“Power” is back -- and so is the heart-stopping drama! The hit Starz series returned for its Season 2 premiere episode last week. Fans were reunited with James “Ghost” St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick) and Tommy Egan (Joseph Sikora), but the two business partners and best friends weren’t in a good place. After Tommy uncovered Angela Valdes’ (Lela Loren) occupation as federal prosecutor, the pair became divided over how to handle the sensitive situation. But what neither knew was that their old pal Kanan (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson) was out of the slammer -- and plotting to take down the empire they built.
International Business Times spoke to “Power” creator Courtney Kemp Agboh at the 2015 ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas, about the latest installment’s twists and turns. Check out what she had to tease about what lies ahead:
International Business Times: No one saw Kanan’s betrayal coming. What was it like building up 50 Cent’s character to be the villain?
Courtney Kemp Agboh: One of the things I learned on “The Good Wife” was the concept of a proxy. When you make a character and you have a big character, sometimes you can’t use that character all the time to forward [his/her] story. You have to come up with another character. For us, that was Pink Sneakers [Leslie Lopez]. You were seeing Pink Sneakers on screen so you were with that. You didn’t know who she was working for, but you knew that person’s agenda was being pushed forward. You saw her all the time, so it wasn’t like you didn’t have the villain: You had the representation of the villain. So then, in [Season 1, episode 7], when we bring the two of them into the same room -- when she goes to visit him in prison -- it all comes together … you build the idea of a chaotic world where anything can happen.
IBTimes: Kanan told Pink Sneakers at the end of Season 1 to get a new pair of shoes. Are fans going to get to see another iconic pair from the assassin?
Kemp Agboh: I can’t tell you. There are shifts, I’ll say that. And I will tell you also that you get to see a little bit of what her other life is -- her normcore life … which is not being an assassin.
IBTimes: Will we see a different kind of Ghost this season now that Miami and his “happy ending” are out of reach?
Kemp Agboh: No, I think what we’re going to see is a man who is compromising his reality to get to his vision. His reality is that he still has to take this drug-dealing job. His vision has not changed. One of the things we were really clear about in episode 8 is he says, “The club, the kids and you,” to Angela. That’s what he wants. He doesn’t change, but his desperation to get there the further away he gets from that goal is going to change him into a man who makes some kind of f---ed-up decisions. But that’s Ghost ... he’s narcissistic, he’s hubristic. He makes the hard choice, but he doesn’t let you in on that choice -- even if it affects you. He’s already made the decision, you just didn’t know about it.
IBTimes: Every character on the show is flawed, yet fans seem to be rooting for all of them. However, Holly (Lucy Walters) is a difficult character to really support.
Kemp Agboh: I don’t believe in villains. I believe that everyone is in their own positive action all the time. There are two sides to every story to the ultimate power -- like, you can have compassion for anybody once you see things their way. So, I never write a character to be evil. I write a character to be in their own positive action: What do they want? How are they getting toward what they want?
In Holly’s case, she’s one of my favorites. I love that character. I am passionate about her because she is f---ed up. She makes bad decisions. But she makes bad decisions because she’s frightened. What I like about her is that she owns them.
IBTimes: You mentioned on the red carpet at the ATX Festival that Season 2 will feature more sex -- how do you get away with that?
Kemp Agboh: I have rules about sex in the show. The sex has to tell a story. There has to be a reason for the sex, and the sex scene itself has to tell a story within [it]. So, for example, on broadcast, you can start sex and then you go to commercial because you’re not going to show it, then you come back. That’s because the sex is the story. In our show -- the sex act -- there is something that happens in every single one of them. The intercut scene [in Season 1] with Angela and Greg, and Ghost and Tasha, the point of that scene was that they were thinking about each other. It was not the sex.
I think as a female storyteller, sex isn’t a blackout. There is something that happens during a sex act between two people that the story keeps going, and I think that’s really interesting. I really want to stay in that and tell the story. You know, just like violence -- it’s not just about shooting somebody. It’s also about what happens with the body after you clean it up: What happened with the blood, and getting s--t on your clothes? What’s the price of pulling that trigger? I’m just interested in all the other stuff. So, [Starz] lets me get away with it because it’s crucial to the story. Anytime it’s not -- like we write a sex scene and it does not feel crucial -- I cut it. I don’t even shoot it.
Season 2 of “Power” continues on Starz Saturday at 9 p.m. EDT.