Luke Cage: You Know My Steez
October 2, 2016 12:03 PM - Season 1, Episode 13 - Subscribe

With all of Harlem bearing witness, Luke takes on the fight of his life in hopes of emerging as the defender his city needs. (Season finale)

Luke: Sometimes backwards... to move forward. Always.


*In flashback, we see young Willis training young Carl for a boxing match.
In the present:
*Cage and Stryker fight, from the barber shop, to upstairs, to the street. With the neighborhood cheering him on, Cage wins.
*Mariah reveals Luke's identity to the press.
*Misty arrests Mariah, she and Ridley interrogate her, but in the meantime Shades uses Misty's phone that he stole from the barber shop floor to lure Candace from Soledad's apartment to murder her, and Mariah walks.
*Marshals arrive to enforce the warrant on Carl Lucas.
*Luke and Claire kiss.
*Sweet Christmas #5.
*Book talk with the marshals: Chester Himes vs Michael Connelly
*Closing montage: Misty views Candace at the morgue, Claire takes a flyer stub for martial arts lessons, Fish finds the Carl Lucas file under the mess at the barber shop, Mariah replaces Cornell's crowned-Biggie photo with artwork featuring two crowns and kisses Shades, Dr. Burstein takes over Stryker's treatment, Luke being driven away from the city by the marshals.
posted by oh yeah! (55 comments total)
 
The Marvel Easter Eggs in Luke Cage.

This was the flyer that Claire was checking out.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 12:19 PM on October 2, 2016


So overall I very much enjoyed the show very much. Despite my earlier comment, the latter half of the season was full of Bechdel breaking moments AND they played out with women of colour.

I liked the ending and how it didn't tie everything up in a bow although I did feel the last three episodes could have been condensed into two without losing anything significant.

It was a little disappointing to see Candice get shot. Although getting her testimony off the table was plot necessary there are other ways that could have been taken out of the picture (like she could have decided not to trust the ability of the cops to keep her safe and taken herself and her 50k off into the sunset).

Stryker/Diamondback was also a bit of a disappointment to me. Although he had some great lines of dialogue at some points he just didn't really light up as a villain for me in the way that the villains in JJ and DD did and even as Mariah, Cottonmouth and Shades did in this show. I was, however, very happy to see Shades live to fight another day, despite the Candice shooting...

But hey, what a great show overall. And the music was really standout. I've had the official Spotify playlist spinning for the whole afternoon.
posted by roolya_boolya at 1:06 PM on October 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


Oh yeah, and Turk is still stuck in that dumpster!
posted by roolya_boolya at 1:07 PM on October 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


wow....I am just getting into this series.....

binge watching this weekend...maybe I will be up to this ep by monday PM!

I really like what I have seen so far. This is a real departure from other series like this.
posted by lampshade at 2:18 PM on October 2, 2016


I enjoyed this a lot, along with the other Netflix Marvel series.

I do wonder if 10 episode runs wouldn't provide a bit tighter plotting and pacing--with this one along with Jessica Jones and both seasons of Daredevil the second halves have felt a little stretched out, with really extended climaxes. (Plus it might speed up the season/series release schedules?)
posted by Pryde at 3:53 PM on October 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


First half of the season was great but the second half was ... just bad ? I found Cottonmouth a much more compelling vilain than Diamondback.
posted by Pendragon at 4:27 PM on October 2, 2016 [12 favorites]


I'm kind of frustrated that Misty—who is supposed to be a great detective—wasn't able to close any cases all season.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 4:42 PM on October 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Overall, loved this series. I agree that Diamondback was the least interesting of the antagonists; I was kinda disappointed to see Dr. Burstein in his hospital room in the end, but I guess with the character being comics canon, they had to make his ending open-ended.

I do wonder if 10 episode runs wouldn't provide a bit tighter plotting and pacing--with this one along with Jessica Jones and both seasons of Daredevil the second halves have felt a little stretched out, with really extended climaxes.

