This article comes from Den of Geek UK.
This Luke Cage review contains spoilers.
Luke Cage Season 2, Episode 7
You know, it’s difficult to get invested in Netflix’s cliffhangers sometimes. Sure, the idea is to end each episode on something that makes you go “Oh man, I need to see what happens next!” but when – as in this case – the thing that “happens next” is “Luke’s paralysis wears off at zero cost to him” it’s really tough to be excited. Of course Luke wasn’t going to die, but maybe there was a way of dealing with that cliffhanger that was slightly more clever then “…and then it wasn’t a problem.”
Similarly, this episode’s first major development – the reveal that Piranha had bolted – also made me feel like we just missed a scene, especially since the next time we see him he’s hanging out with the Stylers. That’s a pretty major piece of plot progression that occurred offscreen and between episodes. Unless there’s a good reason for keeping it ambiguous (I’m not ruling out Luke’s Dad as a bad guy just yet) then this was a super-frustrating approach.
Still, the rest of the episode made up for it. We have to talk about Shades and Comanche’s final scene together, because that was exactly the kind of pay off I was waiting for. I think we all spent that scene going “surely there’s no way Shades is buying this…” so the moment it became clear he wasn’t? Absolute gold. I demand a Shades series now.
That said… who would be left to co-star in it, because once again Marvel-Netflix is essentially killing off the entire supporting cast. The mortality rate of MCU New York must be absolutely ridiculous. No fewer than three recurring cast members died in this episode. Who’s even left at this point?
I have to admit, of those deaths I was probably saddest to see Piranha go, although I found his ironic death absolutely hilarious because I was just imagining Bushmaster saying to his men “wait, wait, I have an idea. Can anyone source me some Piranhas?”
The plot with Tilda and Mariah suddenly took a turn for the interesting, though. I loved seeing Mariah lose everything while she was on the verge of getting out of crime, and as I always suspected Shades confirmed that he doesn’t want out, so that’s that relationship doomed I guess. The question of who Tilda’s “real” father is also came up, and it could be any number of people. If I had to stick a pin in someone at this point, it’d be Quincy McIver. She’s either a McIver or a Stokes, put it that way.
Misty finally cutting loose with her Robocop arm was also a cool moment, and I really enjoyed the meta-joke “It’s my show.” Not least because I was literally shouting “You’re his sidekick because it’s his show” at the TV. Deadpool would’ve been proud of that fourth-wall break.
Still, we’ve hit the halfway point so it makes sense that the status quo would be upended, because the Netflix shows are nothing if not structurally predictable (let’s watch out for the all-flashback story circa episode ten). Luke working for Mariah could be interesting, and Bushmaster taking over Harlem’s Paradise is a great piece of powerplay. I’m most invested in what happens to Shades now that everyone’s essentially abandoned or betrayed him (or are clearly about to) and while I still don’t care about Luke’s issues with his father, at least they’ve gone some way to making it feel like an actually functioning relationship.
As much as I’ve been enjoying this show, I am extremely wary of the fact that Season one plunged off a cliff around this point in its run time. Please let the lessons have been learned…