Warning: This is a recap, and as such, contains spoilers for the Luke Cage episode, “Now You’re Mine.” Get out of dodge if you haven’t watched the episode yet.
“Now You’re Mine” was primed to dive into action given how the previous episode ended. Harlem’s Paradise erupted into utter chaos, transforming from a political rally to a crime scene in seconds. It brought to light one of the biggest contrasts between Diamondback and Cottonmouth; the latter could play the game and show restraint. But Diamondback? He’s all emotion. He’s so driven by revenge it’s a wonder he didn’t discover Luke’s location sooner—he seems like the sort who would have thrown every second into verifying Luke’s death after Seagate. Anyway, he risked everything on slapping Luke down.
Throughout the fiasco, I liked seeing Shades call out Diamondback for not having a plan. I saw someone point out Shades is the Littlefinger of Luke Cage, and I don’t think they’re wrong. He’s the talk less, smile more type and has been slowly collecting everything he needs to move into his own position of power. He followed Diamondback’s sloppy orders, but he probably would have been okay with Diamondback getting arrested or killed.
As it was, Diamondback lived to fight another day. He couldn’t corner Luke or any of the people Luke cared about—Misty and Claire—and instead, performed a disappointing “here’s why I’m terrible” monologue. He divulged details about his background to a captive councilman and waxed on and on about his anger at being second fiddle to Luke. Part of the rage was also directed at their father because he stopped caring about Willis’ mom. Whew. I mentioned this before, but this doesn’t ring true as sufficient motivation. Though if Diamondback has a few screws loose, you can squint your eyes and see how his past twisted him.
The drawn out soliloquy was part of another problem in this episode: it dragged out too long. The frenzied hostage situation probably didn’t need to last an entire hour. But, while the time proved boring for our villains, it did give our heroes time to breathe. In the case of Misty, it gave her a reason to open her damn eyes about Luke.
Misty was in terrible condition after being shot in the arm–a nod to her bionic arm in the comics—but thankfully she had Luke there to help her. (Because that’s what he does.) He went above and beyond to keep her safe, and she finally saw the hero within. She learned from actually talking to him. Go figure. Luke owning the hero role was an obvious move, but Claire stepping up should have been something I saw coming too. She found a way to get away from Diamondback’s men and helped Luke and Misty. She did so without any superpowers besides her incredible gumption. She’s the best.
We all knew it was overdue for Misty to come around, but since she was so convinced Luke was involved in nefarious actions, it couldn’t be an instantaneous flip. Luke had to earn it. The extreme situation was just the thing and stretching it out gave Misty the time she needed. She had the chance to see Luke do enough heroic things to get a peek at his true nature. And she was injured enough she couldn’t really move, so she didn’t have a choice but to listen to Luke and Claire’s explanations for everything. I bought her coming to the light.
I also bought more into the Luke and Claire ‘ship. They have an easy way about them, and I’m warming up to it. I particularly enjoy Claire bossing him around.
Though Misty got on board, her inspector and the chief weren’t beside her to witness all Luke did. Diamondback got away, and though hostages reported Luke wasn’t the one firing bullets, he was the only man standing they wanted to bring in–well, besides Shades. Side note: how badass was it for the severely wounded Misty and Claire to take him out? That’s the new team-up show I want.
Anyway, the police were all about using the Judas bullets and stopping Luke. The inspector pushed back as much as she could, but she was constrained by the system. Blake Tower, who you might have recognized from Daredevil, helped as much as he could and revealed Mariah was in a closed door meeting with the mayor. I’m not going to comment on the weird timing of the meeting, but I do want to point out this is yet another juncture where Misty’s starting to see the cracks in the procedures.
Think back to earlier in the season when Misty and Scarfe shared their thoughts on vigilantes. Scarfe was pro, Misty was anti. But since then, Misty hasn’t seen due process work. Cottonmouth was arrested and let go almost instantly. They haven’t been able to pin down Mariah. Cops have beat up children. You get the idea. Misty’s tried to have the police department’s back, but they haven’t necessarily had hers.
In closing, allow me to say that this series wins all the gold stars for working in a, “What you talking about, Willis?”
What are your thoughts about the shootout at Harlem’s Paradise? What did you like best about “Now You’re Mine?” Talk to me in the comments.