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Power Book II: Ghost Season 4 Episode 5 Review: Ego Death

All midseason finales don’t need to go out with a massive cliffhanger. Or even a bang.

They just need to do enough to leave you wanting more.

Did the LAST Power Book II: Ghost midseason finale pull that off? Yes and no.

This season of Power Ghost has been more hit-and-miss than we’re used to, but even with some hours that weren’t the best, the series continues to be one of the most entertaining on television.

And that’s exactly what this hour was.

It may not have ended on a crazy cliffhanger that will keep us guessing until the show returns this fall, but it didn’t need to. We’ll still be coming back to see how this story finishes.

Related: Power Ghost’s Michael Rainey Jr. Talks Tariq Entering ‘Predator’ Mode & Warns ‘Anyone Could Go’

I actually walked away excited that no lives were left in the balance or some crazy secret was dropped (though there were certainly some of those through the hour), but instead, we now get to ponder what Tariq will do next.

It’s a common question Tariq asks himself, but the stakes are much higher now that he’s about to be someone’s father.

Tariq’s been floundering since Brayden helped him escape that death trap Noma and the Tejadas set up for him, and even though he and Brayden have started a new business venture, he’s half in and half out with all the various things going on in his life.

The greatest trick the Power Universe ever played was making me root and care about Tariq St. Patrick.

I want him to get his revenge on those who’ve set out to destroy everything he built. I want him to find a way to get to the top, protect the people he loves, and live a long life.

But at the same time, it seems like such an unattainable goal. And is that even what Tariq truly deserves after the life he’s lived?

Tariq waking up after the events of Power Book II: Ghost Season 4 Episode 4 hungover and getting blown off by Anya felt like it could have been a rock bottom moment, but Tariq turned it into a learning experience.

Never one to stay down too long, he was onto the next thing, and isn’t that the difference between not only him and Brayden but him and so many others?

Not everyone can go through life, have bad things happen to them, and just get up and keep going like it doesn’t affect them. That’s not a reality for many people, and it doesn’t make Tariq better than anyone because he takes his licks and pretends like they didn’t happen.

Tariq has been and continues to be very selfish, and at the end of the day, it’s Tariq’s way or no way. There’s a reason that man is alone, not a friend or person in his corner, outside Brayden.

Tariq’s problems are always the biggest. They’re always the most important. And it’s high time someone told him about himself, and I’m glad it was Brayden, even if I was nodding along with both of them when they were getting their whacks in.

Brayden’s done a lot for Tariq, but Brayden has also messed up. He’s made messes Tariq has had to clean up. He wanted out not long ago and came back for Tariq, but you can’t blame Tariq for having doubts about how invested Brayden truly is in what they’re doing.

Related: TV’s Best Hate-Driven Relationships

Tariq’s inability to see beyond his life is one of his worst qualities because it gives him such a narrow view of the world. He doesn’t know how to be a friend to anyone or a romantic partner.

You can say he kind of knows how to be a son, but I couldn’t type that out without scrunching my face up because, duh.

One thing you can appreciate about Brayden, though, is that he and Tariq can have a knockout, heavyweight fight, but the second Tariq was in trouble, Brayden went running.

Brayden has such terrible taste in women. It’s truly a crime, and Elle seems like a nice girl who’s been dealt a lot, but what we don’t do in 2024 is drug people in an attempt to get them to loosen up.

What are we doing here, Elle?

It was nice of them to give Elle some depth beyond ‘the girl who Brayden is sleeping with and is slowly getting him hooked on coke,’ but they lost me with this little plot, which put Brayden in a terrible place.

You would think he’d be a little less trusting after Riley, but that’s just who Brayden is at his core. He wears his heart on his sleeve, but he should recognize he doesn’t know this girl like that.

Tariq’s acid trip didn’t cause too much damage to Tariq, thankfully, but it did something that nothing else in his life has done; it made him finally see he’s more like his father than he thought.

Everyone in his life and beyond has known that, but Tariq has attached so much venom and disdain to Ghost that he’s never allowed himself to see their similarities and embrace them.

He’s reached a crossroads where he either needs to get out, turn the page, and find something else for his life. Or he can lock in and ascend to heights he’s never reached to be better than even Ghost was.

It was an interesting image seeing Tariq versus Tariq while he was tripping on acid, two versions of the same man.

Tariq’s decision to take that fever dream as a sign he needed to move more toward Ghost 2.0 than away led me to one conclusion and one conclusion only: whether now or in the future, he’ll ultimately succumb to the same fate as his pops.

Related: 13 Characters Who Broke Our Hearts by Embracing the Dark Side

Tariq becoming the apex predator would mean him going full-throttle, with no remorse, setting the whole goddamn world on fire and doing it with a smile on his face.

Is he capable of that? He shot his father, so yeah, he’s certainly capable, but we’ve seen variations of this story before. If he makes it, he’ll be on top, and he’ll be all alone.

Diana’s decision to have the baby wasn’t shocking. It was what she wanted, but it felt like she was looking for that one reason to support her decision. But the Tariq of it all makes things so messy.

These two were trying to kill one another a few hours ago, and now they’re splitting ultrasound photos? Not to mention Tariq lying to her face about Salim.

It was shocking to hear Tariq come out and tell Diana his plans to be the big dog in town as if that was supposed to impress her or excite her after all the loss she’d recently incurred and the danger she’d been in.

These two trying to navigate their relationship with zero trust or affection and then successfully co-parent in the future seems like something that will never happen.

It makes you wonder whether Tariq will rethink his plans for total bloodshed. Hint: the answer is no.

Diana was not the only Tejada with a choice to make. Monet decided that she was finally ready to step up, put on her world’s best mom hat, and reunite a family that had been fractured beyond repair.

