Warning: spoilers ahead for the August 26 episode of Power on Starz.
Power Season 5 has delivered its fair share of incredible twists, but none so mind-blowing as the death of Kanan in the latest episode. Despite living a very dangerous life, Kanan seemed safe from being killed off simply by virtue of the fact that he was played by none other than 50 Cent, who is an executive producer on the show as well as the biggest name on the cast. Nevertheless, Kanan was killed by police in a shootout after being betrayed, and Power will go on without 50 Cent in front of the camera. 50 Cent himself addressed why Kanan died when he did, and it turns out that he and creator Courtney Kemp knew it was coming for a long time. 50 Cent said this:
The decision was made early on when Courtney and I discussed how the arc of Kanan's story would end. You see, we slated the show to go seven seasons initially, because we created it with the success of The Sopranos in mind.
Power wasn't just playing Kanan's story by ear and the decision to kill him off wasn't a spur-of-the-moment decision by the folks behind the scenes. According to 50 Cent, he and Courtney Kemp (who did not have a feud a few years back despite reports) had been planning Kanan's demise for quite a while as part of the grand plan for the series. The success of The Sopranos on HBO was on their minds when they laid out what was going to happen over the years.
The bad news about Kanan's death is that 50 Cent will no longer be a presence as the character on the series, although 50 Cent's status as an executive producer means that he'll still be involved with the series. The good news is that all signs point toward the folks behind the scenes sticking to a plan for how the next couple of seasons are going to unfold. Power is a complex show that has weaved a number of narratives around some incredibly intriguing characters; progressing through arcs rather than making things up along the way could make for a very satisfying end when the series finale eventually airs.
Courtney Kemp gave some more details on the plan for Power in the chat with Deadline:
This show was not designed to go 10 seasons. It was not designed to go 15 seasons. It's not a crime procedural or a sitcom. It's a closed-ended story that really begins and, in some way, ends with Ghost.
This is not a show that was ever designed to be ongoing and just keep on telling stories for the sake of telling stories. No, Power is primarily Ghost's story, and Kanan's purpose in that story has come to an end. That's not to say that Kanan will be forgotten as soon as the next episode picks up. No, we can be sure that Kanan's death has the rest of the characters on edge, not least because of the betrayal that led to his ultimate demise. Fans will likely be on edge as well. After all, if Power can kill off 50 Cent's character, is anybody (other than Ghost) actually safe? The remaining episodes of Season 5 should be tense affairs.