Warning: This is a recap, and as such, contains spoilers for the Luke Cage episode, “Soliloquy of Chaos.” Get out of dodge if you haven’t watched the episode yet.
Cottonmouth, Diamondback, and Luke Cage have all utterly failed at turning Harlem against Luke Cage. He’s shown his true colors whenever he’s had a chance, and no one has to wonder about him. The others? They all wore/wear contrasting faces depending on the occasion and who’s looking. I think their inclination to flip-flop makes them more untrustworthy. The streets have Luke’s back in “Soliloquy of Chaos.” A kind cop, Method Man, Harlem residents—everyone looks out for Luke in the penultimate episode of season one of the Marvel series.
Luke has to be protected from the cops—he escaped after being arrested—and from Diamondback’s flunkies. Diamondback himself continued to build resources and plans towards killing Luke; He has his moments and is more of a match for Luke thanks to the Hammer Tech, but he’s no Cottonmouth. I’d rather have Cornell back trading barbs with Mariah. But, at least Diamondback was intelligent enough to see Mariah as a threat. He calmed her down after the Harlem’s Paradise incident by bringing her piles of money and promising he’D leave Harlem alone after he takes care of his business with Luke. With most villains, I’d think the tactic was a trick, but Diamondback has never shown an ambition for presiding over the neighborhood. He wants revenge.
As meh as Diamondback might be, Mariah and Shades have stepped up. I was thrilled to see Theo Rossi get time to chew on the scenery as he talked with the Inspector. The understated nature of the character has made him a joy to watch, and I found myself sort of rooting for him as he got out of prison and then ditched Diamondback to stand by Mariah’s side. He’s loyal. I believe he would have stood next to Diamondback despite any misgivings he may have had if the nutter hadn’t tried to have him killed. His loyalty will benefit Mariah (and yes, I’d be fine with them hooking up).
Over in the world of Luke, he focused on getting to Diamondback and ending things. Most of the time, heroes only want to get justice for their villains. We’ve seen a different trend in Marvel’s Netflix series though. I won’t go into specifics in order to avoid spoilers, but Luke’s not the only hero who’s set out to end things in a more permanent fashion.
Luke wasn’t able to turn a blind eye to lawbreaking as he tried to find Diamondback. It’s a change from the Luke of the season premiere who didn’t want to get involved. We’ve seen him embark on a journey inspired by revenge for Pop and find his way as a hero. Case in point: he stopped to put a halt to an armed robbery. One of the bystanders in the shop happened to be Method Man, and he happened to make a radio appearance and rap about Luke. I found it to be quite on the nose, but it fit right in with the campy aspects of the series, so I didn’t terribly mind. Method Man’s “You know, there’s something powerful about seeing a black man as bulletproof and unafraid” line is meaningful.
Plus, the encounter with Method Man led to one of the most symbolic and poignant sequences—the citizens of Harlem putting on hoodies with holes in them to show their solidarity. Heck. Yes.
When you’ve been rooting for Luke for 11 episodes, it’ a relief to finally see the characters in the show understand his value and contributions. Harlem’s throwing their weight behind him, and things are looking up. Ish. That’s when Diamondback used a powerful weapon to wreck his new safe house and take out Domingo. Then, he turned his attention to Luke by attacking the barber shop in an outfit resembling his comic book threads. Poor Bobby Fish. He only recently fixed the shop after the shootout.
Diamondback found more than Luke when he got to the barber shop. Mariah and Shades were there, too. They both have an incredible sense of self. After all the nonsense they’ve put Luke through, Mariah and Shades thought they could get Luke to work with them against Diamondback. Shades having information to clear Carl Lucas helped their case, and even if Luke’s left his old self behind, it obviously matters to him to be free and clear.
Unfortunately but also fortunately, Misty prevented the deal by showing up to arrest Mariah. Since Candace realized she was wrong to lie about Luke’s involvement in Cottonmouth’s death, Misty has evidence to “nail Mariah’s ass to the wall.” Misty talks about nailing people’s asses to the wall frequently, by the way. I remarked in the last episode how Misty is becoming less confident in the system, and she definitely didn’t seem to follow proper procedures with Candace. You know that’s just begging to be turned into disaster. Yikes.
Were you surprised to see Diamondback opt for a head-on attack? What do you think of the latest development with Mariah? Tell me in the comments.[brightcove video_id=”5134283300001″ brightcove_account_id=”3653334524001″ brightcove_player_id=”2bfa565b-5412-4cfd-9211-6269880b8a5e”]