Joseph Sikora Interview – TVLine


This post contains spoilers for Power Book IV: Force‘s Season 2 finale. Proceed accordingly.

Tommy Egan manages to lock down a major chunk of the Chicago drug trade in Friday’s Power Book IV: Force finale — but at what cost?

After a task-force raid that takes Claudia and Mirkovic out of the picture, Diamond and Tommy make a successful play for CBI to become the Serbs’ successor. Tommy is so jazzed at their triumph, he texts Mireya in celebration: “Barcelona, here we come!” But she doesn’t get the message, because Miguel has… killed her? Stashed her away somewhere? By the end of the hour, we don’t know — but we do know that Tommy flies into a tearful rage when he finds out.

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Elsewhere in the episode:

* Even though Tommy knows Vic is serving as an informant for the Feds, he doesn’t kill him — especially not after Vic tells him that Claudia murdered Liliana. Instead, Tommy decides that he’s going to use Vic as a window to what’s going on with the joint task force, whether Flynn likes it or not.

* Later, after revealing that he and Shanti have been working together all along, Tommy has Claudia stabbed — and maybe killed? — in jail. What Tommy doesn’t know: that Shanti and Jenard were the ones who delivered the photo of him and Mireya, kissing, to her vengeful and highly violent brother.

* Darnell slips away from the military school Tommy put him in and comes back to Chicago, where he quickly acquires a gun and shoots the guy who killed Diamond’s mentee, Leon. And when JP tries to rein in the teen, Darnell calls his dad a gay slur and threatens to pull the weapon on him.

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* Kate is so distraught over the upheaval in her family that she snorts a large amount of pure cocaine that Tommy gave her earlier in the episode. She survives, but at the hospital, JP tells his brother that he wants nothing more to do with him. He gives him the keys to the bar and then literally shuts the door to Kate’s room in Tommy’s face.

Naturally, we couldn’t wait to talk with series star Joseph Sikora about the big episode. And because the SAG-AFTRA strike unofficially ended earlier this week, we were able to! Read on for his thoughts, starting with how the seesaw of Tommy’s life has tipped yet again.

TVLINE | Tommy has his biggest professional win in this episode, but also takes a massive hit in his personal life, ending with what we learn about Mireya. Neither of these things happened in a vacuum. Do you think his family life would be as messy as it is now if he weren’t so focused on dominating Chicago’s drug scene?
I think that sometimes it’s almost a knee-jerk reaction for Tommy. He can’t help himself. These are just like instincts, and as much as Tommy works on his instincts, especially in this season, I think what [executive producer] Gary Lennon has done a magnificent job of is having these elements of Ghost. I love that Ghost — in a Season 1 episode, I think it was Episode 4, where Ghost says, “We’re two sides of the same coin. You know, two men, one voice.” And Tommy’s like, [drops into Tommy’s voice] “Two men, one voice, I like that.”

Ghost has always existed in Tommy. Tommy has always existed in Ghost. When it was necessary, those elements had to come out. Now that Tommy’s out of his comfort zone of New York City, now that Tommy doesn’t have Ghost, these elements of Ghost — I love how Gary has them coming up. And that Tommy, this checker player, is now playing chess..

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So, I think you’re right. I mean, it’s so funny to think about how messy Tommy’s family life has always been. That’s all he wants in life, is to find that family, and now that he’s found an actual family, blood family — I mean, I wonder how detrimental D-Mac is going to be, or how advantageous he is? Because what a wonderful actor Lucien Cambric is, and what a genuineness he brings to that character of D-Mac.

I think that he wisely uses his own history in being a son of the South Side of Chicago to this character, who is also a son of the South Side of Chicago. It’s underestimatedly difficult to be yourself on camera, and he loans a lot of himself to the D-Mac character that I really love.

TVLINE | I’m going to ask you to do something you’re not going to want to do: I’d like you to let me know where Mireya fits in on the spectrum of Tommy’s past love interests. Where does she fall, in terms of his depth of feeling?
It’s so interesting. Holly was like, that was magnetism. That was impossible for Tommy to keep his hands off of her. That was just such magnetism between those two, but she was duplicitous, and she wasn’t honest, and she treated Tommy like he was dumb, whereas LaKeisha met him on that common ground. They had a history.

She knew the game, even though she wasn’t part of it. She was from the neighborhood. She was from around the way. There was a familiarity… So, there was a comfortability with LaKeisha. And I’ve got to give La La Anthony a lot of credit, because she was a joy to work with. What a wonderful professional. Carmela Zumbado, who plays Mireya Garcia, is an interesting balance of both of those. There’s obviously this magnetism where they can’t keep away, but there’s also a familiarity with her because she does understand the world, even if she doesn’t want to be part of it.

I think what Gary Lennon does a magnificent job of is writing complex characters that are their own best friends and own worst enemies. You know there’s this wonderful conflict and division of Tommy, impulsiveness and thinking, all heart and heartless. There’s a wonderful,l innate conflict within the characters. Mireya is another great example of that. Miguel is another great example. Manuel Eduardo Ramirez, who plays Miguel Garcia, is an incredible actor, but there’s an innate conflict within that character… He’s got to get his insulin shots. So, there’s this softness and this weakness [in] this really tough guy, this guy who loves his family — but may be willing to kill his sister if she betrays him.

TVLINE | Like you said, Tommy definitely was a strategic thinker this season. But it felt like maybe because he had so many wins, he got cocky. Kissing Mireya outside his building?! When he knows Miguel has eyes everywhere?!
One hundred percent. I think that Tommy got a little sloppy, because he’s cocksure. It’s exactly that point, and that’s very specific. Gary set up all these wins, wins, wins, and then when you are too self-confident, boom!, you come crashing down. It only takes one small thing, a kiss outside, and a terrible, duplicitous Jenard in the car across the street.

TVLINE | It felt very much to me like Vic was, as Tommy said, a “dead man walking” — until he told Tommy that Claudia killed Liliana. What are your thoughts? Would Vic be a goner if he hadn’t coughed that up at that moment?
Just like we were saying about great storytelling — of course that’s what had to happen. Of course, Vic has to die… unless there’s something else in the plan, and what is that thing? What does Tommy have up his sleeve? Did Tommy know that the whole time?

I think you’re right, though. Vic secured himself being alive with the little Liliana information. That was kind of like, “OK, this is what’s going to happen, but I own you. I own you in a way that’s got to be scary for you.” Because sometimes I think that a lot of people would choose death rather than being owned by Tommy Egan.

TVLINE | A hundred percent. But at the same time: Vic isn’t dumb, either. We saw him take down Claudia. So when Tommy’s like, “Oh, I got him,” I’m like — 
— “Or do you?” [Laughs]  You’re darn right. Exactly.

TVLINE | We weren’t able to talk during the SAG-AFTRA strike, so I never got to ask you about exactly how much ice cream you actually ate while you were filming Episode 3.
Way too much, and it was delicious. Got to give Breyers the thumbs up for that. It was almost like,do you remember in the OG Power, there’s been that meme where I’m drinking the orange juice?

TVLINE | Yes.
I drank so much orange juice, I was so like acidic in my stomach, because I really was slamming it. I had like four takes, four pints of orange juice. That was something.

TVLINE | Wow.
[Laughs] Yeah, I tend to go for it.

Now it’s your turn. Grade both the finale and the season as a whole via the polls below, then hit the comments with all of your thoughts about the finale!



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