HL sat down EXCLUSIVELY with creator and EP Courtney A. Kemp to talk about all things season 6. From Angela’s fate to Ghost and Tommy’s war, this season is going to be full of game-changing twists and ‘big’ deaths.
Power returns for its sixth and final season on Aug. 25. The hit Starz series will be picking up after the shocking events of the season 5 finale. In the last seconds of the episode, Angela was shot dead by Tommy, who was actually aiming for Ghost. This has sparked an all-out war between the brothers, which will carry out over the show’s final 15 episodes. Not everyone is going to make it out alive. When it comes to Power, anything is possible.
HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Power creator and executive producer Courtney A. Kemp about season 6 at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. She revealed that Angela’s fate will be addressed right away when the final season premieres and how Ghost and Tommy’s war will expose a “whole world of vulnerabilities.” Courtney also talked about Tariq’s “incredible arc” this season and Tasha’s new path. She teased a “big” death in episode 8 and an even “bigger death” in episode 10. The final season is going to be one hell of a roller coaster ride and we are all in.
First off, did you anticipate such a huge and fierce response to that finale?
Courtney A. Kemp: Yes, I did, because I was hoping for a big push into this season. I mean, you’re a fan of the show, so you know whoever we kill in eight, the next thing that happens in 10 is going to be even bigger, right? So it’s like, once you kill Kanan off the show, what’s bigger than Kanan? Is like to have some sort of jeopardy to either Tasha or Ghost or Angela or Tommy.
When it ended, it seemed like Angela was dead, but then you posted that she wasn’t.
Courtney A. Kemp: No, you definitely didn’t see Angela die.
Will you address her fate right away in season 6?
Courtney A. Kemp: Uh-huh.
What can you sort of tease about her journey this season after that?
Courtney A. Kemp: I can’t tease anything because that would be giving you more information.
Will Ghost struggle with what’s happened?
Courtney A. Kemp: Ghost is struggling with the fact that Tommy did this to him, and he’s struggling with the fact that he knows that Tommy was aiming for him. She pushes him out of the way so he really has to come into straight confrontation with the fact that that relationship is really broken. Can he heal it? I don’t know. I mean, whether Angela lives or dies, the truth is Tommy was aiming at Ghost. So how does that relationship continue? And that’s where we get that war kind of feeling, that Team Tommy, Team Ghost kind of feeling.
Is this it for Ghost and Tommy? Can they forgive each other for what’s happened?
Courtney A. Kemp: Well, I think there are two things that are going on, right? Which is Ghost tricked Tommy into killing his own father, and then Tommy took aim at Ghost in return. But there’s another thing that’s happening which is that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. So at some point this season, I can tease that Ghost and Tommy will have a common enemy. And so there may be a temporary rapprochement having to do with eliminating that common enemy.
Having them at war is such a different concept to what we’ve seen. They have the ability to completely destroy each other.
Courtney A. Kemp: They also both have a lot of soft targets this season, because Tommy has LaKeisha and her son Cash, and Ghost has his family and Angela. He has a bunch of soft targets. It goes beyond just, are you aiming for me? Are you aiming for my family or my loved ones? Are you going to destroy my career? Are you going to destroy the way I earn money? On Ghost’s side, the legit side. On Tommy’s side, his drug business. There are still a lot of ways for Ghost to get at him, and there are a lot of ways for Tommy to get at Ghost, so it explores the whole world of vulnerabilities.
Where does Tasha find herself in all this?
Courtney A. Kemp: At the end of season 5, everyone is together, and then at the end of that episode Tasha and Angela are not on the same side anymore. Tommy and Tasha are talking about, “Maybe we need to take this b*tch out.” So there’s the question, where would you expect her to land? She’s got divided loyalties, for sure. That’s the father of her children. But also, she’s not sure she can trust Ghost. And at the start of season 6, she’s relatively sure she can trust Tommy, except for the fact that maybe he was aiming for Ghost without her permission. They never talked about the idea that he might kill the father of her kids without even discussing it with her first. It’s complicated.
In the trailer, we see Tariq getting embroiled in this world. What can you sort of tease about Tariq’s involvement in this battle and where he alliance lies?
