‘Power’ Actor Michael Rainey Jr. Explains Why He Thinks Tariq Can Redeem Himself

We’re weeks away from the Power Book II: Ghost premiere on Starz, and it’s the one spinoff series that continues to divide fans. Michael Rainey Jr. is aware his character Tariq St. Patrick isn’t everyone’s favorite, especially after he killed his father.

But he thinks Tariq may have a shot at changing people’s perceptions, whether they love him or hate him. Fans know Ghost’s eldest child is in for a bumpy ride in Power’s first spinoff but will they root for his rise or downfall?

Michael Rainey Jr.
Michael Rainey Jr. of ‘Power’ | Mark Sagliocco/FilmMagic/Getty Images

What’s in store for Tariq in ‘Power Book 2’

The official trailer for Power Book II: Ghost dropped on Aug. 4 and gave fans a taste of the world that will envelop Tariq and those around him. There isn’t just one. A distrustful crime family, a lawyer that speaks in dollar bills, and a university obligation await him.

According to the season 1 logline from Starz, Tariq stands alone.

Truly on his own for the first time in his life, Tariq is forced to split his time between school and hustling to pay for Davis MacLean, the fame-hungry defense lawyer who is Tasha’s only hope of getting out of jail and escaping prosecution by newly minted U.S. Attorney Cooper Saxe. With no better options, Tariq turns to the familiar drug game, entangling himself with a cutthroat family headed by Monet Stewart Tejada, that’s been at it far longer than him.

Viewers can expect more of Tariq getting in over his head, but there will also be the aspect of him processing his father’s death.

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Michael Rainey feels ‘Power Book 2’ can be redemptive for Tariq

Rainey is ready for fans to see Tariq’s story arc in the new show, and during an interview with The Koalition, he discussed how he thinks the character is sometimes misunderstood. He shared that Tariq isn’t as spiteful as some viewers think he is, and he’s hoping they’ll see that.

“It’s a different beginning. His father’s gone so he’s trying to maintain life with that, the weight of his death — his father’s death on him,” he said.

“Then he has to go to school, he has to get money for Mom’s lawyer so it’s just like a whole lot of things that’s weighing on his chest and honestly, he’s forced to become a grown man now. So, it’s like a different world for Tariq. And I feel like he could redeem himself.”

Rainey added he’s excited for viewers to understand Tariq’s mind and motivations in this latest Power installment. However, he also said that he would not want to be in his character’s position in real life.

Rainey said one cast member was a total surprise

Mary J. Blige, Wu-Tang Clan’s Method Man, Paige Hurd, and Woody McClain are among the series’ new cast members. But there’s one person who Rainey was eager to film with, and that’s Method Man.

He said that he didn’t even know the rapper/actor was part of the lineup until the first table read. It caught him off guard.

Rainey expressed that not only is he a fan, but he and Method Man are from the same part of New York: Staten Island. He loved working with Blige and everyone else in the cast and shared they all treat each other like family.

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Watch the first episode of Power Book II: Ghost on Sept. 6 at 9 p.m.