Luke Cage: All Souled Out
June 28, 2018 8:01 PM - Season 2, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Desperate to drum up quick cash for a lawsuit, Luke weighs an offer from a superman. Mariah invites Tilda to join the new family business.

AV Club review - Luke Cage debases its characters and leaves us with blood on our hands

Den of Geek review - Luke Cage season 2 experiences the joys of a shared Marvel universe in episode 5.

*In a conference room, Cockroach (represented by Ben Donovan) tells his story of being beaten by Luke, frustrating Luke into snapping the end of the conference table off. Foggy counsels Luke to accept the settlement offer ($100K), as going to trial is unlikely to go well for Luke.

*Mariah shows Tilda her FamilyFirst! Initiative Shirley Chisholm Complex, telling her about her plans for a clinic, and asking her to be medical director, but Tilda is hesitant to accept. Later, Detectives Nandi Tyler & Bailey arrive to ask Mariah if she has any info on the whereabouts of Mark Higgins, as no one has heard from him in several days.

*At Pop’s, Luke gets a call from Foggy, who has an offer of public appearance gig. Misty arrives and fills him in on her interview of Gideon Shaw at ICE, that she has no news of Bushmaster’s location, but that he is out to get Mariah. Luke makes a few calls to see if he can earn the settlement cash, but Nike has cooled on him, professional sports can’t employ a super-powered athlete on just one team, and a reality-TV producer’s pitch of Luke vs. sharks/honey badgers/whatever doesn’t appeal.

*At Harlem’s Paradise, Shades' crew tells him there is no sign of Bushmaster or the Yardies. Shades urges Mariah to get out of town, but she refuses. He asks her to sell him the club, but she also refuses. He tells her he’s going to attend Piranha’s party, as he doesn’t trust him with their money, or to keep his mouth shut about them once he’s drunk. Later, Shades tells Comanche to find out where Ray Ray is, as it’s not like him to just disappear on them. Later, when Comanche meets with Ridenhour, he asks about Ray Ray (assuming he’s turned informant), but Ridenhour has never heard of him.

*Misty confronts Cockroach at his & Drea’s apartment, telling him to drop the suit, but he refuses.

*Luke and Foggy go to Uptown Enterprises to meet with Piranha about the public appearance gig. Piranha’s office is full of Luke Cage memorabilia. Piranha wants to hire him to appear his Atreus Plastics merger celebration. Luke asks for a $150K appearance fee and afterwards tells Foggy that the reason he accepted the gig was because he noticed a photo of Mariah with Piranha in the office.

*Misty reviews Cockroach’s case file, and flashes back to her memory of Scarfe and her arresting him, after Scarfe discovered a gun in his apartment. Later, she talks to Drea, who is receiving medical treatment after another beating. Misty tries to convince her to press charges against Cockroach, but Drea is scornful of Misty’s ability to arrest him or to protect her. Later, back at the station, looking for a file leads Misty back to her old desk and discovers Scarfe’s liquor stash. She flashes back to a time Scarfe suggested they sneak drugs out of the evidence locker to plant on a suspect, though he plays it off as just a joke when it’s clear Misty is taken aback at the idea.

*Luke puts on the bullet-holed hoodie Piranha as insisted he wear, then heads to the party with Foggy in tow.

*Tilda comes to the club and demands the truth from Mariah, as she recognized the photo of Higgins as being the man she saw Mariah meeting with on her previous visit. Mariah tells her about having blackmailed Higgins into letting her buy him out of Atreus Industries, and gives her spiel about going legit, and about all the good she's going to do for Harlem.

*At the party, Luke ends up guarding Piranha’s VIP stairway, and notices a suspiciously lurking man in the crowd.

*Misty steals from the evidence locker and sneaks into Cockroach’s apartment. Then she flashes back to a weeping Scarfe, whose son (Earl) shot himself with Scarfe’s gun. He says it must be God’s punishment for what a bad person he is. Back in the present, Misty stops herself from planting the incriminating evidence, then suddenly notices blood on the floor, and follows the blood trail to discover Cockroach’s headless corpse on the couch.

*Mariah cuts the ribbon for the opening of her Family First! facility, only to discover that several heads on spikes have been left inside for her (and all the press) to see.

