This was the best episode of the show yet. Luke Cage up until this point has done a great job at establishing who Luke is as a person. He’s a no-nonsense man who does the right thing. Ever since Pops was killed in the second episode he’s kicked it in to overdrive though. He robbed Cottonmouth of millions of dollars. Obviously, Cottonmouth didn’t like that. He fired a rocket into Connie’s restaurant, where Luke lives. The episode revolves around Luke and Connie trying to get from under the rubble. Her leg is severely injured, and they don’t have much time. While this is going on, we get a flashback of Luke’s time at Seagate Prison.
Luke was still a good guy back then, but he wasn’t a hero. He was a hardnosed former cop who got caught up on the wrong side of the law. It isn’t revealed what he did, but it’s clear that Luke isn’t a criminal. My favorite part of this episode was seeing the start of his relationship with his former wife Reva Connors. If you don’t know why Reva isn’t in the show, please go watch Jessica Jones season 1. Anyway, Reva and Luke have a couple of verbal sparring sessions at group therapy sessions. She’s the prison’s psychologist. Luke never talks much and that peaks her interests. The episode jumps between the flashback and the present. Luke starts breaking through the rubble. Connie is amazed by his powers
(as any normal non-superhero person would be.)
The episode does a good job with establishing Officer Albert Rackham. He’s a punk no doubt. He ropes Luke into some underground street fighting thing so he, Rackham, can make money. I loved how they showed Luke’s fighting abilities in this episode. He isn’t just a skilled “street fighter,” but rather a solid overall fighter.
Luke and Reva plan to rat out Rackham, but that doesn’t go over too well. Luke is savagely beat by Shades (who is working with Cottonmouth now) and another inmate. Reva convinces a fellow doctor to try and save Luke. The doctor puts him in a tank of water to help his healing process. Rackham interrupts the process though. He accidentally messes up the machine. The machine malfunctions, giving Luke Cage his powers. Rackham is killed from the blast, and Luke emerges from the tank with superpowers. An awesome moment happens as the show flips between the flashback and present. The music in the background is epic as Luke begins to smash through the rubble. In the flashback, he smashes through the prison walls to escape. He finds Reva and adopts the name Luke Cage. I loved his reasoning behind the name. A verse from Luke 4:18 that his father used to say. He then goes on to say that “No one can cage a man if he truly wants to be free.”
Like I said at the start, the best episode yet. It was great to see Reva Connors and the early stages of their relationship. I don’t have any negatives for this episode at all. Great character development, solid action, and a great moment at the end where he announces who he is to the world. This show just gets better and better.