Talk about an explosive season premiere.
Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 3 Episode 1 dropped us right into the fallout from the various attacks on Raq and her family, setting the stage for Raq to make a decision with severe consequences for herself and her loved ones.
It’s a hauntingly visual hour, with many emotional moments for characters who’ll need to figure out what their lives look like moving forward, most notably Raq and Kanan.
With the mother and son relationship fractured at best, Raq and Kanan head into Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 3 further apart than ever.
During the Raising Kanan press day, TV Fanatic was lucky enough to jump on separate zooms with series stars Patina Miller and MeKai Curtis to discuss their character’s relationship and other topics as this season begins.
As the season begins, Raq will have a lot on her plate, leading her to a place mentally where she’s a bit out of sorts.
“I think she’s all over the place,” Miller told us when asked about Raq’s mental space. “I think that she’s having this sort of internal crisis. She almost just died, and what that means. And she’s dealing with the fact that Kanan sees her for who she is now.
“She’s dealing with a lot of different things in a different way. She has to clean up the mess. She’s kind of having the answer for everything she’s done between the first and two seasons. And she’s had this come-to-Jesus moment where she decides that maybe she should give it up.
“And so when you see her, you’re watching her step out and really be in unfamiliar territory with choosing to step away from the business because her eye has always been on the prize of being in power. You’re watching her step away and saying, I don’t want that anymore.
“I want to try something else. And it is an interesting thing for a person who’s been in this world her whole life. It’s all she knows to decide I’m going to give it all up, and I need to repair my relationship with my son, who no longer wants to have anything to do with me.
“So she is not in a good place when we meet her at all.”
For his part, Kanan’s in a different place, as Curtis told us, “Mentally, he’s trying to put the pieces together. I think he’s kind of accepted the world for what it is at this point.
“Now he’s coming into a space of realizing that if you let somebody put it together for you, you wind up in a situation which is trusting, as natural as anybody does, trusting the people closer to you, that being his mother, trusting their word for anything.
“And then now that he’s seeing it as it is, he’s having to rearrange the puzzle and make it make sense, and again, deal with the hand that he’s been dealt.”
Since Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 1, Raq and Kanan have been thick as thieves, but things between them have deteriorated, mainly due to Raq’s struggles to be fully transparent with her son.
But Miller doesn’t necessarily think Raq regrets how she handled things.
“It’s very honest that she did what she had to do,” Miller replied when asked whether Raq regretted her actions or did what was best for Kanan. “I think in her, Kanan doesn’t understand it now, and she even says that in season two, people can judge her for this.
“He can judge her, but he doesn’t know, he doesn’t understand. He’s dealing in emotion as he should. But Raq is basically saying, you’ll understand it later in life why I did what I did, why I tried to protect you from all of this.
“Because one day she saw that maybe this could happen. And so she tried to keep him safe. That secret, it was something that happened to her. I don’t think it’s something that she wanted, but at the end of the day, it made her less safe.
“I think it’s something that was a big thing for a 15-year-old to have to deal with, and it wasn’t the right choice, but it wasn’t the right choice for him to kill Buck Twenty, either.
“So all of the things, all of the decisions that she’s made in her life, she’s now having to deal with the consequences as is Kanan, as is every character in the series. And that is the exciting thing about playing these characters: you have to watch them go through these different experiences together.
“And so yeah, she wishes maybe she hadn’t done it, but it is something she had to do.”
With things so strained, it’s left Kanan in an odd position, as his view of his mother has continued to change.
“I think he understands that’s his mother, but he also understands that his mother is a human, and she’s doing things more so in her best interest right now,” Curtis told us regarding Kanan’s current view toward his mother.
“She’s guising it as to protect him and to do these certain things when she doesn’t realize that she’s causing a bit more hurt and harm to him.
“He’s still trying to do a protection thing, but he’s at a point now of seeing the world for exactly what it is and now wanting to make his mark on it in his way, not just being spoon-fed what is around him or what people think is best for him.
“It’s like, ‘How could you know what is good for me when you’re not me, living what I know, and seeing, and observing, especially with you being one of my biggest examples of said thing?’ That’s kind of the space he’s in with that.”
