Remember that whole truth setting you free thing? Yeah, well, Lou-Lou found out the hard way that the saying doesn’t always come true.
And in a season that’s seen him try to break free from Raq’s influence and follow his passions, his quest to liberate himself from his past has put him right back in it.
Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 3 Episode 7 was all about further division, big choices, and many threatening words. So, it was just another day in the Power universe.
Raising Kanan may be Kanan’s origin story, but it’s also the story of the Thomas family. And this season, in particular, has leaned into furthering everyone’s individual storylines away from each other.
We, of course, see Kanan in the beginning stages of building something for himself, while Raq has had to see what life is like when she’s not getting everything she wants.
But Marvin and Lou-Lou have found themselves in these fascinating personal places, where Marvin strives to continue the growth we saw blossom during Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 2. And Lou-Lou is drowning in liquor and regret.
Lou-Lou’s descent was a long time coming in many ways because we saw the cracks forming.
He was a dutiful soldier for Raq, but as he grew, he became increasingly disillusioned with the business. And one of the main things he wanted with Bulletproof Records was to have something Raq couldn’t taint.
We all know that turned out terribly for Lou-Lou in the long run, and he’s sunk to this place where he’s a shell of himself and barely hanging on.
Meeting Shirley and pouring his energy in Café Vous worked for a few days before he was right back in a negative headspace after seeing his mother and Raq, the two women in his life who’ve disappointed him the most.
One thing that’s so wonderful about this series is the complexities of all the characters. When you watch a series, you often want to place all the characters in neat little columns based on their roles.
You have your heroes on one side and your villains on the other; you can watch the story unfold through that lens. But it’s difficult to put characters in one column when seeing them continuously change over time.
Lou-Lou Thomas is a murderer, full stop. So, on the surface, that makes him a villain. But he’s also the youngest brother in a family that he feels chose his life for him, and he’s never been able to shake that.
His actions, especially as an adult, are ultimately his own, and his failure to understand that has a lot to do with where he currently is, but you can’t deny that, in many ways, he was failed by his family, too.
He’s no hero, but to paint him as a broad-stroked villain doesn’t fit either, which is wild to think about when he murdered someone in cold blood to end the hour.
Shantel was a good mother to Scrappy, and even after his death, her unwillingness to let things go was admirable, especially because she knew something sinister was at play.
Unfortunately, she picked the wrong afternoon to rat Lou-Lou out.
Marvin’s admonishing of Lou-Lou was not wrong because his drinking was certainly not helping matters at all, but seeing Marvin step in it with Gerald to help him in his time of need and then driving Lou-Lou to murder someone and further chip away at his soul was sad.
Marvin’s in a tough spot because he’s stuck between Raq and his baby brother, but I keep waiting for someone outside Shirley to show Lou-Lou a little compassion.
He messed up by talking to Shantel, and in that life, killing her was the way to make things right. But now what? Will anyone step in to try and help him when he’s so obviously losing himself in his pain?
The Thomas family is walking dysfunction, and there is just a tremendous amount of hurt that seems to stem from a mother who’s only concerned about money and a father who wasn’t around.
But even through all that dysfunction, there’s still love there. We just aren’t seeing a whole lot of it this season.
Circling back to Marvin, though, there’s something to be said for how easily he’s stepping up for Gerald, trying to help him, and doing his best to be the father Jukebox deserves.
It feels like he’s at a place where he’s trying to learn from his past not to make the same mistakes, and yet he’s utterly oblivious to the fact that his past misdeeds may come back to haunt him.
Howard has been willy-nilly with information regarding Raq, and he seems to be of a few minds about it.
On the one hand, whatever sticks to her could come back to stick to him, and there’s also the Kanan of it all. We haven’t had many real moments between them during Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 3, but you can’t tell me Howard isn’t trying to look out for him, even if doing so also helps himself.
Again, so many of these characters blur all the lines when you consider the elements a story is supposed to have. Howard is no protagonist, but he’s not a full-blown antagonist, either.