Courtney A. Kemp: Well, Tariq has an incredible arc this season, because he really is caught. The person he loved most was Kanan and he was instrumental in Kanan’s demise. He sacrificed Kanan for the family, right? Now he’s got his divided loyalties because he’s got his dad, who he feels has lied to him his whole life and feels like he isn’t supportive of him, doesn’t take care of him, when Kanan was taking care of him. And then he’s got Tommy on the other side, who he loves, but if Tommy’s going to kill his dad, then how could he possibly pick Tommy? So Tariq is really very much conflicted, and Tariq is trying to make a name for himself in the world. He’s still bitten by the criminality bug. I always said that Tariq is half each of his parents. So he’s half Ghost and Tasha, which means he’s all criminal.
Will Tasha ever get a break?
Courtney A. Kemp: I feel as though Tasha, in some ways, she’s the Job of our series, for sure. It’s so interesting because I had a fan say, “Oh, you don’t like black women because you do all these bad things to Tasha.” And I’m like, no. It’s the opposite. I am a black woman, and I am in a struggle myself in life, and I give Tasha a lot of the struggles that I go through because I relate to them and I think other people would relate to them. But they’re on a larger scale [in Power]. Because not everybody’s getting murdered in my life, you know what I mean? Power’s always about the banal and then putting it through the power lens. I went through a divorce. I’m a single mom now. I struggle with having to work and have a career and be a mom, and that’s Tasha’s struggle, too. It’s just that her ex-husband is a murdering drug dealer and mine is an attorney. Just different. Slightly different.
Now that we’re going into this final season, usually the seasons are 10 episodes. Like you said, something big always happens in episode 8 and then something bigger in episode 10. Now we’re dealing with 15. How are you attacking those episodes?
Courtney A. Kemp: Okay. So Episode 8 [is] big. Big death. Episode 10, bigger death. We’re off the air for 8 weeks, and then Episodes 611 through 615, each one of them is a big, explosive episode. So there are just multiple explosions at the end of this series.
Did you want to do 15 episodes?
Courtney A. Kemp: I did. And you’ll see once you watch them all, there’s one story that kind of pauses and you need some answers. And so that’s how it’s structured.
Debi Mazar is coming to the show. What can you tease about her character?
Courtney A. Kemp: I can tell you that she is related to a beloved character. The character that she plays is related to a beloved character.
Will Dre have a very big presence in this final season?
Courtney A. Kemp: Well, it’s interesting because the thing about Witness Protection is that you have to do certain things to stay in it. What happens if you don’t do those things? Dre has difficulty with the truth occasionally so he might have some difficulty with telling people the truth and behaving.
The tagline for the season is “The Final Betrayal.” What does that mean, and is it just concerning Ghost and Tommy or could this mean anyone?
Courtney A. Kemp: It’s everyone in the show. I mean, every character betrays every other character some time or another in the show. I mean, everyone. Everyone. But the final betrayal that we’re talking about is definitely Ghost versus Tommy.
When you went into this final season, did you know exactly how it was going to end?
Courtney A. Kemp: The final scene of the show was one I’d always planned, but the trajectory of the characters was… I had only planned for 5 seasons, so when I had to go to 6 seasons, it became a little bit different. We killed Kanan in a different spot than we would have, those things changed, but overall, it’s the story that I wanted to tell. For sure. I’m very fortunate. Not every showrunner gets to do that.
You’ve explored so much over 5 seasons. Is there anything you’re going to dip into in the final season that you haven’t before?
Courtney A. Kemp: Well, we’re going to meet LaKeisha’s son Cash. We haven’t met him before. We’re going to see that life between LaKeisha and Tommy some. I think Ghost’s legitimate career is going to grow in a different kind of path. Tasha’s going to get a new revenue stream.
What can you sort of say about Tommy and LaKeisha’s dynamic this season? Is it love? I’m not sure.
Courtney A. Kemp: She passes a couple tests. So I think that’s one of the things that’s really interesting is that she passes a couple of tests and she really proves herself to him, and he does it in exchange. He proves himself to her, too, so you do have this really beautiful love story that’s under this incredibly difficult pressure.
With LaKeisha, now she’s pulled into this messy square of Tasha, Ghost, and Tommy. How does she feel about it? Because she is friends with Tasha, but they are on the outs.
Courtney A. Kemp: She’s not friends with Tasha anymore. I think you’re going to learn that a lot of the things that people say about LaKeisha are true, in terms of whether or not she’s ready for the game.