I'd be worried that if they tightened up for plot/pacing they'd lose too much of the slower atmosphere/character stuff. If the price of getting so many great barber shop scenes was a bunch of too-long Stryker scenes, I'm good with the bloat.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:39 PM on October 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


His name is Carl Lucas, not Marc Lucas. /pedant
posted by domo at 8:55 AM on October 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Noooooo, how did I do that? Mods, can someone do a find/replace of Marc with Carl in the 'more inside?'
posted by oh yeah! at 9:17 AM on October 3, 2016


[Fixed!]
posted by cortex at 9:18 AM on October 3, 2016


Looking back, I really liked the early season characterization of Mariah and almost wish she didn't go full villain. It was kind of the Kingpin play, saving the community through criminal means, but where Fisk was actively involved in the crime, Mariah held tightly to her denial and had Cottonmouth to keep her one step removed, and there was a really interesting internal struggle in that. Shades of early Walter White. Of course a character like that has to crack one way or another eventually, I just kind of wish they'd held off a little longer and didn't have her fit so comfortably into the villain role. I'm hoping she goes back into that self delusion next season with Shades in Cottonmouth's place.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:07 PM on October 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


I know it's all MCU stuff, but why would the government want Luke Cage/Carl Lucas back in Seagate? He could plausibly expose the experiments that were happening there and the Rackham racket. It doesn't seem like a smart move from the feds.

Other than that, I know the Sokovia Accords aren't in effect yet, but you know I figure if he's being kept in government hands someone would eventually get a hold of him. That kinda bugged me.
posted by lizarrd at 4:28 AM on October 4, 2016


I'd be worried that if they tightened up for plot/pacing they'd lose too much of the slower atmosphere/character stuff. If the price of getting so many great barber shop scenes was a bunch of too-long Stryker scenes, I'm good with the bloat.


Yeah, what really seemed to be missing from the back end of the season was the nice character conversations that peppered the first half, at the barber shop or just Knight and Scarfe shooting the shit. More of that, less of the Stryker speechifying.

Stryker didn't work for me at all in the second half - he would have worked better if we had heard Luke talk about him at all before he showed up, or if he was attached to Reva somehow (which, as much as I loved that reveal, it felt like it was dropped super quickly?). There also wasn't really a dual identity for him to go along with his dual name, which every other character seems to have going for him. Shades is all street - we know little to nothing of his internal motivations, and the only people who call him Hernan are the police. Mariah refuses to acknowledge the 'details', no matter how involved she is, so she's going in the opposite direction (though I wonder if she'll be known as Black Mariah later). Luke Cage vs. Carl Lucas is an obvious one, and there's a difference between the thuggish reputation of Cottonmouth vs. Cornell Stoakes veneer of a legitimate reputation (which nobody buys). There's also the more casual Misty vs. the professional Mercedes, and Pop being both fatherly and brutal.

But there really isn't much of a difference between Diamondback and Stryker. Diamondback wants to be known just as Diamondback, but who he is (as a Stryker, and not a Lucas), is his entire fuzzy motivation. And he doesn't modulate how he acts around people depending on whether they know him as Stryker or Diamondback - he's just batshit crazy all the time. It was just a weirdly flat character given the rest of the villains (and other characters around).

I still liked the series, but by the end I was missing the characters we saw a lot more in the first half.
posted by dinty_moore at 11:04 AM on October 4, 2016 [8 favorites]


Diamondback is mostly comic book villain. This is a little jarring because the MCU in general (and maybe more specifically the Netflix series) does a prety job in general of making a comic book universe seem more three-dimensional, populated with characters whose motivations, decisions, and conflicts look recognizable and plausible. Even when despicable.

