SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the series finale of “Power.”
After six murderous seasons, Starz said goodbye to “Power” with five episodes of a “whodunit” murder mystery. “Who shot Ghost?” was the final question the show answered in its series finale.
After going through the other suspects, the final episode focused on protagonist James St. Patrick aka Ghost’s (Omari Hardwick) wife Tasha (Naturi Naughton) and son Tariq (Michael Rainey Jr.). Prior to the midseason premiere, many fans already speculated that either Tasha or Tariq would kill the main character, and the final episode proved those fans correct when the young St. Patrick met his father in the club and pulled the trigger.
Showrunner Courtney Kemp maintains she and the team closed the Starz drama the only way it could have realistically happened. Ghost had to die because she established that there were only two end-paths for drug dealers: either they go to jail or they die. Additionally, the plan was always to have Ghost’s son be the killer, she tells Variety.
“In the superhero rules of it, but also in the Shakespeare of it, once Kanan was off the table as an option, the only two people that would’ve been satisfying to the audience and would’ve felt like it was the story that we told were Tariq and Tasha,” she says. “Tasha killing him didn’t ring true to me because even in the hardest parts of my divorce or what anyone might do, you would never want to take a parent away from your child.”
In the last episode, Tariq met his father at the club, bringing the gun Dre (Rotimi) gave him earlier in the episode. The plan was for him to tell his mother when his father went to the back door and hopped into his SUV so she could sneak inside the car and pull the trigger. But, in typical Tariq fashion, he switched gears at the last minute and Tasha actually lost her nerve. It’s only after he received a surprise visit from the ghost of his former father figure Kanan (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson) that Tariq decided he would do the job to save his mother from the dirty work.
“It was you. You were going to turn Ma in for LaKeisha. You were going to turn me in for Ray Ray. When the f— are you going to pay for all the bulls— you’ve done, huh Dad?” he said. “Up until now, you still don’t see me for who I really am. I’m you, Dad. I tried to give you one last chance like you said you did with Breeze but you’re in the way of my future like you said he was in the way of yours.”
“I love you,” was the last thing Ghost told his son before he was hit with the bullet.
The drama that ensued after followed the duo’s plan to pin the murder on someone else. The immediate idea was to frame Dre for it — but when Dre also wound up dead, Tasha hatched another plan to have her new boyfriend arrested for the murder. Once he was arrested, he counter-pinned the murder on Tasha. All of her plans seemed to completely backfire, and she ended up behind bars in order to protect her son so he could go on to college. Those looking for a happy ending for Tasha were left upset, but the story had only one ending: Tasha doing what she had to in order to protect her family.
“I think people misunderstand. As black women, we do end up taking on the weight, and I’d written Tasha always from that perspective,” Kemp says. “Tasha didn’t take the fall. Tasha took the weight for her son because she kept her word. People say, ‘Why didn’t she come out on top?’ but if you look at her, Tasha made all of her own decisions. She is the one who took her own power and used it to protect her child.”
“Power” may be over, but the characters’ stories don’t end in that one series that wrapped in June. Kemp has moved on to “Power Book II: Ghost,” starring new cast members Mary J. Blige, Method Man, as well as original cast members Rainey and Naughton. While this series is the most forthcoming, Starz also ordered three other series: “Power Book III: Raising Kanan,” “Power Book IV: Influence” and “Power Book V: Force.”
Of the upcoming “Book II” installment, Kemp says she looks forward to “more thrills and spills and chills with these [‘Power’] characters. Some of them are really great. Some of them are incredibly amoral, which I love. I’m privileged and blessed to be able to make these things up for a living.”