Photo: Myles Aronowitz/Starz
I’m watching episode eight of Book of Power II, or a movie?? Episode eight is action packed, filled with Hella drama, spilled tea, lies, secrets, betrayal and a stunning ending I didn’t see coming. And I have two words – Dirty Dianaaaa! Diana has been coming on full steam lately and in this episode she steals the spotlight, if only for a scene or two.
We begin with Tariq’s trial. Jenny Sullivan tries to convince the jury that Tariq is not a victim of America’s broken justice system, but a privileged young man with a socioeconomic advantage who decided to kill a police officer and his professor. Davis sweeps in and wins over the jury by talking about Tariq’s outstanding performance at a prestigious university and his willingness to seek custody of his sister. To Davis and Saxe’s surprise, Jenny bombs the courtroom by mentioning possession of a recording of Tariq. Davis objects and demands that the recording be heard before it is presented in court, and the judge obliges.
As Tariq fights for his freedom in court, Brayden and Effie search for quality produce. With no connection, they have no money, and no money means Tariq can’t pay his expensive ass-lawyer (nor does anyone else get paid). They meet up with one of Brayden’s friends at a seedy motel. Effie realizes that the product is not good and immediately stops the business transaction.
Back at the courthouse, Tariq’s trust fund attorney visits him. Warren tells him that Yaz will soon be adopted by “lovely people”. The plot twist is that this was part of James St. Patrick’s will. In the event that the immediate family is not available to care for Yaz, not only has he given instructions for her adoption, but he has also added the condition that her last name be changed and the adoption paperwork sealed (pretty smart move if you ask me). . As Warren walks away, Davis approaches Tariq and pressures him about the prosecutor’s alleged confession. According to Davis, things are looking bad for Tariq. And the only way to fix it is, you guessed it, get him paid. He demands that Tariq have his money the next day.
Davis isn’t the only one making demands. Over at the Tejada’s ununiformed house, Monet asks Diana for information about Lorenzo and Dru. When Diana offers her valuable information in return, she offers to find a way to trust her daughter again. Little does she know that Diana doesn’t trust her either, and she’s been closely monitoring Monet’s questionable behavior. After her mother leaves her room to take a call from Dante, Diana follows her and overhears her saying Dante’s name. When the coast is clear, she snoops around her mother’s room and finds Zeke’s baby picture. This sends young Tejada into a spiraling investigation. She calls for Zeke’s birth certificate at the hospital and learns the year of his birth. Because the relationship between her and her mother is so broken, Monet also searches her room without Diana noticing. She finds a packet of condoms letting her know her daughter is having sex and probably with Tariq.
Tariq always seems to be everyone’s topic of conversation. Jenny and Lauren’s parents try to prepare them to testify against Tariq in court. Although she resists, she has no other options.
in the power Universe, options are hard to come by. Tariq and Monet are all the other has. They both need a connection and they both need money. The two business partners/enemies arrange a meeting with their respective teams and agree to rob their former connect-and-frame GTG. Monet has no idea Cane’s connection is Dante. Trying to rob a man like him is risky, even for Cane. The plan is not to say anything to Diana or Lorenzo. They use Tariq to distract a smitten Diana. To keep Lorenzo busy, Monet invites him out on a date at Coney Island. They involve Dru in the plans on one condition: he kills Lil Guap.
As the recording pops up over Davis and Saxe’s head, the crooked Davis grants Tariq semi-legal access to the recording by throwing him the ultimate alley-oop (leaving his computer in the room alone with Tariq). After hearing Lauren’s voice, Tariq is upset, but of course he is. His girlfriend ratted him out. Saxe tries to reassure him by offering additional context on Lauren, the campus drug bust, and Professor Milgram. The information upsets Tariq even more when he knows his professor was involved, but it gives him a better understanding of Lauren’s position and he doesn’t direct his anger at her. He’s saving that for Carrie.
