issues with this move.
When Raq steps inside the apartment, she is greeted by a hard-nosed inspector who tells her none of the moves she is doing are approved by NYCHA, being that she does not own the apartments, the city does. At that moment, Raq decides to use the one powerful tool she has an advantage, her sex appeal, to woo the BIG MAD inspector into meeting with her privately later, a meeting he will come to regret later, but for now. Still, at least the problem was seemingly solved by Raq.
Detective Howard Is Desperate
Detective Howard is running out of time and has become desperate after his doctor told him the cousins he reached out to were not a match for the bone marrow transport he desperately needs. He decides to spring up on the doctor and ask hypothetically, what if he had a son who could help him out?
The doctor says while it won’t be a home run, it will help him in the long run and points out the donors usually should be around the age of 18. Kanan is only 15. Howard knows he will need to get Raq’s permission, and that is going to be a task in itself because Raq already told him to stay away from Kanan. But, since he is dying, he has no choice, so he will have to figure something out…quickly.
Howard, who hasn’t called out in 25 years, is out, understandably. This gives his “partner” Burke some time to be a real detective on her own. After speaking with her chief, he allows her to go out on her own and get her gumshoe on. She hits the ground running, even having a conversation with Jukebox, trying to get some information from her after seeing her with Nicole, but Jukebox doesn’t bite.
Uncle Lou-Lou Breaks His Golden Rule By Asking For A Favor
In episode four, Lou-Lou told his niece that he didn’t like owing favors to people. Well, he is immediately going back on that word. Raq’s baby brother is dead serious about this music showcase he is footing the bill for. Raq, on the other hand, sees it as a waste of his or, as she put it, her money.
Lou-Lou only got in on the showcase in the first place so Jukebox could get on the stage, but now he is all in and is paying for everything that Camacho’s drug-abusing self can’t afford. During his conversation with Raq, he stressed to her he wanted the night to be drug-free, and Raq does not like the idea that because she feels Unique will be in there pushing product, Lou-Lou reassures her that will not be the case.
With that said, Lou-Lou wastes no time and pays Unique an unexpected visit to break his golden rule to ask the competition not to come to the showcase starting trouble or selling drugs. After a small conversation, Unique agrees, and Lou-Lou leaves believing he’s got Unique’s word. BUT, we all know that Unique isn’t a man of his word, especially regarding Raq and her crew.
Once Lou-Lou is out of the picture, Unique instructs one of his goons and his newest recruit, Scrappy, to cause some trouble at the showcase. This is more of a test to see how loyal Scrappy truly is.
Raq, on the other hand, is trying to secure more products from the connect but fails miserably. Apparently, her move to recruit the connect’s right-hand man didn’t sit well with her supplier, plus Unique offered double the money for both his and her shipment.
Raq is definitely stuck between a rock and a hard place because, according to Uncle Marvin, their supply is dangerously low, and they can’t stretch what they have left any further. But that could all change. Kanan decides to use the lesson he got from Symphony about the Van Wyck Expressway to pitch the idea of using a new corner to sell crack to white people at high prices. Uncle Marvin is intrigued, but at the same time, he is well aware that his sister told him to stay away from Kanan.
Raq isn’t going to let that stop her from making moves still. She eventually links back up with the horny inspector. He thought Raq was going to sleep with him. Instead, she offers him some money. Not satisfied, he gets violent with her, and the two get into a scuffle as he attempts to rape her. Raq finds a hammer on the flow and delivers the knockout blow to the inspector.
Uncle Marvin eventually shows up, and Raq orders him to dispose of the inspector’s body. Uncle Marvin obliges and puts the inspector in the apartment’s wall while venting about his current frustrations with Raw and how he is being treated and puts two nails in his head for good measure before sealing up the hole. We have noticed that these characters do a terrible job when it comes to disposing of evidence and bodies. There is no way that man’s body rots in those walls, and no one notices.
What Time Is It? It’s Showtime!
It’s time for the big show, and after all of the begging Jukebox did and being jealous of Famous for getting the opportunity over her, Jukebox has the jitters. Even with her boo and Famous encouraging her, Jukebox locks herself in the bathroom and pukes like Bunny Rabbit in 8 Mile, no clue if it was Uncle Marvin’s spaghetti she throwing up.
Eventually, they convince Kanan to talk her down. After the conversation, Jukebox is ready to hit the stage to show the world what she and her friends already knew. She’s got talent.
While this is going on, Raq and Symphony have a discussion, and she is not happy. Earlier in the episode, she learned that her young boo thang scooped Kanan from jail behind her back, a big no, no, and she already warned Symphony when it comes to matters about her son to stay out of it.
Despite Kanan insisting it was his idea and Symphony making the case, he only did it because Kanan asked him Raq isn’t trying to hear it and basically tells him he can kick rocks, and Symphony obliges. Following the argument, Raq notices the scuffle in front of the venue involving Lou-Lou and some dudes from Brooklyn trying to get inside strapped.
After things calm down, she tells Lou-Lou how proud she is of him before warning him that they will be back to hitting the streets hard the next morning. As she walks away, she bumps into Detective Burke and warns her to relay a message to her partner, instructing him to stay away from Kanan.
Back inside, the show kicks off, Famous and Jukebox handle business on stage, and the crowd loves the song. While this is going on, Scrappy and Unique’s goon finally find a way inside while avoiding security. They walk around the venue, looking for a way to start some trouble. Before things get out of hand, Lou-Lou notices Scrappy and decides to start a mini-brawl preventing Scrappy and Unique’s boy from busting any shots.
That whole moment would prove to be dire for Scrappy because Unique’s boy thinks he was in on the situation and was acting as a spy for Raq. Everyone else scatters in the mayhem, Kanan runs to Davina’s house, and they have sex for the first time, Famous is getting some action in the bathroom at the venue, Jukebox and a very high Nicole hop on the bus, and Lou-Lou and Famous’ sister bump uglies in the back of the limo.
Meanwhile, poor Raq is home baeless after kicking Symphony to the curb. When Kanan arrives home, he sneaks past his sleeping mother’s bedroom. The peace is disturbed when a car drives by. Raq grabs her gun and runs outside only to discover a half-naked Scrappy lying dead in front of her house, and the episode ends.
The war between Unique and Raq has officially begun.
Photo: Starz / Power Book III: Raising Kanan