His decision not to tell Raq about Marvin’s name floating around the task force must mean he thinks there’s a path for him to throw them off Marvin’s scent once he’s formally a part of the Narcotics unit.
Anyone in the Thomas family getting roped into the task force’s case is not good news for Howard, but telling Raq right now, when they have such little information, could be worse.
I don’t blame him for keeping it close to the vest because it’s not as if Raq is totally truthful with him, nor can he guarantee her brand of handling things won’t have negative consequences for him.
Howard’s in a very tricky position, and getting into Narcotics should undoubtedly be his main goal right now because it will open things up for him and present him with a lot more information.
But I hate that if things go wrong or, hell, if Howard decides Marvin could be the sacrificial lamb without it impacting him, Marvin would be the one who could take the fall.
If I haven’t reiterated this enough, all of these people are doing bad things, and no one is above retribution. Also, please don’t let it be Marvin!
It’s taken incredible writing and an immaculate performance by London Brown to change the audience’s perception of the character completely. But even more than changing it, they’ve allowed us to understand it and make it make sense.
We’ve lost enough this season. Please don’t do anything to Marvin!
Elsewhere, we’re getting a taste of what a working relationship between Ronnie and Kanan looks like, and it’s about as awkward as you’d expect.
Ronnie was just a muscle man the whole hour, intimidating anyone who got in his way, while Kanan was doing everything in his power to alienate the one person who was always liable to have his back.
You can tell they are building up to Ronnie and Raq finally facing off, and I’m looking forward to that. I’d love to see him try to intimidate Raquel Thomas and see how that goes.
The dynamic between Ronnie and Kanan right now is one in which Ronnie seems to be the authority and Kanan somewhat of the brains, but eventually, as we know, Kanan will be a mentor.
Throughout the first two seasons, many people thought he would learn everything he eventually bestows upon Ghost from Raq, but it’s starting to feel like this was the time in his life when he learned many of the skills he would carry over into adulthood.
On his quest to get out from Raq, he’s embarking on this mission to harden himself and act like this tough guy, but it doesn’t feel like an act now.
Jukebox said it best when she was talking to Raq. And she said it simply: he’s changed.
The way he and Jukebox spoke to one another was so unlike them. It was such a massive departure from Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 3 Episode 4, where the two celebrated their successes together.
Jukebox can see the writing on the wall, but there’s not much she can do about it.
Their relationship is dangling by a thread right now, and it’s all but certain now that Kanan will mess up the one good thing she has going in her life because there are no other girls for him to date in the state of New York.
If we didn’t know where things would go, you could almost imagine there’s a way to bring Kanan back somehow. A way for him to hit rock bottom and decide he needs to make a change to save himself and the people he loves.
But that is not happening. We know it’s only going to get worse.
We just don’t know how much worse.
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I feel awful for Famous because his life is spiraling, and he’s really stuck in a rut. He’s lost his home and his best friend, and he has to feel totally unmoored because things for him have changed so quickly.
Raq taking over Unique’s operation will be interesting, as it will be interesting to see how it overlaps and crosses with Ronnie and Kanan.
I did not get any romantic vibes between Ronnie and Juliana when they met the first few times, and I got even less romantic vibes when they were making out.
Wouldn’t it be a trip if Pernessa were the one to take Ronnie out? She’s been disrespected more times than I can remember right now by that man, and I would love to see him underestimate her so she can get the last laugh.
What if Gerald’s piece on Jukebox and Marvin ends up screwing Marvin over with the police? There’s an angle to this whole Gerald storyline I’m not seeing yet, but it has to involve whatever article he does.
Whenever I think we’ve closed the Shannon Burke file, someone or something pops back up.
Sound the alarm, y’all!
There are only three episodes left this season, and if you think we’re getting out of this thing with everyone still breathing, you’re fooling yourself!
Make sure you’re all caught up on the season, and drop into the comment section with all your thoughts about the hour and where things may be headed!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on X.