Luke Cage: I Get Physical
June 27, 2018 6:00 PM - Season 2, Episode 4 - Subscribe

As footage of his fight with Bushmaster goes viral, Luke struggles with the aftereffects and follows a trail of clues to Tilda's shop.

AV Club review - Luke Cage suffers a defeat and the series slows down to watch his fall

Den of Geek review - Shades and Mariah are the stand out storyline of Luke Cage season 2 episode 4
Den of Geek comics trivia:
-"Oh, and after getting annoyed by Griffith in this episode I looked him up, and he’s based on David Griffith, Luke’s landlord from Luke Cage: Hero for Hire #2 (1972). In the comics he was a film student who ran a movie theatre and rented Luke an office above it. He’s also named after THE D.W.Griffith, who made the KKK-glorifying movie, The Birth of a Nation. Yeesh."
-"Misty Knight’s Robot Arm (there’s a free band name for you) gets its first outing in this episode, on paper at least. As you, me and everyone you know has guessed it’s coming from Rand Enterprises in the MCU, rather than Stark Industries like it does in the comics."

*Bushmaster's sucker-kick and subsequent fight (in which Luke is concussed into brief unconsciousness, and Bushmaster is utterly unharmed) is witnessed and recorded by D.W. Afterwards, Luke staggers back to Pop's and has a talk with Fish.

*At the police station, Nandi and Bailey watch the now-viral video of the fight, cheering Luke's defeat, much to Misty's disgust.

*At Harlem's Paradise, Piranha congratulates Mariah on the success of her Atreus Industries buyout which he accomplished on her behalf using the limited power of attorney she granted him, telling her the $350 million is safely hidden in offshore accounts. Shades is alarmed to learn that the club was used as collateral for the loan, to hide the actual gun money used to make the buy. Later, Shades tells Mariah about Nigel's head having been in the bag of money, and his suspicion that Bushmaster bought the guns in order to weaken Mariah, since the video of him felling Luke with his bare hands shows he didn't need the guns to fight Luke. Mariah insists she has no history with Bushmaster, but is clearly rattled and lying.

*Luke finds D.W. on the corner selling bootleg dvds of the fight. D.W. says he thought Luke was leaving town, since he saw Claire leaving her apartment with luggage. Luke rushes to the apartment and finds a realtor getting ready to sublet it while Claire is out of town/the country. Claire has left Luke a note.

*Misty shares her file on Bushmaster with Luke. They drive out to the Brooklyn warehouse where Luke fought with Bushmaster's crew and find the place abandoned, but for Nigel's headless corpse, and a clue of a bag from Tilda's herbal remedy shop. Misty calls in the Brooklyn PD to the crime scene - Detective Tomas Ciancio tells her that the warehouse is owned by Gideon Shaw, currently in custody at an ICE facility after being picked up on a traffic violation.

*At the shop, Tilda watches the Bushmaster video, then examines the list of ingredients he purchased last, experimenting with mixing them together and breathing the smoke. When nothing remarkable results, she rifles through her books, and finds a passage on Nightshade. Luke arrives at the shop and asks her for info about who she might have sold the warehouse bag to, but she says it could have been any number of customers. She gives him a mixture to help with his concussion.

*At the ICE facility, Misty asks Shaw about Bushmaster (aka John McIver), and he tells her a story about the man on the top of the hill and the man at the bottom of the hill. Shaw says that Bushmaster always talked about how his parents were wronged by Yankees, that he's come to take back what's his.

*At the Club, Bushmaster visits Mariah. He compliments the craftsmanship of the club, and she tells him that her grandfather, Buggy, had it commissioned in the 60's, with Mama Mabel & Uncle Pete as partners. Bushmaster asks her if she'd ever heard the name Quincy Purcell McIver, but she claims not to have - that "history remembers the queens and kings, not the flunkies."

*Bushmaster goes to Gwen's diner (his uncle's place), as Shades observes from his car. He calls Comanche, but Comanche doesn't answer, as he is covertly meeting Captain Ridenhour, who got him out of jail to serve as his informant on Mariah & Shades.

*At the station, Misty receives a Rand Industries envelope from Danny and Colleen, with schematics of a robot arm and a letter asking her to call them when she's ready to.

