Through the course of the film, several flashbacks are shown involving the Skuggs brothers, including (in the beginning of the film) the drug-overdose death of their mother Ella (Khandi Alexander), the non-fatal shooting of their drug-addicted musician father, Arthur Romello "A.R." Skuggs (Clarence Williams III) (ultimately at the hands of the man they would later work for—Gus Molino (Abe Vigoda), and a scene where Roemello is offered a full scholarship to Georgetown. Roemello, as a teenager (Dulé Hill) avenges his father's shooting by shooting and killing Sal Marconi (Raymond Serra), Gus's cousin. After contemplating for a while, Roemello decides to quit dealing and start a new life with his girlfriend, Melissa (Theresa Randle), to the disdain of Raynathan, who is scared and hesitant to leave the drug game. However, Roemello learns that getting out is nowhere near as easy as getting in.