*Shades arrives at Piranha’s party and he & Luke face off with each other. Piranha calls Luke onstage, and invites his guests to try their hand at shooting Luke. When Piranha fires, the lurking dude takes a shot, and in the exodus of frightened party-goers, Bushmaster’s men attempt to kidnap Piranha. Luke forces the car to a stop (by jumping on its roof), and promises to protect Piranha any future kidnapping attempts.
posted by oh yeah! (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This was an exciting episode - probably the first one that made me want to pick up the pace of my viewing. (However, I am getting my very first root canal this afternoon, and though I am legit freaked out that something will go terribly wrong due to my very own Robotic Jaw hardware, I'm unlikely to be in any shape to do a recap tonight even if things go perfectly well - if anyone wants to post episode 6, please go ahead. I will probably try to crank out at least a few a day over the weekend.)

Every time Misty went to open a file cabinet or something, I was expecting her to fling it across a room/crush things with unbeknownst-to-her Robot Strength, though no doubt it's coming. I was disappointed they had her go so far as to bring the stolen evidence to Cockroach's place to plant it; I can maybe buy her being tempted, but, that's a big line for her to have crossed. I mean, plot-wise they needed to get her into the apartment to discover the body, but, it seems a bit character-assassinatey, much like the writing of Claire's intrusiveness regarding Luke's dad, or Mariah's blindsiding herself to the potential loss of her money & the club.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:40 AM on June 29, 2018

Yeah, it sort of feels like they _finally_ got through the story setup after 5 episodes and we get to see the main plot instead of the holding actions we've been taking so far. Which is OK, I like that they have the opportunity to build up the characters while they aren't on the run, but sometimes I suspect it leads to some of the more perplexing characterizations because they end up with time to fill so let's have Misty go down the dark road, let's have Mariah get lost trying to go clean, let's have Luke get a fat head, etc. On the other hand I guess that's sort of what I like about the Marvel universe, the characters get a chance to work outside of their assigned roles.

Any theorizing on what Chekhov's Red Button on Misty's robohand is? Everything else is black and chrome except for the red button of dooom, right?
posted by Kyol at 7:52 AM on June 29, 2018

Yeah the pacing picked up here, and I almost forgot about Claire for a second. In terms of screen time it almost feels like the show is focusing on Mariah, with everything else revolving around her.

I liked the little moment between her and Shades when she asked him about Mark Higgins and he has no idea, and they toast because "for once, we didn't do shit!"

And also the box of what Piranha gave Luke to wear, when they had a little side view of it, you can see something gold and chain like and Luke going "HELL NO", I totally thought it was going to be his Power Man outfit from the comics. And later it turns out the gold chain is the gold-ish zipper of the hoodie. Hilarious!
posted by numaner at 10:26 AM on June 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

When the receptionist greets them she asks if they want anything to drink - "Cappuchino? ...", then there's a long pause when she could have rattled off a long list of potential beverages - espresso, latte, tea, peppermint tea, still water, sparkling water, Vimto, martini and so on and so forth. That she stopped and left an uncomfortable pause suggests she is only in a position to offer a cappuccino, but doesn't want clients to know that.
posted by Grangousier at 2:57 PM on June 29, 2018

I find it kind of an interesting choice - Mariah never wears heels, only flats. Misty always has (even if fashionable) functional footwear, too.
posted by porpoise at 6:27 PM on June 29, 2018 [3 favorites]

Wait, Foggy only has five-figure student loans? Damn, he's doing well for himself.

Apparently the writers thought law school debt sounded more unbelievable than all the superpowers and robot arms and heads on sticks.
posted by asperity at 9:44 PM on July 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

I know I'll find out in the next episode, but the three heads are Cockroach, Mark Higgins, and ...? Ray Ray, maybe? He seems too low-profile to send a message to Mariah, but I guess Shades is looking for him, and that's the only other person who has been flagged as missing. I have no idea what he looked like, though, and those heads were not easy to identify.

I was very uncomfortable with Misty's aborted attempt to plant evidence, although her new robot arm does give her a great way to do all that without leaving any fingerprints.

I know that Luke had to let Sketchy Shooter Guy wander around the party to set up Piranha getting him up on stage to be shot, but that didn't see like a Luke maneuver. He would've had the confrontation. I definitely agree that the characterizations are getting weird and perplexing here, just so the story can go a certain direction.
posted by minsies at 11:00 AM on July 10, 2018

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