Anika Noni Rose makes her series debut with her game-changing character "Jukebox".
Episode 303 had me on the edge of my seat for the entire hour! From the first three minutes, you knew the energy was going to be high. We start in Washington, DC (Sidenote: have we ever NOT been in New York??) where we see Yung Stoopid robbing a corner store for pharmaceuticals. His lookout just wanted to listen to go go music, but furiously texts someone when he sees it going down. A few moments later, a Black policewoman enters the store and, after ensuring the store owner is alone, tells the banger to shoot him, then she shoots the banger. Hello, Jukebox!! A new character, played by the amazing Anika Noni Rose, is introduced. This ain’t your niece’s Princess Tiana! We learn quickly that she is about her business, and it’s all dirty.
Officer LaVerne “Jukebox” Ganner (Rose) brings the drugs home to her lady, Candie, played by Natalie Paul. Candie uses the drugs to make that Lean and does whatever else Jukebox tells her to.
We also FINALLY see the resurrection of Kanan! Kanan and Jukebox are cousins, and she went to New York to get him after his fiery brawl with Ghost at the end of last season. He’s burnt up worse than the first time you tried to make your grandma’s fried chicken, but he’s alive.
Kanan and Jukebox have an interesting power dynamic: he’s usually the one in charge, but she’s holding all the cards right now. He eventually tells her everything, including that he killed his son, Shawn, and that Ghost is the one that bested him. Jukebox called Shawn, her blood relative, “collateral damage” and I swear all the air went out of my family room. She’s ruthless and I love it!
Meanwhile, back in Manhattan, Tariq gets caught at school with the gun he stole from Angela’s apartment during the last episode. Ghost initially accuses Tasha of the gun being hers, and then has to collect his face off the ground when it’s revealed that it’s Angela’s gun. Once again, Tasha saves the day, preventing Tariq from being expelled, while Ghost sits mute wondering how things went so wrong. Back at their apartment, Tariq mouths off to both of his parents and, again, Ghosts face when he realizes that he’s lost control at “home” is telling.
Angela has been apartment hunting for something more suitable for her, Ghost, and his three kids, blissfully unaware that all of this is going on. She’s confronted by Stalker Greg and desperately reaches for her gun in her bag, not realizing that Tariq took it. Greg just wants to talk, however, and tell her AGAIN that Ghost is still dirty, this time with cellphone evidence of Ghost visiting Tommy. But Ghost comes clean about this and reminds Angela that he chose her over Tommy, completely killing the “bros before hoes” adage. Once Ghost realizes that Angela isn’t ready to be a step mom because she leaves around unsecured weapons and sharp coffee table edges, her fantasy life of one big blended happy family is put on ice.
Tasha and Tommy are in business together to wash the drug money. After selling the laundromats, Tasha announces that they’re going into the weave business, using Keisha’s store as a front, unbeknownst to her. Holly’s behind is being taught the business of the game but her brain moves as slowly as a turtle in molasses in the winter time. She’s got bigger problems, though: Holly is pregnant.
With all of the drugs that she does, we see that she’s terrified about this news and she shares it with no one. This may also mean that Holly may start wearing shirts that cover her entire torso, so we thank the Lord Beyoncé for small favors.
While Tommy is still struggling to prove himself and working with diluted product since Lobos can’t fully be the connect that he needs, Ghost is making power moves. He bumrushes those competing nightclub owners and tells their potential partner, hotel mogul Karen Bassett, to watch with whom she does business. She’s impressed and tells Ghost that it’s between them and him for a new business venture, a club in her hotel.
Pretending to be Tariq, Ghost lures Tommy to a meeting, where Tommy makes it clear that they are no longer partners. Ghost is going to have to get personal security asap because he can’t trust anyone anymore. The streets is hot!
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