‘Power Book III: Raising Kanan’ Episode 6 Review
Spoilers ahead for Episode 6 of Power Book III: Raising Kanan, along with potential spoilers for the rest of the Power Universe.
After a mid-season break, Power Book III: Raising Kanan returns, with Episode 6 kicking off the back half of the prequel’s first season. Following last episode’s dramatic revelation concerning Kanan Stark’s lineage, we now see how the consequences of this play out. But are the events of this episode worth the wait? Let’s find out in our review of Episode 6 of Power Book III: Raising Kanan.
Sins of the Father
As mentioned, Episode 5 ended with the reveal that Kanan’s biological father is actually Detective Malcolm Howard. While not a ton happened this episode in relation to that specifically, we did get some interesting character beats surrounding it. And while I wish he got a bit more play in this episode, I did enjoy the few scenes of Malcolm that we did get.
Something I had predicted after last week was that Malcolm would consider the possibility of a Kanan being a donor for his medical procedure. The exploration of this avenue indeed came to pass in this episode, as we see Malcolm asking his doctor about the very same “hypothetical” situation. While the doctor did say that this was possible, she also prefaced it by explaining that, because Kanan is 15, his legal guardian would have to approve of the procedure. In this case, Kanan’s legal guardian would obviously be Raquel. And as of now, the chances of Raq ever telling Kanan about his father, let alone approve the medical procedure, are very slim.
This doesn’t exactly leave Malcolm with a whole lot of options. He has no other suitable donors and he is running out of time. All that’s left is for him to either lie down and die or take matters into his own hands and tell Kanan the truth.
The One in Control (Content Warning)
Unlike his father, Kanan’s mother had plenty to do in this episode. To be honest, I wasn’t too sure how to feel about Raq’s role in this one. Raquel is a character who I’ve worried could potentially become a bit one-note, and I felt the same while watching this episode. Every time she scolds Kanan or Marvin or whoever for keeping secrets from her, I’m just reminded of the fact that she’s doing the exact same thing concerning D-Wiz’ death. And despite all the criticisms I had about him before, the fact that I was actually upset to see Symphony get dumped is honestly impressive.
But the more I thought about Raq and her role in this episode, the more I began to change my tune. An incredibly important detail that can’t be overlooked is the fact that Raq was assaulted in this episode. Before I get into that, I’m glad that the show didn’t go through with having its female co-lead get raped on screen halfway through its first season. I was worried that they would stoop to that trope while watching that scene.
Anyways, remembering what happened to Raquel in this scene recontextualizes a lot of her actions. I’ve talked before about the significance of the title Raising Kanan. But I also would like to take a look at the first part of the series’ title: Power. Kanan will one day hold all the power in the streets. But Raq is currently the one who wields this power. But for Raq, the more accurate word would be control. Raq needs to be the one in control, and she will make sure that nobody takes that from her. Not Symphony, not Kanan, not Marvin, and certainly not the scummy inspector rotting away in the walls. (Side note: Won’t people eventually notice that there is a dead body in the walls? Maybe it’ll come up again, but it just seems like such an ineffective way of hiding a body.)
But this added element to Raq adds a lot to her character that I really appreciated. And although I was initially more critical of her in this episode, I think this new layer to Raq also improved the episode for me. I’m looking forward to this being explored more in later episodes.
In a surprising turn of events, I’ve found myself much more invested in the music storyline than any of the crime ones. I have been a bit unsure about what the significance is of this storyline. But something about watching Jukebox and Famous perform together was really exciting for me. From the performance itself to Marvin actually looking proud of his daughter, it honestly made me feel a bit emotional.
I’ve already sung (Hehe) my praises of Hailey Kilgore as Jukebox, so I’m going to instead shout out Antonio Ortiz as Famous. Famous has probably been the most consistently funny character in the show, in large part due to Ortiz’ performance. He does a terrific job making a supporting character feel incredibly memorable, even among an already talented ensemble cast.
From the performance itself to Marvin actually looking proud of his daughter, it honestly made me feel a bit emotional.Riley DeBoer, EricaVain.com TV Critic
One part of this that I want to talk about is Nicole. After last week’s heartbreaking events involving her and Jukebox, it was nice to see the two of them still find a way to be together. But Nicole hasn’t had the opportunity to do very much outside of her relationship with Jukebox, making her a rather flat character to me. That’s why I was intrigued when she smoked and got high at Lou-Lou’s showcase. I really hope that something becomes of this, because it has the potential to greatly flesh out her character.
Also, quick question: why the heck is this episode called “Level Up”? Was there a line I missed or something? Because otherwise the title kinda just seems irrelevant to everything that happened. They should’ve called the episode “Streets Need a Body”. That would’ve been a WAY better title. I know it doesn’t matter at all, but I just wanted to say that.
Sins of the Son
Unfortunately, this is yet another episode that features a relatively small amount of its titular lead. For a show that’s supposed to be about his start in the criminal underworld, it feels like Kanan has spent most of the season on the sidelines. And any time that he does take a major step in this direction, it rarely gets addressed afterwards. I mean, he spent last episode furiously pursuing Scrappy for supposedly snitching to Unique. But this feud barely gets mentioned at all here. He just seems mostly over it.
But what we did get of Kanan this episode was still pretty good. His talk with Jukebox was really well done and a good showcase for both actors and the show’s writing. Their relationship is one of the most consistently engaging ones in the show and it’s always a joy to see them interact. I’m sure that it’ll remain just as endearing throughout their entire lives…
Another beat with Kanan that stood out to me was during Jukebox and Famous’ performance. Unlike the two of them, Kanan actually has killed before. All they were doing was singing about it. Kanan’s feelings regarding the deaths of Buck Twenty and D-Wiz sometimes feel ignored by the show. So I’m glad that they haven’t been completely forgotten. It’s surely no coincidence that after this happens, we next see Kanan going to see Davina. You know? Kanan’s girlfriend who was dating Buck before he killed him. Yikes.
The episode ends with Scrappy’s dead body being left at Raq and Kanan’s doorstep. This sends a very clear message: Unique has declared war against Raq. Let the games begin.
Raising Kanan: Episode 6 Review
Episode 6 of Raising Kanan serves as a perfect example of the show as a whole. It showcased a talented cast, good writing, and compelling character beats. But this is brought down by the pacing of the longer story and character beats. Despite this, I still really did enjoy many parts of this episode, especially the showcase. But, considering the fact that this show is a crime drama, it would be nice if the criminal elements could be just as engaging as that.
If you haven’t yet, check out our review of the previous episode of Power Book III: Raising Kanan. And if you liked this article, you should take a look at our coverage of Gossip Girl and Loki. If you want more Raising Kanan coverage, check out our YouTube channel for plenty of new content every week.