Luke Cage Season 2 Episode 12 Review: Can’t Front On Me

It's all going down in the penultimate episode of Luke Cage season 2.

This article comes from Den of Geek UK.

Luke Cage Season 2, Episode 12

Ooh, it all went down here. But let’s not skip straight to the end…

The episode opens by showing us that Mariah has broken the only Stokes family rule and found herself in the drugs trade. She’s lost her identity, she’s abandoned her code – she really is dangerous now. That’s the premise on which the episode proceeds to her inevitable downfall. I enjoyed seeing her assemble the mob leaders, much like we saw the Kingpin doing in the past, and with a similar offer: access to legitimacy.

Of course, Mariah putting Bushmaster’s name on the drugs of course draws him out, and he and Luke establish another alliance as they mutually bust up the lab. Bushmaster even agrees to leave everyone alive, proving that he’s not all a bad guy. Best fight scene of the season? Quite possibly. But the truce isn’t to last and eventually they’re back on opposite sides of a fight.

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I loved how much Shades enjoyed his interrogation, tempered only by his obvious shame when he saw that Comanche’s mother now knew the truth about who killed him. The fact that Shades is being offered immunity seems unlikely, but in fairness they went a long way to justify it narratively and at least have the right motivation for doing so. Shades admitting he killed Candace was a huge moment, and one that’s bound to make Misty take revenge of some kind sooner or later. Now all they need to do is get the gun that killed Candace, Anansi, and Pete Stokes, tie it to Mariah, and she’s going down for some Actual Crime.

Mariah, it turns out, has Luke’s number: She knows he won’t let her die because he really is a boy scout. I’m a little disappointed that we seem to have completely dropped the thread about Luke’s anger, because while I can’t see him actively killing Mariah, you can imagine him walking away and letting her die if he was angry enough. It still could happen, of course, but in his current state when he says “I’m not on duty anymore”, I don’t even think he believes it. I certainly didn’t.

Of course, Bushmaster comes for her, at the same time Shades is trying to get the gun for the cops. Things, of course, go badly for all involved. The whole sequence was tense and well-executed, and I’m extremely glad Shades didn’t die when I thought he might. Mariah getting arrested was suitably cathartic, but Bushmaster escaping was downright confusing. He’s got veins full of poison that threaten his body and mind, is running really going to make that much of a difference? Or is Tilda now such a miracle-worker that she can save him?

Guess we’ll find out. One episode to go.

Oh, and just before we check out, there was comics stuff in here again! Rosalie Carbone, the head of the Italian mob, first appeared in Punisher: War Zone #2 (1992). I would not be surprised if we see her again before Luke Cage season 3.