Power Book II: Ghost, the first spinoff in STARZ’s (so far) incredible Powerverse, proved that Courtney A. Kemp’s long-running crime drama was capable of growing and expanding after the shocking death of Ghost (Omari Hardwick). Power Book II picked up days after the fallout from the end of Power Season 6, and while Ghost’s legacy was still felt throughout the sequel series’ first season, the spinoff successfully made Tariq St. Patrick (Michael Rainey Jr.) a protagonist that longtime Power followers could actually root for. Considering that Tariq was arguably the most-hated character – apart from Dre, at least – from the original series, that accomplishment alone made Power Book II: Ghost worthwhile.
In addition to somehow managing to make Tariq likable, Ghost stepped out of its predecessor’s shadow by introducing a wealth of new characters, including the no-nonsense queenpin Monet Tejada (Mary J. Blige) and her children, the shady lawyer Davis Maclean (Method Man), and Tariq’s annoyingly intrusive professors Jabari Reynolds (Justin Marcel McManus) and Carrie Milgram (Melanie Liburd). Familiar faces like Tasha St. Patrick (Naturi Naughton), Brayden Weston (Gianni Paolo), and Cooper Saxe (Shane Johnson) returned as well, which allowed Tariq’s journey to still feel somewhat familiar as Power Book II embarked into unchartered territory.
Nearly nine months after the insane Season 1 finale, Power Book II: Ghost is set to return for its second season on Sunday, November 21, and unless you had enough time to binge Power Book II alongside Power Book III or STARZ’s newest hit series BMF, you’re most certainly due for a refresher. Here’s a rundown of everything that you need to know going into Season 2 of Ghost. Warning – from this point on, we’ll be in spoiler territory, so if you want to catch up on Season 1 on your own, get out of here right now and watch Power Book II: Ghost on STARZ.
Tariq is a full-time college student and drug dealer
Even though Tariq single-handedly brought an end to one of the best Black shows of the late 2010s by murdering his father, Ghost ultimately got the last laugh anyway. Because instead of inheriting his father’s fortune and diving headfirst into the drug game with his mother, Tariq and his family didn’t see a cent of Ghost’s money. Tasha, unfortunately, will never directly get anything from her late husband’s estate, but Tariq and his little sister Yasmine (Paris Morgan) will be eligible to receive their inheritances once they earn a four-year degree from an esteemed university. With the help of Simon Stern (Simon Stern), Tariq enrolls in Stansfield University and joins the school’s canonical studies program in an effort to graduate early, making him a full-time student, a literary expert, and a full-time drug dealer.
As a result of having to multitask between reading classics like Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince and selling drugs to pay for his mother’s legal fees, Tariq breaks the Notorious B.I.G.’s fifth Crack Commandment: “Never sell no crack where you rest at.” And although he’s not actually selling crack, Tariq does end up teaming up with Simon Stern’s husband (Abubakr Ali) to create CourseCorrect, a tutoring app for Stansfield students that serves as a front for Tariq to push pills on campus.
Monet brings Tariq into her family’s business
Seeing that practically all of his original drug connections from the main Power series are either dead or in jail, Tariq finds himself in desperate need of product, and thus, he ends up connected with Monet – the patriarch of the Tejada Drug Organisation, the wife of notorious kingpin Lorenzo Tejada (Berto Colon), and the mother of Cane (Woody McClain), Dru (Lovell Adams-Gray), and Diana Tejada (LaToya Tonodeo). By the end of Season 1, there is still a lot left unknown about the inner workings of Monet and her husband Lorenzo’s drug business, but for now, Tariq appears to have proven himself to be welcomed by Monet into the Tejada’s family business.
Tariq is caught in a love triangle with Diana and Lauren.
