Up until this point, Luke Cage to me has been a phenomenal show. They’ve taken a chance though in these last couple of episodes. I don’t really like the direction the show is headed from a preference standpoint, but I must admit, it is interesting.
So, in the last episode, Luke struggled. More than we’ve ever seen him struggle. Diamondback, who revealed himself to be Luke’s biological brother, shot him with the Judas bullet. It’s an alien bullet that drilled through Luke’s skin. His powers are trapping the shrapnel inside his body.
This episode was over an hour for some reason. It was the slowest episode by far, and to me, the worst of the season so far. Why? Mainly Misty Knight’s scene with her psychiatrist. Misty has been struggling. Diamondback held her at gunpoint, her former partner is dead, and she learned he was crooked as well. She’s losing control. Her department orders her to talk to a professional so she can get her head on straight. I thought these scenes would really dig down deep into Misty’s character, but they didn’t. The psychiatrist basically tells Misty what her problem is early in the episode. She denies it, but by the end she repeats the diagnosis of the doctor. It was dry and slow.
Luke is with Claire still. They decide to go to Atlanta to see the doctor who originally did the experiment on Luke at Seagate. This part was interesting, but by the end of this episode, I’m absolutely done seeing Luke incapacitated like this. I miss the Wu-Tang songs and the ass kicking. Before Atlanta though, Luke is caught on camera assaulting two police officers. Mariah has turned the city against Luke after framing him for Cottonmouth’s murder. This storyline is the one that made this episode enjoyable. Diamondback kills the other crimes bosses at a meeting later on too. He and Mariah are planning to sell the Judas to local police so they can take out public enemy number one, Luke Cage.
Another positive of this episode was seeing Diamonback put Shades in his place. For someone who “works” for someone else, Shades has acted like Don Corleone too much for my taste. Diamondback is a loose cannon and I enjoyed the scene where he let Shades know that Harlem isn’t his for the taking. He also told Shades that he noticed what he was trying to do by getting Cottonmouth killed. Diamondback saw Cottonmouth as a friend, and Shades manipulated Mariah into killing her cousin.
This episode ends with Luke getting dipped into acid by the doctor. He’s trying to loosen his skin cells so they can get the shrapnel out. Luke is in so much pain from the acid that he goes into cardiac arrest.
All in all, as I stated earlier, one of the weaker episodes on the show. Unnecessarily long, more Misty staleness, and a shriveled-up Luke. The city turning against Luke has been the point behind pretty much all of this, so I can’t wait for him to get back to form, and come back to Harlem. He has to earn the city’s trust back somehow. I’m not sure he can go the Jessica Jones route with it, so he might have to try and expose Mariah as the fake politician that she is.