The canon studies lecture is quite apt given the information Tariq just learned. Lauren doesn’t show up for class. Jenny has placed her in protective custody while she prepares to testify. Carrie begins the class by asserting that “truth can be a tricky thing when it comes to ethics.” While teaching, she receives a call from Jenny telling her about Tariq’s defense team and that Tariq is aware of Lauren’s cable recording. She abruptly runs out of class after telling a lie and goes straight to Lauren’s room. There she finds Tariq. The two debate Lauren’s safety. The manipulator that he is, Tariq convinces Carrie to testify to protect Lauren, even if it means taking the stand.
In court, Carrie takes the stand for Lauren. She tells the jury that she also overheard Tariq speaking about the book before Jabari’s death. During cross-examination, Davis attacks her credibility by revealing to the courts Carrie’s sex history with Jabari, Whitman, Zeke, and even Davis himself. He emphasizes the unethical nature of her relationship with Zeke, and Carrie is portrayed as a complete idiot on the witness stand.
It’s hot inside and outside the courtroom. GTG attacks Mecca’s men and steals its product while Brayden, Effie, Dru and Lil’ Guap raid his penthouse. Dru kills Lil’ Guap despite almost getting caught. Lil’ Guap knocks the gun out of Dru’s hand when he realizes what’s about to happen. In the scramble, Dru wins the fight by ending Guap’s life with his bare hands. The cinematic scene had me on the edge of my seat. Mecca sends Chef back upstairs to the penthouse, potentially putting Dru in danger. He even exits the hangar to search the building himself. There’s not much Cane can do since he told everyone to stay. Luckily, Diana calls and Cane takes it as an excuse to pretend it’s Mecca. He saves Dru’s ass just in time. However, he is unable to save Chef. Mecca kills Chef in front of Cane. The scariest thing is that he calls Boss a mole. The way he slits Chef’s throat while looking directly at Cane feels more like a warning to Cane than revenge on Chef for being a mole. Cane, Tariq and the crew get away with Mecca’s stash and the diamond ring. Tariq gives Davis the diamond and demands that he take the payment owed to him from it.
After all this action—shooting, watching people get killed, nearly killed, and even kill someone, the Tejada men make it home in time for dinner—Diana prepares a meal for the family. In some cultures, it’s impolite to talk over dinner. The norm is to eat in silence. Maybe the Tejadas should try, because all hell is breaking loose. After being questioned about her whereabouts and knowledge of Tariq’s case earlier in the day, Diana gets everyone in high gear! She starts off with Cane, which leads to Lorenzo finding out for the first time that Cane sugared the cook and cut off their supply to make the connection. Tariq has already told Monet that, but she’s acting like she heard it for the first time. Lorenzo is angry and accuses Cane of going against the family. To take the heat off himself, Cane reveals that Dru still hasn’t killed Everette. Hearing his family talk about killing his teammate makes Zeke more than uncomfortable, so he gets up to leave, but Monet tries to stop him. Diana is triggered by her mother’s obsession with Zeke, so she goes even further and tells Zeke that he is Monet’s plan to not only get out of the drug game, but get away from Lorenzo as well.
Monet and Diana do IT! She calls Diana all the way out! But it only makes the shit worse. Diana accuses Monet of cheating in front of the whole family and even names Dante (aka Mecca, you know, the liaison man. Good thing he has two names). Once Diana gets Dante to do it, Monet tries to cut off her daughter’s head. But at this point, Diana is UNSTOPPABLE! Prepared with receipts, I mean Zeke’s birth certificate. She drops the news about Zeke, Dante and Monet. Zeke quickly realizes that this information means he unintentionally violated NCAA rules and storms out. After admitting to Lorenzo that Zeke is her son, he tells her to leave. Unable to reach Zeke, she goes straight to Carrie’s house. Later, Zeke shows up at Carrie’s apartment to find her body hanging from the ceiling. Suicide or Murder? You decide.