Proceed with caution, if you haven't seen this episode of "Power." Spoilers ahead.
This week’s episode of Power, entitled “A Friend of the Family,” delivered all the action that we’ve been waiting for. Although everyone will be talking about the epic climax of the episode, let's start from the beginning. At the conclusion of last week’s the week before last's episode, Ghost decided he was going to be the one to turn himself in for the murder of Ray Ray. Luckily, Angela and Tasha convince him that is not a good idea. Ghost, alternatively, comes up with the idea to frame Dre for the murder instead, and leaves the apartment in a rush. Meanwhile, Tasha tells Angela it would be best to frame Kanan. Although it sounds like a decent plan at first, Tasha never stops to think about Kanan's mindstate. She and her husband have already framed him once, and K isn't planning on going back.
Ghost heads over to Tommy’s place, where he runs into Kanan as well. Tommy and Kanan were just discussing Ghost secretive plans, which leaves Mr. Egan in a state of disbelief. K leaves to meet up with Tariq, but not before promising to drop off Diego Jiminez’s head for his two frenemies. The Jiminez brother was offed by Kanan, via a deal with Ghost who in turn made a deal with Dre. The push and pull dynamic influencing all the main players threatens to snap at any moment. Ghost tells Tommy about his plan to frame Dre, and it appears that all the pieces to the puzzle are falling into place. Meanwhile, K goes to grab Tariq to assist him with a drug deal with the Italians. There's a moment where K asks the teen what classes he's taking in school, and where he hears Italian, he utilizes young St. Patrick. It appears that Kanan wants to steal both Tommy’s connect (Jason), while also stealing his old clientele base (Vincent). K and Tariq meet up with the Vincent and strike a deal.
When Tariq gets home, at his mother’s request, he is met by Tasha and Angela. They reveal their plan to frame Kanan, but Tariq refuses to help them put his new friend in danger. Tasha begins to worry where her son's allegiance lies, and reminds Tariq that she is going to jail if he doesn’t help her. Tariq hasn't earned redemption for the death of his sister yet, even if he did kill Ray Ray. His reluctance to help his family after hurting his family is immature and only adds to the character's increasing unlikeability.
On the other side of town, Tommy takes Lakeisha to dinner to meet Teresi and Connie. The dinner goes well, until the two begin to brag about being in deep together. Connie warns her that dating a criminal isn’t going to be easy, but reassures her that love will help her through. Lakeisha thinks she's down for Tommy, until a subpoena shows up at her door. Their entire relationship is questioned, and Lakeisha takes the issue to Tasha as well. At this point, neither Tommy nor Lakeisha appear to truly care about Lakeisha beyond needing her to conform to the bigger plan in motion.
On the legal side of things, Mak and Saxe continue to try to put the squeeze on Ghost and Angela. Tameika instructs the lawyers to put pressure on Proctor, which they proceed to do. They inform Proctor that they know about the murder of Marshal Williams, the disgruntled guard that Ghost killed while in prison. They also claim they have a witness (Teresi). Tommy's father tipped the lawyers off to satisfy his duties as a snitch for freedom. Stunned, Proctor goes to Ghost to find information. He tries to get Ghost to open up to him, but St. Patrick smartly declines feeding him any info. The dynamic here is interesting because Proctor already has enough information to get St. Patrick locked up. His prying feels like more of a test, a way to gauge how much trust Ghost has placed in him. Apparently, it isn't much. On the other side of that power struggle, Angela questions Saxe about his investigation of Tommy Egan, to which he reluctantly answers. She continues to promise him an office in DC, but by episode’s end, that doesn’t seem like Mak’s plan at all. Proctor goes to meet up with his criminal cousin, and reveals that he still has the laptop from the Homeland Security officer Tommy killed. On the computer is a recording that can send Ghost and Tommy away for life, and Proctor can’t decide whether to give up his former clients to get the feds off his tail, or if he should remain loyal.
When Tasha reveals her plan to frame Kanan to Ghost, he wants nothing to do with it. In Ghost’s mind, Dre needs to pay for the death of Raina and gets the blame for all the drama that his family has experienced. How he comes to that rationalization doesn't quite make sense. Unbeknownst to him, Dre tried to separate Kanan and Tariq way back in the last season. Tasha thinks that Ghost is finding a way to cope with his own guilt, and she's not wrong. When he refuses to commit to the plan, Tasha takes matters into her own hands.
Ghost admits to his son that he is trying to frame Dre, which allows Tariq to look at his father in a (semi) good light -- the first time all season that we see Tariq show a semblance of understanding and compassion towards his father. Tariq has felt betrayed by his parents, ever since he found out he'd been lied to about their family's history. Once Riq sees that his father is willing to go to jail to save his life, Tariq starts to soften.