Stryker seems to be a thin layer of family-of-origin-issues plus some unknown (but no doubt sucky) grind through the criminal justice system wrapped around a generic core of chaotic evil. I actually would have liked to see more of the grappling with how the criminal justice system can really mess people up, and it would have worked as a mirror image of Carl. I think that's a failure of the show, but not gonna be too hurt about it when there are so many successes.

I'm kind of frustrated that Misty—who is supposed to be a great detective—wasn't able to close any cases all season.

Me too. But I also think that Ridley's admonishment turns out to be a compelling counterpoint to Luke's "you needed someone outside the system." Despite being unquestionably a good cop, she did kindof mess up. She let her anger get the better of her at several points, and she tried end-running around the system when it might have been more reliable to use it.

I write that recognizing it's a little flimsy. The narrative device that let Shades catch Candice is arbitrary. It could have as easily been another corrupt cop as losing a phone. Candice had to die if keeping Mariah out of jail was a narrative priority. But I'll give a little salute to the writer who was willing to at least give lip service to the idea that sometimes trusting the system is a better choice.
posted by wildblueyonder at 12:31 PM on October 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


I do appreciate that this is a series that heavily features police and also unequivocally is against police brutality and 'roughing up the suspects'. You'd think that wouldn't be an accomplishment, and yet...
posted by dinty_moore at 3:05 PM on October 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


I kinda didn't get Dr. Burstein; sure, disgraced scientist, yadda yadda - but why work with a new villain, and then stick by him after the villain's defeat?

Money? Chance to do research? Surely, there must be other genetically compatible subjects out there.

Also - the glowing backpack? Is that a reference to something? And why didn't it get destroyed after he got thrown around/Luke targeting to destroy the magic backpack?
posted by porpoise at 6:32 PM on October 4, 2016


Polished this off on the weekend. I liked it less than Jessica Jones, but more than the parts of Daredevil S2 that didn't have Punisher in them. A few episodes were pretty flat and uninteresting, and I would have liked more punchy-punchy, but then I am basically a philistine.
posted by turbid dahlia at 9:24 PM on October 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


I assumed the magic backpack was Hammer's knockoff of an arc reactor. Seemed odd that they had a detailed backstory for the magic bullets, but the suit (and punching glove) seemed to come out of nowhere.

On that topic, I can't be the first person to think that Hammer Industries is the same as ACME from the roadrunner cartoons can I? We even got the scene of DiamondBack uncrating it.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 9:03 PM on October 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


That reminds me, Mariah and Diamondback's plan was to sell Hammer bullets to the cops... why wouldn't the cops just buy from Hammer?
posted by jason_steakums at 9:18 PM on October 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


I thought the main point of the glowing backpack was that it was in the shape of a diamond, and it was placed on his back.

I agree with the above comments about Diamondback being a much weaker character than Cottonmouth overall. Partly that's just because the show spent a lot of time early on fleshing out the back-story of the Stokes, and almost no time on the early lives of Carl Lucas and Willis Stryker. I was sort of expecting to see the murder that sends Lucas to prison to be flashed back to, or at least the events leading up to it. That would have been an excellent chance to characterize Stryker a little more.

Overall I thought this was a good show, although it went rather off the rails for me around episode 10 - specifically, the scene where Maria is able to convince an angry Harlem crowd that the proper response to the police beating up a black teenager is to give them more powerful weapons so that they can fight Luke Cage.
posted by whir at 10:01 PM on October 5, 2016 [10 favorites]


Why can't they charge Mariah with lying to police? She stuck to her story about Luke killing Cottonmouth for a long time.
posted by skycrashesdown at 7:24 AM on October 6, 2016


I really dug this series but think it could have benefited from more special effects transitions like when we see Domingo die in front of Cage then the frame becomes police photos of his corpse. It reminded me of Ang Lee's Hulk treatments and helped nail the conceit that it's a comic, after all. So much great stuff throughout that it's easy to take it seriously in too procedural a fashion to really enjoy the social commentary and wish fulfillment aspects that gave this one life.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:02 PM on October 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Why can't they charge Mariah with lying to police? She stuck to her story about Luke killing Cottonmouth for a long time.

