This article comes from Den of Geek UK.
This review contains spoilers.
Luke Cage Season 2, Episode 9
Well, The Immortal Iron Fist didn’t turn up in this episode but he’s sure to soon, because Luke and his buddies really wrecked that joint. This actually felt like something of a climax to the ongoing plot, although there’s clearly a lot more to come. Putting Luke, Misty and Mariah on the same side of a developing situation made for some interesting chemistry, and pretty much everyone got their moment.
The idea that Mariah could get immunity in exchange for Bushmaster is far-fetched, but by the end of the episode I think I believed that everyone involved was convinced, mainly because they knew they could get Mariah some other way. Perhaps they could use her daughter somehow. We now know the truth behind her parentage and it’s not what I would call a huge twist (was it even alluded to in season one? I forget and I have neither the time nor the inclination to ever rewatch that). It does tie into the themes of the show, however, and that’s one thing I can praise this season for unashamedly: it knows what story it’s telling.
Luke giving Bushmaster the beating he’s deserved for a while certainly made the episode feel climactic so I was a little disappointed that he then escaped and went back for yet more Nightshade. After everything Tilda has seen and learned about herself, I don’t really understand why she’s apparently happy to help Bushmaster out, unless they’re going for some kind of endgame where she and Bushmaster team up to take over Harlem as the united Stokes/McIver family again. I mean actually, it could happen. Or at least, it could if Bushmaster hadn’t been cutting people’s heads off and leaving them on sticks.
The precinct finally got interesting in this episode too, as not only does Ridley come back from last season, we also find out that Nandi is herself as bent as Scarfe. More so, even, because she’s just trying to cash out to the tune of $3 million. Lucky for Bushmaster, who turns up at the Rand hideout with Reggae music blaring just in case there was any doubt who’s turning up in the cars emblazoned with Jamaican flags. I’ll say this for the Stylers: they do not care for subtlety.
Luke and his father’s relationship also reached a head in this episode, and I actually quite enjoyed them palling about a bit at the end. I don’t think the interactions have really had the right chemistry in previous episodes, but once they started being nice to each other it became a lot more believable. I won’t miss the character if he never turns up again, but I think there’s something they can do with Luke’s actual father figure being around. Er, assuming he makes it to the end of the series. (By contrast, that scene with Mariah and Tilda was, in the words of Foreigner, Cold. As. Ice. And I completely bought it.)
Speaking of Mariah, this was kind of her episode. From manipulating everyone around her, successfully, to finally picking up a gun and being done playing by the rules, there’s no question that with Bushmaster taken down a few pegs she’s the one to look out for in Harlem now. Shades seems happy with that situation, at least, but something tells me those two aren’t yet done by a long shot…