Luke Cage: They Reminisce Over You
July 1, 2018 3:40 PM - Season 2, Episode 13 - Subscribe

Mariah adapts to her new circumstances and goes to extremes to cover her tracks. Luke takes a new approach to protecting Harlem. (SEASON FINALE, directed by Alex Garcia Lopez, written by Cheo Hodari Coker)

AV Club recap - A satisfying, stylish finale erases some of Luke Cage’s flaws

*Mariah is arraigned, denied bail and remanded to Rikers. She tells the judge that she's not a flight risk, and that Harlem needs her out there, and we see flashes of the crime wave that is coming in her absence.

*At Pop's, Luke and D.W. watch the news reports of a 75% increase in violent crime in Harlem since the arraignment.

*Misty visits Tilda at her shop and fishes for info on Bushmaster's location, but Tilda claims not to know anything. Once Misty leaves, Sheldon emerges from where he was hiding in the back with Ingrid and a weakened Bushmaster, and Tilda doses him.

*At Pop's, Luke, D.W., and Sugar speculate on who's behind all the violence. Shades arrives and says it's obviously the Italians and the Boricuas, who always wanted to expand east. Shades says that he's out now that the world knows he's a snitch, but he can still help Luke win.

*In prison, a guard is walking Mariah somewhere when two prisoners attack -- they stab the guard, and the Jamaican prisoner pours kerosene on Mariah and the other prisoner prepares to light the match compliments of Carbone, but then another set of prisoners attack them. The leader used to do sex work for Mabel, and will protect Mariah for a price. Mariah kills her instead, tells the other prisoners she's in charge now and will pay for their loyalty, and steals the dead guard's phone to call Donovan to bring money.

*Luke arrives at Carbone's and breaks the bones of anyone standing in his way. He tells Carbone to stay out of Harlem, but she says if he kills her then the Russians will move in and start killing more people. He tells her he'll keep destroying her trucks and warehouses until she starts losing money, and she agrees to his demand of creating a 'lockbox' around Harlem.

*Tilda and Sheldon bid farewell to Ingrid, as she takes a still-sickly Bushmaster away with her (and Anansi's body) back to Jamaica.

*In prison, Ben Donovan and Mariah discuss the case. Ben says Shades' death wouldn't help her, as the state already has his testimony, but Mariah points out that a jury could be led to believe that as he was a career criminal and Mariah was an upstanding citizen, that she was seduced into the life by him and that he was the real killer while she was just an innocent bystander. She tells him that nobody else can be given a chance to roll on her.

*At the precinct, Misty looks at her murder board and tells Ridley that Mariah is cleaning house. At Tilda's shop, a frantic Alex comes looking for protection from Mariah, but Tilda refuses to help him.

*Sugar tells Luke that everyone he's ever worked with is dead, and tells him how he started working for the Stokes -- how Mariah paid for his tuition after his sports career was ended by a knee injury, and how Cornell continued to support him after he dropped out.

*On the street, someone tries to kill Shades, but he shoots him instead, takes his phone and calls demanding to be put on the list to speak with Mariah.

*Misty looks over another crime scene, the now-dead Alex, as a troubled Tilda watches from the distance.

*Shades visits Mariah in jail to hash things out again and say his farewells. Afterwards, Donovan tells Mariah that Tilda has called and is ready to see her.

*Luke talks to Misty at the crime scene, and tells her he wants to see Mariah, but she refuses as she doesn't want him screwing up her case. Luke calls Foggy and asks him to get him Donovan's cell phone number.

*In the shop, Tilda makes a mixture called "beso de araña", then goes to visit Mariah in jail. Mariah tells her she no longer sees Uncle Pete when she looks at her, she only sees herself. She asks her to look in on the Paradise for her. Tilda says she hopes Mariah finds peace, and kisses her goodbye.

*Tilda visits the Paradise, and plays a very meta song on Cornell's piano, over a montage of Luke on the street, Misty at the gym, and Shades in the park looking at an old photo.

*Luke visits Mariah in prison, and asks her not to break the peace he brokered with more killing. She gives him a 'we made each other' speech, then suddenly stars coughing up blood, realizes that Tilda has poisoned her with her kiss, and Luke stays with her until she dies.

*Misty finds Shades at a diner, and arrests him for the murders of Candace and Comanche, because his immunity deal was contingent on the successful prosecution of Mariah.

*Tilda views Mariah's body at a funeral home, and tells the director to just cremate her. When he calls her Miss Stokes, she says she's Tilda Johnson now.

*At Pop's, Sheldon arrives and tells Luke that Harlem is in the right hands now and leaves. D.W. is upset to realize that Luke followed Shades' advice of "putting his hand on the faucet" of crime, and tells him that he's getting rid of all of his Luke Cage merchandise and profits and re-opening the barber shop, and that the 'no shop talk'/Switzerland rules will be enforced, that he can't stay there if he's going to be a crime boss. Donovan arrives asking to talk, and Luke and Sugar leave with him.