I guess she could be charged with obstruction of justice and/or filing a false police report, but she would just double down on claiming she was in fear for her life, and the DA would probably know that it would be a pyrrhic victory. Even if they succeeded in getting a conviction, she wouldn't do serious jail time, and could use all her political savvy and criminal connections to wreck said DA's career. Unless they have a rock solid case against her for life-sentence-worthy crimes, it would be pointless. (Also, the show needs her to be free to be a villain in future Netflix Marvel shows.)

Hee - Hello, Tailor tumblr - i finished Luke Cage and can i just say that SHADES ALVAREZ IS LADY MACBETH. (that's the whole post, but here's her Daily Dot review of the pilot too)
posted by oh yeah! at 5:38 PM on October 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


There was so much to love about this series -- the characters, the music, the sense of Harlem as a place... Still, like DD season 2, I felt let down by the pivot in the second half and particularly the finale. I guess I was hoping Cage would ride off into the sunset, but not get carted back to Georgia.

But, again, one of the themes in the series is that you can't escape who you are. Cottonmouth couldn't, Mariah couldn't. Pop's past catches up with him. Even Stryker has a kind of an arc in the series if you assume that before he knew that his half-brother was not only alive but had super powers he was a ruthless but sane weapons dealer. He can't escape his past and it turns him into Harlem's Ahab. So, it fits that Luke would not be able to run away from Carl forever.

Also, I hope that when Claire said she knew a great lawyer that she was talking about Foggy because from what we saw of Matt in the courtroom he was a trainwreck.
posted by Jugwine at 8:13 AM on October 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


Diamondback is mostly comic book villain.

yes, agreed, which was also my problem with wilson fisk in daredevil. they're both so operatically overdramatic and histrionic and ridiculous that it's hard to feel any sense of menace, even when they're just shooting people in the face like it's nbd.

as for the last ep specifically i got so mad when he was like I DON'T NEED A LAWYER I'M INNOCENT bc jesus fucking christ, talk about the most wrong message ever. talk about the lies cops tell you to deny you your rights. aahh im quivering with rage.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:52 PM on October 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


as for the last ep specifically i got so mad when he was like I DON'T NEED A LAWYER I'M INNOCENT bc jesus fucking christ, talk about the most wrong message ever. talk about the lies cops tell you to deny you your rights. aahh im quivering with rage.

Yeah that's especially weird coming from someone who was already wrongfully convicted once.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:57 PM on October 10, 2016 [8 favorites]


Especially considering the scene with Shades where he makes a joke about "law-yer."
posted by Burhanistan at 2:05 PM on October 10, 2016 [2 favorites]




where does diamondback get off just killing people? that's a tonal change in the plot, and the characters talk about it. it was so well foregrounded in the cottonmouth character, and how the show really takes its time to show emotional and physical consequences of violence, and lets us live in that painful space--probably the most important work the show is doing.

like, just 20 seconds, show diamondback dealing with some really messed up hydra agent (if you had the CG budget, in some super tech'd out bunker, like that warehouse scene, you could show a bunch of AIM dudes geared up like thugs and foreshadow the diamondback suit), to show that hydra could give two shits about Harlem's dead, but lets this dude run wild because he makes money for them and they are busy killing peeps all over the world. that that is their game, weapons trade and death --mostly on the African continent, like hint at (totally real) resource extraction conflicts in Niger and Congo.

You could work into how Diamondback is hooked into global anti-blackness and wealth extraction, how Africa is a continent of creditor nations whose money gets washed in Delaware and Panama and the Caymans.

