“Raising Kanan” kills [Spoiler] in season 3 premiere

"Raising Kanan" kicks off its season with the death of an original character.



'Power Book III: Raising Kanan'

Detective Shannon Burke’s (Shanley Caswell) fight for the truth ended with a bullet. After spending a season on Raising Kanan trying to prove her partner, Detective Malcolm Howard (Omar Epps), is corrupt — she tried to get him to admit to sleeping with an informant and murdering a witness to keep his paternity secret safe — a final showdown between the two ended with him murdering her in her own car.

For actress Caswell, Raising Kanan was a major step forward in her life and career. “This show quite literally changed my life,” she says. “I feel very grateful for being part of the Power universe and now the Power graveyard,” she tells EW.

We spoke to Caswell about her character’s profound sense of justice and how it led to Shannon’s demise.



ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When did you find out about Shannon’s death?

SHANLEY CASWELL: I was in the middle of Wyoming coming from a wedding with service going in and out. I got a call from Sasha [Penn, Raising Kanan showrunner] and it kept breaking up. I knew it was coming, but I didn’t know when. When I figured out what he was saying, I asked that it be a nice and honorable death. He assured me it was.

You said you knew it was coming?

It was leading in that direction in season 2. Shannon had done her job by sowing the seeds of doubt in as many people as she can. There’s only so many things that can happen to a detective that gets a little bit too nosy in the Power universe. That was sort of what we talked about what was going to happen. That’s how I knew it was gonna happen in season 3.

What was your initial reaction to finding out Howard would shoot her?

I thought it was great. She has this one final moment of trying to break through and, like she always does, she shoots herself in the foot by saying too much. Shannon says one thing that sets off Howard and it’s in that moment where you see he makes the decision. It comes down to her always being too stubborn and headstrong trying to prove a point. Then right after, it’s 50 Cent’s voice saying “f--- the police” and it shuts to black. That was a cool moment.

From your perspective, what does Shannon say that sets him off?

Everything she is saying is truthful about the crimes that Howard has committed and all these lies, but that’s not what set him off. I think [Howard] goes into it thinking he’s genuinely going to talk to Shannon until she says she knows he had Sam [Tyson Hall] killed. That is something that is punishable by law and Shannon has something on him that could jeopardize his job and life. Everything else is skirting the law and lies, but this is concrete, something she can prove. He feels justified when he finds the tape recorder and gun Shannon had. She was going to be the end of him and it justifies his decision to murder her.

<p>Cara Howe/Starz</p> Shanley Caswell on 'Power Book III: Raising Kanan'

Cara Howe/Starz

Shanley Caswell on 'Power Book III: Raising Kanan'

Let’s say Shannon got out alive. How do you see that playing out?

Shannon is desperate at this point. She’s lost her job, girlfriend and the respect of her father. She had the gun in case things go south, [but] she wasn’t going to hurt Howard. Shannon wants to get him on record to finally end this. This is her moment so she can be exonerated and prove she’s right to everyone she spent an entire season trying to convince.

What was it like shooting that scene with Omar?

It’s interesting because Omar and I personally get along so well. When we do scenes like that, it’s almost alarming how tense it can get because they yell cut and we’re talking about whatever green juice we are currently loving or something. That moment was very tense because Shannon is finally getting to confront him after two seasons of wanting to ask all these questions.

Shannon has such an unrelenting sense of justice. Can you talk a little about that aspect of the character? It did lead to her death.

She has a lot stacked against her. [Shannon] was a fish out of water going into this job and being a female detective at the time, no one believed in her. She also had to deal with nepotism because of her father. [It gave her] this inner fire to prove herself against all odds. She’s being told to stop because this isn’t her place and it makes her dig in her heels harder. It fuels her stubbornness. She dies trying to reveal the truth, which is not how you play things in the Power universe. She was not playing smart and did not understand the world she was in. From the beginning when she’s green and Howard was showing her the ropes to that last scene, it proves that she is very uninformed about how to navigate this world.

Was there anything you would’ve liked to see from Shannon?

There was something really interesting with Jukebox [Hailey Kilgore] that was unexplored. There was a friendship there and it was really special. I would have loved to see more of their relationship and how it would have evolved.

Raising Kanan airs Fridays on Starz.

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