Welp, that happened. LaKeisha Grant (La La Anthony) met her violent end in Episode 8 of Power's final season-- a demise fans not only saw coming but were even advocating for in recent weeks. After years of watching Keisha gradually lose herself as she got more and more wrapped up in Tommy's (Joseph Sikora) drug business and then his dangerous feud with Ghost (Omari Hardwick), fans had begun to revolt, suggesting it was time for Keisha to take that great A Train to the sky. And they made their opinions very clear, so much so that Anthony had long since turned off mentions on her phone.
"I hear every day, 'Keisha needs to go,' or, 'I cant wait 'til they kill her ass,'" Anthony told TV Guide via phone. "I didn't anticipate so many people being mad at her. People are so invested and they got so upset. For some of the fans, it's hard to separate real life from the show. I'm like, 'Guys, it's not me!'"
Anthony might be finally able to reinstall some popular apps on her device, but she still leaves behind a not-too-admirable legacy. Keisha was by no means an unintelligent woman; she was a business owner and mom who demonstrated, over the years, a reasonable command of common sense and intuition. So, how'd she get into this mess, and couldn't see it coming? After all, Power fans from across the country could practically be heard yelling at their screens in unison as Keisha made one bad choice after another; she cleaned the St. Patrick's money, she took a gun from Tommy, she helped Tommy hide a body. Power creator Courtney Kemp has said that characters on the show always "earn" their deaths, and after many warnings to stay away from Tommy -- including a few from Tommy's mom, who straight up told her Tommy killed his last main chick -- as well as being offered money to leave town, Keisha did what people who end up dead on Power do: she went ahead with the foolish thing until it was too late to turn around. So, why?
"She was definitely dickmitized for sure," Anthony said, "but another part of it was wanting to be this ride-or-die girl for Tommy and not understanding what that meant. I felt like something was going to happen to her when I first saw script, but I didn't know exactly. She was doing too much. Like, you have a son to raise, a successful weave shop. There was no reason to be dealing with the stuff you were dealing with."
Of course, Keisha's murder takes on an extra layer of complication given that it was her best friend, Tasha St. Patrick (Naturi Naughton), who pulled the trigger. At this stage in the game, with the season more than halfway over, tensions have been ratcheted up to near-nuclear levels, and Tasha had to make a critical choice. With federal investigators becoming increasingly suspicious that Tariq St. Patrick (Michael Rainey Jr.) was the one who killed Ray Ray (Marcus Callender) in Season 4 and Keisha the St. Patricks' only alibi, Tasha knew that Keisha was a serious threat to her family's safety. She'd probably gone to Tommy and Keisha's new place in the suburbs just to beg or intimidate Keisha, but when she discovered that Keisha was about to leave town, Tasha had to manage the flight risk. What started as a scuffle turned into a struggle over a gun, and after Keisha had already been wounded, Tasha knew she had to finish the job, offering an apology before she shot her onetime best friend in the head. Everyone might've seen Keisha's death coming, but probably never guessed her girl would be the one to do it.
"Keisha's intention had been to pick up Cash from practice and keep trucking, or at least be gone for a while," Anthony said. "She just wanted to be completely gone from the situation, but [Tasha's] mentality was that it was either [Keisha] or me. It is sad. People say to me, 'I wish they were still friends,' but I see [falling outs] happen all the time with friends, whether it's money or guys, people who have been friends for a long time don't even speak to each other any more."
Filming the scene was crazy; they worked through the night and into the next morning, and Anthony said she ripped a fingernail completely off during the emotionally exhausting process. "I wanted to make sure I went out with a bang, and make it something people talk about," she said.
As for what happens next, Anthony's waiting with anticipation to find out how Keisha's death accelerates the velocity of the story herself. Tasha is like family to Tommy, which muddies how he's going to handle the murder of the woman he loved. And as one of few people who's been willing to tell Tariq how awful he is, Keisha might be using her powers in the afterlife to get Tariq back on the straight and narrow, although it might be too late.
"I hope he gets his ass together. I don't want him to meet his death. I hope he changes his ways and goes to school," said Anthony. "Like I told him, 'Somebody should have whipped your ass a long time ago.'"
Power airs Sundays on Starz.