Wasn't serpent society mobbed up with Hydra in the comics?

you could even tie Hydra into the global shadow economy, like, they could meet in Delaware to wash Doom's money or Trump's money, throw TPP or shadow banking in there
posted by eustatic at 8:56 PM on October 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


I was kinda disappointed to see Dr. Burstein in his hospital room in the end, but I guess with the character being comics canon, they had to make his ending open-ended.

But since they made a big deal about how The Process only worked for Luke because he happened to have the right genetic makeup, it does make since that Burstein would take an interest in his half brother. Although I don't know how he would know Diamondback is related to Luke. Did they say something about it publically during the fight?
posted by straight at 10:27 PM on October 14, 2016


I assumed the magic backpack was Hammer's knockoff of an arc reactor. Seemed odd that they had a detailed backstory for the magic bullets, but the suit (and punching glove) seemed to come out of nowhere.

They showed so many close-ups of the thing, I thought sure Luke was eventually gonna get smart and rip the power pack off his back. But then after the fight he talked like maybe the suit was absorbing the power from Luke's blows to give Diamondback strength? And that was why he could defeat him after submitting to a bunch of punches without hitting back? They didn't make it very clear what was going on, and the flashbacks to Luke boxing as a kid sure didn't help or add much.
posted by straight at 10:30 PM on October 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


Having raved about Claire, Misty, Mariah, Cottonmouth, and Shades, I gotta also say that Mike Colter makes an incredible Luke Cage. Might be the best superhero casting since Chris Evans as Captain America.
posted by straight at 12:24 AM on October 15, 2016 [9 favorites]


That ending could hardly have been more Empire Strikes Back if Misty had lost the arm and Luke Cage has been encased in carbonite. That was kinda bravely downbeat.

I'm a little confused how they're going to wrap this up quickly enough for Cage to be in the Defenders. That's coming out before Luke Cage season 2, right?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:22 AM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Defenders is after Iron Fist, and both are in 2017, last I heard.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:54 PM on October 17, 2016


While I'm here, I just wanna say that Defenders seems kind of lame. It's basically four people who can punch good. Happily the three characters we've spent time with so far, in Netflix-land, have skills beyond that, and when it comes down to it Avengers are just folk who punch good too, but still.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:56 PM on October 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm a little confused how they're going to wrap this up quickly enough for Cage to be in the Defenders.

I'd guess that the first act of Defenders involves Claire getting that evidence Bobby found to Matt Murdock who will lawyer Carl Lucas out of prison.
posted by straight at 1:46 AM on October 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


That's a solid plan. Though I can't be the only one whose immediate reaction to Claire's "I know a good lawyer" plan was , "Foggy!" Murdock is usually too head-up-his-ass in hero work/personal drama to be much of an attorney.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:09 AM on October 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


WHY IS NO ONE ELSE FREAKING OUT OVER THE SHADES/MARIAH KISS BECAUSE I AM
posted by FirstMateKate at 6:50 AM on October 21, 2016 [5 favorites]


Heh, I think the kiss was pretty well telegraphed given Shade's fawning and encouragement.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:51 AM on October 21, 2016


Heh, I think the kiss was pretty well telegraphed given Shade's fawning and encouragement.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:51 AM on October 21 [+] [!]


Not all fawning is sexual or romantic and I totally don't think it should have happened.
posted by FirstMateKate at 12:19 PM on October 21, 2016 [4 favorites]


Though his little proud-of-himself side grin he did after the kiss did make me go "aww" for what it's worth. Shades is the villain i love to hate, I'm very glad there will be more of him.
posted by FirstMateKate at 12:24 PM on October 21, 2016 [3 favorites]


Well, obviously the writers set it up and knocked it down.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:24 PM on October 21, 2016


Just finished the series last night. I feel the need to second (third? etc) that there's something about the MCU show seasons and pacing. All of them have had great openings, solid middles, and then 1-2 episodes of bloat at the end. By the time I got to Episode 13 of Luke Cage, I was actively annoyed at the show for dragging it out.

