Let's get this out of the way: Powercreator Courtney Kemp hates being asked for spoilers about whats's going to happen in the final episodes of her hit crime saga. Hints, clues, teasers -- whatever you want to call them, Courtney Kemp doesn't enjoy playing with them, preferring that viewers focus on the Starz drama's slick storytelling and dense plot. Who could blame her? Kemp, who has a master's in English literature from Columbia and cites Shakespeare among the show's influences, packed Power with enough allegory, callbacks to classic myths, and statements about human nature to fill a college course. All of which is awesome, of course, but when TV Guide chatted with Kemp ahead of Episode 11 of Season 6 -- the first of the show's final five episodes ever -- all we could focus on, naturally, were the two questions that have had fans chewing their fingernails to the nub since November. Who shot Ghost (Omari Hardwick)? And is Ghost dead?
Obviously, Kemp was tight-lipped about those questions, but she did share some nuggets about what fans can expect from the final episodes of the series -- even as she emphasized that she wants fans to be patient and appreciate her seven-year labor of love for what it has to say and how it says it. "I know the audiences want to know what happened," Kemp told TV Guide via phone just before Christmas, "but the storytelling is so intricate, the pieces are locked together ... I hope the audience will sincerely appreciate how it unfolds."
That tangled ending will involve the death of at least one suspect in Ghost's shooting. There are seven major suspects remaining: Tasha (Naturi Naughton), Tariq (Michael Rainey), Dre (Rotimi), Saxe (Shane Johnson), Tommy (Joseph Sikora), Paz (Elizabeth Rodriguez), and Tate (Larenz Tate). Each of them has captivating, all-consuming reasons to kill Ghost, some of which harken back to centuries-old tales of vengeance, greed, and murder, like Richard III.
Ghost's ex Tasha, for example, could have been driven to murder as payback for years of mistreatment and disrespect -- and out of the need to protect her budding drug business now that Ghost has gone legit. His son, Tariq, might have wanted to kill Ghost out of long-festering hatred; Ghost not only betrayed Tariq when he reneged on his promise to take the fall for the murder Tariq committed, but he gave Tariq a reason to protect himself at any cost, too.
On a show so good at weaving in big ideas, could there be a connection between the seven suspects and the seven deadly sins? Kemp shot down that suggestion, though she admitted, "I wish I'd thought of that." Everything that's happening, she said, is simply the result of Ghost's decisions. "He has a reverse Midas touch. He turns everything into death and destruction."
Kemp wouldn't say exactly how the remaining five episodes will answer the big questions at the center of the story, but it's extremely likely that the series will show what happened the night Ghost got shot from varying perspectives. She said the Power team was a big fan of Rashomon, Akira Kurosawa's groundbreaking 1950 film that shows the same event from varying points of view, and that the remaining episodes fulfill a desire fans have expressed for some time. "Power fans have asked for deleted scenes throughout the series," she said. "I'm showing what happens when Ghost is not on screen."
In other words, hang on; the format is about to change, and the twists are about to become even wilder. But Kemp won't indulge in "gotcha" plots or fake-outs -- one of the seven suspects definitely did it -- and she promised that the person who did it will be revealed. One of the suspects even met their maker on the day Ghost got shot.
One thing is for sure: Everyone is facing a really grim situation. Each of the seven suspects in Ghost's shooting is potentially looking at prison, insanity, public humiliation, or their own murder. Nobody, it seems, will get out of Power without some type of lasting damage. But we still had to ask: Does anyone on the show have a chance at some kind of happy ending? Kemp paused for a minute before responding: "One relatively notable character has a sort of happy ending." Yikes.
Power returns for its final five episodes Sunday, Jan. 5 at 8/7c on Starz.
(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.)