In ‘Power Book II: Ghost,’ the second entry in the ‘Power’ franchise, the narrative follows Tariq St. Patrick (Michael Rainey Jr.), who begins attending Stansfield University in Queens, New York, at the start of the series to escape the horrid legacy of his father, and still gets trapped in it as he is forced to sell drugs to protect his mother.
Portrayed by Paige Hurd, Lauren Baldwin is one of the main characters in Power Book II: Ghost. Toward the end of the first season, it is heavily implied Lauren died in a car accident, though several characters believe that foul play was involved. If the events depicted in the third season premiere have made you wonder whether Lauren is alive in ‘Power Book II: Ghost,’ here is what you need to know. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Is Lauren Dead?
No, Lauren isn’t dead in ‘Power Book II: Ghost.’ At the start of the series, Lauren is a freshman at Stansfield, along with Tariq and one of his major love interests. They are briefly in a relationship in season 2 before it falls apart following the arrival of Effie, Tariq’s former girlfriend.
Manipulated by Caridad “Carrie” Milgram (Melanie Liburd), Lauren wears a wire while meeting Tariq and thus plays a critical role in the prosecution’s case against him. Lauren’s supposed death happens off-screen, and the viewers only learn about it when certain characters mention it to others.
In season 2, Lauren believes that Tariq’s friend Brayden is taking her to the woods to help her leave the town, but Effie suddenly appears, and it is heavily that she killed the other girl for wearing the wire. However, in the penultimate episode, it is indicated that Lauren might be alive before prosecutor Jenny Sullivan tells Cooper Saxe that Lauren is dead. He not only relays the information to both his partner Davis MacLean and Tariq but also volunteers to be Sullivan’s CI, though part of the latter has to do with his growing feelings for the prosecutor.
Toward the end of the season 3 premiere, Sullivan visits what looks like her childhood home. A police officer greets her as she enters the house. When Sullivan asks how she is holding up, Lauren turns and enquires how long she has to pretend that she is dead.
With Sullivan knowing that Lauren is still alive, it’s clear that she did it to cause some fraction in Tariq’s camp. And that is precisely what has happened with Saxe agreeing to be her CI. She was humiliated after Brayden flipped during his testimony in court and claimed that he, not Tariq, was dealing drugs on the campus. Saxe advised her to let it all go, forget everything about Tariq, and focus on her career plans. She dismissed the idea then, asserting that she couldn’t just let Tariq and the others commit crimes with consequences.
Now, Sullivan has two trump cards — Saxe and Lauren. She intends to use them to bring down Tariq and everyone involved in his operation. The problem is that in the ‘Power’ universe, law enforcement officials are often victims of their own ambition, leading to their undoing.
Hurd had known that her character was alive for over a year but had to keep it a secret. She admitted in an interview with Bustle that she didn’t know how she did that, adding, “If you’re an original OG Power watcher, then you know there’s never been an offscreen death. I’m so sorry I had to lie! There was a lot of lying over the last year and a half, and, wow, it was hard.”
Lauren might have survived this time, but she is still in danger, especially if or when Tariq and the others find out. Asked about what she hoped for her character’s future, the actress stated, “Should she survive, I think Lauren should just get back to her studies and get back on track. She should probably go to therapy to figure all this trauma out and just completely remove herself. That’s what I think would work best in her favor because she doesn’t know what’s going on. And her getting into the mix, I’m not sure she would be able to survive that.”