*At the Paradise, Donovan reads Mariah's new will to Luke and Tilda. The Basquiat painting will be donated to the Studio Museum of Harlem, her money will be used to make the Family First Foundation, Cornell's keyboard goes to Tilda, but Harlem's Paradise goes to Luke. In flashback, Mariah tells Donovan the story of the sirens, and that though Luke will think he can change the club, the club will change him.

*Sometime later, a besuited Luke stands in the re-opened club, replacing the Biggie portrait with Muhammad Ali photo. Misty arrives and warns him that she will not hesitate to take him down if he starts acting the fool. Sugar arrives and says that Carbone and Izquerda want to talk, and Luke has them seated in the VIP section. Tilda arrives and surveys the club. Sugar tells Luke that Claire is there, but Luke says to tell her to go home.

*In voiceover, we hear Reverend James' "that what defines being a hero" speech.
posted by oh yeah! (27 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

My guess for next season. Danny Rand will show to help Luke get off the dark path he is starting down. Bringing their friendship up to the comic books level.

Danny was so much less annoying in his brief appearance, but still I want them mantle handed over to Colleen.

Also, I want cake and a pony.
posted by KaizenSoze at 3:53 AM on July 2, 2018 [4 favorites]

I can't have been the only person who caught the homage to the end scene of The Godfather, right?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:54 AM on July 2, 2018 [2 favorites]

That homage was pretty blatant, yes.
posted by Pendragon at 8:58 AM on July 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

Great season of TV. Luke, Mariah, Shades and Misty all had great arcs. There was so much depth to all their stories.

I'm really going to miss Mariah. She was so incredibly villainous. Not a scruple in her.
posted by roolya_boolya at 10:55 AM on July 2, 2018 [2 favorites]

I really enjoyed this season.

Bushmaster's capoeira improved as the season progressed; the first fight looked quarter speed but felt a lot more fluid towards the end.

Iron Fist was ... surprisingly tolerable.
posted by porpoise at 4:19 PM on July 2, 2018

I really liked the fact that Mariah wore flats the entire season. I wonder if this was the actress's decision or whoever was in charge of costumes? In most shows the villain would be teetering around on sky-high stilettos but Mariah was just as powerful and intimidating despite her short stature.
posted by JennyJupiter at 5:20 PM on July 2, 2018 [5 favorites]

Man, I was really disturbed by Luke ruthlessly snapping bones in this episode. Yeah, they're Italian mob goons and everything, but it just felt baaaaad. I was way more upset by this than when he lost his cool with Cockroach earlier in the season. And then he's busting up a guy's fingers because he wants to clearly enunciate? Holy shit! This is the hero I'm supposed to be rooting for?

It was just so suddenly off. There has been a lot of graphic violence on this show—shootings, stabbings, beheadings, and so on...but none of that was perpetrated BY LUKE. Up until that point the show mostly had kung-fu-movie rules for when people got hurt—fists and blunt weapons couldn't kill you—even if it's from a guy who can toss around Volkswagens. The moment a blade or a gun shows up you're toast. But the good-guy superheroes aren't the ones inflicting grievous bodily harm.

For me, the tonal shift was like if John Wick popped in to guest star with Captain Planet and the Planeteers. I guess they're setting up Power Man, crime boss and demon chiropractor.
posted by ssmith at 6:22 PM on July 2, 2018 [3 favorites]

My ranking of the Netflix Marvel shows:

1: Jessica Jones season 1
2: The Punisher season 1
3: Daredevil season 1
4: Luke Cage season 2
5: Jessica Jones season 2
6: Daredevil season 2
7: Luke Cage season 1
8: The Defenders
9: Iron Fist
posted by Pendragon at 7:15 AM on July 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed this season, including Iron Fist’s addition. Everybody’s hair and makeup was perfect.

What was up with the meta-conversations? At one point Misty says Luke is the sidekick and he responds “It’s my show.” And then later he is talking with his father and Luke replies with “you know I’m an Executive Producer right?”
posted by P.o.B. at 12:18 PM on July 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

Cornell's keyboard goes to Tilda, but Harlem's Paradise goes to Luke.

Tilda looks mad about this, but given that she hated her mother and straight out murdered her, I think expecting a fat inheritance is a bit much.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 12:00 AM on July 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

What was up with the meta-conversations?

They were weird and I chose to ignore them. I wonder if it's a nod to something from the comics?
posted by roolya_boolya at 3:57 AM on July 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

This is the hero I'm supposed to be rooting for?

