Opening to Jidenna singing “Long Live the Chief” (a song Cage would hate because the “N” word is pretty darned prevalent in the lyrics) Luke is clearing away rubble to find that swear can and Claire Temple gets mugged. “Just to Get a Rep” offers up a little crossover time in the first part of the episode.
At the club the Rap/Hip Hop artist continues singing as Temple chases her mugger down and kicks his butt into submission. She gets back her purse as Luke finds the can and leaves. Misty Knight comes up to the bomb site and shifts a little rubble herself. She finds a photograph.
As the song ends, Cottonmouth calls a “state of the union” meeting. He learns that all he has left is about $250 thousand and his property. Stokes is broke.
Koko speaks up and talks about benign neglect and leaving Luke Cage alone. Cottonmouth shoots him. Stokes then orders Zip to hit the streets and build up the coffers. Shades reminds Cornell that he is there representing the big boss, Diamondback.
Zip and his goons go through Harlem and bleed the streets dry. It is all happening as the funeral preparations for Pop continue Cottonmouth’s minions are spreading the word about Cage. They tell all their victims that it is Luke Cage’s fault.
Bobby Fish pays out some serious money to have Dapper Dan get Luke looking “right” for the funeral. Fish reminds Luke that he is not lucky, but blessed. He also tells Cage to make “sure they always spell your name right.”
Fish also gives Luke the key to Pop’s apartment to make up for his own crib being blasted to pieces. One of Zip’s victims, Aisha Axton, goes to Luke and demands that he get her father’s stolen ring back from Zip.
Later Aisha dispenses some of her own justice by shooting the thug who helped Zip trash her shop. Before that Luke goes to make sure “Cottonmouth spells my name right.”
Cage starts collecting all the things taken by Zip’s cretins. He retrieves everything before Pop’s funeral. Misty Knight and her crooked partner Scarfe warn Luke not to attend his friend’s service.
Luke visits Cottonmouth at his club. Stokes sets his goons on Cage who tells the gangster to leave Harlem alone. He then takes out all the thugs and gets shot with not effect. Shades suddenly realizes that Cage is Carl Lucas.
Before leaving the club, Luke warns Stokes to “keep my name out your mouth.” Stokes asks “or what?” Cage says nothing as he walks out the door.
Claire is still at the diner and she talks about Daredevil and Luke. She explains that she wants to help people with “abilities.” This allows not only a Daredevil crossover of sorts but it also ties in with Claire Temple’s world in Marvel full stop.
Scarfe’s nefarious activities for Cottonmouth have been observed. The captain warns Misty to steer clear of her partner. Later it is revealed that the captain’s right hand man, the L.T. is also crooked. He warns Scarfe that Internal Affairs is looking into him.
He also tells the detective that Cottonmouth wants the guns out of the evidence locker. Shades shows Stokes a new type of exploding bullet that he thinks will kill Cage. It is made of metal not of this earth.
There is a problem however. Cottonmouth either has to pay an exorbitant price for the ammunition, per cartridge, or ask Diamondback to kill Cage. If Stokes does ask and Diamondback agrees, Cottonmouth will lose everything.
This prompts the gangster to order Scarfe to retrieve the stolen guns. He believes that this will put him right with Diamondback again.
Luke finds Zip who shoots Cage. This has no effect and Luke then retrieves the ring. Cage goes to the shop and meets Aisha’s father.
Both Cage and Cottonmouth attend Pop’s funeral service. Luke gives Aisha back her father’s ring. He also crushes the gun in her purse. Cottonmouth delivers a eulogy and finishes to applause.
Luke then goes up and talks about how he saw Pop. On his way to the podium he remembers how his friend died. Cage wins over the mourners by telling the truth of what Pop stood for. He manages to undo all the trouble that Cornell attempted to put on him via Zip and his thugs.
Misty tells Cage to back off from Cottonmouth so she can catch him the right way. He refuses.
Luke Cage is firing on all cylinders. The Netflix original series has dotted all the i’s and crossed every little t. Earthy, bluesy and moody, this Marvel hero cruises the mean streets and does it in such a low-key fashion that it stands out.
The series is on Netflix at the moment. All 13 episodes are up and ready for binging. Tune in and catch a show that dares to mix Rap and Hip Hop with 1970’s Motown Funk.
- 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
- Jacob Vargas – Domingo Vargas
- Ron Cephas Jones – Bobby Fish
- Jade Wu – Connie Lin
- Thomas Q. Jones – Comanche
- Rosario Dawson – Claire Temple
- Jaiden Kaine – Zip