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Play the Game is the third episode of the first season of Power Book II: Ghost and the first Power spin-off.


Tariq struggles with the weight of providing for his mother's mounting legal defense while juggling the rigors of Ivy League life.



The episode opens up with the Cane and Dru making their rounds and collecting payments. Cane's hotheaded side shows once again during one of the stops when one of the clients is drastically short. Dru, on the other hand, is the more level-headed child out of the Tejada children and opts to give the man more time to get their money together by Friday, or he will let Cane handle his business. Once they get back to the crib, visibly excited after their day of collecting money and beating people up, they are greeted by some concerning news. Diana shows them a video of the GTG gang, a bunch of knuckleheads who moves weight for the Tejadas, is on IG Live making the block hot for them. Cane gets upset immediately and is ready to head out there, but Diana insists that they should tell their mother about it first. Monet walks right in and wants to know what the hell is going on? Diana shows her Lil Guap's IG Live situation, and Monet walks off in disgust.

Monet immediately calls her husband, Lorenzo, who's in jail serving a life sentence. The phone call interrupts a conversation between Lorenzo and one of the boys on the inside responsible for getting Tasha the phone and morning-after pill she requested. Before he is told to leave, Lorenzo's boy tells him he saw Tasha hand the morning after pill to someone else, sparking curiosity out of Lorenzo. Anyway, back to the phone call, Monet is concerned that Lil Guap and GTG Boys will make the block hot for the family. Lorenzo isn't too worried about them and tells her to back down. He is unwilling to get rid of Lil Guap yet because Guap's dad took a bullet for him. Lorenzo tells Monet to send Dru to talk to Guap instead of Cane because he knows his son is a bit rough around the edges. Monet isn't happy about the situation.

She breaks the news to her kids, and they are all shocked about her father's request because they know Cane could probably get better results than Dru, but their dad's word is the law. Diana and Dru leave the kitchen and, Monet pulls Cane to side and tells him to follow his brother to make sure everything goes down smoothly.

Dru links up with Lil Guap and tries his best to nicely tell him to stop putting his business on blast because the feds could be watching. The meeting gets spicy when Lil Guap pulls out his phone and tries to put Dru on his IG Live. They both stand up and get in each other faces. Dru has his hand on his gun, ready to pop off but gets a surprise when Cane walks in. Lil Guap quickly checks himself because he is scared. Before Dru and Cane leave, Cane decides to pop off many shots in the air and runs out of the building. As they exit, a squad car rolls up, and one of the cops hops out and begins to chase Cane. The other officer just happens to be Danilo Ramirez, and he immediately knows its Cane, who his young partner is pursuing, so he knows this situation can get really bad.

Cane and Dru turn a corner and hide behind a container. With nowhere else to go, Cane decides that he has no choice but to kill the cop. The tense situation gets diffused quickly when Ramirez lies and says he saw them run in another direction forcing his partner to get in the car with him. Ramirez links up with Monet to tell her what happened and informs her the only reason they were in the area was because of Lil Guap's videos confirming her fears. Anyway, he tells her that they should chill, but Monet isn't with that idea.

That's not Monet's only problem. Her daughter Diana is also a bit rebellious as well. Diana doesn't really want to be in the family business. Instead, she wants to go to school and play basketball professionally but Monet doesn't want her to. Diana decides to call her dad on her own burner phone that her dad more than likely gave to her behind her mother's back. She tells him what she wants to do and asks him to talk to her mother about allowing her to live out her dreams and he does. During a conjugal visit with Lorenzo, he brings up his daughter's wishes and how he wants things to go regarding who should be in charge, and he likes that person to be Dru. Monet, on the other hand, feels Cane should be next up, but Lorenzo knows his son is just too much of a loose cannon.

Monet comes home and confronts Diana. She is not pleased with her daughter and asks her if she told her father about their conversation. Diana says no and tells her to check the “family burner phone” and discovers no calls on record. But later on, Monet searches her daughter for another burner phone and finds it and destroys it. She basically tells Diana that while she is staying in her house, she goes by her rules.

Davis Maclean knows he has to work hard to get Tasha out of prison because Cooper Saxe's case against her alleging she is the kingpin is pretty solid. Tasha is pretty confident that she can prove that Saxe is lying about her being the kingpin of her now dead ex-husband's criminal enterprise. She feels she should take the stand and testify on her behalf, but both Maclean and his investigator Paula Matarazzo are not too thrilled with that idea. After some convincing, Maclean agrees to Tasha's vision, but his investigator is still not on board and thinks it's a terrible move to make.