Tariq spends the entirety of Ghost Season 1 trying to find a balance between his legal and illegal lives, and just like his father, his love life reflects that. Unlike his father, however, Tariq doesn’t grow close with someone as dangerous as an FBI agent, but rather Lauren Baldwin (Paige Hurd), one of his classmates at Stansfield, and Diana Tejada. As the season progresses, Tariq bounces between the two young women, and while he does have a brief fling with his deceitful former business associate Effie (Alix Lapri), both Diana and Lauren appear to hold a special place in Tariq’s heart. While Lauren and Tariq seem more compatible, the young drug dealer is essentially the perfect match for Diana, the princess of the Tejada drug empire. Season 1 ended without Tariq officially choosing between one of his love interests, so perhaps we can expect him to make that decision when Power Book II returns.
Zeke is having an affair with Professor Milgram, Tariq’s advisor.
Ezekiel “Zeke” Cross – Monet’s nephew who is also Tariq’s tutee and original Stansfield roommate – is the new star basketball player at Stansfield, and although everyone around him is knee-deep in the drug game, all that Zeke cares about is basketball and his love interest, Professor Carrie Milgram. After flirting with her on numerous occasions, Zeke does in fact seduce Tariq’s professor and advisor, and it actually evolves past a one-night stand. Due to the inappropriate and unprofessional nature of their relationship, Zeke and Carrie try to keep their affair under wraps, but Monet is able to figure out that something is going on between them after seeing how comfortable they are around each other. In Episode 9 “Monster,” Monet confronts Carrie about her relationship with Zeke and warns her to stop involving her nephew in the ongoing investigation of the dead GTG member found in the school’s pool. Despite Monet’s threats, Professor Milgram continues to have sex with Zeke in the season finale, so it will be interesting to see what implications their relationship has for Power Book II Season 2.
Tasha is taken into witness protection.
While on trial for the murder of Ghost, Tasha claims that she ordered Tommy Egan (Joseph Sikora) to kill her late husband. Although she thought that lie would get her released from prison, Tasha ended up further incriminating herself as a queenpin and signing herself up for Tommy’s hit list. Once she is released in the Season 1 finale, both she and Tariq realize that Tommy has returned to seek revenge upon his former friend, and in an effort to protect her from his godfather’s vengeance, Tariq sends his mother into witness protection for her own safety. Tariq’s sister Yas is presumed to remain in the custody of his grandmother, but considering how much Tasha loves her children, it’s hard to believe that her final scene in Season 1 will be the last that Power fans see of her.
Saxe and Maclean are now working together.
After seriously fumbling Tasha’s trial by having Tariq drugged and followed by his niece Riley Saxe-Merchant (Andrea Lee Christensen), Saxe is relieved of his duties as a U.S. attorney and FBI agent, but during the Season 1 finale “Heart of Darkness,” the #SaxeIsOverParty is tragically cut short. While packing up all of the belongings in his office, Saxe is approached by Tasha and Tariq’s twisted lawyer Davis Maclean, who offers him an opportunity to work for him as a private defense attorney. Thrilled about the new job, Saxe even jokes about stealing classified government documents during his transition to the private sector, foreshadowing that Saxe and Maclean are destined to be an unethical match made in heaven.
Cane and Tariq kill Jabari Reynolds.
As Tariq’s role in the Tejada organisation grows more and more throughout the first season, so does Cane’s jealousy, which leads to him making several foolish and deadly decisions and eventually becoming alienated by both Monet and Lorenzo. Convinced that Tariq is bad news, Cane starts following him, and while spying on Tariq’s conversation with Professor Jabari Reynolds, Cane overhears the Stansfield professor mentioning Dru Tejada’s (Lovell Adams-Gray) name. Taking it as a sign that Tariq is snitching on the Tejadas, Cane shoots Jabari in the stomach. What Cane doesn’t realize is that Jabari had become obsessed with Tariq’s life and was planning on using his story as the inspiration for his next novel. Nevertheless, Tariq realizes that the situation has escalated far beyond his control, and in order to cut off all loose ends, Tariq shoots his overzealous professor in the head. With the death of Jabari Parker, Tariq no longer has to worry about his creepy advisor exposing his family’s criminal history in a New York Times best seller, but the impending investigation will undoubtedly cause trouble for the new-and-improved Ghost in Season 2 of Power Book II.
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Joshua Robinson is an Atlanta-based contributor for Thrillist. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter at @roshrisky.