Outside of the relationship with Kanan, Raq has strained relationships all over the place, and it begs the question: who can she trust?
“I definitely think the person she can trust the most within the family is probably Jukebox still because they have that relationship,” Miller said. “I think Jukebox has been one of the most honest relationships for her.
“And for her, she allows the vulnerability, like the softness in Raq, you get to see when she’s with Jukebox, you get to see colors that you don’t normally see. And I think that’s wonderful. I think being the only woman sometimes is very hard.
“So, anytime she can be with her niece, who is also like her daughter as well, that’s a lot. In season two, Hailey wasn’t the only one estranged from her because Jukebox was out there trying to be with her mother, which made Raq feel a certain way as well.
“And so this season, it’s about trying to have a relationship with someone, and at least that is one safe relationship for her.”
Kanan’s started to slowly forge some semblance of a relationship with his father, Malcolm Howard, but it’s been slow-moving. Curtis explained Kanan’s mindset as he navigates this new dynamic.
“I think in the moment, Kanan is still trying to piece it together himself,” Curtis said. “But in those moments that you feel them starting to come together and semi-bond, it’s him trying to, in ways, start anew with his new perspective that he has. And again, not necessarily trusting everybody that’s been around him thus far.
“He feels like it’s a hot space to be in, but it’s a bit of a chiller space because, again, they both have questions that they want answered and need to ask, but it’s a place where Kanan can go, and not too many questions or too much, excuse my French, bullshit is thrown at him in the moment.
“His father allows him to organically put the pieces together because, in ways, Howard sees himself in Kanan. So he’s giving him the space to do these things and become his own person.
“I think he’s said it to him a couple of times, like, ‘When you’re ready, I’m here. I’m trying to keep that space for you, trying to let you figure it out ’cause this is weird shit for all of us.’ But that’s, I think, the relationship you see kind of budding with Kanan and Howard.”
One exciting dynamic that caught many by surprise was the emergence of Raq and Unique as potential allies and maybe even something more. And it’s a relationship Raq wants to keep separate.
“I don’t think she has any motives when it comes to Unique,” Miller explained. “I think he’s come at a time in her life where everything in her life as we know it is different. And I think she’s just saying yes to the moment. I think she’s a person who plans everything out. She always has.
“She’s very goal-oriented, and there are always decisions that she knows she makes, and so I think she’s in this real-time trying to figure it out, and he’s here, and she can be real with him in a way that she can’t be real with anyone else.
“He understands what she’s going through, and she understands what he’s going through. They both shared this common thing, so it’s where they are. I don’t think she has expectations for what this is. It’s just he’s providing comfort in a way where she doesn’t have comfort anywhere else.
“She’s estranged from her younger brother, who was the closest person to her. And Kanan doesn’t want anything to do with her. And she’s still repairing the relationship with Marvin. So, she’s just feeling right now instead of, and she’s keeping it private and separate in her own thing.”
While the season started strong, there’s still a lot to come for both Raq and Kanan.
“I think what I love about Raq in season three is, I think she is on edge, right?” Miller told us. “She’s trying to figure it out for the first time. And in a way, it’s not all figured out. She doesn’t have plans, and there is no plan. She’s just trying to be, so what you’re watching is this woman trying to be still.
“Try to see her be a regular person, have the white picket fence life, and have all of the things she was working for that she said she was working for. You’re watching her grapple with that. The redirection. Now, she’s out of the business. She doesn’t want anything to do with it.
“She’s on the straight and narrow. And so you get to see her be a businesswoman and try to pivot from the drug game to maybe something else while also trying to win back her son at all costs.”
For his part, Curtis explained, “Season three is gritty. It’s grimy. It’s another step in Kanan becoming Kanan. A lot of truths are revealed to him, and again, they just shape so vastly and so strongly how he views the world now and what he’s going to do in the world.
“It’s all about the dark coming to light for him in this season, as it’s been in most of them. But for sure, you see him take a lot of strides to really differentiate from just giving the benefit of the doubt.”
***These interviews have been edited for length and clarity.***
You can watch Power Book III: Raising Kanan on Fridays at 8/7c on STARZ.
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on X.
You can view the original article HERE.