‘Power Book II: Ghost’ just executed a perfect Judy Winslow and we’re all better off for it—and Zeke IS WHAT?!?!?

OPINION: The latest episode of the Tariq St. Patrick-led series upped the shenanigans and foolywang to epic proportions.

The latest episode of Power Book II: Ghost, titled “Drug Related” was a lot of things, but low on drama isn’t one of them. By the time the show got to the end, I literally stood up and clapped my hands. And this was AFTER watching potentially one of the greatest football games I’ve ever seen between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs; the Chiefs triumphed by tying the game after kicking an oblong ball through a giant “H” (and then Patrick Mahomes went all Patrick Mahomes). 

Also, and just so you can’t say I didn’t tell you, this writing has all of the spoilers, fam. All. Of. Them.

So, let’s just get some big-picture stuff out of the way; there is literally no way to address it all without doing a weeklong series about how the folks at Power leveled all the way up. But we had death, murder, mayhem, court, high-end clothing and shoes; a comedic heist, a tragic ending, a re-enactment of a scene from Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?, some entirely impossible occurrences (more on this in a second) and a child TRYING to see if her mother will kill her. I’m truly convinced of that last part because otherwise, what is Diana’s play? Yo no se. 

Aight, and because social media is talking about it at length, let’s discuss this whole Ezekiel “Zeke” Cross (Daniel Bellomy) situation. So, a few episodes ago, we were alerted to the fact that Zeke is, in fact, the son of Monae (Mary J. Blige). Apparently, she had a kid by the drug dealer Mecca/Dante (Daniel Sunjata) and did that thing folks used to do where they sent the baby down South to be raised by an auntie as a mother; lots of movies and stories are centered on this premise. We were ALL up in arms thinking Zeke was a 23-year-old freshman basketball player trying to figure out why he didn’t go pro since, according to NBA rules, he could. And since he’s a projected No. 1 draft pick, he clearly should be in the league already. 

Michael Rainey Jr. as Tariq St. Patrick in “Power Book II: Ghost”. (STARZ)

But as it turns out, Zeke (and the rest of the family) thinks he’s 19 years old. Monae been done told the family that Zeke was born in 2002 (and Zeke thinks he was born in 2002), but somehow, Diana was able to get the birth certificate for one Ezekiel Cross who was born in Wilmington (presumably North Carolina since he’s from “down South”) IN ONE DAY and found out he was actually born in 1998, making him 23 years old. Zeke’s first reaction when he found this out? He was worried about it ruining his NCAA eligibility, NOT that Monae was his momma and has been lying to him.

Perhaps he’s just so over this drug-dealing family that nothing really feels that surprising to him, but everybody BUT him seemed more upset about it, in the familial sense, than he did. I was waiting for Monae to slap the bejesus out of Diana for ruining their family—which she did. Diana chose violence by outing everybody’s business and setting in motion the downfall of the Tejadas. But somehow Zeke, who clearly was looking to the NBA as a way to get out from under those crazy mofos anyway, was like, “Dammit, Monae…what about my league dreams??!?” 

Which begs the question, and I mean this in the nicest way possible: How dumb is Zeke? He hinted before at having trouble in school but, sheesh, was he so slow that folks believed this 9-year-old giant was really 5 because he was that educationally challenged? Where’s the family from down South to weigh on this? Inquiring minds would like to know. Like, NOBODY questioned why this giant child was murdering folks on the basketball court and HUGELY bigger than everybody else? When did his age actually come into play? Was he 6 and folks were saying he’s 2, but he’s just big? 

Slow clap for the writers of Power for answering one ridiculous question with more ridiculous questions. *slow clap*

But for me, the most entertaining part of the episode that really was the best and most entertaining of the season so far was when the show decided to finally send Yasmine (Paris Morgan) up the stairs, a la Judy Winslow from Family Matters. 

In case you don’t get the reference, Judy was the youngest child of Carl and Harriet Winslow and little sister to Eddie and Laura. Well, in the “Mama’s Wedding” episode of season 4 (it was the 19th of 25 episodes), Judy can be seen carrying flowers down the aisle as a flower girl during Estelle (Mama Winslow) and Fletcher’s wedding. Black Mythology has her being sent up the stairs never to be seen again, but Judy’s last actual presence was as the flower girl. But what Black Mythology DID get right was that everybody acted as if she never existed in the first place because she was useless for the show. I do rather enjoy, however, that all of African-America believes that Judy walked up those stairs never to be seen again…it plays better.

Much like Judy, Yasmine is useless for the show and actually holds up Tariq’s storyline and potential shenanigans because he’s moving as if he’s trying to take care of her. So what did the show writers do? I’m glad you asked, because it’s glorious and intricately Tyler Perryian, even if I doubt that was the reference point.

Anywho, if you’ll remember when Tariq ends up in jail, he gets a letter from his father—Ghost (Omari Hardwick)—that basically points out that he knew Tariq would end up in jail. Well, as it turns out, Ghost also expected his whole-ass family to fall apart and wanted to make sure that Yasmine would be taken care of somehow, so he baked into his death papers that Yasmine would be adopted and her last name changed to protect her from whoever might have wiped out the family and the adoption records sealed so she could never be found.

How? Your guess is as good as mine, but in the Power Universe, anything is possible. What I do know is that Yasmine, because of this Ghost clause (see what I did there?), has disappeared entirely from our lives, and now Tariq—who will obviously see his sister again; does the internet stop existing wherever she’s going, too?—is free to engage in any and all shenanigans and continue along this disruptive and destructive life of crime; he’s got murders to get to and Yasmine kept him from this true calling. You can’t run New York when you have to be responsible for others. Speaking of running New York…

…can somebody please get Tariq a car!?!??!

Panama Jackson is a columnist at theGrio. He writes very Black things and drinks very brown liquors, and is pretty fly for a light guy. His biggest accomplishment to date coincides with his Blackest accomplishment to date in that he received a phone call from Oprah Winfrey after she read one of his pieces (biggest) but he didn’t answer the phone because the caller ID said “Unknown” (Blackest).

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