Luke Cage: Manifest – Whoa (Review)

Mike Colter as Luke Cage

Luke Cage “Manifest” takes things to the next level with a shocking death and the fact that Cage can be hurt…badly.  Much of episode 7 dealt with the backstory of Cottonmouth and Mama Mabel.

It is ironic that Claire Temple rips a strip off of Cage at the start of the episode and tells the big man that nothing can hurt him, “So what are you afraid of?”

This turns out to be pretty far off the mark as Diamondback shoots Cage with a Judas bullet and it messes Luke up a lot.  It does hurt him and because of his unique condition Claire cannot dig the shrapnel out of his body.

Before the fateful wounding of Cage, Harlem is given a good shake by a  changing of the guard, so to speak.  Captain Betty Audrey is shown the door almost before Cottonmouth is released from jail.

Her replacement, Inspector Pricilla Ridley, has history with Misty and seconds after her arrival Detective Knight takes the first jab. “I hear they were calling you Inspector Gadget…”

On the other side of the street, Mariah has been removed as the councilwoman because of her cousin. Cottonmouth tries to make things right with Diamondback by delivering the guns he killed Scarfe for.

Cornell calls for a parlay with Cage.  The crime boss reveals that he knows what Luke’s real name is and all about his past as Carl Lucas. He warns Cage to back off or he will tell the authorities about his criminal past.

Shades has a word with Mariah and hints that she is capable of much more than she thinks. After planting that seed it could be said that Shades set the stage for what happens to Cottonmouth.

Luke decides to pack up and run rather than be forced to work for Cornell. Claire reads Cage the riot act and tells him to take a stand. She then storms out of the room.

Cottonmouth apologizes for being off with Shades. He then tells Diamondback’s enforcer about Luke and the news is not well received.

There is another flashback to Cornell and Mama Mabel.  His Uncle Pete took him to an audition and then went to Spanish Harlem.  Mabel is pleased with Cornell.

Luke finds out where Domingo Colon hangs out and goes to collect the guns.  (“I’m about sick of having to buy new clothes”) Before he goes to grab the shipment, Luke asks if Domingo has a sweatshirt in XXL.

Misty learns that Cage’s past is too clean. It looks like the cops have worked out that Luke Cage is an alias. Mariah goes to confront Cornell after learning she is no longer a councilwoman.

There is another flashback. Mama Mabel forces Cornell to shoot his Uncle Pete for betraying her to the Puerto Ricans. It is also revealed that his uncle molested his cousin. Cornell shoots Pete dead.

Mariah and Cornell argue and she brings up Mama Mabel.  Cornell claims that Mama Mabel treated Mariah differently.  He then tells his cousin that she wanted Pete to molest her.

She bashes Cornell in the back of the head with a  wine bottle  and he falls from his office window onto the dance floor. Mariah follows up by taking a microphone stand and using it to kill Cornell.

Shades shows up and calms Mariah down and starts the process of framing Luke Cage for Cottonmouth’s death.

Misty and Luke have a short talk about Scarfe, after he texts the detective to hand over the guns he got from Domingo.  They talk about Cornell and Knight takes the weapons back to the precinct.

Luke and Claire spend some time bonding and Cage is shot with the Judas bullet. He touches the wound and he is bleeding. As Claire approaches him, Luke starts bellowing in pain.

There are two shocking moments in “Manifest.” The death of Cornell and Luke actually being harmed.  With the first six episodes proving that Cage was invincible the bullet wound was a jaw dropping moment.

Cottonmouth’s death at the hands of his cousin was surprising  as was his telling Mariah that she “wanted” Uncle Pete to molest her.  It will be interesting to see just where things go from here.

In one episode we have lost the local “big bad” and shown that Luke is not  as bulletproof as he thought.  Shades stepping in and consoling Mariah, raises the stakes and now Diamondback, who knows who Luke really is, will be the new big bad.

Luke Cage is on Netflix and all 13 episodes are available to watch right now.


Guest starring Danny Johnson as Ben Donovan.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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