In Power Book II: Ghost, Tariq St. Patrick emerges as an unlikely hero. Once a mischievous teen known for meddling in the affairs of the drug world’s most treacherous, he’s now a young man balancing the weight of a broken family, a high-stress class schedule, the responsibility of his own budding drug business, and fighting off enemies at every turn.
Gone are many of the familiar faces fans of the Power universe are used to. Instead, this spin-off series introduced viewers to a new crop of complex characters that live and breathe drama. There’s Brayden Weston, Tariq’s wealthy roommate, and right-hand man, and Lauren Baldwin, the brilliant cutie on-campus that caught Tariq’s eye. There’s also Ezekiel, a star basketball player whose aunt, Monet, is head of the Tejada crime family, which includes her children Drew, Cane, and Diana. Then, of course, there’s Davis MacLean, the high-powered attorney Tariq persuaded into representing his incarcerated mother.
These characters might all come from diverse backgrounds, but their goals are the same: survive by any means necessary. Staying 10 steps ahead of the competition while also remaining under the radar is a way of life for those in the Power universe. With Power Book II returning this Sunday on Starz, we compiled a list of Power Commandments inspired by the many twists and turns from the first half of the series’ debut season.
Spoilers ahead so proceed with caution.
1. Keep People on A Need to Know Basis
The product Tariq pushes pays his mother’s lawyer fees. The information he knows keeps him alive. Young St. Patrick is well aware that even the smallest detail can be used as a weapon, so keeps most things to himself—even the name of his connect from his best friend and business partner. But after Brayden proved his loyalty time and time again, Tariq finally broke his previous silence and told Brayden about Monet, the chain of command within the Tejada family, and what to do if all hell breaks loose.
2. Never Snitch On Yourself
Discretion is the unspoken rule in the drug game. The less you reveal the less attention you bring upon yourselves and others. That lesson was lost on the GTG crew, a lower-ranking gang in Monet’s empire, who got caught up in doing it for the ’Gram instead of on the low. Once the need for likes and retweets overshadowed their common sense and brought unnecessary attention from the cops, Monet and Cane intervened, which resulted in a bloody confrontation
3. Choose Your Allies Wisely
No one rises to the top without help, and when you’re running with murderers and thieves, who you have in your corner matters. From Monet’s relationship with Officer Ramirez to Simon Stern’s husband Sebastian secretly bankrolling Tariq’s social media drug front, strategic alliances are all part of the game. It’s just a matter of determining who’s worth protecting in the long run or sacrificing for your own gain.
4. Know The Difference Between Blood and Family
Blood isn’t always thicker than water, and when maneuvering through the game discerning that fact is imperative. Uncle Frank came home early to the surprise of the Tejada family, positioning his release as a result of good behavior. It didn’t take long for Tariq to realize Frank earned his freedom by dropping dime on someone; a cardinal sin that resulted in his own demise. And when Monet learned that Tariq peeped game before the rest of the family, it laid the groundwork for him earning a position within her tight-knit inner circle.
5. Keep Your Options Open
Whether professionally or personally, it’s always good to have options. For Tariq, the tough choices he has to make aren’t all about guns, grams, and grands. Over the course of the first five episodes, he’s split his emotions across three different women. The book smart Lauren speaks to his future, the streetwise Diana personifies his present, and Effie is a wildcard who, like himself, is doing what she needs to do to make it through. It’s not about who Tariq chooses in the end, but the power in having possibilities.
6. Eliminate The Competition
You can play nice or you can play smart. Tariq chose the latter. By instigating a fight at the frat house between campus supplier Scott and Brayden, Tariq orchestrated a calculated chess move as he knew anyone who laid a finger on his wealthy college buddy and co-conspirator would immediately suffer the consequences. And true to his prediction, Scott was suspended from school making room for Tariq to flood the market with his product and continue to build a base.
7. Adapt or Die
Selling hand-to-hand won’t work on the sprawling Stansfield Campus. Too much exposure and even easier to get caught. So Tariq had to innovate. With the creation of Course Correct, he uses the power of social media to do all the footwork for him. By taking the street corners digital, Tariq not only keeps himself out of the spotlight, he upgraded the hustle.
8. Never Got Caught Slippin’
If you let your guard down in this business, even for a moment, that’s your ass. And when you have enemies as slimy as Cooper Saxe, you have to keep your guard up at all times. Keenly focused on getting his mother out of jail, keeping up with his demanding classes, and making sure his drug business stays afloat, Tariq rarely misses a beat. But when Saxe secretly records a drugged Tariq inadvertently implicating himself in the murder of his father, it’s a rare misstep that might teach him the toughest lesson.
9. Stay in Your Lane
Everyone has a position they play and doing so keeps the well-oiled Tejada drug machine running. Monet knows the family business will only survive if everyone assumes their role. Cane as the muscle and Drew as the brains while Monet grooms Diana to use her beauty and deception to gain intel. If any of Monet’s children step out of line, the whole empire could crumble. This isn’t about being pigeonholed, it’s about staying above ground.
10. Play for Keeps
The highest interest in this business is self-interest. Despite Tariq paying Davis MacLean to secure his mother’s freedom while keeping Saxe on a need-to-know basis, the two men team up to take down Tariq, thus setting up a major cliffhanger during the mid-season finale. MacLean knows solving James St. Patrick’s murder could mean unprecedented fame and attention for his firm, and Saxe understands that putting Tariq behind bars is the only way he can keep his job. It’s nothing personal, like everything else in this game, it’s just business.
The midseason premiere of Power Book II: Ghost returns Sunday, Dec. 6 only on STARZ and the STARZ App.