Luke Cage: Code of the Streets
September 30, 2016 8:55 PM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Luke is pulled deeper into the fight for his neighborhood when, as a favor to an old friend, he tries to help a kid who's in trouble with Cottonmouth.

Luke: After what I did at Genghis Connie's. First time in a long time...I felt at peace. I made a decision when I got back to the crib. I'm done running
Pop: Boys run. Men stand. You're a man.
Luke: I am who I am. Or maybe I have a chance to find out who I could really be.
**
Luke: Young man, I've had a long day. I'm tired. But I'm not tired enough to ever let nobody call me that word. You see a nigga standing in front of you?

AV Club binge recap

*Luke finds Chico as a favor to Pop, who used to be friends with Chico's father Wilfredo, and convinces him to come to the barber shop so Pop can arrange a parley with Cottonmouth.
*Detective Knight's searches for Chico as part of her investigation of the shootout, winning a game of horse to learn that he works for Pop. Luke finds out she's not really an auditor.
*Cage arranges for the parley with Cottonmouth, but Tone gets word from Turk about Chico being at the shop and decides not to wait; with Shade along for the ride he shoots up the shop, killing Pop and seriously wounding Chico. Cottonmouth throws Tone off the roof of the club.
*Luke goes to look at the Crispus Attucks Center, and, after a confrontation with a young man with a gun, sees Councilwoman Mariah Dillard carrying Chico's backpack inside.
posted by oh yeah! (23 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I think my favorite cinematography so far has been in the barber shop scenes - Cottonmouth's entrance was perfection, sad to think this is the last we'll see of it in the series. I had a bad feeling during one of Pop's scenes with Luke, suddenly realizing that he was fitting the hero's journey myth as 'old mentor', but even guessing it was coming that was still a heartbreaker.

I'm sure I'm missing a lot of references - was the guy who took the photo of young Pop, Cottonmouth, and Wilfredo one of them? He had such a distinctive look, I got the feeling it was an homage to a specific photographer of NYC street life rather than just an indication of time period.

Literary reference of the episode: Kenyatta series
posted by oh yeah! at 9:09 PM on September 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


The whole shaving scene is...really good. It's so delightfully tense, and there's absolutely nothing to pull you out of it.
posted by figurant at 11:31 PM on September 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


Despite having some great female characters I'm pretty sure this show hasn't passed the Bechdel test yet. For the moment I'm willing to overlook it as the show is telling a story about black men's experience in pretty much the same way I overlooked the lack of diversity in Girls because of the stories it was telling. Still it would be nice if Misty and Mariah had a chat, or Claire Temple turned up and spoke to either one of them...
posted by roolya_boolya at 4:55 AM on October 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure this show hasn't passed the Bechdel test yet.

I think it maybe passed the test in episode 1, when Mariah was being interviewed by the reporter and talked to the little girl. (Looks like the reporter was being played by Dawn-Lyen Gardner, one of the leads on 'Queen Sugar', so I expect she'll have more to do later.) I absolutely expect that Mariah and Misty are going to have some scenes together, but, I too will be ok if the show chooses to stay more focused on the story of black men's experiences.

(just starting episode 3 now, will continue posting threads as I go if someone else doesn't get there first)
posted by oh yeah! at 5:55 AM on October 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


Liking the show so far. I'm impressed at how different the three Netflix MCU series are considering that they're all set in the same area and have overlapping characters.
posted by octothorpe at 6:19 AM on October 1, 2016


I think it maybe passed the test in episode 1, when Mariah was being interviewed by the reporter and talked to the little girl. (Looks like the reporter was being played by Dawn-Lyen Gardner, one of the leads on 'Queen Sugar', so I expect she'll have more to do later.)

Did either the reporter or the little girl have names? Even so (for now at least) they seem to be background characters...

And yes, please do keep posting episodes!
posted by roolya_boolya at 6:30 AM on October 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Not only does Luke Cage read the New Yorker(!), but he and Pops argue about their favorite authors. And he's got books scattered around his apartment.

I think Cage might be the most literate character in the MCU.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 6:46 AM on October 1, 2016 [18 favorites]


Did either the reporter or the little girl have names? Even so (for now at least) they seem to be background characters...

