Previously on Raising Kanan, Uncle Marvin enacts Kanan’s plan to sell crack to the white folks at a new location by the Van Wyck expressway, and it works. Kanan gets a tad bit too bold when he cooks up some more stepped-on crack using some mess one of Marvin’s D-boys gives him. They tested the product by giving it out to the local abusers in the neighborhood, and not only is it giving them an ultimate high, but it’s also killing the customers. Jukebox’s girlfriend Nicole sadly also became one of those victims of Kanan’s bad batch rocks. This week’s episode focuses on the ramifications of Kanan’s actions.
Things were looking up for Jukebox, and just like that, crack brought it all tumbling down. Jukebox isn’t in the family business, but somehow, someway, it found its way to ruin her life. The episode opens up with the aspiring singer and collector of Polo drip at a memorial service for Nicole. Of course, she wants to pay her respects to the girl she just dubbed her girlfriend, but this situation is a complicated mess because Nicole’s parents, specifically her mom, were against the fact that she was gay and in love with a Black girl from the hood.
Nicole’s dad, who is strangely more understanding than his wife, tries to tell Jukebox she can’t be there calmly. Kanan tries to smooth things over, but angry Karen, aka Nicole’s mom, tells them both to leave, and Jukebox obliges. Later in the episode, Jukebox is still going through the motions about Nicole and decides to go to Nicole’s home. She breaks into the residence after watching Nicole’s parents leave.
Jukebox goes through Nicole’s things and finds the letter and tape she gave her now-dead boo. She also decides to watch the video they made together at the mall and breaks down. For some bizarre and ridiculous reason, Jukebox must have lost track of time and stayed in Nicole’s room for far too long because her parents return home to discover the house was broken into, and Nicole’s dad finds her sitting in his dead daughter’s room.
Again, he keeps his cool and even tries to tell Jukebox she needs to hurry up and leave, but it’s too late. Angry Karen enters the scene. She berates Jukebox and slams the crack vial on the table next to her, blaming her for her daughter’s dumb mistake of smoking crack, revealing they didn’t even tell family and friends what really killed their daughter to save themselves embarrassment. Nicole’s mom also called the police, and they eventually came upstairs and arrested Jukebox. Strangely they didn’t search her cause if they did, they would have found that empty crack vial on her.
On their way to the precinct, they get a call over the radio telling them to let her go. We will touch on who was her guardian angel in a bit.
Following her ordeal, she links up Kanan, who is also down in the dumps (we will touch on that in this recap), and finally opens up about Nicole’s death. Jukebox is finally coming to grips with the passing of her boo and reveals to Kanan that Nicole died after smoking his crack. BUT, she doesn’t blame Kanan, and she doesn’t blame herself either, and she shouldn’t. It was Nicole who took it upon herself to steal the drugs out of Jukebox’s bag.
Raq Is Making Moves, Questions Lou-Lou’s Loyalty
After losing her main connect, Raq is out here making moves to ensure her empire doesn’t crumble. The observant and clever Queenpin noticed that the store owner has a nasty habit of putting his hands on his wife. Raq saw this as opening extending a helping hand to the battered woman, and she finally decided to take Raq up on her offer setting up a meeting with her cousin, who happens to be a drug supplier. In return, Raq has to deal with her problem, her abusive husband.
Raq makes good on her offer by helping the woman set up her husband, literally assassinating him. The woman couldn’t look more relieved after Raq put a bullet in the man’s head. She instructs the woman to tell the cops it was a robbery and make it look like some tools are missing. Mission accomplished.
Back at Raq’s crib, Raq meets with Lou-Lou and Marvin about the business. Both Marvin and Lou-Lou agree for once that they should put the business on hold, being that they are running seriously low on product. The mood of the meeting changes when Lou-Lou mentions the blue caps, aka Kanan’s stepped-on crack, are being sold on the streets. Marvin expresses a look of nervousness, but Raq and Lou-Lou don’t pick up on it.
Lou-Lou thinks it’s Unique, but Raq shuts that down. Marvin lies and says it’s someone from the Bronx. Lou-Lou asks Marvin how does he know that? Uncle Marvin says he keeps his ears to the streets, unlike his brother, who is now preoccupied with the music business. After a brief squabble with Lou-Lou chastising Uncle Marvin for his “natural” body odor, Raq instructs Marvin to find out who is selling the blue tops and tell them to knock it off.
Once Uncle Marvin leaves, Raq asks Lou-Lou about Unique pressing him about joining her crew. Raq believes her rival must have seen some opening or crack in Lou-Lou’s loyalty even to consider making such a move. Lou-Lou is visibly insulted and double’s down on his loyalty to his sister. This conversation does play a significant part in his thinking as we advance in this episode.
After chopping it up with her brother’s, Raq meets with her potential new drug supplier. The meeting is going smoothly until he admits that he knows she has been meeting with Detective Howard. The mood becomes tense with drug connects goons pulling out their guns, but Raq calmly explains that she has Howard in her pockets, a common occurrence for a drug lord and that it would make no sense for her to be a snitch since she killed her cousin’s husband earlier that morning.
