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Spoilers below for Power's Season 6 finale, which also serves as the drama's final episode ever. You have been warned.
Going into the finale of Power's deadly final season, fans no doubt had suspicions about how Ghost's shooting would get resolved, and how other characters would fare in the aftermath. But it's hard to believe anyone guessed exactly how things would pan out, with Tariq fully responsible for killing Ghost and Tasha going to prison for it, after their two failed attempts to blame others.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Power writer and executive producer Gary Levin at the Television Critics Association winter press tour for his upcoming Starz drama Hightown and, along with revealing the character it was hardest for him to let go of, he told me he thought the show gave an ending that was both inevitable and still shocking.
I think we gave an ending that is surprising and inevitable. I think when you look back at all of the seasons, that we made a choice to end the show in a way that was really truthful to each character. You know, they say that if you're in the drug world, there's only a couple of ways that you get out, which is either you're in a body bag, you're in the insane asylum, or you wind up in prison. And those are three choices that can happen for three different characters. I will leave it to say we end each character's ride on the right note, and on an unexpected note, too, by the way.
I'm assuming we aren't meant to believe that Tariq being will-fully forced into getting a four-year education counts for the "insane asylum" part of that breakdown. But that detail was a perfectly spot-on way for Power to saddle Tariq with his own sentencing for shooting his father.
Gary Levin had some months after production wrapped to sit with the knowledge that Power was ending. With that hindsight intact, I asked him what character it was hardest to say goodbye to or kill off. For Levin, it was Joseph Sikora's loyalty-oozing Tommy Egan. In his words:
Oh God, Tommy would be the hardest character for me to let go of. When Courtney brought me on the show in the second season, when she asked me in my meeting with her of who I related to, I was like, 'Tommy's my character. I feel like I grew up with him, like he's my brother.' And when I was put on the show, I wrote a lot of the Tommy stuff. I'm very close with the actor, Joe Sikora, who plays Tommy and we're very good friends in life. I think he's the heart of the show, of Power, in my opinion. I think, who doesn't want Tommy Egan as your best friend? Who doesn't want to Tommy Egan as your soldier? Who doesn't want Tommy Egan to have your back? He's the guy.
Tommy had long been a dark horse suspect in Ghost's shooting, given the two men's closeness and heightened arguments over the years, but in the end, he was the one holding Ghost's head as he died. Tommy also had full view of Tariq being on the balcony that Ghost fell from, and may very well have killed Tariq had Ghost not stopped him, saying to let him go. That he did, though who's to know what the future has in store for both Tommy and Tariq?
Gary Levin spoke more about his and fans' love of Tommy:
I think everyone loves him, and I think the audience loves him because he's rootless and he will do what he [needs to]. I think people watch TV for a number of reasons, but one of them is it's almost wish fulfillment, and we see these people do things that we wish he had the courage to do. And Tommy's so that guy, you know, like throwing the guy off a roof in bubble wrap just for fun and then shooting them. He's funny, he's got a huge heart, he loves the kids. So for me, he would be the hardest one.
In an episode filled with character's responding to information with an impassioned "Fuck," Tommy arguably had the best one, and even got to joke about it. I'm sure Gary Levin isn't the only person out there who's glad that Power didn't immolate Tommy or have Tasha put a few bullets in him.
Power is now completely wrapped up, but this universe is only getting started at Starz, which now has four Power spinoffs officially in varying forms of development. The previously announced prequel Power Book II: Ghost (starring Method Man) has now been joined by the further follow-ups Power Book III: Raising Kanan, Power Book IV: Influence and Power Book V: Force.