It’s Wednesday though, so it’s too little too late for some of you…
This has been a pretty tough season for Power fans in terms of the deaths of fan-favorite characters. But the worst, by far, has been the loss of character Raina, Ghost’s daughter. She was shot by crooked cop Ray Ray, who was truly gunning (no pun intended) for her troubled twin, Tariq. It was an unexpected loss, and particularly brutal considering Raina’s character is just a kid who was trying to look out for her brother. Even the actress who portrayed Raina, Donshea Hopkins, didn’t see it coming.
“When Courtney [A. Kemp] told me I was like, ‘Really?’ I was like, ‘Me? Raina?’ People were hurt. People were messaging me like, ‘Bring Raina back!’ There’s even hashtags and petitions and people were making T-shirts and obituaries and funeral plans.”
Hopkins, 15, said show creator Courtney A. Kemp told her about her character’s death two weeks before they shot episode 9, “That Ain’t Me.” She was sad to know she was making an exit from the series and parting from her character in such a way.
“I felt like this season I became more attached to Raina because we got to see her grow and develop more, especially this season, and then it was like that,” she said. “And I’m like ‘Really? C’mon!’ I was definitely sad. I was a little bit heartbroken for a while. Well, not heartbroken, but it felt surreal. I was definitely not expecting it.”
And to make matters worse, Hopkins said she was disappointed to see in the script that Tariq (played by Michael Rainey Jr.) sits back (or stays hidden behind a wall) and just watches her get hurt.
“When I read it I was like, he’s not going to come out? He’s not going to help me? He’s not going to try to tackle him? That probably would have been really cool if he would have tackled him and then the gun went off. That’s what makes it so wrong. You’re just standing there!”
But don’t feel too bad for Hopkins. Not only is she working on her music career (she has an EP out called 3.2) now that her time as Raina is over, she’s also hoping to get back on the ice. The teen is actually a pretty talented competitive ice skater and trained throughout her time on the series.
“I wanted to go to the Olympics,” Hopkins said. “I started skating at 4. But I’d say like when I was 11 I had to stop because I broke my arm. We were taping Power and they were like, ‘No you can’t’ so I had to stop for that. But I’m going to go back into it now because I definitely want to go to the Olympics. I’m serious about it, but right now I’d say I’m more serious about my acting and music career.”
As for what Kemp has to say about her actions, the show head said the point of Raina’s death was to point out Ghost’s unintentional neglect of his family and to remind viewers that the good guys usually don’t last long on her hit show.
“We wanted it to be about, the sins of the father that are visited upon the son and the daughter are really his neglect as a parent,” Kemp told Entertainment Weekly. “Ghost’s self-involvement and his eye being elsewhere made him vulnerable to arrest and incarceration, and distracted from the family. And while all that was happening, Tariq was getting further and further into a life of crime. We wanted this story to really be about Tariq and, as a result, it’s about his rebellion against his father. So it’s about Ghost in one way, but in a lot of other ways it’s actually really about, ‘Are criminals born or are they made?’ Nature versus nurture. We always said that Raina is a truly good character and, you know on Power, if you’re a good guy, you die. Whether you’re Shawn (Sinqua Walls), Greg (Andy Bean), Julio (J.R. Ramirez), if you’re a good guy, you’re probably going to get it on our show.”