“I was honest with you.”
Power co-creator and showrunner Courtney Kemp sits in a midtown Manhattan hotel and looks very pleased with herself. After all, she’s managed to keep secret a major plot point in her Starz drama: the death of Lela Loren’s Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela Valdes in Sunday’s season premiere — and, as she points out to TVLine, she did so with just a few carefully chosen, completely factual phrases.
So yes, Angela is alive at the start of Season 6… though only for a few minutes. We see her in the ambulance and at the hospital, where doctors wheel her into emergency surgery to remove Tommy’s bullet from her chest. But when Paz shows up, she screams at Ghost that he murdered her sister. In the next scene, Robinson confirms it: Angela has gone to that great AUSA’s office in the sky. (Make sure to read our full recap of the episode.)
And just in case you were thinking that maybe Angela faked her murder to become a federal witness or something along those lines, know that you’re in good company. “Oh my God, I wanted to do that,” the executive producer says. “There was a moment where I really wanted to do that. I really wanted to make her fake-dead and have her come back. Then I was talked out of it. Because it’s a trick. It’s so a trick.”
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Instead, “We did a whole scene with her and her sister, and then we put her on the slab so people know we’re not joking around.”
Those who’ve seen Season 6’s trailer know that Angela will show up in at least one more episode, though Kemp won’t say whether that’s via flashback, dream sequence or a manifestation of Ghost’s extremely guilty conscience. However, the showrunner speaks freely about why it was time for Angie to go… and which character originally was supposed to fire the bullet that took her down. Read on to hear Kemp, in her own words, go deep on Episode 1, “Murderers.”
TVLINE | Take me inside the decision to kill off Angela.
OK, so a couple of things happened. Angela had all the information, and whenever a character has all the information on our show, we usually kill them. [Laughs] Greg was very close to having all the information. Holly had a lot of information. People tend to run into the wall when they know too much.
In Angela’s case, she had gotten in over her head in a way where she was no longer law enforcement. She was actually kind of outside of law enforcement, and she was put in a position where she had to make a choice whether she was going to rat on Ghost and go into Witness Protection or try to help him. I felt like she had to buy her own death, and this is where she buys it. She goes the path of love, which is how Angela has screwed up everything since she met Ghost, so it made sense in that way. It also made sense that it was on a collision course with Tommy, and Ghost having tricked him in Season 5 into killing his own father, so those things felt very similar.
We were talking about it in the writers’ room, about who should kill Angela. I felt that it should very much be Romeo and Juliet: In other words, [Ghost] has a misunderstanding of the situation and kills her. [Executive producer] Gary Lennon was like, ‘No, I feel like it should be Tommy.’ So we went back and forth, and then the best version was “Tommy kills Angela in trying to kill to Ghost.” Tommy’s not the kind of person who would, with malice and forethought, go, “I know what I’ll do: I’ll kill his girlfriend.” But what he might do is recognize that he had done it and go, “That’s not so bad.” So it felt like that was all the right decision.
As for keeping [Angela] alive over the break [between the Season 5 finale and the Season 6 premiere], we hadn’t intended to do that. We shot a death in [the finale]. But then I realized that it was two separate events. Her getting shot was an event, and her dying was an event. And if you could separate them, then you could get more story out of it, but also you could honor Angela’s death in the right way with more time. Because it affects more than just Ghost. It affects everybody.