Recap: Netflix’s Luke Cage, 2.01 and 2.02

Luke Cage is a free man, Harlem’s Defender.
He’s just not sure how he can turn it into a career.

The second season is a long path towards a destination he never expected to reach. His main stops, though, are corrupt Councilwoman Mariah Dillard, played to the hilt and with style by Alfre Woodard, and a Jamaican named John “Bushmaster” McIver, who apparently has a history with Dillard’s family.
It’s also the comeback for NYPD detective Misty Knight, who starts the series with one arm after losing her right arm in Defenders, but get a new start thanks to a guy with an Iron Fist.

SPOILERS BELOW

As the series begins, it seems people want Luke to cash in on his powers. There’s already people filming him for social media, and there’s also an app. He’s even doing demonstrations of his strength for the news and Nike. It shows Jessica Jones may have been right to turn down a movie about her.
However, he is not happy that his name is on small bags of heroin. He responds the only way he knows how.
He’s also not happy to see his estranged dad, Reverend James Lucas (Reg E. Cathey). Right off the bat, he has a sermon that shows doubts on how much of a hero his son really is. When they finally meet, Luke is not interested in what his dad has to say. It’s later revealed his dad disowned him when Luke was framed and sent to prison.

Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) is by his side, hoping be more than just a girlfriend to him, although he’s trying to keep her safe. She’s also hoping to help Misty (Simone Missick) on the road to recovery. They still talk about what happened in Defenders and what happened to Matt Murdoch.

Dillard is trying to bring respectability to her name, selling off her guns to someone to pay for a new facility to pay for a center for single moms. She hopes to sell them to a guy named Tercero who’s officially known as a furniture store magnate. The proceeds will be used to buy stock in a plastics company set to merge with a larger company. However, she has some plans to make sure it goes through, and it involves a girl named Billie. Her assistant Shades (Theo Rossi) is by her side, and their relationship is more than personal.


Luke is lured to a truck that supposedly has guns from Tercero, but he blows it up with Luke inside. However, like Daenerys, he’s also the unburnt. He also discovers a Judas Bullet that was used on him doesn’t affect him anymore. This inspires him to send a message to any future opponents to watch out. However, Luke trying to tell everyone he’s invunerable will set him up for a fall.

Bushmaster also makes his first appearance, saying that he plans to take over Brooklyn before taking Harlem as his birthright and taking on Mariah Dillard. He’s also annoying by the fame of Cage, and this is even before they’ve even met.
Also arriving is Mariah’s estranged daughter Tilda (Gabrielle Dennis) , a doctor who runs a holistic medicine shop. Mariah hopes to use her to improve her political image, but Tilda is very reluctant at first. Eventually, she gives it a chance, and that will put her on her own path. Actually, that happens already when Bushmaster comes to her shop to get certain herbs and nightshade. It’ll be clear why he needs them

Shades, meanwhile, meets Tercero but he mocks Shades over his relationship with Mariah. That leads to a bullet to Tercero’s head, which ruins the gun deal.

As for Luke, his attitude has changed, and Claire is very worried. She may be right, especially when he goes too far with a thug named Cockroach after he physically abuses his wife and son.

The first two episodes do a good job setting up the large table that is Harlem. Luke’s sensibility is upset by his new fame, his dad’s return and his belief nothing can hurt him. Mariah hopes getting rid of guns and building more community centers will wash away her family’s sins (and hers). Misty tries to find her place in the world, and Bushmaster wants to avenge his family. It’s going to be one twisty battle.

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Post Author: David Mello

Worked nearly eleven years at a radio station as a board operator, news reader, and assistant producer for baseball broadcasts. Have been a staff writer for Whedonopolis since July 2008

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