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Major spoilers below for Power's big series finale, so be wary about reading on if you don't want to know everything that happened.
With its final stretch of episodes, the Starz hit drama Power expertly laid out a Rashomon-esque track in giving viewers the full story behind the lead-up to Ghost's murder. (And yes, it seems to officially be a murder now, since Ghost wasn't seen walking away from his balcony fall.) In the end, it was revealed that Ghost's own son Tariq was responsible for pulling the trigger, but with the not-exactly-innocent Tasha taking the blame and going to prison for it.
It was a Shakespearean end for this modern-day family, though the fact that Tariq is headed to college now instead of jail sets up the events for one of the four spinoff series, Power Book II: Ghost. (Shakespeare wasn't as big into sequels for his tragedies.) Power showrunner and creator Courtney Kemp explained why the series finale played things out as it did.
I feel as a mom, I’ve made a lot of sacrifices for my kid, and I would do it again. I don’t think you ever regret making a sacrifice for your child. I just don’t think you do. I can only speak to being a mother, but I’ve seen fathers also give the ultimate for their child, you know? So Tasha going to jail instead when Tariq has his whole life ahead of you, and you blame yourself for some of your choices, why not? Why not? . . . I think there’s also a lot to be said for Tasha’s guilt about the family falling apart, even though she knows it’s Ghost’s choice.
Many viewers were no doubt devastated to see Naturi Naughton's Tasha arrive a few seconds too late to stop Tariq from being the one to shoot Ghost, realizing that her son's life would never be the same after that point. As Courtney Kemp points out in her interview with Deadline, Tasha definitely does take part in trying to find other scapegoats to take the fall for Ghost's death, so her sacrificial act isn't 100% selfless, just as her killing LaKeisha had multiple layers.
First they tried pegging it on Dre, only to discover he'd been burned to death in jail. It seems like that plan might have still worked, considering Tariq had Saxe's hands tied by ID'ing him on the scene, but Tasha then tried to set Quentin up, despite that being a terrible idea. After those attempts blew up in everyone's faces, though, Tasha was indeed scooped up and arrested.
Courtney Kemp attributes part of that reveal to her own feelings as a mother. In her words:
Now, maybe so much of the discourse in this show underneath it is about my own mommy guilt for traveling so much, for working so hard. I don’t know. I can’t break apart my own psychology that way, but what I’d say is that when Tasha turns to Tariq and she says, go to school, live your life, I mean, I wept when I wrote those words. I would even say that I’m as emotional about it now because that’s what I would want. Put all of this behind you. Put all of us behind you. I’m gone. Tommy’s gone. Your father’s gone. Kanan is gone. Go be a person now. This is the last thing I can give you.
Power's character lineup had gotten pretty slim by the time the final episodes arrived, so there wasn't so large a suspect pool to play with as far as Ghost's shooter went. Plus, as Courtney Kemp put it in an interview with TVLine, the Shakespearean element made it hard to try and set someone else up as the killer. She readily and humorously acknowledged that making Tommy the shooter would have inspired viewers to burn down her house.
So then it came down to choosing between Tasha and Tariq, and Courtney Kemp explained her decision to make it a patricide.
In terms of breaking it, I felt like at the end of the day —and this may be internalized misogyny, so hold on tight —I didn’t feel like it would be satisfying for the audience for Tasha to kill him, given just that Ghost would have seen her coming. She had no love for him at that point, and so I felt like Tariq was the only person who could have gotten close enough… because Ghost did not understand what he had done, just as many times, your parents don’t understand what they have done to you… I mean, the ultimate decision to kill Ghost is hers. She is the one who says, 'I’m going to stop him.' Tariq says, 'How?' Tariq doesn’t come up with that by himself. She gets him in the situation. They’re both guilty of murder in a way, aren’t they? It’s just that because she set it up, she is at least guilty of conspiracy.
In the end, no one on Power was ever completely innocent of anything. It's just that some characters have been far more guilty than others in some respects. And with the already confirmed spinoff Power Book II: Ghost on the way, fans can take comfort in knowing that we still get to see the future ramifications of Tariq's actions, and how Ghost's legacy will live on in his absence.
Did you guys like the Power finale, or was that reveal not quite satisfying enough? Let us know in the comments, and stay current with our Winter and Spring premiere schedule to see all the new and returning TV shows on the way in the near future.