It’s an answer that a lot of fans wanted to know after the episode first aired, and they can get now get a detailed answer.
While speaking in “The Hollywood Reporter Showrunners Roundtable,” Courtney Kemp, “Power’s” creator, said Raina’s character was killed by Ray Ray because the series is based on the unexpected happening.
She also said the actions of Tariq, Raina’s twin brother, also played a part in the decision since most people probably thought he’d pay the consequences instead of her.
“The show is governed by the concept of the surprising and the inevitable,” she said. “So the dominoes have to fall a certain way. The character’s brother had committed a series of acts, for which in their world you get got. So then his sister being a white hat on our show tries to save her brother from his fate. And as a result of him making these choices, she’s the one who gets hurt … That is surprising, because it’s not him but it’s inevitable, because he made some terrible choices.”
Kemp also said the stories write themselves, and if a character is killed off, it’s because things were leading up to that moment.
“So in terms of the storytelling, I always feel like the story leads you where it’s supposed to go,” she explained. “Sometimes you want to buck that. Sometimes you don’t want that. Sometimes you don’t want that character to die. And in the case of my show, characters die every season. Sometimes you don’t want that. I’ve had actors who I’ve loved, and I was like [crying] as I typed their demise. In that case, I felt like there was no other choice.”
But the actress who played Raina, Donshea Hopkins, found that reasoning very hard to accept at first. In fact, Kemp said she took it extremely hard.
“I think for the child actor she was frightened and confused,” said Kemp. “Then you bring the parent in to say, ‘Hey, it’s not the end of the world. There will be other jobs.’ That kind of thing.”
In addition, Kemp explained that she talked to Hopkins about a week before a draft of the script was given to the production team, so the news wouldn’t leak and get back to her.
Hopkins spoke about the moment when she heard about her character in a 2017 interview and expressed how shocked she was.
“So I went up [to Kemp’s office], she told me, and she was like ‘Hey, we’re killing you off’ and I was just like ‘Wow.’ It was so unexpected,” she recalled. “The same way the viewers felt, that’s how I felt when she told me. I cried, and I was so distraught. I cried right in the office. Now I can look back and laugh at it.”
Then days later, on a phone call, Hopkins said she pitched Kemp story ideas to keep her character on the show, but they were all quickly rejected.
Season 5 of ‘Power’ airs on July 1, and you can see Kemp talk about “Power” and Hopkins below.