Power Book II: Ghost Season 1 Episode 1 Review: The Stranger

Television

Oh, baby, we are back in business.

The Power universe has expanded. And the first new series centers around perpetually frustrating Tariq St. Patrick, who finds himself trying to navigate his first semester in college and his new role as head of the St. Patrick family overnight.

Power Book II: Ghost Season 1 Episode 1 reunites us with some familiar faces while introducing us to a host of new characters who look likely to create new problems for Tariq and company. And let’s just say, we are hooked.

Who would have thought one day Tariq would get his own show?

Certainly, not me when Power first began. Tariq grew up before our very own eyes on screen, and it goes without saying that his journey has been up and down, but this premiere episode did a perfect job of setting up the series and getting you invested in the next phase of Tariq’s journey.

There’s a reason this spinoff is titled Ghost, even though the Ghost that we know is no longer around. Tariq has been morphing into his own version of his father for years now.

While he’s never been shy about setting out on a different path than the one his father wanted for him, it’ll be interesting to see if no matter what, all roads do indeed lead back to him being his father’s son.

The original Power always had a robust cast, with a slew of main characters and recurring characters branching off to create many storylines that interconnected. And it didn’t always work on the original series, with newer characters storylines not packing enough of a punch to justify their screentime taking away from the mains.

It’s unclear and unfair to speculate if that will happen again with this spinoff, as we’re only down one episode. Still, we are introduced to a lot of characters who are presented to us as being people who will become more important as the series progresses.

There’s also the split in the pilot, with Tariq college student on the one hand, and the Tasha issue on the other.

It appears Tasha will be relegated to prison for a while, as she’s taken the fall for Ghost’s murder during Power Season 6. She’s hellbent on protecting Tariq, even to her detriment, oh, and Mak and Saxe are STILL foaming at the mouth to bring Ghost’s organization down, even in death.

But since they can’t have Ghost, they figure Tasha is the next best thing.

In Saxe’s defense, he’s bending over backward to try to help Tasha, but it’s more for his self-interests than out of affection for her. But he runs into a brick wall with Mak and the Democratic Party, who can’t have Ghost’s name smeared through the mud.

But the one thing no one knows outside of Tasha and Tariq (and Tommy, who is greatly missed here), is that Tariq is the one who pulled the trigger. And even though Tariq gives her permission to turn him in, Tasha refuses. And then she’s left with an even bigger problem to deal with.

One of the most exciting new characters to surface during the hour-plus premiere is Method Man, who joins the cast as Tasha’s new lawyer. And he does what Method Man does best; steal scenes with his charm.

An up and coming hotshot attorney, he’s got no emotional stake in Tasha’s case. But with the trial getting intense scrutiny, it could set him up for a hell of a payday if he wins.

It feels as if this storyline and Tariq’s dealings will be at odds with one another all season, but thus far, Tasha’s case has relevancy and feels substantial. That wasn’t always the case when it came to dealings with the US Attorney’s Office in the original.

When he’s not trying to figure out how to save Tasha, Tariq spends time completing homework assignments, dealing with Simon Stern, finding a way to get $50,000 overnight, and potentially getting himself into a love triangle.

So, yeah, there is A LOT to digest here.

At times, it feels like they’re just throwing everything they can at the wall and seeing what lands. But shockingly, it all lands with consistency.

Here’s hoping the series continues to dive into Tariq’s feelings about not just the killing of his father, but Ray-Ray as well. He’s got two murders on his conscience, and he’s only a teenager.

Finding out more about what that’s done to him and how he truly feels about their deaths would go a long way in continuing to explore who Tariq is outside of what everyone else tells him he’s supposed to be.

The weakest part of Tariq’s story is his interactions with his advisor and his attempt to get into this program to allow him to graduate sooner. It’s clear that Carrie, and her fellow professor, with whom she was clearly in a relationship with at some point, will be major players this season.

And it’s not exactly clear why that needs to be the case. With so much going on and things moving frantically, it’s hard to see how they will fit into the season’s overall broader themes.

On the flip side, it’s evident that they’re setting up the Tejada’s to be an essential piece of the puzzle.

It’s luck that Tariq is tasked with taking on Zeke as a roommate, but it may end up being a blessing or a disguise depending on how Tariq treats this new relationship.

We don’t learn much about the family, outside of the fact Monet is in charge and feared throughout the neighborhood. Knowing Tariq, he’s going to attempt to use them to his benefit, because that’s what Tariq does.

But Tariq also suffers from the same syndrome as his father; the ‘I know better than everyone’ syndrome. He’s walking into the situation relatively blind, and this time around, he’s all alone. Besides Tasha, he has not a soul looking out for him, but there’s nothing she can do for him at this time.

No matter how much he pushed Ghost and Tommy, and his mother at times away, they were always there when he needed backup.

Can Tariq do it all on his own?

We will be watching this season to get the answer to that and so much more.

Everything Else You Need To Know

  • With the series picking up almost directly after Power Season 6 Episode 15, it’ll be exciting to see if we get any more information about Ghost and the immediate fallout of his death. Was there a funeral?
  • Epiphany is always welcome on the screen. And bringing back Effie to have one final conversation with Tariq was a nice callback to that storyline.
  • Lauren seems sweet, but it feels like she’s going to get her heart broken at some point, right?
  • Somehow, someway Method Man and Mary J. Blige need to share screentime. It has to happen.

This was a very enjoyable pilot, and I’m curious to see how the Power family reacts.

Which storyline has you the most excited?

Do you think Tariq will work with the Tejada’s?

Which characters from the original were you most excited to see?

Drop all your comments down below, and make sure you come back each week watch Power Book II: Ghost online so you can join the conversation!

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

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