Luke Cage Season 2 Episode 4 Review: I Get Physical

Shades and Mariah are the stand out storyline of Luke Cage season 2 episode 4. Spoilers ahead in our review...

This article comes from Den of Geek UK.

This review contains spoilers.

Luke Cage Season 2, Episode 4

You have to hand it to Netflix: having just established that Luke is powered up, he starts this episode by having his behind severely handed to him. They are nothing if not predictable. Personally, I like that Luke can’t just rely on his strength to win a fight (dude should really learn some Kung Fu) but part of me is wondering what he’d have done if he had met Bushmaster before he got a power-up. Died instantly, we must assume.

I am finding the live-streaming Luke Cage stuff a little contrived at this point. I can accept that it would be happening. I’m not sure I can accept that there’d be a whole industry in tracking him down and intruding on his every move. Never mind being logistically unfeasible, it seems like it’d be illegal.

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Again, Misty is letting Luke Cage tag along against the better judgement of anyone with two brain cells to rub together, though as soon as they find a corpse she decides Luke can’t just sneak off because that would be illegal. I’m not sure I get her. At least Claire has exercised some decent judgement and left Luke on his own, disappearing to justify her partial-season contract. Sorry, I mean, to go and see her mother in Havana.

As before, it’s Shades and Mariah that’s really interesting me. Shades is right to be suspicious that their money exists only on paper, not as paper, and I’d bet that entire imaginary fortune that Piranha’s not going to get them the cash they need. Bushmaster confronting Mariah and their conversation about the past of Harlem’s Paradise and the rum was, for me, the best scene of the series yet. It’s kind of a problem when all of your villains have more interesting arcs and motivations than the hero, right?

Still, Luke meeting Tilda was an interesting scene, though I can’t help wondering if that concoction he drank wasn’t part of some attempt to weaken him. Tilda is definitely hard to read. Is she good? Is she evil? Do I actually care? All questions I cannot answer. Clearly she’s trying to figure out what Bushmaster did with the stuff he bought off her… but why?

The episode also ended with multiple plot complications being chucked into the mix (Misty’s arm, Cage’s lawsuit) but there was at least one genuine didn’t-see-that-coming twist, as Commanche is revealed to be working with the NYPD. Between that and the hostess who’s also a mole, you have to wonder how this is going to work out for everyone. At least Luke knows that none of his friends are moles because now that Bobby has also left town, he hasn’t got any left at this point.

I do just want to point out that I like how much they’re still talking about Pop, though. Too often in TV shows someone dies and then everyone’s over it in a matter of days, real time. There’s a surprisingly genuine sense of warmth and affection in these guys still wondering what Pop would think even though he’s been gone for months, in-universe. Because grief doesn’t just disappear. As someone who has often criticised the casual treatment of mortality in these Netflix shows, I thought I should praise it when they’re getting it extremely right.

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.

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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.