This episode sees Luke Cage struggle like we’ve never seen him struggle before. At the end of episode 7, he was shot by Diamondback, the gangster Shades works for, with the Judas bullet. It’s a special type of bullet that’s manufactured by Hammer Tech Industries, and so far, is the only thing that has hurt Luke during the show.
Luke and Claire are on the run most of this episode. This ties together perfectly with Mariah’s plan to frame Luke for Cottonmouth’s murder. While I hate the death of Cottonmouth, I do like this episode because it begins a new arc that can easily carry the rest of season.
Shades and Mariah devise a plan to get away with the murder. They employ a young waitress, Candice, to tell Misty Knight that she saw Luke Cage commit the crime. This was one of Shades’ and Mariah’s best episodes in terms of acting. Mariah is at her best when she’s being a no-good politician. Shades plants evidence at the barbershop, while Mariah makes a statement (a convincing one) to the press about Cage. She calls him a vigilante, a coward, and a menace.
All while the city is hating their true hero, Luke is seriously struggling. Claire is trying to figure out how to remove the bullet from his body. The bullet exploded and shrapnel is all that remains in his body. The only problem is his powers are trapping the shrapnel in his body. I love Colter during this whole sequence because the jokes he cracks while in pain are believable, and much needed.
I know I’m sounding like a broken record here, but the worst part about this episode is Misty Knight. She investigates the murder, but doesn’t believe Luke did it. Then when that evidence pops up at the barbershop, she’s hellbent on arresting Luke when she finds him and Claire. What? Seriously Misty? One minute, your skeptical and now you are one hundred percent sure he’s guilty now. Is it because Claire answered the phone when you called? Still upset Luke didn’t call after you two slept together? I don’t understand her motivations as a detective sometimes. You’d think she realize the evidence was planted instead of rushing to judgement.
This episode heats up when Diamondback attacks the three at their hideout. Misty gets her gun taken by him and almost dies in the process. He runs into an empty theater where he and Luke engage in a fight. I liked this part. It was entertaining and the mystery of who Diamondback is in relation to Luke is intriguing.
Misty is back at the precinct with Claire. She assaults Claire and is stopped by her supervisor.
After their fight, Luke leaves the theater and starts walking down the streets of Harlem. Diamondback appears behind him after a while. Luke tells Diamondback, also known as Willis Stryker, that he loved him like a brother. Stryker looks him in the eye and says, “Nigga, I am your brother.” He fires another Judas into Luke’s chest as Luke falls into the back of garbage truck
Another solid episode. Like I said, this is the start of a new arc that is going to carry us to the rest of the season. Luke has more shrapnel in his body with no way of getting it out. Diamondback has revealed himself as the true king of Harlem. Misty might’ve lost her mind once and for all. And Shades and Mariah seem to have their own agenda in trying to take over Harlem. Can’t wait to see how this all unfolds!