Luke Cage isn’t playing around anymore in this episode. Once again, he has an interaction with Cottonmouth, but he isn’t taking Luke seriously. The show continues to show Luke’s skills as a hero. He’s very intelligent, not just street smart. I love the scene where he’s talking with one of the barbershop regulars. Luke explains his situation with Cottonmouth in terms of chess. He knows who the king is, but he can’t touch him right now. So what’s the only logical way to attack? Hit his groupies, his boys, his associates. In other words, his pawns, his knights, and his rooks.
My negative with this episode comes with Misty Knight. So far, she doesn’t feel like the badass from the comics. I’m not sure why that is, maybe it’s her obsession with finding out who Luke is. I don’t know. She’s a great actor and I don’t mind her role in this world, it’s just a bit disappointing not to see the sassy crimefighter from the comics. Her best scene so far was when she schooled those boys in basketball at the local court.
Luke plays Cottonmouth by busting up his safe houses where he stashes money. The Crispus Attucks building that Mariah, the politician, built is Cottonmouth’s backup plan. He falls for the trap, and that crazy scene we saw from the trailer happens next. No matter how many times I see it, it looks amazing. It was extended out too so there were a few surprises watching it.
Misty’s partner, Scarfe, was just starting to get on my good side. He seems like a jerk, but he was cool with everything Luke was doing. I didn’t like him too much at first, but he was growing on me by the end of the episode. The writers timed his turn so perfectly. He picks up Chico when Chico calls him, telling him he’s ready to be a man and tell the cops everything he knows about Cottonmouth. I’m sitting here thinking “Aww snap. Cottonmouth bout to get hit from all angles now,” but no. Scarfe kills Chico! Man, I was livid and it was one of the first shocks of the show. He then turns into your typical crooked cop by having witty banter with Cottonmouth later at the club. It was a bit annoying honestly.
Luke learns the hard way you can’t just go around beating people up without consequences. Even though his methods forced Cottonmouth’s hand, there was no backup plan. He went in bold and confident. The episode ends with Cottonmouth sending a rocket through a restaurant that Luke is staying at. Two breathtaking moments in one episode!
All in all, this was a weaker episode so they had to put in more action. The music was fantastic. Three episodes in and this show is a masterclass in soul, hip-hop, and R&B in a television show. I like the pacing overall, and it’s going to be interesting to see how they execute the Cottonmouth/Luke rivalry from here.