[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Season 6, Episode 11 of Power, "Still Dre." Read at your own risk!]
One down, six to go on Power: One of the seven suspects in Ghost's (Omari Hardwick) shooting has died. The Starz drama returned on Sunday with the first of its final five episodes, "Still Dre," a detour from Power's usual format that suggested the show will keep fans guessing until the very end.
While the episode did eliminate one suspect, answers about who shot Ghost don't seem to be coming anytime soon, and series creator Courtney Kemp would not confirm whether the news report in this episode announcing James St. Patrick's death is accurate. "That is a TV report saying he's dead," Kemp told TV Guide via phone. "But I would say we promised the audience he'd be dead or in jail a long time ago. So, it's one of those."
What we do know is this: As Kemp alluded to in previous interviews with TV Guide, Power will reveal who shot Ghost by showing how the night of his shooting unfolded from varying points of view, like in the classic 1950 film Rashomon. "Still Dre" started the countdown clock from the perspective of Dre (Rotimi), James St. Patrick's onetime protégé-turned-enemy, who, by the night of Ghost's murder, had both ample incentive to kill his former friend and ample incentive to get out of town.
The poignant, poetic, and, at the outset, perplexing episode begins with Dre singing to his daughter Heaven, cocooned in an apartment with his baby's mother, dreaming about another life. Like his mentor, Dre is, at least for a while, torn between becoming the next big kingpin of New York and starting life anew. Several confounding minutes go by before we realize that this scene is not a continuation of Ghost's shooting but an alternate view of it, as a TV news reporter mentions that James St. Patrick has been announced as a candidate for lieutenant governor. From there, the episode delivers more glimpses of what Dre experienced in the hours leading up to the eve of Ghost's shooting, including heart-wrenching confrontations between Dre and his devoutly Christian mom and Dre's desperate, last-minute plea for Ghost's money from inside Ghost's office -- which audiences previously saw from Ghost's point of view.
In the end, all of Dre's choices catch up with him in the worst way. Though his lady has begged him to leave town and Rashad Tate (Larenz Tate) has given him everything he needs to leave, Dre chooses to go back to Truth and shoot Ghost -- only to find out somebody beat him to it. That costs him everything. He lands back in prison, where he sees his daughter in the arms of the mother he'd forsaken, just before 2 Bit (Michael J. Ferguson) and Spanky (Omar Scroggins) give the professional scumbag a most poetic death: a roasting inside his own cell via gasoline-soaked towels, engulfing him in the very flames his mother knew he'd one day meet.
Though the episode is packed with Biblical references -- both Dre and his mom quote the Bible, and the fate Dre faces for turning back when he could have gotten away evokes the story of Lot's wife in Genesis -- Kemp said the inspiration for Dre's death comes from pop culture. "I think the way we killed Dre is really based on Heat," she said. In the 1995 film, Robert De Niro's character, Neil McCauley, has the opportunity to leave town but, like Dre, turns back to settle one last score one last time. "He dies because of that choice -- he had the opportunity to go forward, but he goes back," Kemp explained. "You reap what you sow."
So where does Power go from here? Kemp remains mum on many of the big questions, including when and how fans will find out who shot Ghost and what to make of that head-scratching shootout in the previous episode that put Tommy (Joseph Sikora) and Ghost momentarily on the same team again. She did, however, reveal that the next episode will not center on the character viewers might expect. In "Still Dre," Dre spots Tommy outside Truth, but he vanishes just as quickly as Dre sees him. "Episode 612 is not about Tommy," Kemp teased.
Power airs Sundays at 8/7c on Starz.
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