After that monumental moment, Tasha shows up and talks to Tariq in private, but the details of their discussion are not shown on screen. Ghost heads back over to Tommy’s place and comes up with the plan to place Diego’s head in Dre’s club, which they believe will give the Jimenez reason to lash out at Dre. Neither men know that Alicia Jimenez allowed the death to occur. She has been making a play against her brother all season, and we've yet to see Alicia's full scheme. Ghost plans on dropping the murder weapon that killed Ray Ray on Dre’s premises as well, but it doesn’t work out that way. When he returns to his home to retrieve the gun, Tasha reveals her plan to have Kanan framed.
Back in the hood, Kanan puts Tariq to the test. He sends him out onto the street to sell product, but when the boy returns, Kanan determines that one of the customers gave him fake money. Angered, Tariq locates the guys that did him dirty, and instructs K to pull up. Tariq then holds the customers at gunpoint, and gets them to drop all their cash. After hopping back into Kanan’s car, the two drive off into the night, but Tariq has some questions for K. At this point, we see the contemplative side of the teen. He's more of his father's son that he realizes. He can’t understand why Kanan would kill his own son, someone that he loved. Kanan assures Tariq he would never kill him, and says that his son was disloyal and wasn’t built like the two of them. Kanan's love for Tariq is ultimately his downfall. Their moment is fleeting because soon after, Kanan is pulled over. When police ask K to pop the truck, they find the gun that Ray Ray used to kill Raina. The officers instruct Kanan and Tariq to exit the vehicle, and that's when things get crazy.
The police ask Tariq if he’s being held against his will by Kanan, to which he reluctantly agrees. Apparently, Tasha called the police and claimed K kidnapped her son. We already know, as he clearly stated earlier, that Kanan is not going back to prison again-- leaving him with, basically, one option during this police encounter. It's important to note that both times Tariq's parents have initially opened up to him, he has given them immediate loyalty in return. That's all he wants, the truth. His placement of the murder weapon in Kanan's trunk is not as shocking once you realize he's just a kid looking for his parent's mutual respect. As Tariq sits in the back of a cop car, Kanan shoots and kills the cop that was trying to arrest him. Three other police begin to shoot back, and Kanan methodically kills them all, but not without taking a couple shots himself. The bloody shootout is the most action we've seen all season, and it makes Kanan look like an absolute beast. He easily takes out the entire police squad before setting his sights on Tariq. K has a moment to kill Tariq, who is now unguarded in the back of the police car: he doesn't, though, his face a mix of hurt and understanding. Even in Kanan's last moments, he keeps his initial promise not to kill Tariq. He attempts to make an escape in a police cruiser, but ultimately he succumbs to his gunshot wounds, the car swerving off the road. Unlike the fire that "killed" him last time, it appears he's dead for real this time (although conspiracy theories on the internet may say otherwise).
After Kanan dies, Tariq, Lakiesha, and Tasha tell the police their fabricated story that places the blame of Ray Ray’s death on K. Ghost is left in shock, but he is relieved none the less. The fact that Tasha took the control from her husband to enact this move will undoubtedly come back to haunt her. Proctor heads over to the offices of Mak and Saxe and doesn’t give up information on Ghost or Tommy, but admits that Angela Valdez is helping them out. That sparks the lawyers’ interests, and opens up an entirely new angle to work with. Over at Dre’s club, his employees find the head of Diego Jimenez in the freezer. Police swarm the area, and it looks like Dre is heading to jail. Tommy and Ghost meet up at the morgue after all is said and done, but Egan has lost trust in his friend. Kanan effectively injected enough poison into their relationship to create a rift between the men. He played on Tommy's weaknesses while attempting to take his business out from underneath him. As they look at Kanan’s dead body, Egan tells Ghost that K saw him coming, and that he doesn’t believe that Tasha set this up on her own. Although Kanan is now dead, and Ray Ray’s murder has been taken off of the St. Patrick plate, things are not all good. There is still Teresi’s snitching to deal with, and there are two episodes left in the season.
After the season finale aired, show creator Courtney Kemp and 50 Cent sat down with Deadline to talk about the weight of the episode. Revealing that they plan to end Power after seven seasons, the most important aspect of their conversation is about Tariq. "Kanan’s death was always going to be what we like to jokingly call the ghetto Bar-Mitzvah," stated Kemp. "That is today Tariq is a man, you know? We always talk about that, which is that how are we showing this trajectory of Tariq turning into his father? His father sacrificed Kanan. Tariq just did too." She continued on to hint that we may see Tariq hop in the driver's seat by the show's end. "Ghost’s great failure involves the fact that you cannot keep your kid from turning into you," she explained. "Genetics are genetics, nature is nature, nurture is nurture, and this kid has Ghost for a dad, Tasha for a mom, Tommy as his godfather, and now was partially raised by a friend of the family, which is the name of this episode, a friend of the family who is Kanan. He’s going to be a criminal fucking mastermind and there’s not a God damn thing Ghost can do about it." Get the strap.