*Back at Pop's, Fish tells Luke he's leaving town to donate a kidney to his estranged daughter. After he leaves, a process server arrives and serves Luke papers.
posted by oh yeah! (14 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's kinda hard for me to believe that Mariah could be so blinded by her desire to go legit as to leave herself open to losing all of her money and the club to Piranha via his power of attorney, which, though I have not watched beyond this episode or read any spoilers, seems inevitable. Presumably once we hit that rock-bottom, the magnificently terrifying Mariah of S1 will return in full force, but, in the meantime it feels like the writers have stuck her character with the idiot ball for too many episodes.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:29 PM on June 27, 2018 [2 favorites]

Agreed - they telegraphed the 'power of attorney' thing going all pear shaped pretty loudly.

A bit weird to me, but probably in-cannon but Tilda (she's a legit medical doctor, right? or is she, as the MCU wiki states a 'holistic doctor' ie. a naturopath quack: SPOILER - I think at some point she makes a point that she's A Doctor, not "merely" a nurse) believing in herbs is a bit jarring to me.

But magic and whatnot.
posted by porpoise at 7:15 PM on June 27, 2018

I also thought that Mariah seemed too focused on "going legit" and getting blinded to all the threats around her. But I can buy that she wants out of the game since it's ruined her family. And there's a sincerity to her social work, based on the speech last episode. There's an evil behind all that, but she definitely wants to leave a good legacy. She's a complicated character and really compelling to watch.

Stiiiill can't get behind her and Shades. They just have no chemistry to me, and I know the odd kissing is awkward on purpose, but it's just awkward to me.
posted by numaner at 7:45 AM on June 28, 2018

I also thought that Mariah seemed too focused on "going legit" and getting blinded to all the threats around her. But I can buy that she wants out of the game since it's ruined her family.

That Basquiat is worth probably $40-50 million. She owns the club outright. She could get out if the game any time she wants.

It’s unclear to me why she refuses to sell that painting.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:53 PM on June 28, 2018

I think in the first episode she said it was in her family... which makes it more odd that she won't sell to get out from the dark family legacy.
posted by numaner at 3:14 PM on June 28, 2018 [2 favorites]

I can't shake the notion that Bushmaster would be an excellent name for a very powerful intimate electric shaver.

posted by Grangousier at 1:50 PM on June 29, 2018 [3 favorites]

I would buy that product.
posted by roolya_boolya at 4:19 PM on June 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

It’s unclear to me why she refuses to sell that painting.

Maybe it's a forgery, and only she knows?
posted by mikepop at 6:35 AM on July 2, 2018

I can't shake the notion that Bushmaster would be an excellent name for a very powerful intimate electric shaver.

Jo Brand has said much the same about Margaret Thatcher’s title once she was elevated to peerhood: the Lady Thatcher.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:17 PM on July 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

I don't like it much, because I like Claire, but it felt like this episode moved much better without her.

Luke leaving his bag in Misty's car (on purpose?) was a nice touch.

Tilda's motivations are unclear to me at this point. How much does she know about what happened with Luke and her uncle? Does she care? (I guess if Luke's going to follow up his origin story with details about his super-soft skin, it doesn't matter that much.)
posted by minsies at 6:46 AM on July 9, 2018

For those who enjoyed the music in this episode, here's an hour of Christone "Kingfish" Ingram at the Montreal Jazz Festival 2018.
posted by homunculus at 5:27 PM on July 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

It’s unclear to me why she refuses to sell that painting.

'Luke Cage' Showrunner Explains Why Mariah Doesn't "Flip the Basquiat"
A deleted scene featuring Mariah and a new Harlem’s Paradise hostess, Stephanie, would have revealed the Stokes’ personal history with the painting.

“We decided not to use it,” Coker says, “But there was a conversation where she was telling the story of that painting. Basquiat and Cornell’s father, the drug addict we hear about but never met, were contemporaries, and that painting was a gift. That’s what Mariah means by ‘That painting is in my family.’ That was painted for Cottonmouth’s fathe. That’s why they never sold it.”

Coker agrees that flipping the Basquiat would have solved all of Mariah’s problems, but the Basquiat is a family heirloom. “Shades is right, if that painting went to market, that would sell anywhere between $50-$150 million.”
I still feel like the dialogue is undercooked!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:52 PM on August 1, 2018

Basquiat’s Crowns (1981-2), ART'S MASTERPIECES EXPLAINED
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:02 PM on August 1, 2018

I know I'm part of the problem since I didn't watch this when it came out -- now it's not been renewed for another season. Still, I'm going to miss the music. It's just so good.
posted by Jugwine at 6:31 PM on January 28, 2019

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