Luke Cage | S1 E3

At this stage its clear I am getting slightly addicted with the usual “just one more episode” as I wonder what I’m doing with my life … But is it worth the 13 hours dedication …… Join Film and TV Nerd to find out!

Marvel’s Luke Cage is still early in Season 1, so it makes sense that it would ease viewers into the action. There were some intense shootouts in the first couple of episodes, but his takedown of Cottonmouth’s Fort Knox was by far the biggest action sequence to date. What’s compelling about Luke as a superhero is the fact he doesn’t need guns or weapons or even the shield he used to defeat his enemies; he also doesn’t need to kill anyone, as Misty Knight marveled.

The conflict between Luke and Stokes did introduce viewers to another antagonist: Domingo. A massive fight is brewing in Harlem’s crime scene, and Luke might not even know exactly what he’s causing. By using Domingo as a cover for his raid on Cottonmouth’s stashes, he escalated a simmering conflict between the two of them that led Domingo to declare war.

Mariah is doing her best to stay in the shadows of her cousin’s illegal business venture, but that doesn’t seem like it will stay the case for long. One of the best scenes of the episode came when she said to Cornell that she legitimately believes in the New Harlem Renaissance’s cause. She wants to make Harlem great again, and will do it by underhanded means if she needs — just like her grandmother did. Mariah keeps trying to turn a blind eye to the criminal activities she knows are happening around her, but if she keeps getting pushed like she is, it likely won’t be long until she snaps.

The fact Luke Cage hit right in the heart of Cornell and Mariah’s passion project means things got personal really fast. It wasn’t a huge surprise that Detective Scarfe proved to be a dirty cop for Cottonmouth; his speech about how cops are irrelevant after the Incident proved superhero vigilantes are a lot more efficient offers a lot more complexity to his decision to work for criminals. It was obvious Chico was going to get killed in his big confession, and that just further proves that the more people Luke tries to protect, the more he’s getting into the crossfires of his war.

This all brings us to the cliffhanger of the episode: Cottonmouth taking a rocket launcher to Luke’s apartment complex. It’s hard not to immediately press “play” and see how the cliffhanger gets resolved in what I assume will be the opening minutes of the next episode.

Luke Cage was able to take down Cottonmouth’s stash pretty easily in the third episode of this season, and in a way that came off a bit anti-climactic. Despite all the build up in the last episode toward Luke beginning on his journey, he did end up looking more backward than ahead, from rebuilding Pop’s shop to trying to take revenge on Cottonmouth (and make the neighbourhood a safer place in the process). But with another person very close to him now in the crosshairs, Luke likely won’t have a choice but to escalate this fight.

What did you think of this episode?

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