Source: Courtesy / Starz

Raq makes a life-changing decision in the aftermath of the Mafia’s ambush, but its too little, too late for Kanan, as he looks to pave his own path free of his mother’s lies.

The first episode of the third season picks up precisely where the second one left off. Unsurprisingly, Marvin survived the attack on him at the Baisley projects. While he’s in the car with (the tenant who let him in. Next we see Raq at the hospital. She tells Lou Lou (who is at the studio where cops are everywhere) to blame it all on Crown and not to f*ck it up. While she’s having this conversation, the cops walk in and inform her that they’ll need to ask her some more questions. Detective Howard shows up at the hospital and peeps Kanan and Jukebox in the waiting room. He walks in on Raq explaining her relationship to Crown and how it relates to shooting at the studio. To keep the cops off of her heels, Howard corroborates her story. Later at the hospital, as Captain Baptiste is addressing the present officers, Detective Burke interrupts demanding to speak to Howard. As he noticed her, Kanan put his hood over head to hide his face. Captain Baptiste doesn’t let the situation get more heated and takes Burke outside. After briefly reminiscing on when he first met her, Captain Baptiste suspends Burke indefinitely. Howard tells the Captain that he believes Burke can be good police if she gets out of her own way. While Kanan and Juke waited, they heard a news report about at least 10 inmates who had been released due to false evidence planted by a dirty cop. It just so happened that one of those inmates turned out to be Unique’s older brother Ronnie. Unique was surprised when he got home and Pernessa broke the news. Apparently Unique knew Ronnie was getting out but it was supposed to be later in the week. Ronnie was released a few days early because tuberculosis was spreading in the jails. Those were some of the few words we heard from Ronnie in their first interaction. While eating his cereal, Ronnie also noticed blood on Unique’s coat sleeve. Unique lied and said he fell and hit a car door but Ronnie saw right through it.

Ronnie wasn’t the only one who could smell BS. Sal Boselli paid a visit to Stefano to apologize for the ruckus he caused in Jamaica but to no avail. Since the hits on the Thomas family, cops have been crawling all around of Stefano’s business. This has made Stefano very cautious. When Sal showed up, the two went outside to discuss things because Stefano thought his place might be bugged. Stefano informed Sal that since he messed up so badly, “his cleaning days are over.” At least in New York. When she’s released from the hospital, Raq, Marvin, Juke and Kanan go back to Raq’s new house. Marvin quickly gets on Kanan after he basically says he won’t help Raq unpack because he doesn’t live with her. Before it becomes a big deal, Raq says forget it and gets them all to sit down for a family discussion. The conversation starts with Raq and Marvin apologizing to Juke for Kenya’s death. They both explain that despite what happened, Kenya did care for and love her and she did want to eventually make things right. Raq used that to transition into telling them that everything will be different going forward and that she was out of the game. She stated how she realized it wasn’t worth all that comes with it. Kanan wasn’t buying it at all. He expresses that the only reason he came to the hospital was to keep the story her and Howard made up in tact. He referred to Howard as his father which completely confused Marvin. Raq said that they would all talk about it later but Kanan felt like there was nothing else to talk about and walked out. Juke followed him and tried to convince him to give Raq one more chance but it was evident that Kanan had clearly had enough of his mother’s lies and deception. While Juke tried her best to get Kanan to stay, Raq tried her best to help Marvin understand why she never said anything about Howard. She reminded her older brother what might’ve happened to Kanan if the neighborhood found out he was a cop’s kid.

Speaking of cops and their kids…Burke went to her father to discuss her current situation. He got intel before she did and informed her that she was suspended until the IAD’s investigation on her was over. After she brought up Howard yet again, Patrick made it clear to her that she was the one under investigation and not Howard. Patrick told Burke they would meet with her union representative and attorney to figure things out. Ronnie also wanted to figure things out. While riding with Unque, he noticed how there weren’t workers on every corner and mentioned it. Unique responded by telling his brother that cops are all over them and that isn’t the smartest option at the moment. Ronnie brought up Raq and how she has Unique working for her and making her money. This visibly annoyed Unique a bit leading him to tell his brother that business has changed and sometimes you have to change with it. Continuing with the theme of figuring things out, there was Kanan and Famous. The two discuss going back to their parent’s cribs. Contrary to Famous, it’s the absolute last thing Kanan wants to do. Similarly to season two, Kanan realizes that it’s time for them to make their own money. He floats the idea of getting weed from Famous’ weed man Semrad. As with most street stuff, Famous is not necessarily giddy about the idea. Someone else who doesn’t seem happy with most of the things they have to do is Lou Lou. He drunkly expressed these feelings to Marvin. He noted how it’s okay for Raq to leave the game but when he wants to, it’s a problem. He then brings up how Raq admitted to making a mistake killing Scrap. Marvin lets him have his moment and the two eventually pour out a drink for their fallen member. In terms of figuring things out, we might’ve gotten a clue how Juke ended up becoming a cop. In a one on one meeting, we hear her guidance counselor asking her what interests her and suggesting the military. Juke says she like to sing, which the guidance counselor says is a past time. This is something to keep an eye out on because we do know the road Juke eventually goes down.

