'Power Book: II': Showrunner Brett Mahoney on His First Season Leading the Cast and Story in Season 3 (Exclusive)

Season 3 of Power Book II: Ghost promises to be more explosive than expected. Picking up after the death of Zeke Cross with the Tajeda family struggling to figure out who is responsible and maintain their power as the top drug family in the state, Tariq St. Patrick is determined to get his trust, get back to his family, and get out of the game for good. But their new connection threatens everything, and a R.I.C.O. investigation mounting could pull Tariq deeper into the business and even closer to the legacy of his father that he desperately wants to avoid.

The writing is never dull. And the storylines have even more twists and turns than before. Heading up the season is Brett Mahoney. Ahead of the March 17 premiere on STARZ, PopCulture.com spoke with him about his first season as showrunner, character development, and how he intends to answer the unknown. Check out the full video interview on our YouTube channel. 

PC: So this is your first season as showrunner. So going into the season of Power Book II, what were you anxious to tackle?

BM: Well, what was good is that I've been around since the end of season one. I joined in season two, but because of the pandemic, the show was still working on the season one finale. So I felt grounded in the show, and I was always a big huge fan of Power. And Courtney Kemp and I are very close friends, and we came up together as writers, so I was comfortable with that. What I was a little bit intimidated by, so many people love the show, so I really wanted to deliver and give them something even more to love.

PC: Now there are obviously so many twists and turns in this series, right? We never know who's going to die, who's going to get shot, who's going to get written off. Which character do you think shines the most this season, and who do you think will shock viewers as far as their storyline is concerned?

BM: I think they all shine. That is something I am so... makes my job so much easier that I could go anywhere in this cast and they are totally going to blow it out of the water. And I think as writers, our responsibility is to make sure that we see each of these characters really pop off the screen, because they all can do it, and they all do it so well. So all of them are great, and all of them have big moments this season. I think that a sort of surprise a little bit this season is that we're also going to see a little bit of a vulnerable side of Monet, particularly since she's lost her son Zeke. So I think that's going to surprise the audience a little bit. And then we have Caroline Chikezie joining us as Noma, and I think she's going to surprise people as well.

PC: Now, obviously, the show, the spinoff, is all here because of the Tariq character, and we really watched Tariq become a replica of his father. What will your ideal outcome be for Tariq by the end of this series' run?

BM: I think that is an excellent question, Brenda. I think that is the question, because I see this show as a coming of age story for Tariq, and Tariq has a choice. I don't think it's actually predetermined that he's going to become his father. The question is, will he become his father or will he take another path, another choice? I think that's sort of also where we'll be hitting this season because he's going to see different role models and different choices he can make, and he could make a different path. So I think that is sort of the question for the series. Who will Tariq become?

PC: It's actually interesting that you said that, because obviously, as journalists, we got the screeners before we were able to interview you guys. And I noticed that unlike Ghost, Tariq doesn't seem as selfish in a lot of his decision-making. There seems to be a lot of people within his crew who have their own skeletons and who are keeping secrets from him. But he's pretty much being very, very forthcoming and really trying to create a family dynamic here. So how do you foresee him continuing to navigate that, at least through season three?

BM: I think that's also a really good point, because something that we tried to emphasize, particularly the first five episodes of season three, is that as a college student, you know how you go to college, and it's sort of like those people become your family? And that's even more so for Tariq because he's separated from his family. So he really is depending upon his network. He's depending upon Brayden. He's depending upon Effie. They are becoming a close-knit family. But we also know that both Brayden and Effie are keeping a secret from Tariq in terms of they killed Lauren. And I think we're waiting for that bombshell to explode, because when that detonates, it's going to change and challenge how Tariq sees his family, who he can entrust, who he can open up to. So I think that's going to be key this season.

PC: Well, you guys do such an amazing job at keeping us coming back for more.