Luke Cage episode three continues with the indestructible hero going after Cottonmouth through the side door versus head-on. “Who’s Gonna Take the Weight?” sees Cornell challenged by Domingo Colon, Chico is guilted into helping Cage take down Cottonmouth and dies as a result and Detective Scarfe turns out to be bent.
Misty’s partner is in Cottonmouth’s pocket and he kills Chico, with his tie, as the lad tries to give evidence to the detective. Mariah and Cornell are having issues because of Cage’s taking down several stash houses that belong to Cottonmouth.
Cornell believes it is Domingo acting out but the Latino heads into the lion’s den and throws down a challenge. Cottonmouth tells his men that Domingo has declared war.
Misty makes the connection between Cage, the stash houses and Mariah’s Crispus Attucks building being hit by the man in the hoodie. The detective places herself at the scene of the crime, in her mind, and realizes that Luke hit Cottonmouth’s “bank.”
Scarfe interrupts Mariah and Cornell’s argument to tell them that Chico is dead and that Luke Cage is the man who stole over $7 million.
The bought cop delivers Chico’s dead body to be disposed of like Tone’s corpse at the funeral home. After the assault on Mariah’s building Cage gives the money to Fish and tells him to sort out the barbershop.
Luke has worked up an appetite and he goes to Connie Lin’s restaurant to eat. He gives her a lot of money to “make things right.” Cottonmouth shoots a rocket through the eatery’s window. Luke spies the incoming explosive and lurches toward Lin.
The establishment explodes into flames as the camera pulls back for a long shot of the destruction.
This episode was full of music accompanied action. Cage hits the stash houses to Charles Bradley‘s “Ain’t It A Sin.” Bradley is singing at Cornell’s club so the gangster is listening to the song at the same time that Luke is attacking.
Cage walks right through Mariah’s front door, the only way in, as he listens to “Bring da Ruckus” by Wu-Tang Clan. The entire scene in the Crispus Attucks building is almost beautiful.
As action scenes go, the choreography is practically balletic in nature. Shot is slow motion, perhaps slowed down by a few frames per shot, Cage lays waste to the place but kills no one.
The explosive ending should signal a key change in the series. Cornell has upped the ante here not realizing that he could have sent in a nuclear warhead and it would have had the same affect.
While it was shocking to see Scarfe kill Chico it was not too surprising to see that he was playing for the other team. Whaley gives good bad guy so it made sense that his character would be a turncoat.
It will be interesting to see how long it takes Misty to realize that her partner is on Cottonmouth’s payroll.
Detective Knight gets the best line of the episode when she muses about getting “I ain’t see sh*t” trademarked.
Luke Cage continues to bring a deeply textured reality to the Marvel universe. Each episode is rich and the hues are both dark and intense. Mike Colter owns each scene he is in, this superhero is multilayered and his character’s smile when finding the money is almost childlike in its simplicity.
The Netflix series is available to stream all in one go. But, like other Netflix originals on offer, deserves to be parceled out by episode. There is far too much action to be used up all at once here.
- Mike Colter – Luke Cage
- Mahershala Ali – Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes
- Simone Missick – Missy Knight
- Alfre Woodard – Mariah Dillard
- Theo Rossi – Shades Alvarez
- Frank Whaley – Rafael Scarfe
- Cassandra Freeman – Partrica Wilson
- Frankie Faison – Henry “Pop” Hunter
- Rob Morgan – Turk Barrett
- Jacob Vargas – Domingo Vargas
- Ron Cephas Jones – Bobby Fish
- Jade Wu – Connie Lin