So, to make sure his client is ready, Maclean somehow arranges for Tasha to head to a remote location to partake in mock trials to see if she is ready. Tasha isn't too thrilled about the idea of participating in the mock trials because she feels it's a waste of time and money. She is proven wrong immediately. Especially when she finds out that Maclean hired Tameika Washington to cross-examine her. Tameika grills her and quickly gets Tasha to crack on the stand. The mock jury didn't even buy anything that she had to say, and every single one of them said she was guilty. Maclean knows they are in trouble, so he decides to go for a hail mary and asks Tameika to join the team. Maclean tries to use the Saxe angle, but it doesn't work, but he does notice her facial expression when he mentions her former colleague and feels that might be something he can continue to work on.

It's still a struggle for Tariq at Stansfield. He even can't seem to juggle street life and academics at all and is still always late to his classes. He is also trying to juggle women as well. Riq once again learns that his professors are not going to make the road to that 3.5 GPA needed to get his inheritance easy. Professor Oliver Simmons calls him out for being late to his class and decides to call on him to speak about the reading. Tariq has a rather interesting take on what he got from the book, which basically called out the professor and the book's take. While he is taking down Oliver with his points, Professor Jabari Reynoolds is looking on with rare admiration. Following the class, Tariq is not too happy and feels the professor is picking on him. Lauren tells Tariq he should basically chill with trying to upstage his professors and instead opt for a more tamed approach and just do what they say cause it will yield better results.

He ultimately takes her advice, but it doesn't pan out because he learns he didn't receive any credit for his paper and fails. Professor Simmons tells him he liked his report, but he had no control over the grade. Instead, it was Professor Jabari who graded his paper. Lauren apologizes for the advice she gave Riq. He immediately goes to have a conversation with Jabari about his grade. Professor Jabari tells Riq he should have stuck with his original opinion on the reading and not have conformed. While heading to her office, Carrie Milgram hears Jabari having sex with one of his graduate students.

Tariq isn't too happy with his roommate and tutee, Zeke. He blames the basketball star for his failing grade because he had to write Zeke's paper on a book that was due the next day. Zeke said he couldn't do it because he had a game the next day. He will later learn he won't be able to play because he is still on academic probation. Zeke apologizes to Riq, but Tariq also wants a favor and wants to set up a meeting with his Aunt Monet. This is important because Tariq decided it was time to get back into moving weight. He tells Brayden to get ready. He enlists the help of Epiphany to distract the most prominent dealer in Stansfield, making Brayden's job even easier, and the plan worked.

Zeke comes through, and Monet shows up at the dorm. She isn't too thrilled to learn that her presence was requested to talk to Tariq, whom she doesn't trust at all. She tells Zeke to go wait in the car so she and Tariq can speak alone. Tariq makes his pitch to her and gives her a duffle bag full of money to show how much he pulled in a matter of hours. Tariq needs the weight, and the only place he can get it is from the Tejada family. Monet was reluctant, but she finally agrees after he convinces her that the family needs him to keep Zeke in school, but under the condition, he moves out of Zeke's dorm room because she doesn't want her nephew involved with the Tariq's drug business. Riq agrees and tells her he has somewhere to stay, and that is Brayden's dorm room. Their conversation is interrupted by a call from his mother. She informs Tariq that she needs him to give Maclean more mone, realizing she is in trouble following her mock trial. Riq tells her not to worry, and he has a plan.

Immediately after her call with Tariq, Tasha gets a call from Lorenzo informing her that Riq is working with his family. He tells her to make sure Riq does what they say because if he doesn't, Lorenzo will see to it that he dies.



Guest Starring

  • Bruce Altman as Oliver Simmons
  • Berto Colon as Lorenzo Tejada
  • Shalim Ortiz as Officer Danilo Ramirez
  • Sherri Saum as Paula Matarazzo
  • Shari Abdul as Sylvia
  • Marcus Anderson Jr. as Lil Guap
  • De'Adre Aziza as Marshal Gwen Meredith
  • Ben Biggers as Connor Perry
  • Andrew Block as Uniform NYPD
  • Ryan Bourque as Scott
  • Jeanette Branch as Laila Jones
  • Seth Andrew Bridges as Reporter #1
  • Brandi Denise as Epiphany
  • Danish Farooqui as Vape Clerk
  • Bradley Gibson as Everett
  • David Ginlet as Khalid
  • Amani Huell as Melissa
  • Alexander Martin Jones as Security Guard
  • Ian Lassiter as Ricky
  • Law Mason as Bailliff
  • John Palladino as Bishop
  • Jerry Rago as Judge Anthony Burton
  • Brit Whittle as Coach Wallace


Song Performer Scene
Everyday Dave East & Gunna Opening scene, collection runs
Mirror Francci Richard Tasha legal's team unexpectedly "kidnap" her, by Fedderal Marshals, to get her dressed to look innoncent in court.
Good Man Raphael Saadiq Professor Reynolds has sex with a graduate student.


  • The episode scored 0.74 million viewers.


Promotional Images


Episode Guide