Photo: Cara Howe / Starz Entertainment, LLC
In Raq’s world, shit never goes as planned. Let’s start at the end and come back to the top.
At the end of the season finale (which leaves us with more questions than answers), Raq stands on top of Baisley’s plans smoking a cigarette, seemingly proud of his accomplishments. She managed to manipulate her son into murdering his biological father, which he fails, although she does not know it. His decision to blow up a cop has shattered his relationship with Lou-Lou, who understands it’s too drastic to hit one of New York’s best. When he tries to quit the game, she threatens him because, in Raq’s eyes, everything Lou-Lou touches is hers, including her recording studio (it’s actually her record company, but she clearly doesn’t know much about the music industry).
Raq’s revenge on Detective Howard even nearly got Marvin shot by the police. Due to the police attack, the streets of Southside are inundated with cops carrying out random car searches. Marvin is arrested with an open warrant, which interferes with his ability to save, I mean, get Kanan back from the bodega, which undermines Raq’s plan to get Kanan out of town. After disrespecting Symphony, Raq needs his help, so she calls him to get Kanan back. Symphony is a good guy who genuinely loves Raq and Kanan. He comes without hesitation. With Symphony’s help, Kanan exits Queens and heads toward I-95.
For some reason, Kanan has a hard time following instructions or better yet not screwing up. It really comes down to the fact that he’s not as ready as he thinks he is. “Two hits in the body, one in the head” were the instructions given to him by his mother. Did he follow them or did he finish the job? Nope! When it came time to look Howard in the eye and shoot him in the head, he choked. Not only did he choke, but a witness saw him, causing him to run, trip, fall, scratch his hands and leave his DNA at the scene of the crime. Of all the people, Scrappy is here to get it back. The two former enemies, for the first time, see and respect each other.
As his mother tries to recap what happened in the park, Kanan cannot confirm if he fired two or three bullets. Even though he is visibly shaken, under pressure, he confidently lies, telling his mother that the detective is dead. At this point, the NYPD has an army of police cars and a few helicopters, making it difficult for anyone to move. As they rush Howard to the same hospital where Lou-Lou is recovering, Lou-Lou, although not in the best condition, leaves the hospital to find out what is going on. Coming out of the hospital and heading towards Baisley, Lou-Lou, Jessica and Famous hear a familiar song played through the car stereo next to them. They play the Famous song. For Lou-Lou, this confirms that there is more to him than the drug game.
During Lou-Lou’s aforementioned conversation with Raq, he doesn’t hold back his rage towards his sister for forcing his only son to kill a cop. Lou-Lou also says she went too far when she had him kill D-Wiz. Raq threatens her brother’s life as she explains there is no way out of the game. But Lou-Lou presents a life free from drug trafficking and violence with legitimate money by buying a real estate in the neighborhood. While Raq understands her vision, she’s not ready to quit the game. All season, we’ve seen her straddling the line between Drug Queenpen and her mother, and now we know she always chose and that she will always choose the drug game, even over her son and brothers.
Like Lou-Lou, Detective Burke, Howard’s partner, is just as eager to find out what’s going on. She bursts into the hospital to be greeted by the newest captain of the 117th constituency, Captain Batiste. Apparently their former captain wasn’t doing the best job at handling southern Jamaica, so Batiste, a stricter captain (or “the heavy hand,” as he puts it), is sent to keep order. He informs her that Detective Howard was alone in Baisley Park for a meeting, to which she shares that Howard is not keeping her informed. Baptiste promises that things will change before he reveals Howard’s cancer diagnosis and an unexpected twist: The cancer diagnosis could void Howard’s police survivor benefits, also known as the automatic death benefit. After being very persistent, Burke convinced his new boss to allow him and Officer Garcia to patrol the streets in search of answers.
While patrolling the streets, Garcia and Burke question Jukebox, who previously warned Burke of a possible hit on the cops. It was Raq who prepared Jukebox to plant false information to the cops to set up Unique. Speaking with the witty teenager, Garcia notices the money and a change of clothes for Kanan in her backpack, but Burke, a lesbian like Jukebox, doesn’t find it strange that a teenage girl is wearing men’s clothes. , so they let her go.
Jukebox defeats the two officers at Juliana’s bodega and spends time with Kanan hidden in the old hideout. Excited to brag about his accomplishment to his favorite cousin / built-in best friend, Kanan confronts and Jukebox sees it all. She knows he’s scared and reminds him how bad he is. Kanan is shocked at his honesty, but Jukebox gives him a holistic analysis of their life and assesses that this is when they will decide who they will become as adults.
During Jukebox’s âLet me tell you about youâ moment, they hear detectives entering the bodega and get nervous about getting caught. But Burke is more interested in interrogating Juliana, who also plays the role of an innocent and scared eyewitness. Working for Raq, Juliana follows all directions as she gets the cops to work for the tape that shows Kanan wearing Unique’s jacket. Garcia, however, notices the locked room where Kanan and Jukebox are hiding. Luckily for the teens, the officers inform Juliana that they will search the store upon their return.
Meanwhile, Marvin is on a mission to trick Unique into murdering Detective Howard. To do this, he has to return Unique’s jacket, so he manages to convince the doorman to let him go upstairs and replaces the jacket seconds before Unique and her family return home. But the unique captures on this Raq frame it. Although he does manage to get his guys off the streets, he is not immune to the NYPD. They raid his apartment, and although he professes his innocence, they treat him like a suspected cop killer. It looks like Raq is making a major point and leading the war, but not for long. Marvin is also in custody and Toni (although she is not a credible witness) has helped the cops carry out a drug trafficking case against him. Raq tries to get in touch with Marvin for hours on end, but because she’s so laser-focused on her own shit, she doesn’t realize that he might be in trouble, either with the cops or in the street.
With a few minutes remaining in the episode, it is revealed that Detective Howard is alive and well. His partner Burke is right by his side when he opens his eyes and asks who shot him, but Howard doesn’t say anything. I can’t imagine him going after Kanan, but I certainly see him using the bombing against Raq in some way. I was expecting a bit more from the season finale, with past episodes having jaw-dropping cohesive endings. The writers, however, have a lot to work on next season to keep us on our toes. Will Raq and his brothers all go to jail? Is Vif Unique? How long will Kanan be away? What will Howard say when he finally speaks? Will Raq and Symphony reconnect? Will Lou-Lou turn on Raq and pivot to the music industry? We will have to wait until next season to find out.
â¢ Whether it was the brutal punishment we saw Unique and Raquel inflict on those who betray them or an assault on the life of a cop, the writers have done a great job of making events part of the storyline. real occurrences in southern Jamaica. In 1988, rookie cop Edward Byrne was murdered after an infamous Queens drug dealer declared war between his crew and the NYPD. Byrne’s murder prompted the NYPD to invade Queens like never before.
â¢ Jessica talks too much (I probably said this before). I’m surprised Lou-Lou hasn’t gotten rid of her yet.
â¢ Raquel is officially out of the bottom, and there is no going back.
â¢ Jukebox is a wise teenager. I wish we could see how she and Marvin would interact after he attacked her.