Mariah said the girl's name (Mirabel?) I think, and the reporter character's name is Megan. (No doubt they were just background, but figured they were worth mentioning. Especially because of Dawn-Lyen Gardner - if the character does turn out to have no purpose but sporadic exposition, I think it's a sign of the terrific casting on this series that even the barely-there-reporter is an actress who is a series lead on another show. What's the rights sports metaphor, that they've stacked the benches?)

And yes, please do keep posting episodes!

Ok, ever forward!
posted by oh yeah! at 7:44 AM on October 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Not only did Luke Cage buy The New Yorker, he bought The New Yorker with money he should have used to pay the rent! Luke is officially the MCU character I most relate to.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:46 AM on October 1, 2016 [28 favorites]


When Pops declared the barbershop Switzerland, he telegraphed the outcome. I thought the consequences would be further into the series, but here we go. The first episode I thought was a little too much setting the pieces up on the chessboard, but now I'm on board fully. I love how the world of the series seems bigger than in JJ, but small enough where everyone is connected.
posted by Jugwine at 8:40 AM on October 1, 2016


My wife feels like this is a bit of the MCU version of The Wire, which I'm not sure I see, but there's worse things to be.

Regardless, Wire references we've caught so far:
Common actors: S. Robert Morgan (Butchie/ newstand operator); Frankie Faison (Burrell/Pop); and Michael Kostroff, who hasn't appeared yet.
George Pelecanos was a writer on The Wire and is mentioned in the literary conversation between Pop and Luke.
Misty and her partner end the day leaning on their car with a pint of Jameson.
posted by LionIndex at 1:01 PM on October 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also: noting that Franklin, despite being on money, isn't a President (although in the Wire it was Hamilton).
posted by LionIndex at 1:26 PM on October 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


The comments about Franklin being on the money even though he hadn't been President (and the line 'it all comes down to the Benjamins') were echoed in the conversation Mariah and Cottonmouth had about money and respect later in the episode. Amazing subtle callback.
posted by stolyarova at 4:39 PM on October 1, 2016


Claire Temple turned up and spoke to either one of them...

This is meta-info, and therefore some people may consider it a spoiler, but: Rosario Dawson is on the IMDB cast list for the show. I suspect she'll be interacting mostly with Luke when she does show up, but it's possible she encounters other characters as well.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:04 AM on October 2, 2016



This is meta-info, and therefore some people may consider it a spoiler, but: Rosario Dawson is on the IMDB cast list for the show.


Indeed, and I don't think you need to worry about it being a spoiler because she is also pictured in the banner for the show right here on Fanfare.
posted by roolya_boolya at 12:52 PM on October 2, 2016


The Biggie's crown dialogue/shot were terrific.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:23 PM on October 2, 2016 [8 favorites]


"I'm going back to Hell's Kitchen where it's safe."
posted by phearlez at 8:27 PM on October 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


Despite having some great female characters I'm pretty sure this show hasn't passed the Bechdel test yet.

This is such an annoying complaint, because it's so right on. Even if two women did speak to each other in the first episode, it was pretty underwhelming Bechdel test wise. Plus it's I'm conflicted on how to judge the series, do you do episode wise or as a whole season? The latter works for me and I'm Misty Knight and the Congresswoman have a few words. Hopefully they have a lot, as the philosophizing between Cottonmouth and Mariah Dillard has been a really good look at different takes on black life and society in general. There's goldmines of similar stuff between black women.

American superheroes from the '60s were overwhelming white and male, so Luke appearing on the scene was nice, but its still ignoring black women, which is reflected even in this modern era translation. This shit just hangs around for way too long.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:42 AM on October 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Netflix Misty Knight series when? Based on some of her scenes in the subsequent episodes, I think she and Mariah would have a lot to talk about if they met, so I'm really, really hoping that happens.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:53 AM on October 3, 2016


Misty Knight, Jessica Jones and Hellcat would work too!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:13 AM on October 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


Was the guy who took the photo of young Pop, Cottonmouth, and Wilfredo one of them?

I believe he was intended as an homage to Jamel Shabazz.
posted by box at 12:57 PM on October 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


The The Wire connection that matters is what happens to an ex-Wire middle-aged male African-American actor who gets cast on a Netflix/Marvel show: Reg E. Cathey (Daredevil), Clarke Peters (Jessica Jones), and now Frankie Faison. FFS.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:29 PM on October 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


I honestly thought that Luke Cage would manage to avoid killing off the older, black mentor figure.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 9:54 AM on October 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


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