Howard meets with Raq to give her an update. He lets her know that the cops are buying the Crown story. Although that was good, he also wanted to make sure Kanan knew he couldn’t talk about anything to anybody and that they were all on the same side in this situation. Unfortunately for Burke, no one was on her side. In the meeting with her union rep and lawyer, she was informed that she might not only lose her job but she might also go to jail due to her illegal behavior and questionable relationships with young people. While she was trying to keep her life from falling apart, some of the young people she had invested a lot of time into were on to their next potential play. Kanan and Famous went to Semrad’s house to see if they could move work for him. Semrad brings up the Mafia hits and how they have made the area a no fly zone. He also added that he wouldn’t trust Famous not to smoke all of the drugs himself. That door seemed to close quickly. Although the door on Kenya’s life closed, she was still around in this episode. Juke walked in the house in the midst of Marvin going through stuff the church dropped off. After Marvin shares that the church is having a memorial for Kenya and he’ll go with her if she wants (Marvin ended up going and Juke didn’t), the two share a moment where Juke cries in his father’s arms. When Juke looked through the box, she found old pictures, a Bible and some vinyls. It’s cool to see Juke taking positive steps with both of her parents (even though one is deceased now).

Kanan still seems a long way from making things right with his parents. Raq and Howard show up at Famous’ crib to talk to Kanan. Raq gives Fame some money to leave and “go get some pizza or something (he’s probably going to smoke it off).” Kanan wastes no time attacking his mother, bringing up how it’s ironic that they’re claiming they’re on the same page because they surely weren’t when she sent him to shoot Howard. Howard quickly notes that Kana saying things like that is the exact reason they’re there…to make sure he understand the severity of the situation. Howard tells his son that they need to keep their stuff close. This prompts Kanan to bring up Detective Burke. He hips his parents to everything she knows before Raq chimes in and tells them that Burke rolled up on her at the grocery store. Howard tries to temper their fear by letting them know that Burke is suspended. Kanan responded by letting him know that her being suspended doesn’t change what she knows. Howard assures them that he’ll take care of it. Before they’re done talking, Raq promises that she’ll fix everything to which Kanan replies with his normal doubt and negativity.

As if things weren’t already bad for Burke, Detective Adina broke up with her. Adina mentioned how the IAD had been coming around asking about Howard, the young people she was involved with and more. She also mentioned that her mother was going to die soon and that she was done with all of Burke’s stuff. It appears that Lou is in the same boat with Raq. He invited Kanan over to their family house to talk. When Kanan arrived, Lou was sitting there…still drinking. The two talked about how no one knows Raq as well as them. Lou then finally admitted that he was the one who took out D-Wiz and how much it messes with his head everyday. Kanan tells his uncle that he could’ve told Raq no and then adds comfort by adding that he could have said no to her too. One person who couldn’t say no was Unique. Pernessa asked him how long Ronnie would be there. Unique really didn’t have an answer for her. She expressed how Ronnie brings trouble and she doesn’t feel comfortable with their son around him. She also mentions how Worrell left behind a son and a daughter and she doesn’t want that to be their fate. Unique does his best to keep her calm by letting her know that he has a plan.

It seems like Raq is Unique’s plan. He showed up to her house while she was cooking dinner. The two discuss Raq’s next moves. She tells Unique that after she gets Jersey off of her back, she’s out of the game. Unique lets her know that she is the best part of the game for him. The interaction leads them to have sex for the first time. After Howard called and set up a meeting with Burke, the two finally met and had a real conversation about everything for the first time. Howard starts by telling Burke that he thinks he can help her save her job. Burke then shares everything that she thinks she knows and she was dead on about everything. Howard tells her that even if she was right, it doesn’t add up to anything. She responded by bringing up all the stuff he’s done to cover up his tracks. She starts to mention him getting Sam killed but before she can get it all the way out, she suffers the same fate. Howard shot Burke right in the head. As he’s doing his due diligence to make the shot look like a suicide, he peeps that Burke was recording him. He takes the recorder and finishes cleaning himself up and fleas the scene. Will Burke’s shooting end up being classified as a suicide? How will the cops respond to another one of their one being slain? How will Juke and Marvin’s relationship continue to grow? What can we expect from Lou now that he’s told just about everybody how he feels about Raq? Is Raq actually out of the game? Are her and Unique a real thing? How long will Ronnie sit back and watch everything? Can Kanan and Famous find a way to make their own money? Let us know what you thought about this episode and what you think will happen on the next one in the comments!