The connect tells his goons to stand down, but he’s not ready to work with Raq just yet. He tells her to prove her plan doesn’t sound like one of Lou-Lou’s records by showing her relationship is with Detective Howard is what she says it is and that he won’t be a problem down the line. Lucky for Raq, after following her conversation with Howard, she knows that shouldn’t be an issue at all.
Detective Howard Uses Kanan & Uncle Marvin’ Sloppiness To His Advantage
Detective Howard is dying a slow death, but thanks to the Kanan and Uncle Marvin slipping up big time, he might have just found a way to save his life. The detective and his partner are now investigating the dead crackheads turning up due to the stepped-on crack. Howard’s partner thinks it’s either Unique or Raq selling the laced drugs, but he knows better.
They get a strong lead after question a local junkie who reveals where they got the crack from pointing them in the direction of a local strip club he often fancies. Howard and his partner head there and present him with a fake warrant and arrest him. Howard cleverly lies to the goon getting him to drop a dime on Kanan, revealing it was all his idea, much to the shock of Howard, who doesn’t need his so-called son being locked up for selling bad crack. Howard wastes no time meeting up with Raq to use the information that he acquired to his advantage.
Howard reveals to Raq that it’s Kanan selling the blue tops, much to her disappointment. He promises to do his best to bury the evidence, but he needs Raq to “smooth the road” for him to have that heart-to-heart conversation with Kanan so he can tell him he is his father. Raq isn’t on board with the idea, and it’s here we learn that Howard pushed up on Raq when she was only 16. According to Howard, she lied and told him she was 17. We also learn that Def Con, the man Kanan considers to be the father in his life growing up, was gay, and he and Raq’s relationship was a front to make it seem like he was straight.
Howard gives Raq a warning, she better set up the conversation between the two “with the quickness,” or he’s going to put the word out on the street that Kanan is his son. That will also reveal to the streets that Raq was sleeping with a cop, making it look like she is a snitch, something she can’t afford right now.
Raq Tells Kanan The Harsh Truth, Unique Strikes Back
Understandably, Raq is extremely pissed off and disappointed with her son. She presses him immediately about the blue tops and reveals some new information about Uncle Marvin. She tells her wayward son that Uncle Marvin was a dope head who got pinched for selling drugs out of his home, saying he is the worst person he could have decided to work with behind her back. Kanan gets too big for his britches and tells his mother the only person she should be blaming is herself leading to her slapping her son and revealing that she has been cleaning up all of his messes, including talking out D-Wiz because the streets needed a body.
A disappointed and sad Kanan runs upstairs after learning it was his mother who had his friend killed. He would later run to his girlfriend’s house only to learn that child protective services took her and the other kids because their mother had been dead for some days now.
Raq isn’t done. She catches up with Uncle Marvin to speak about what she learned from Detective Howard and hits him with a 4×4 in the back to let him she is not playing.
Uncle Marvin tries his best to explain himself, but Raq is not trying to hear it and tells him to kick rocks, pretty much kicking him out of the family business. So, where does he run off to? He goes and links up with Toni, and the two have sex in her office but what he doesn’t know is that he comes awfully close to getting in even more trouble.
Uncle Marvin has no idea there is a recording device under Toni’s device while he is smashing and trying to convince her to give him the money she owes him. Toni is willing to do so, only if he says what it is exactly for, the information the police need, but he doesn’t say it. Uncle Marvin is frustrated because he feels Toni is playing games and doesn’t say anything and just leaves, dodging a serious bullet. Once Marvin leaves, Toni has a conversation with two white gentlemen sitting at a table.
It turns out those two men are the cops, and they are disappointed Toni couldn’t get Marvin to reveal the nature of their business. Symphony also happens to be working that night, and he is taking it all in. More than likely, he will tell Raq all of this later. While all of this is going on, Unique is plotting to get back at Lou-Lou for turning down his offer. He has no idea that Lou-Lou- stole his jacket out of his car earlier. We shall see how that comes into play.
Anyway, Lou-Lou is frustrated. His girlfriend is annoying about the music business after making a power move to become part-owner of Camacho’s label. She can’t seem to stop talking about her brother’s future, which Lou-Lou could care less about. He is also still mad about Raq questioning his loyalty.
That frustration is apparent when Raq calls him. Lou-Lou acknowledges the call, but after he hangs up, he says he’s taking the night off. He doesn’t know that Unique’s boys are rolling up on his crib at that exact moment. They bomb his house with Molotov cocktails and pepper the crib with bullets at the same time. Trapped in the burning home Lou-Lou eventually passes out, most likely due to smoke inhalation.
While all of this is going on, Uncle Marvin is driving up, and he tries to save the day but crashes his car. Marvin really likes to his crash his vehicles in this show. Anyway, Unique’s crew peels off, and Marvin slowly gets out of his damaged car and busts into the burning building. He finds his brother’s lifeless body and carries him out, screaming for him to get up. It looks like Raq just lost her best soldier, and the episode ends on that cliffhanger.
Relive the entire first season (so far) through photos, with the gallery below: