The writers of Power employed one of the most drawn-out whodunnits in recent memory after the fatal shooting of protagonist James St. Patrick (Ghost) at the conclusion of Season 6, part 1. Viewers were left to ruminate about the NY drug dealer turned businessman’s murder for two months until the final season’s second part kicked off in January. To frustrate fans of Starz’ crime drama (aired by Netflix worldwide) further, the team, including Power actor and executive producer 50 Cent, dedicated hefty screen time to each of Ghost’s key rivals and associates in the remaining five episodes.
Moment by moment, we came that bit closer to learning who pulled the trigger on St. Patrick in his nightclub, Truth. Was it Paz Valdes, Angela’s sister? Paz thought Ghost had killed his lover. Was it councilman Tate, the New York City gubernatorial hopeful whose career was left in tatters following St. Patrick’s campaign betrayal? Or was it Tasha, Ghost’s estranged wife who knew as many of his criminal secrets as he did hers?
By the end of the penultimate episode many of these characters’ storylines had been tied up to show – or at least appear to show – that they didn’t murder Ghost. But a few key people remained high on the suspects list by the final episode (episode 15) including Tasha, their son Tariq, and ousted FBI attorney, Cooper Saxe.
Here’s how the characters’ story lines had been tied up by the the final episode, titled ‘Exactly How We Planned’ – and who ultimately did the dirty on Ghost.
Andre Coleman (Rotimi)
Ghost frames his rival Dre for killing drug trafficker Jason Micic (which Ghost had done). Dre plans to escape NYC with his girlfriend and their young daughter but needs cash to go off grid. Fortunately councilman Rashad Tate – fresh from learning that Ghost had abandoned his campaign to be Lorette Walsh’s gubernatorial running mate instead – seeks revenge on his nemesis. He gives Dre a new identity and pays him to shoot St. Patrick at his nightclub shortly after a party is held there to celebrate the new St. Patrick/Walsh partnership. But Dre hears a gunshot inside the club before he can make his move and flees in a panic, fearing that it could look like he killed Ghost.
He is spotted exiting the club at the back by NYPD detective Blanca Rodriguez (who is working on putting Ghost behind bars for the murder of his own lawyer, Terry Silver). Dre punches her and makes his escape in his car with his family. The cocky character thinks he’s got away with everything until he is arrested at a gas station. After he is locked up again – this time on suspicion of shooting St. Patrick – Spanky and 2-Bit (two drug-dealers working under Tommy Egan, who is Ghost’s former best friend and business partner) set about making good on their agreement made with Ghost before he died to kill Dre inside prison. Spanky and 2-Bit set Dre’s solitary confinement prison cell on fire while he’s inside.
Paz Valdes (Elizabeth Rodriguez)
Episode 12 centres on Paz and whether she will seek ultimate revenge on Ghost. She is convinced that he killed her sister. After chickening out of shooting St. Patrick while he’s chatting to people at the gubernatorial campaign party, she tries to move on peacefully. Following Ghost’s death she speaks to Tasha about the generous money he left for her in his will and how she will not accept it. Tasha advises her to take the money before dropping the bomb that Tommy – not Ghost – killed her sister. Paz rushes to Tommy’s apartment to shoot him instead, but he’s already left for California to start a new life.
Tommy Egan (Joseph Sikora)
Tommy seemed like the obvious candidate for Ghost’s murder. After all, he came to believe that Ghost ratted on him by revealing the location of his drugs warehouse to the feds, in turn shutting down the whole operation (this is why Tommy’s primeras Spanky and 2-Bit end up behind bars). In short, Tommy learns that it was Dre who was responsible for the warehouse raid. “I was wrong about my brother. Now he’s in trouble, and I gotta help him out,” Egan says of Ghost in episode 13. Later, we see Tommy comfort Ghost in a pool of blood on his nightclub floor. Before he leaves for California he shoots Spanky, who fessed up to the authorities to get out of jail, and drives off for a new life.
Councilman Rashad Tate (Larenz Tate)
Tate and Ghost absolutely hate each other. They’re two black men vying for spots in New York’s very white political world, both acutely aware of each other’s underhand exercises and chequered pasts. Ghost has dirt on former cop Tate about embezzlement, which he uses as a threat to derail Tate’s gubernatorial campaign. Tate has dirt on Ghost about his corner boy past – not to mention his suspicions that Ghost previously used Truth to launder drug money before becoming a ‘legitimate’ businessman.
After St. Patrick switches sides to become the running mate for Tate’s rival Lorette Walsh, his political career is over for the time being. Enraged by the fallout, Tate initially hires a father-son hitman duo to kill St. Patrick before the plan goes awry and he pays Dre to do it instead. Later, upon learning that there has been gunfire at Truth, he goes to investigate whether St. Patrick or Dre is dead and brings a handgun with him in case. Outside the club he is cornered by a reporter who asks him for an impromptu live interview on camera. He makes such a rousing speech in the context of the news of Ghost’s death that it boosts his political profile. Lorette Walsh visits him the next day and begrudgingly asks him to be her running mate now that St. Patrick is dead (she needs a black running mate to boost her appeal). A scheming Tate says it’s governor or nothing – and he becomes the official Democratic nominee for the governor of New York City.
Cooper Saxe (Shane Johnson)
Dirty attorney Saxe has been booted out of the FBI for a number of reasons (a long list, which we won’t go into here) and despises Ghost for managing to thwart all his attempts to take him down. Saxe won’t rest until he gets his own back on St. Patrick after his career comes to an end.
On the night of the fatal shooting, Cooper appears to be intoxicated and is shown walking over to Truth nightclub. In the final episode, shortly after Ghost is killed, Saxe is seen by Tariq picking up a gun in a backstage area of the club. As the feds get closer and closer to discovering who murdered Ghost, Cooper is reinstated at the FBI by his former boss who is also back on the scene (and just as bent as Cooper). When Tariq is being questioned by Saxe about Ghost’s murder, Tariq tells Saxe that he saw him with the gun in the club. Knowing that it makes him look suspect, Saxe agrees to go along with Tariq and Tasha’s assertion that Dre must have killed Ghost. And that’s the last we see of Saxe.
Quinton Wallace (Tyrone Marshall Brown)
By the final episode we know that neither Dre, Paz, Tommy nor Tate were responsible for Ghost’s death. You might be thinking: why would Tasha’s new boyfriend be a potential suspect? Cast your mind back to episode 9 (part 1 of Season 6) when Quinton finds bruises on Tasha’s arms. Earlier on in that episode Ghost grabbed Tasha in a fit of rage when she threatened to tell the feds that he killed Terry Silver. It was payback for him saying he’d try to get full custody of their kids Tariq and Yaz if she didn’t stop selling drugs under the ruse of making enough money from running a childcare centre.
Tasha assures Quinton, who suspects Ghost was the one who physically hurt her, that he doesn’t need to protect her. “I can handle him on my own,” Tasha insists to him.
We’ll come back to Quinton’s role in all this later…..
Tasha (Naturi Naughton) and Tariq St. Patrick (Michael Rainey Jr.)
The main suspects by episode 15 are Tasha and Tariq. Tasha has her motives to kill Ghost (by and large to protect her kids) and she’s even made threats to do so. Tariq has come to loathe his father for a lifetime of lies, including drug-dealing to cheating on Tasha with Angela. It’s almost inevitable that Tariq, who is used to a life of luxury provided for him by his father’s unsavoury deeds, would grow up to want to afford the same lifestyle. He therefore begins to deal drugs at school and, later, with his mother under the guise of her daycare business.
Tariq, Tasha, Tommy and Ghost are also in on a pact in which they framed Kanan (an old business associate of Ghost and Tommy’s, played by 50 Cent) for the murder of dirty cop Raymond “Ray Ray” Jones in Season 3. Jones killed Tariq’s twin sister, Raina, when she said she knew of his illicit practices (which included robbing rich people’s houses with the help of her brother). Tariq saw Ray Ray pull the trigger. He eventually shoots Ray Ray dead after locating him in a hideout property before his father, Ghost, can stop him.
To protect Tariq, his parents and Tommy pin the blame on Kanan who is later killed in an NYPD shootout. In many ways Tariq lays the fault for his sister’s death at his father’s feet, because his drugs past caused Tariq to enter a life of crime that ultimately led to his sister’s death. Tariq also learns that Ghost put his hands on his mother – something he angrily confronts him about and warns him to never do again.
In the final episode Tasha visits Raina’s grave to find Ghost there. Ghost tells Tasha that he will take Tariq and Yaz away from her to live with him and his new girlfriend, Ramona, if she doesn’t stop pushing drugs. When Ghost violently attacked Tasha in episode 9, he also told her that he knew she killed her best friend (and Tommy’s girlfriend) LaKeisha for fearing that LaKeisha was about to turn the whole gang in. Ghost uses that fact as leverage for getting what he wants from Tasha.
Later, Tate tells Tasha that he knows Ghost is about to turn in Tariq over Ray Ray’s murder so he can start his political career with a clean slate. Tasha confronts Ghost over his plans to hand in Tariq, reminding him that he once said he “would take the rap” for Ray Ray’s murder if it came to it. Tariq also speaks to his father about this, saying that he lied to his own son by making such a promise. To appease him, Ghost says he will use his political sway to get Tariq a lighter sentence – even just parole – but Tariq says he doesn’t trust him and refuses to obey.
Together, Tasha and Tariq come to the realisation that the only way out is for Ghost to die because he will tell the cops that Tasha killed LaKeisha. Tasha takes it upon herself to kill Ghost. She remembers that Quinton has a gun at home and thus steals it to commit the crime. Tariq and Tasha hatch a plan. Tasha would ask Quinton to give her a lift near to Truth. Tariq would attend the party and generally help with covering things up. Tasha would hide in the back of Ghost’s car and shoot him when he gets in after the campaign party ends.
Communications break down between mother and son, however, and Tariq determines that he will kill Ghost before his mother can. He manages to do so just before she realises why he isn’t responding to her messages and runs into the club to try to stop him. It’s too late.
Back to…. Quinton
In the end Tasha and Tariq try to pin Ghost’s murder on Dre before Tasha discovers that he has been killed in prison. This puts a spanner in the works and Tasha has to think fast how to blame someone else. She decides to frame Quinton by planting a gun back at his apartment. He is arrested one night with her besides him in bed. The feds soon discover, however, that he was recorded on CCTV buying a Red Bull at a diner at the time of Ghost’s death. Tasha is instead arrested.
What ensues is a distraught Tariq who is moments away from confessing it all to the cops, and a distraught Tasha who is locked up in an orange jumpsuit.
‘Exactly How We Planned’ didn’t, well, end exactly how Ghost nor his family had planned all along. But that would make for rather boring telly, wouldn’t it?
The final episode of Power Season 6 is out today (February 10) on Netflix