Every week, Power‘s Lela Loren, who plays the feisty, determined Angela Valdez, is bringing EW behind the scenes of every episode. Take it away, Lela…
Out of all the episodes throughout Power, “The Right Decision,” written by Vladimir Cvetko and directed by Michael Bassett, is my favorite — and it’s not just because these two are entirely too good looking for their jobs, or the fact that Bassett travels with his own drone (seriously!). It’s because this episode brought an entirely different tone to Power. Bassett helped me put my finger on it: The show is always ambitious in its storytelling, darkly funny, sexy, heartbreaking, and deadly, but what makes this episode stand out is that most of the action takes place outside of the city. Power is an urban show, and the conventional choice for executing Lobos would have been in an abandoned warehouse or a dockyard. Instead, Bassett chose the marshlands on Staten Island. The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy had given it a deserted wildness rarely found in New York. He wanted Ghost and Tommy outside their comfort zone, off-kilter, and by putting them outside in the brush beyond their urban domain, he does just that.
My favorite scene was on the beach over Lobos’ grave. Michael used a long lens and set the crew apart from the actors so they could feel alone, and just let them riff. Lobos, played by Enrique Murciano, is a great improviser. Half the crew always gathers around the monitor, biting their knuckles, just to see what Enrique will come up with next. While this can drive the script supervisor crazy, or set less experienced actors back on their heels, it’s also the reason Lobos has become an indelible favorite, even though he’s only been in about 8 episodes over the 3 seasons. When I read the pilot script, I have to admit I glossed over the character of Lobos — on the page he was just your typical narco nemesis. But what Enrique did at our first read-through left us all delighted, wondering “Who the ‘bleep’ is this guy?” (Don’t worry, it was in a good way.) Enrique brought all the psychotic whimsy, sexual innuendo, and Mexico City poshness to the table. His inspiration for Lobos was also a challenge for himself. Would he be able to pull off a likeable narco who’s a mix of Elton John, Karl Lagerfeld, and Pablo Escobar? Yes, he most certainly could.
The writers took what he gave and ran with it, but of course, Enrique is always running slightly ahead. It’s hard to contain a character like Lobos with someone else’s lines. Lobos is absolute freedom; freedom to act on any and every impulse, and that stirs something deep within us all. Enrique Muricano isn’t afraid to try something new, to take risks, to possibly fail, and in turn, set himself apart. Both he and Lobos will be missed.