Michael Rainey Jr. Talks the Final Season of 'Power Book II: Ghost'

No spoilers, but a new character is "a big bump in Tariq's road."

Kourtnee Jackson Senior Editor
Kourtnee covers TV streaming services and home entertainment news and reviews at CNET. She previously worked as an entertainment reporter at Showbiz Cheat Sheet where she wrote about film, television, music, celebrities, and streaming platforms.
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Kourtnee Jackson
3 min read
michael rainey jr poses in front of power book 2 backdrop
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A decade ago, Power launched on Starz and introduced James St. Patrick and his street persona, Ghost, to viewers. Created by Courtney A. Kemp, the hit crime drama spawned several spinoff series, including the sequel Power Book II: Ghost, which focuses on Ghost's son Tariq St. Patrick played by Michael Rainey Jr.

Throughout these 10 years, fans watched Ghost live a double life as a drug dealer and businessman only to end up murdered by his own son. By the time the Power series finale aired back in 2020, Tariq was one of the most despised characters on the entire show. When Power Book II was announced, people were rooting against him and the new spinoff. After three seasons -- and heading into the final stretch -- Tariq has arguably become a newer version of his father -- and someone to root for.

That sentiment is not lost on Rainey. Ahead of the season 4 premiere, the actor spoke with CNET to discuss his personal journey and Tariq's story arc in both series, the franchise's growth and what to expect in the final installment of Power Book II: Ghost.   

Read more: How to Watch 'Power Book II: Ghost' Season 4 From Anywhere

two young men walk on college campus

Michael Rainey Jr. as Tariq St. Patrick, with Gianni Paolo in Power Book II: Ghost.


At just 13, Rainey signed up for the new series and was excited to work with executive producer Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson. As he reflected on his 10-year stint in the Power franchise, he explained had no idea what would happen with the story.

"I didn't know what direction they would head with my character or even with the show, said Rainey. It was around season 3 or 4 where he realized he was part of something "iconic."  "Just watching it go from what it was to what it is now… and I also grew up with it, so it's a just dope feeling to be part of something so legendary," he said.

Because Power was geared toward adults, he didn't imagine that Tariq would eventually become so rebellious and wind up with his own spinoff. The writers turned the character into a deceitful -- and dangerous -- teen, and Rainey fielded lots of animosity from fans about Tariq's murderous and duplicitous behavior. Power Book II managed to make him a more sympathetic protagonist, hooking viewers to his story.

Season 4 of the series pits Tariq against multiple adversaries, including the Tejada family, British drug trafficker Noma, and several law enforcement agents. Of particular concern is newcomer Michael Ealy as Detective Don Carter.

"Michael Ealy -- he comes in and shakes a lot up," Rainey teased. "He's definitely a big, big bump in Tariq's road… It's going to be a very, very crazy dynamic between the two." Complimenting Ealy's energy on set, Rainey shared that it was fun and refreshing working with him, "like a boxing match, the back-and-forth was fun."

It's the final season of Power Book II: Ghost, which will wrap up the last 10 years of Tariq's story. When asked if this the ending Rainey would've written for his character, he was thoughtful. "I don't know. I think this is the way I would've wanted Tariq's story to end. I don't think I would've written it any other way," he said, adding that he thinks the writers did a great job closing things out. "I feel like there's no other way they could've done it."

You can check out highlights of our conversation with Michael Rainey Jr. below, and be sure to stream season 4 of Power Book II when it arrives on Starz on June 7.