Exclusive: 50 Cent and the cast of Power talk about the final season
For fans of hit US show Power, it’s a time of mixed emotions. Delight that the sixth, and final, season is upon us, tinged with sadness that it’s all edging towards what promises to be a dramatic conclusion in trademark style.
The crime-drama show, directed by Curtis Jackson (50 Cent) and produced by Courtney Kemp, first burst onto screens in 2014 and has gone on to become a massive global hit across streaming platforms such as STARZ PLAY and Netflix.
Set in New York, Power tells the story of James St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick), otherwise known as “Ghost”, and Tommy Egan (Joseph Sikora), his lifelong best friend, and the duo’s criminal business empire.
For “Ghost”, it’s all about trying to leave the criminal world behind and going straight in order to make his legitimate business as a nightclub owner thrive, but life just isn’t that simple, especially when you’re in so deep.
“Ghost’s” marriage to Tasha (Naturi Naughton) has fallen apart after he became involved in a relationship with cop Angela Valdez (Lela Loren), while his innocent young daughter Raina was killed having been caught up in his murky world.
To make matters worse, the final season began with “Ghost” receiving the news that Angela, the woman he loved, had been killed after being shot by Tommy with the two men, who once appeared inseparable, now out to finish the other off following a string of incidents that has left their relationship in tatters.
Hardwick explains what he hopes fans of the show will take from the manner in which it reaches its climax: “For me, it’s simple, it’s to be satisfied,” he says. “There are shows that have been indelibly placed into our psyche as parts of the cultural shift in TV history and yet at the end they kind of left the fan feeling anti something. And I hope that we can make the fans feel like the show climaxed perfectly, and they went, ‘this is great.’”
Sikora is in agreement and his comments will only add strength to the rumours of various spin-off shows having been planned for further down the line: “Well, you know the expression of with great risk comes great reward, and Courtney has taken a great risk with the ending of the series and I think that there will be great reward with that. I think they (the fans) will be satisfied and they will also be asking a lot of questions, but they'll get answers because she has other worlds that are going to take place in the stories that will continue beyond this into their own shows.”
Jackson has been heavily involved in the show from the very beginning and, as well as directing, played the character of Kanan Stark, who was killed off during season five. He discusses the journey in which both himself and Power have been on: “Well, I was saying in the beginning that it would go well, I said seven seasons because of The Sopranos and the success of The Wire,” he explains. “And in the process it has been a huge learning experience for me, you know, because at the beginning of this actual series it was really, the promotional portion of it, on my back completely.
“So I went around and I did all the publicity, everything from the very beginning of it, until season three it started to shift. And it was really cool because the people had started to embrace the cast and really wanted to talk to them on media platforms. For the most part, I would have to kind of be a bargaining chip myself and bring someone else from the cast.”
Ensuring it all ends in a way which satisfies the show’s millions of fans fell on the shoulders of Kemp, who has been in control from day one, and she details how she has attempted to bring Power to a fitting end.
“I've tried to do two things. I've tried to satisfy their expectations and provide the unexpected,” she says. “Gary Lennon, who's one of our executive producers, often says ‘surprising, yet inevitable.’ That's always the goal. Something that’s so inevitable it's going to happen. I think we've taken surprising and inevitable to a whole new level in terms of how we're resolving the story of Ghost and the people who surround him.
“That said, we are taking a big swing at the end of this show with the last five episodes. So it is going to be different. And the audience is going to be challenged. I like to challenge the audience. I like to make them think and make them talk and make them, you know, argue amongst themselves. I may have to change my address and my phone number after it airs, but I think it's all worth it if it's in the vein of good storytelling.”
With so many questions still unanswered, quite how the show is going to end remains to be seen. The overriding topic of discussion among fans, however, is whether or not there is any way back for Ghost and Tommy’s relationship.
Sikora isn’t giving too much away when it comes to that particular storyline, but he is delighted the show is bowing out while still at the top of its game.
“It really is a sports player or a heavyweight champion going out while they're on top, while they are still the champion and it's just a privilege to be part of something like that,” he says.
With the final season of Power containing 15 episodes, one of which will be released every week, there are still plenty of twists and turns to come.
A show which possesses the ability to shock and excite in equal measure is coming to an end, and fans are advised to enjoy it while it lasts. It’s undoubtedly been a memorable journey.