Starz’s top-rated show Power is set to come back this Sunday, July 1, thrusting us right back where we left off: into shock and mourning.
But first ... season 4 spoiler alert!!!
You were warned! (And you had a whole year to get caught up.)
Most of us are still shook from Raina’s tragic death and asking, “Why not Tariq, Lord?” Ooh-weee, he’s just so bad!
Our favorite good/bad guy, Ghost (Omari Hardwick), is caught up doing business with his old drug-game partner, Tommy (Joseph Sikora), and his enemy—the man he surely tried to kill, Kanan (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson)—all the while mourning his daughter, Raina, just like us. Work keeps him distracted from his pain, so it’s become his main focus.
Hardwick told The Root: “Ambition is dangerous. It comes to a place where you forget everyone around you that you’re walking over to get to where you need to get. That level of dream-chasing doesn’t hang out well with forgiveness.”
And that’s more than apparent when it comes to Ghost.
He wants revenge for his baby girl’s stolen life. Ghost’s rage is blinding, and he can barely identify whom he should be watching out for while the Feds are watching him. He stands to lose everything. Ghost has fought for redemption season after season, and to have Hardwick tell it, “He’s failed miserably.”
Ambition and redemption are sometimes oil and water. Lela Loren (who plays Ghost’s former lover, Assistant District Attorney Angela Valdez) told The Root in the same interview with Hardwick: “It’s hard to get redemption when you’re so focused. There’s an aspect of redemption that requires stripping down, and if you’re going towards the aim [of] status and money and power and success and romance and love and all of those things, it doesn’t really give the space for something new to grow.”
Hardwick nodded his head in agreement.
I was invited by Starz to sit with most of the cast of Power—Hardwick, Loren, La La Anthony and Naturi Naughton—for interviews to talk about the new season of the show, without spoilers. Hardwick and Loren, and Naughton and Anthony (who play Tasha and Keisha, respectively), were paired together in two different rooms, and our conversations leaned on the concept of redemption and forgiveness as well as love.
I asked Hardwick to talk to me about Ghost’s struggle for redemption, and he said: “Lela says this—we’re all corrupt on this show—which makes it a cool show, but specifically, as it pertains to Ghost, he’s never really been a bad guy to me. I’ve played him different. He wanted to be a good guy.”
You definitely get that vibe from Ghost when we initially meet him in season 1. Even though he immediately cheats on his wife with his high school sweetheart, you can even tell that linkup had some good intentions buried deep down.
“Ghost is not really a bad guy. His heart is good,” Hardwick added.
Omari is passionate about Power and the characters the show’s creator, Courtney Kemp (The Good Wife), has developed. Each and every character has such a rich backstory and motivation for his or her actions, it’s hard to label any of them good or bad, unless of course you’re talking about badass Tariq.
Loren said, “One of the things about redemption is that you have to own and name the bad thing you did, and you have to go into it with the trust and faith that there’s something on the other side.”
A lot of people roll their eyes at Ghost’s cheating ass, but there’s never just one way to look at things. Loren offers: “Ghost and Angela fell in love as kids. They really sort of imprinted on each other, and really, love exists outside of morality.”
Hardwick added, “It’s the strongest addiction ever.”
Tell that to Ghost’s wife, Tasha. At least she’s leaving Ghost. Naughton said: “I’m excited for people to see Tasha’s growth as far as really separating from Ghost and starting to say, ‘You know what? I can’t focus on this marriage and what you want; I have to focus on saving the rest of my family after the death of Raina.’”
Naughton continued, “She’s mourning, but she’s starting to take back her power in saying that she won’t lose another child to this life.” Even though most of the viewing public would be OK with losing Tariq because he’s a problem child, he’s still Tasha’s baby. “Tariq is on his way almost to prison, and I’m trying to save that poor boy. He just keeps making it difficult for me. A mother will do what it takes.”
Mothers have a different kind of love. They are often able to forgive quicker than most.
“I think with forgiveness, there has to be a balance. I’m not saying we forgive their deeds, but we can implement a little bit more forgiveness into our society as a whole. We are flawed, just like some of those people that we’re watching,” Naughton said.
Anthony added: “I can forgive; it doesn’t mean I agree with certain actions that different people do. You don’t always know the whole story, and I’m not talking about Cosby; I’m speaking in general.
“You feel like you know these people’s lives, [but] you don’t know the whole story of what they’re dealing with on a day-to-day basis. You don’t know anyone’s inner demons and battles [that] cause certain things to happen,” she continued. “So you have no choice but to forgive. But that doesn’t mean that you agree.”
Check out the cast of Power in the premiere of season 5 on Starz this Sunday—and make sure you check them out singing their catchy theme song in the video above!