It was just so suddenly off. There has been a lot of graphic violence on this show—shootings, stabbings, beheadings, and so on...but none of that was perpetrated BY LUKE.

This was one of the aspects I found so satisfying about his arc this season. He became a real character struggling with the implications of his power, his desire to do good and the way that plays out in an imperfect world. I'm fascinated to watch him come to terms with the compromises he is making in Season 3.
posted by roolya_boolya at 4:04 AM on July 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

There has been a lot of graphic violence on this show—shootings, stabbings, beheadings, and so on...but none of that was perpetrated BY LUKE.

Well, aside from the guy he nearly beat to death at the front end of the season.

I'm just thinking--You know those guys Luke put down with a simple slap to the head? Realistically, they'd have concussions, possibly fractured skulls. I mean before he was usually tossing people around, but in a way, the brutality of the endgame fights seems more honesty about what Luke's been doing to people.
posted by happyroach at 10:09 AM on July 5, 2018

About a minute or two before they did the Godfather shot, I *literally* said to my wife, "They could totally end this with the bit at the end of the Godfather with someone kissing Luke's ring..." and then they did.

Also, Shades spent some of the early part of this season being very Lady MacBeth as far as encouraging Mariah's ambitions, I thought, and so having him washing his hands added to that.
posted by rmd1023 at 1:18 PM on July 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

The reference to November 9th made me sad. Apparently the Netflix Marvel universe has the same US president as the real universe.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 4:39 PM on July 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

I thought the point was before November 11th. November 10th works better, but November 9th makes the same point.

I think the hot news on Metafilter on November 10th 2001 was a Japanese rabbit with pancakes on its head.
posted by Grangousier at 3:35 AM on July 15, 2018

September 10th, 2001. Nevar forget!
posted by homunculus at 6:01 AM on July 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

The only thing which I didn't like in this season was how they handled Claire's and Luke's relationship. Other than that, I really liked it. I even liked Danny this time. And Mustafa Shakir was great. I look forward to watching his future projects.
posted by homunculus at 4:22 PM on July 16, 2018

Here's a short film which Mustafa Shakir did in 2012: RECORD/PLAY.
posted by homunculus at 4:26 PM on July 16, 2018

Tilda's hair and outfit at the end: wow. Wow, wow, wow.

I don't buy Luke making the same mistake as Mariah and thinking he can rule Harlem from the second floor of the Paradise. He has to be falliable in some way other than bodily harm, of course, but this is like he hasn't learned anything. I don't think his head would've gotten that big already.

Poor Alex. Maybe he knew, but he didn't deserve that. Poor D.W., too. And poor Claire, eventually.
posted by minsies at 5:51 PM on July 16, 2018

I really liked the fact that Mariah wore flats the entire season.

this is something that really pleased me all season. Mariah is a middle-aged woman with serious power and money. she does not need to teeter around on stilettos to get that point across. it gave the character a realism that I thought was very grounding.

Tilda's hair and outfit at the end

magnificent yeah. everything about her hair and outfit was incredible. she looked like the Queen of Wakanda or something.
posted by supermedusa at 12:53 PM on August 9, 2018

Carbone asked Luke out for coffee.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:29 PM on August 12, 2018

‘Luke Cage’ Canceled by Netflix
posted by Pendragon at 6:58 AM on October 20, 2018

Thanks for the heads up, Pendragon. That's deeply disappointing. :(
posted by mordax at 1:05 AM on October 21, 2018

They had some good ideas and character arcs, especially Mariah and Shades, and lots of good acting, but not nearly enough to fill 13 episodes. The pacing really dragged and there was way too much obvious filler (so many extended flashbacks to things we just saw an hour or two ago). And that may be why there was so much bad writing. The writing got pretty bad.

If they really had to fill that many episodes, they needed a much beefier subplot (or two) for Misty, another major villain, and probably at least one additional new character with a substantial story. And they needed to give Claire a bigger role than last season, not shuffle her off to the side.

But most of all, I agree with that Vice article. Luke is too boring, and just barely the protagonist. If they had a good "Luke Cage: Hero or Kingpin?" story, they needed to tell it this season, not spend a whole season trying to set it up for next time.

The end of Mariah's story was pretty good. (And Woodard was fantastic all the way to the end.) Killed by her daughter's kiss is a pretty great ending and dying in Luke's arms could have been pretty good too (I'm glad they didn't try to milk that for making everyone thing Luke as the killer). But again the pacing was too slow and the dialogue in that last scene between Luke and Mariah was pretty bad.

I liked these characters and would have loved to see another stronger season of the show, but I can't say I'm surprised it didn't get renewed after this one.

I'm glad to see Danny Johnson will get to keep doing some shady lawyering in Daredevil (although I gotta admit he makes me miss Wesley).
posted by straight at 10:53 PM on October 26, 2018

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