Also, the final fight between Cage and Diamondback was silly as shit. I get that this is Marvel, so the concept of concussions and internal injuries is magically hand-waved away by any sufficiently tough exterior (see: Iron Man), but seriously: come on. Luke Cage has a punch so hard he can bust through solid concrete walls. Diamondback is wearing an open-faced helmet. Magi-tech Hammer Armor can't protect him from one hard punch to the jaw, and yet it never occurs to Luke to even try.

Overall, a mixed ending. I liked the series as a whole, but Diamondback was way too moustache-twirling for my liking. I also wasn't thrilled at them turning Mariah into some sort of teflon politician / twelfth-dimensional-chess player -- there's something supremely unsatisfying about a villain who just magically has the right connections at the right moment (or a perfect ability to predict outcomes of all events) to undo any forward movement of the plot.

To top it off, the Shades / Mariah kiss was weird as hell.
posted by tocts at 6:06 AM on October 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Luke Cage has a punch so hard he can bust through solid concrete walls. Diamondback is wearing an open-faced helmet. Magi-tech Hammer Armor can't protect him from one hard punch to the jaw, and yet it never occurs to Luke to even try.

And for that matter why didn't he just rip the diamond power thing off of DB's back? yeah, dumb fight scene.

I'm glad this show ended up being just as much about Misty and almost as much about Claire considering how long they drug out the plot. Overall I enjoyed it more than DD season 2, slightly less than JJ or DD1, brought down by the drop-off from Cottonmouth to DB.
posted by OHenryPacey at 12:13 PM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I get that this is Marvel, so the concept of concussions and internal injuries is magically hand-waved away by any sufficiently tough exterior (see: Iron Man), but seriously: come on. Luke Cage has a punch so hard he can bust through solid concrete walls. Diamondback is wearing an open-faced helmet.

It's also common in comic books for punches to be wildly inconsistent in how much damage they do. There's a whole bunch of characters who can be killed or seriously wounded by a bullet, but can survive a punch from characters like Hulk, Thing, Namor (or equally strong villains who wouldn't pull their punches) who routinely demolish tanks and buildings with their fists.
posted by straight at 2:50 PM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


It wouldn't be that obnoxious if they were just handwaving away concussions because reasons (uhh Luke's powers prevent it and Diamondback's suit projected a force field that dissipated the force of the punches, sure, why not), but they actually used internal injuries as a plot point in Jessica Jones when Luke took a shotgun blast that caused brain injuries even though his skin wasn't broken. That building explosion should have turned him into a bulletproof soup can in light of the JJ stuff.

Really though I wish they just gave Diamondback a full face mask to explain away "why not punch his dumb face" because the helmet was the worst part of that costume, I think it was supposed to echo the boxing headgear from their youth but the visor was real cheesy.
posted by jason_steakums at 3:56 PM on October 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


The whole outfit was cheesy. They tried to have Bobby Fish hang a lampshade on it, but for me it did not work. Diamondback showed up to fight a superhuman wearing what looked like work coveralls and a hockey visor. Does Hammer Tech run a line of sporting goods stores?

If the issue was budget, maybe drop it to 10 episode seasons and have the money left over for better costumes and props.
posted by tocts at 5:04 PM on October 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Just finished watching the series - it was great. So many great women characters - who almost uniformly had more depth than the men. My favourite moments were Mariah killing Cornell, and the police seargent telling Misty that by not going by the book she let Mariah go free. Both tied in so well with the story of the characters, and both were so devastating.

As great as Mike Colter was, Luke Cage was actually pretty uninteresting (Just like his brother I guess) - I know the corny dialog is joked about, but it doesn't make him fun to watch. We are going to miss Cornell, who just was amazing - and while Shades is cool his character actually grew less interesting over time. Next season is going to really need some new male characters. Or let Bobby Fish and Turk take over - those guys are great. I could watch an entire episode about Bobby Fish starting a new business in the barbershop and bringing in a new crew of kids to mentor.
posted by ianhattwick at 9:41 PM on November 5, 2016


Overall, I enjoyed this series, and I absolutely respect its commitment to being just relentlessly, unapologetically black in a genre and political/cultural climate where that's unusual.