Power shows can be so comical in the way they have people ready to fight to the death and then turn around soon after that and have them talking about the depth of familial bonds and the need for everyone to put aside attempted murder and come together for the greater good.

Monet thought a good meal would get her three kids to forget about the past 24 hours, and it was about as naïve as it gets.

Cane: I’m not gonna be sitting here eating french toast with motherfuckers who tried to kill you, Ma.
Monet: Look, a lot of shit has happened. But we can fix it. I know we can. We just need a reset, man. We family, ya’ll. And if I can forgive, Cane, you can too.
Cane: I could, but I won’t.

Everything Monet is doing feels too little too late. The damage has been done, and she’s dealing with adults with their own lives and ambitions. They no longer feel the pressure and need to conform to their mother’s wishes.

Cane’s got his own thing going on. Diana’s been saying she’s out and being with child, there’s less insistence she put herself in danger. And Dru, well, he’s always had one foot out the door, and he’s ready to move the hell on now.

Related: Power Book II: Ghost Season 4 Episode 3 Review: Birthright

Props to Dru for being the one person to hold Monet accountable. He’s said what he’s felt, and he’s made her work for his forgiveness, which was something he didn’t have to extend to her in the first place.

It feels like if Monet doesn’t say family at least ten times an episode, she’s going to glitch or something. She’s been saying ‘family first’ and ‘everything I do is for the family’ for so long that it’s lost all meaning.

It was simply what she told herself to justify her actions when the truth was that most things she did were for her. And it started when she put that gun in Cane’s car seat.

Much like Tariq, she had a decision to make about her next move, and just like Tariq, she chose the business, though she sprinkled in some talk about the business being second to family that I don’t believe for a second.

In watching all of these shows, a common theme is everyone born into the life or existing in a world where the game is their life, unable to escape it, and most don’t even want to.

Monet doesn’t want to leave the business because it’s all she knows. It’s scary to start over. We watched Tariq have to sweep a floor with disgust for a single shift and then balk at the idea of a life spent in don’t honest work.

Even if her intentions are in the right place, this belief that Monet can balance the business and her family in some new way feels misguided at best. And it got off to the worst start possible.

For all those who knew there was something majorly off about Detective Carter, I’m currently slow-clapping in your honor because not only is that man DIRTY, but he’s also unwell.

Carter has been laser-focused on Tariq and Monet, and while he appeared to be after them because he wanted to rid the streets of drugs and make New York a safer place, he had a rather twisted agenda.

Dirty cops is no shocker, but Carter and his task force trying to hide behind some morality code was a surprise and spoke to Carter’s issues, which appear to stem from the resounding grief he feels from his wife’s murder.

But that’s purely a speculation because there’s still so much we don’t know about what happened there. Was he always dirty? Did said dirtiness have anything to do with his wife’s death?

Or did her death turn him into this vigilante policeman? And how the hell did he get all these other officers on board?

Related: Power Book II: Ghost Season 4 Episode 2 Review: To Thine Own Self

It’s pretty sick when you think about it. Skimming from the drug dealers whom you let do what they do but threaten to kill or arrest if they dare to kill the wrong person is a wild proposition.

My task force decides who gets to operate in this city. You stay in line, keep innocents out of harm’s way, you can continue. But you go rogue, you will go to prison. Or we kill you.

Carter

Monet and Dru had no choice but to agree, but Carter’s cockiness was next level for a man who had just laid all his cards out on the table in front of a woman who would now make it her sole mission to bring him down.

Of all the ways I saw this Carter storyline going, this was not one of them. He’s crooked, sick, dangerous—all of the above.

So, as we head into the final five episodes, we’ve got Tariq on a mission to become the biggest drug dealer in the city. Monet and Dru working for the police. And we didn’t even discuss Noma and Cane, who made an enemy out of 90s Mike Tyson, er, Zion.

All these stories should converge at some point, even if they currently seem like three completely separate entities.

Power has always been masterful at connecting the dots and making the convoluted make perfect sense.

It’s what makes it one of the best.

Everything Else You Need To Know

  • Noma has been walking around unchecked for far too long, and even though Zion doesn’t feel like a credible enemy right now, it was nice to see her sweat a little from something other than Tariq.
  • It was hilarious that it only took Noma one party to clock Tariq and Brayden’s business. It was such a smart plan, but it wasn’t stealthy at all.
  • They still don’t know what to do with Davis, but having him be some kind of Noma informant while also sleeping with her is one of the more intriguing things heading into the end of the season.

Related: Power Book II: Ghost Season 4 Episode 1 Review: I Don’t Die Easy

  • Speaking of Noma and Davis, Cane is about to be UPSET. And an upset Cane with a bruised ego is liable to do anything!
  • Is Dru Tejada, yes, Dru Tejada, slowly becoming the MVP of this season? He’s standing on his business and is easily the one doing the least annoying things thus far.
  • I really appreciated that talk about Sickle Cell between Elle and Brayden.
  • Tariq and Brayden will never beat the Ghost and Tommy allegations. Zion is out here calling Brayden’ tiny Tommy,’ and these two are screaming at each other and coming up with a plan to take over the world the next day. That’s brotherhood in Power land.
  • I don’t care one way or the other about Kamaal, but I did not appreciate how that little task force talked to him. Now that I know they’re dirty, I hope he’s the one who takes them down.

Boo split seasons! I may understand them, but I don’t have to like it!

The good news is that more Power Ghost is coming to Starz, but the bad news is that we will have to wait for it!

Well, while we do, leave your comments about the hour and the first half of the final season below so we can discuss! I’ll see you in the fall!

Whitney Evans is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lover of all things TV. Follow her on X.

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