June 23, 2024

Spoiler Alert: This interview contains spoilers for the season finale of “Power Book IV: Force,” titled “Power, Powder, Respect,” now streaming on Starz.

Sometimes kingpins can’t have it all. The “Power Book IV: Force” Season 2 finale aired on Friday night, leaving viewers with more questions than answers as fans await the fates of several power players in Tommy’s (Joseph Sikora) story — but showrunner Gary Lennon isn’t sharing too many answers ahead of what he hopes will be Season 3 renewal.

After double-crossing the Serbs and Claudia Flynn (Lilli Simmons), leaving his crew to take over their turf, Tommy finally secures his status as the new heavyweight distributor in Chicago, with Diamond (Isaac Keys) and the rest of CBI (now, bigger than ever thanks to the gang-truce between them and the RDs) at his side. But, working with the Estrada cartel comes with its own sacrifices.

Tommy’s competition, Miguel (Manuel Eduardo Ramirez, who’s also connected to the cartel, wants to take him down by any means necessary after learning of Tommy’s secret relationship with his sister Mireya (Carmela Zumbado). When the head of the cartel, Che (Sammy A. Publes), tells the two drug lords to play nice, Miguel hits Tommy the only other way he knows how – by sending Mireya away, leaving Tommy without his one source of refuge.

Not only does Tommy lose his love, but his relationship with his family hits a new low. After Tommy orchestrated a fake kidnapping to relocate D-Mac (Lucien Cambric), the family’s youngest and most ornery escapes (unbeknownst to Tommy) just to wreak more havoc in Chicago — all in the name of rejoining his gang, CBI. D-Mac’s complicated and harried return puts strain on the family dynamic as JP (Anthony Fleming) and Kate (Patricia Kalember) leads to a heavy climax and ultimate fallout that pushes Kate to relapse and almost overdose.

Struggling to reconcile his troubled relationship with his mother, Tommy is shaken by the thought of losing his mother for good. But, when he finally moves to make things right with JP, his brother shuts him out of their lives and cuts ties.

“One of the mantras that we wanted for the season for Tommy’s arc this season, as he says early on in the season is, ‘I’m tired of being at the bottom of the top. I want to be connect,’” Lennon says of his creative choice. “So, the arc, if you need to put it in a paragraph, is the idea that Tommy Egan got what he wanted — to become a connect, but it cost him everything that he loved. That’s the real hardship. So is it worth it? He’s become a connect, but did he lose Maria forever? Can he get her back?”

Lennon continues: “We thought, instead of just giving Tommy a complete win — he got to win professionally, criminally, if you will. Personally, he had a devastating loss. And that is interesting, because in real life, that’s the way things go. Sometimes at the height of your career, you’re the most miserable because of personal demons or something like that.”

The Flynn family, now fragmented by the loss of their father Walter (Tommy Flanagan), are further at odds as Claudia makes several moves to secure her long-desired spot as Chicago’s queenpin and Vic (Shane Harper) works behind the scenes with federal agents in Stacy Marks’ (Miriam A. Hyman) task force to take down her and Tommy’s operation.

But in the end, Tommy found himself as the clear victor in this battle. After discovering Vic’s involvement with the police, Tommy turns the tables around forcing Vic to work under his command or give up his secret to the rest of CBI. His other move lands Claudia in prison, where he sends a hit out on her and gets his long awaited revenge for the death of Liliana (Audrey Esparza).

While there’s more to be unpacked in regards to the Flynn family’s fate that’s the most Lennon can say of the finale’s family cliffhangers. The rest, he hopes fans will stick around to see when Starz greenlights the show for a third season — a season, he teases, that will leave viewers questioning what they thought they knew of Tommy Egan’s universe.

Lennon took the reigns ahead of Season 2 following former showrunner, Robert Munic’s exit. Munic, who created the series and executive produced the first season, parted ways with the Starz drama over “creative differences,” making way for Lennon (who previously worked on the flagship “Power” series as co-showrunner with Courtney Kemp in Season 6) and his vision to step up in the sophomore iteration of the spinoff.

Part of that vision meant “steering the ship straight again,” as Lennon puts it. Despite stamping a new record with its Season 1 premiere that garnered 3.3 million multi-platform viewers, making it Starz most-viewed premiere to date at that time, Lennon felt there was still much ground to be recovered story-wise in the latest chapter.

“After having seen the the episodes of Season 1, I wanted to bring Tommy back which is really why I titled my 201 Episode, ‘Tommy’s Back,’” says Lennon. “I felt like the Tommy character that I knew and loved from ‘Power’ wasn’t fully there in Season 1. He wasn’t given the material. His dialogue was a little flat, and I just wasn’t on the ride with him, really. My job, I felt like, was take what I was given, lose the fat, keep the elements that I really loved. And then build upon that, which is why I created Miguel and Maria and all that.”

In a way, the season served as a homecoming, as Lennon led the story back to its “Power” roots, reminding viewers why they enjoyed Tommy Egan as a character in the first place. “He’s tough,” Lennon says. “He’s ruthless. He’s criminal. He’s hilarious. He’s got the biggest heart of anybody on the show. His desire for family, his need to love.”

Not only that, but Lennon wanted to bring the signature “grit” that “Power” was known for, back to forefront — which took shape in every character’s arcs this season.

Killings were at an all-time high in Season 2 and no one was safe, as director and this season’s supervising producer, Lisa Demaine previously told Variety. Brothers Diamond and Jenard (Kris Lofton) lost their father, which spun the latter from dealer to user. The Flynn family removed their patriarch in a planned coup that ended in his death. All the while, power players lurked in the shadows hatching schemes to take each other – from double agents like Shanti (Adrienne Walker) and Jenard to the federal agents in the Stacy Marks task force.

When it comes to the rest of Tommy’s story, Lennon says he knows how the dealer’s story ends, and is currently in talks with Starz about how they can make that happen — starting with a third season renewal. But the only tease he’s giving is the phrase: “Never Say Never.”

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