Apart from Diamondback just not working for me at all as a character, though, I feel like there were a lot of missed opportunities that kept me from enjoying this as much as I enjoyed JJ. The brief, shining moments where the show had something powerful to say about the relationship between black communities and the police were undercut by silly missteps like the totally gross "I don't need a lawyer, I'm innocent" scene and, more seriously, that the biggest conflicts this season were all "black-on-black".

I completely agree with eustatic that more hints at shadowy forces of anti-blackness working behind the scenes, pitting people against each other who should have been working in solidarity, would have given the show a clearer thesis and also fit more in line with the strands of political thought that Luke Cage was trying to weave its story from. That being said, the state of the board at the end of this season could definitely lend itself to that. Mariah and Diamondback are all still around, Dr. Borstein is clearly working for someone, and I still think there's more to Shades than we got to see as well.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:52 AM on November 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


That's a really good point, tobascodagama. As powerful as the images of Cage's bullet-ridden hoodie are, this season's stories paid very little attention to racism. And I think they could do more with that topic without compromising centering the POV on the great African-American cast. There's a lot more to racism than watching white dudes be racist.
posted by straight at 3:20 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


tobascodagama really nails the weird duality of the many ways that the show is so firmly set in a black inner-city community, but mostly ignores the external forces of racism and the like that influence that community. I would love to see them build on their successes here and expand that scope in a second season.

I liked the way the Mariah/Shades kiss played out, because it manages to be both very specific and ambiguous. She kisses him in a way that could be read as either dominant or submissive, and he doesn't really return the kiss, but gives a wry smile afterwards that she doesn't really see. I don't like the idea of them as a full-on crime couple, but I think it could be cool to ratchet up the tension by bringing in a sexual angle to their relationship.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 6:29 AM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Majority of the credit goes to my MeFi-less partner for pointing out the thing I mentioned about black-on-black conflicts driving the show.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:33 AM on December 23, 2016


After taking a break mid season I just finished with mini-binge over the last 3 days.

The last episode stands out to me as ending a series without a "happy" ending, but also without being gratuitously cynical, adding an arbitrary "twist" cliffhanger, or telegraphing despair. Mariah and Shades are temporarily ascendant, but Luke and his allies still have a lot of cards to play. If the narrative ended there I'd still be satisfied.

I loved Misty's super deductive ability, but I'm a sucker for that. All the attempts to frame Luke and confuse the police basically failed completely with her, for very logical reasons (not just "I trust Luke" or "I have a hunch.") Picking up on the bleach in the shower, or Candace not knowing the private entrance, for example. There is this element of it being ineffective in this particular world--when everyone else has either super powers or is playing power politics just knowing the truth didn't help much on its own; I wish they could have made it had an impact.

silly missteps like the totally gross "I don't need a lawyer, I'm innocent" scene

That was jarring and distracting, I spent the next five minutes after seeing that line constructing stories in my head that would put that cliche to rest. There's an Elizabeth George (I think it was) scene that has a cop thinking along the lines of Civilians think not getting a lawyer makes them look innocent, when we know it just makes them look like suckers.

Arguably him being carted off (and presumably getting Claire's lawyer) shows that's the wrong attitude but meh.
posted by mark k at 11:14 AM on December 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hey, folks - I'm just returned from vacation and dealing with jet lag, so I won't be starting to watch Luke Cage S2 tonight, and won't be able to devote my whole weekend to a binge-postathon. If anyone else wants to get the ball rolling, please go ahead -- the AV Club already has a few episode recaps up, so I assume they'll be doing the whole season over the next few days.
posted by oh yeah! at 3:43 PM on June 22, 2018


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