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Power Book III: Raising Kanan isn’t just the coming-of-age story of 15-year-old Kanan Stark (Mekai Curtis), it’s also about the deep bond that he shares with his mother, Raquel “Raq” Thomas (Patina Miller). In the Power series, Raq is one of the bigger drug distributors in Queens, New York, and despite her pushing her son into a different direction, he’s determined to make her proud in the streets.

However, a major twist about Kanan’s father involving the manipulative Detective Malcolm Howard (Omar Epps) has just changed everything in Power Book III: Raising Kanan.

Patina Miller as Raquel "Raq" Thomas and Mekai Curtis as Kanan Stark in 'Power Book III: Raising Kanan' walking down a highschool hallway
Patina Miller as Raquel “Raq” Thomas and Mekai Curtis as Kanan Stark in ‘Power Book III: Raising Kanan’ | Starz

Who is Omar Epps’ character Detective Malcolm Howard on ‘Power Book III: Raising Kanan’?

When we meet Detective Malcolm Howard, it’s clear that he has one foot behind the law and another in the hood. Aligning himself with drug dealer Unique (Joey Bada$$), he seems intent on bringing down Raq and her drug empire, so much so that it almost feels personal.

Obsessed with the power that his position gives him, things have shifted drastically, now that Malcolm has learned he’s sick and in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant. His fixation on Raq has also brought to light a major revelation about Kanan’s paternity.

Detective Malcolm Howard just learned that he’s Kanan’s father in ‘Power Book III: Raising Kanan’

From the moment we met Detective Malcolm Howard on Power Book III: Raising Kanan, it was clear that he and Raq had history. The detective never hid his disdain for the drug queenpin, but we couldn’t tell if it was sexism or something else. Now, the secret that Raq has been hiding has come to the forefront. All along, we’ve been told that Kanan’s father is a gangster named Def Con who died around the time of Kanan’s birth.

A teenager herself when her son was born, Raq raised Kanan alone. However, after arresting Kanan following a scuffle, and learning his birthday, Malcolm realizes that it’s much more likely that he is Kanan’s father. When he confronts Raq about it, she doesn’t deny it, simply telling Malcolm to stay away from her kid.

Now it looks like Malcolm and Raq’s tumultuous relationship is about to come to life and it’s going to change everything. “I would say there’s a respect there because they have so much history,” Epps told Nine Entertainment Co. “They’ve been through some things together; they both have secrets. Through that is where they just have this mutual respect. And it’s like, all right, you stay over your side of the fence, and I’ll stay on mine. But, of course, Howard likes to cross those lines.”


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Will Detective Malcolm Howard turn Kanan against Raq in ‘Power Book III: Raising Kanan’?

Now that Malcolm has seemingly learned the truth that he is likely Kanan’s biological father, it’s clear that he’s going to try and connect with the teenager. Moreover, we also know that Malcolm is in desperate need of a bone-marrow transplant. Though Raq has warned him to stay away from Kanan we’re almost certain that the detective is going to use this information to try and drive a wedge between the mother/son duo.

As fragile as Kanan already is now that he’s just entering his mother’s drug empire world, we’re not sure that he has the emotional maturity to handle this new information. We’re also certain he’s going to resent Raq for hiding this information from him.

“[Malcolm’s] a master manipulator,” Epps told Esquire about his character’s motivations. “His whole thing is being Gepetto. He’s the puppeteer. He was doing that for a reason. He doesn’t just want, to clean up the streets, he wants to clean the way he wants them cleaned.”

Clearly Power Book III: Raising Kanan fans are in for a wild ride.