Southside forever. Power Book III: Raising Kanan season 2 ended with several bangs. Raq’s crew is nearly wiped out by the Italians, and it seemed like Raq would meet her end. Thankfully, Unique showed up right in the nick of time to save her.
The ending of Raising Kanan season 2 will definitely prompt a new beginning in season 3 of the STARZ series. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with creator and showrunner Sascha Penn about what Unique saving Raq means for their relationship, a possible romance between them, Marvin’s fate, how Jukebox will be impacted by Kenya’s death, and more. Read our Q&A below:
Just when it looked like it was over for Raq, Unique saves the day. How will that moment impact their relationship moving forward?
Sascha Penn: Look, I think over the course of the season, we saw the relationship sort of evolve, right? It started off in one very specific place where he had stolen all of her money and taken Juliana hostage, so I think the relationship is going to continue to evolve. I think in that final episode there was a hint of some chemistry there that I think is interesting. Maybe something happens with that. Can’t call it.
I was going to say, fans have been noticing an enemies-to-lovers vibe with them. I wanted to ask if a possible romance was on the table.
Sascha Penn: Raq doesn’t have a whole lot of people that get her and sort of understand her life and can be confidants in a way. She sees a kinship with Unique that she doesn’t really have with any of the other characters in the series. So certainly, I think that alone creates a dynamic between the two of them that suggests, at least on some level, intimacy. I think some of that is obviously a testament to just the amazing chemistry that those two actors have, to be honest. But, obviously, some of it’s by design as well, because Unique even alludes to that when they’re sitting in the diner. He says to her, “Did you ever catch feelings for me?” And she’s sort of taken aback. But listen, it’s a fun piece of the story that we’re telling.
The attack in the finale was a bloodbath. Marvin does get shot in the shootout, but he is taken in by a tenant at the last second. Is he alive? Getting shot in the side is not great.
Sascha Penn: It’s not great. Look, he was alive last we saw him. So here’s hoping that continues. I think one of the most exciting parts of this season has been seeing the evolution of Marvin. I think he ended season 1 in a very specific place. If I look at the reaction on social media, I think people had a tough time with how Marvin ended season 1. His story over season 2 is sort of a story of redemption. Again, it’s really a testament to the performance of these actors. London [Brown] is incredible and really has given Marvin a humanity and depth and complexity that as a writer you can only dream of.
Kenya, unfortunately, got caught in the crossfire when she went to see Raq. While Kenya has never been the best mother to Jukebox, how will her sudden death impact Jukebox in season 3?
Sascha Penn: One of the things that we see a lot on social media, and by we, I mean the writers and the people involved in the show, the actors, is: how did Jukebox become Jukebox? Because we’re telling an origin story. No one starts out their lives the way Jukebox and Kanan ended up in the original Power. There’s some real trauma that shapes those two characters, and I think this is part of that trauma. I think how Jukebox deals with that and processes it is very much part of the story that we’re telling. It’s very, very tough. I will say that in season 3 we are definitely hoping to explore some happiness for Jukebox because it feels like she’s taken a lot of losses. But it’s all in the game, as we say. It’s tough.
Meanwhile, Burke is sticking her nose in way too deep in this quest for answers about Howard and Kanan’s father. You definitely started to feel the tension between Burke and Howard this season. Will this pursuit of truth get her in trouble? I don’t feel like she’s going to let it go when she should.
Sascha Penn: It’s funny. I go back and forth because, of course, we do hear everything everyone says. We read this stuff and people are like, Burke’s just too nosy. She is and yet at the same time she’s also one of the only characters on the show who’s truly pursuing truth. I think in this world pursuing truth is a dangerous proposition. So to your point, she’s skating on some thin ice, that’s for sure. If she tugs at one of these strings too hard, frankly, the whole thing unravels. I think there are a number of characters that are very aware of that on this show.
That attack at the end of the finale had quite the body count, especially on Raq’s side. How will Raq, Kanan, and others rebuild in season 3? I feel like this is sort of the start of a new chapter.
Sascha Penn: There are two pieces of the rebuild. There’s the professional piece, which is her operation, and then there’s the emotional piece. I think the way the season ends you do feel like Raq’s relationship with Kanan is at a low ebb. There’s not a lot of trust there. I think in season 3 the heavy lifting for Raq… I mean, the professional stuff is one piece of it, and she kind of knows how to do that. The bigger challenge is her relationship with Kanan. I think one of the things we’ve always set out to explore in this series is where the professional meets the personal, especially as it relates to, frankly, women who have jobs and are raising children at the same time. At its most basic, that’s part of the story we’re telling. Raq has a very different kind of job, but still, she’s balancing this work-family thing. I think in season 3, we really start to get a sense of what that means. We do start to wonder if she can, in fact, sort of maintain that balance because so much of what she’s done, she always says she’s doing it for Kanan. She’s doing it for Kanan. She’s doing it for Kanan. But I do think there are moments in this next season where she starts to actually wonder whether she has been doing it for Kanan after all.
When we talk about the family, we have to talk about that brutal Raq and Lou scene in the finale. It was an intense verbal beatdown from Raq. Can their relationship come back from this?
Sascha Penn: Obviously, Raq is coming off this massive loss. When Lou shows up, the timing is not great. So that’s the first part of it, but to your point, it’s a very, very tough thing to come back from. I do think that, again, over the course of the second season, I think what we saw were these very small breaks. Season 1 ended with Raq and Lou already having a real conflict over what Raq put Kanan up to. In season 2, we see more and more fractures in the relationship. It does feel like at the end of season 2 that that fracture has turned into a full-blown break. It’s definitely one of the relationships that will go on a real journey in season 3.