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Move over, “Who shot J.R.?”

Twitter was rocking on Sunday after Power went out with a bang. The Starz drama’s midseason finale wrapped up with quite the cliffhanger as Ghost (Omari Hardwick) was left shot and falling through the air at Truth. Who shot him? We have no idea, given that Saxe, Tommy, Tasha, Tate, Paz, and Dre (and maybe Tariq) were all headed there with a gun and motive. But the shooter might not get very far since Blanca heard the gunshot on her way to arrest Ghost for the murder of Terry Silver, thanks to Dre’s continued snitching ways.

With the last five episodes of Power’s sixth and final season set to debut Jan. 5 (see a teaser above), viewers will have to wait for answers, but EW tried to get some from creator Courtney Kemp.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s start with an easy two-parter: Who shot Ghost, and is he dead?
COURTNEY KEMP: Can you imagine if I was like, “EW exclusive: Here’s who it is…”?

I mean, I’d be for that.
[Laughs] I know, right? Good looking out by me. But I’m sorry, I’m not going to. What I hope, and I’m actually asking you the question, is that you watched the episode and you got a good sense that all of those people have a really good motive to shoot him, and that Blanca has a good motive to arrest him, and that it could be any one of those people who could have pulled the trigger as she was on her way to serve an arrest warrant, right? Is that where you are?

Definitely. And I was going to ask you, can you say that everyone was specifically going there to kill him? Or did maybe some have the motive but that’s not what their intention necessarily is?
Interesting way of parsing that out. Everyone is heading there with a gun… I’ll say that. [Laughs] I don’t know that I can say much more.

The one person I was wondering about was Tariq (Michael Rainey Jr.). Where was he going? Because he had just left Truth, and his destination was a little bit more ambiguous.
You’re asking some very specific questions that I cannot answer, so I guess I can’t answer that one. You saw what you were supposed to see.

This is the longest season that you’ve done, with 15 total episodes — these 10 and then the final five to come in January. Was it always the plan to split it this way and leave people with this cliffhanger for a few months?
Yes, it was always the plan. When we discussed having 15 episodes this year, this was the only way to do it. I think Starz at one point asked if we could do eight and eight, and I said no, because we really needed the time to explore the season given what the cliffhanger was going to be.

Credit: Myles Aronowitz/Starz

Did you feel like you had to build Ghost up and then take him down a few notches? Especially in this episode, he’s getting pretty full of himself. He literally says here, “No can f—ing stop me.”
Well, I’ll just say pride goes before a fall. How about that?

And quite a fall. Speaking of the buildup, he’s now lined up to run for lieutenant governor. For him, what is his motivation there? Because, like Tasha (Naturi Naughton) says, it’s basically an open invitation for people to look for the many skeletons in his closet.
He’s looking to be further legitimate, he’s looking to go beyond, he’s looking to go through the stratosphere. He believes in himself fully. In a way, we’ve actually weaved Ghost out of the drug business for a really long time, but it’s not until Jason is actually dead in episode 9 that it’s really over. And that’s what Angela says to him in this episode, she says, “You’re finally free. All of those influences in your life are gone, and you can move on and be the version of you that I always wanted you to be.” That’s the irony, that he’s actually now the version of himself that Angela would have wanted him to be. It’s Icarus, right? He flies too close to the son. And that’s part of the imagery that we’re dealing with.

You mention Angela (Lela Loren) saying that to him, we had already seen her appear to him, but here you have her, Raina (Donshea Hopkins), and Kanan (50 Cent). What did you like about the idea of using that device in this episode and having Ghost confronted with, well, ghosts?
We’ve always talked about how the show is really Shakespearean. I draw from a lot of different classical references, and people aren’t usually aware of them because it looks different and it’s contemporary and, frankly, because it’s people of color. People don’t see that it’s based on Shakespeare, but if you think about this season and how it’s been about fathers and sons, mothers and sons, and familial bonds, it’s been very influenced by Shakespeare. And this is very much influenced by Richard III. Richard kills a lot of people, and then they come and visit him as ghosts, so this is very similar.

We don’t get a lot of Tommy (Joseph Sikora) in the finale. What can we expect for him moving forward into these final few episodes? He still has unsettled business after just losing LaKeisha (La La Anthony) and needing to get his revenge.
Wow, Derek.

Oh, sorry, other than obviously being the one who shot Ghost, which you are about to tell me right now…
Wouldn’t that be amazing? If I was just like, “Fine, I’ll just tell you what happened.” Oh my God, no. Coming out of episode 9, I think Tommy is pretty pissed off after Benny [Domenick Lombardozzi] was sent to kill him. And he’s lost pretty much everything, so I think you will see the lengths to which he’ll go to resolve certain issues.

Omari Hardwick and Joseph Sikora on 'Power'
| Credit: Myles Aronowitz/Starz

I ask you this all the time, and I feel like you like that people ask this and it’s probably what keeps him around, but, how the hell is Dre still alive? I’m always like, “Oh, this is finally the end for Dre,” and then he finds a way to slither out of it. I mean, I respect it, but still.
[Laughs] I think there are different kinds of survival skills, and what’s interesting is the further away Ghost got from the street, the less attenuated he was to how much risk he was taking on. Whereas Dre, because he’s never really gotten out of the street, is always just, as you said, slithering around with his belly in the dirt, and therefore has a way of getting out of stuff all the time. Remember, there’s this phrase, “A big cool friend.” Dre used to have a big cool friend in Kanan, and then he had a big cool friend in Ghost, and he lost those big cool friends, and then he had a big cool friend in Tommy for like a hot minute. And now Dre’s big cool friend is the federal government, and so that’s really what has extended his life, is his ability to save himself by snitching. How long can he outrun that? I love writing someone who has no moral code, that’s super-fun. But the only thing is that he does have something that matters to him, which is his daughter. If Dre didn’t have this child, I think he probably would be lost, but he has something to live for, so he’s always going to go that next level.

I’ve unsuccessfully tried to get some specific scoop, but what can you say about what we can expect in the final five episodes of the series? Obviously we have this big cliffhanger to resolve.
It is a jigsaw puzzle. It’s a new way of telling story for us, and it’s going to push the audience to look at the show in a different way. It’s not the same old Power as you’ve seen it. It will feel different.

Lastly, what hint can you give us about the series finale?
I don’t have an answer for that! It will look like premium cable circa 2020? I don’t know. It will be well-lit? I have no idea how to answer that question. I think that’s you again trying to be slick, which I appreciate. But no, it’s going to look like the answer to a lot of things.

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