‘Power Book II: Ghost’ Star Michael Rainey Jr. Explains Why Tariq ‘Had’ to Kill Jabari

One of the most shocking parts of Power Book II: Ghost so far is easily the murder of Jabari Reynolds. Played by Justin McManus, he was a professor at Stansfield University who developed an unhealthy obsession with Tariq St. Patrick. Watching the season play out, we all knew his story wouldn’t end well. But that didn’t make it any less shocking when he was gunned down by Tariq in the Power Book II: Ghost Season 1 finale.

Actor Michael Rainey Jr. spoke about that bombshell moment in an interview published in July. While he says his character will experience some regret over the killing, Rainey insists he “had” to do it.

Michael Rainey Jr. wearing glasses and gold chains
Michael Rainey Jr. | Michael Kovac/Getty Images for STARZ

Professor Jabari Reynolds was killed in cold blood

By the end of Power Book II: Ghost Season 1, Jabari had figured out the truth about Tariq and was planning to write a book about him. He was shot by Cane after he heard Jabari and Tariq discussing Dru Tejada, but it’s Tariq who decided to finish him off. “I don’t have a choice, professor,” he said before shooting him at point-blank range.

RELATED: ‘Power Book II: Ghost’ Actor Drops a Big Hint About Season 2

Michael Rainey Jr. agrees that Tariq ‘had’ to kill him

Discussing that scene with Entertainment Weekly, Rainey was asked if he thought it was necessary for Tariq to kill Jabari. “Tariq had to be the one,” he replied. “One, because he couldn’t just let his professor live after Cane (Woody McClain) did what he did. The professor just seeing him involved with Cane, even though he knew prior to that, wouldn’t be a good look for him, so he definitely had to just finish the job.”

“You can’t leave those loose ends out there in the business that Tariq is in,” Rainey continued. “He had to get rid of the liabilities. I feel like he didn’t want to do it, but he had to do what he had to do. It always comes down to that.”

However, there are more problems ahead

Tariq might have fixed one problem by taking out Jabari, but that only created several more. Not only will Jabari’s murder have a “big response” on campus, as showrunner and creator Courtney Kemp previously told Entertainment Weekly, but it’ll also leave Tariq with guilt.

“It will affect Tariq, because everything Tariq does affects him,” Rainey added. “A lot of things that he does, it’s more because he has to do it just to survive. It’s definitely going to mess with him. Nobody really wants to kill, so he’s definitely going to have to learn to live with that.”

RELATED: ‘Power Book II: Ghost’: 50 Cent Reveals Behind-the-Scenes Look at Season 2

Plus, Tariq will have to learn to live without the love, support, and guidance of his mother, who entered witness protection at the end of season 1.

“He’s definitely feeling alone, because he can’t trust anybody, especially not the Tejada family,” Rainey said of Tariq in season 2. “They’re in business with each other, so it’s a different type of trust. At the beginning of season two, he’s more alone than ever and he’s trying to figure it out. He still has his people around him, he just doesn’t have anyone that he can put all his trust in.”

Although it’s not known when Power Book II: Ghost comes back on, it’s believed that it might be back in 2021. In the meantime, prepare for Power Book III: Raising Kanan, which premieres on July 18 on Starz.