Credit: Paul Schiraldi/Starz
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Warning: This article contains spoilers about Power‘s midseason premiere.

“There was never ever saving you.”

That foreboding line from Dre’s (Rotimi) mom in Power‘s midseason premiere set the stage for what we never thought would finally come: Dre’s death. Since his introduction in season 2, Ghost’s (Omari Hardwick) mentee-turned-rival has repeatedly managed to find a way to survive, even when the stakes were completely stacked against him. But, in the end, he met the same final season fate as Angela (Lela Loren), Proctor (Jerry Ferrara), and LaKeisha (La La Anthony).

While viewers surely tuned in expecting to pick up following the cliffhanger of Ghost being shot, “Still Dre” instead picks up before that and follows Dre in the lead up to that moment. Along the way, we meet Dre’s disappointed mom and find out that Dre wasn’t the shooter. Unfortunately for him, he was spotted leaving the scene by Blanca (Monique Gabriela Curnen), landing him in jail, where he’s locked in solitary and set on fire by his former lieutenants 2-Bit (Michael J. Ferguson) and Spanky (Omar Scroggins).

With his run on the hit show now over, EW exclusively chatted with Rotimi about learning of Dre’s end, the reason his character outlived the original plan, and what he expects the internet reaction to be.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Dre is finally dead. How are you feeling now that the end is officially here?
ROTIMI: I feel blessed to be a part of a show that most people would call legendary. The last episode pushed me as an actor, and I’m just excited that people were able to see my range.

What was the conversation like with creator Courtney Kemp when she told you Dre’s fate?
We had lunch together and she explained it to me. It was a mixture of emotions. I was excited to have an hour special. I knew that I would have to bring the best performance of my life, so far, so I really honed in on the material. It was a fun three weeks.

Every time I talk to Courtney, I feel like I ask her how Dre is still alive, because he just seemed to always manage to sneak or talk his way out of everything. Were you surprised that he lasted this long?
You come in to Power knowing that no one is safe and that anything is possible. I remember 50 [Cent] saying that the character wasn’t suppose to make it past season 3, but, the work I was doing, they couldn’t let the character go. I’m extremely grateful for that.

Do you think there was a world where Dre could have kept driving towards Las Vegas and never turned back? Why could he not just forget about Ghost?
As long as Ghost was alive, Dre always knew that he would have to look over his shoulder. He didn’t want to live that way, for his daughter’s safety. I would have loved to see a Dre spin-off.

Before he went out, we get a big Dre spotlight episode. We learned a lot about him in just this one episode and it explained a lot. What did you enjoy about getting to go deeper and explore some of his back story here?
I loved putting an end to the misconceptions of who Dre was as a person. I loved showing the love he has for his daughter, and how his mom played a major part in his dysfunction.

What was it like filming your fiery death scene?
Hot — and mixed emotions. It was my final day of shooting, so it was a heavy day mentally.

What was that final day like?
Amazing! Omari and I shared the last day together because it also was his final scene. A lot of love. I also had found out that my music EP “Walk with Me” had gone No. 1 on the R&B iTunes charts.

There have been a lot of big deaths on Power, but I think this one ranks right up there, considering how it happened and that it finally happened. What do you expect the reaction to be?
People are going to lose their mind!!! But it was such a beautiful episode, I know they’ll appreciate the work. It will definitely shut down the internet!

Any last words on Dre, Power, or your experience?
Thank you, Starz, Power, the fans, my castmates, 50, CK, and all the amazing writers for changing my life. It’s only just the beginning!

Power airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Starz.

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