Courtney Kemp Explains Killing Raina’s Character On “Power”
If you’re like us, then you were shocked at who was killed on the most recent episode of Power. Tariq’s (Michael Rainey Jr.) rebellion into street life has ultimately resulted in the death of his twin sister Raina (Donshea Hopkins). The show’s executive producer Courtney A. Kemp explains exactly what went into the decision to kill her off, saying:
It had a lot to do with the inevitable, which was that Tariq was getting more and more over his head in dealing with a world he doesn’t understand. What are the natural consequence of messing with gangsters? You get hurt. And in this case, Tariq has also been raised in a family where lying is how it goes — this is what they do. What we also liked is this idea that Tariq has told his sister that he doesn’t want anyone to know, so she finds out and wants to tell mom, and he begs her, “Please, don’t tell anyone.” Well, she listens to him and it costs her her life. And I think that is a really kind of beautiful way to tell that story. She loves her brother, her brother loves her, but at the end of the day, Tariq is possessed with the need to individuate from his parents and it blows up in his face. Unfortunately, she’s the one who gets hurt.
Kemp says that instead of having the character die based on her father Ghost’s actions, they felt it more appropriate that her death be connected to her brother’s actions.
We wanted it to be about, the sins of the father that are visited upon the son and the daughter are really his neglect as a parent. Ghost’s self-involvement and his eye being elsewhere made him vulnerable to arrest and incarceration, and distracted from the family. And while all that was happening, Tariq was getting further and further into a life of crime. We wanted this story to really be about Tariq and, as a result, it’s about his rebellion against his father. So it’s about Ghost in one way, but in a lot of other ways it’s actually really about, “Are criminals born or are they made?” Nature versus nurture. We always said that Raina is a truly good character and, you know on Power, if you’re a good guy, you die. Whether you’re Shawn (Sinqua Walls), Greg (Andy Bean), Julio (J.R. Ramirez), if you’re a good guy, you’re probably going to get it on our show.
When asked if there was a debate about killing Raina, she adds:
I feel like you want me to say this was a very difficult decision, but it really wasn’t. It’s a hard thing to tell the actor, who is a kid. That’s really hard. But the decision to kill off the character isn’t hard because it’s the right decision… it’s the thing that would happen. Ghost is constantly fighting this idea that he’s a criminal, but he is. And it was the logical next progression in Tariq’s story; something he couldn’t change or take back would happen. Our show is not about power, it’s really about powerlessness. The idea that you don’t have power over what’s happening next no matter how much you think you do. So we wanted something that at this stage of the series would change everyone’s life forever.
The Power season finale airs Sept. 3 at 9 p.m. ET on Starz.