WARNING FULL SPOILERS
Oh Now You’re Mine…what am I going to do with you?
On one hand, the episode encapsulates all the things that Luke Cage has done right. There were great performances, action and characterization. But it also had suffered from the same struggles of the last episode: Faulty logic. And they added a disappointing conclusion to the mix.
First, let’s look at everything that worked. The action was solid. Luke and Misty’s escape to the hidden basement was really fun. And when Luke finally leaves that basement and bulldozed through those henchman was a good pump up moment.
Misty finally trusting Luke was a great as well. Her character had come a long way and it was an earned moment. I always appreciated their chemistry and it was cool to see them playing off each in a fun way rather than glaring at each other.
I was glad that Claire and Misty didn’t have a “moment” to settle things. It was mostly unspoken as they simply traded some remarks. Both have been incredibly strong women and I’m glad the show didn’t force an obvious reconciliation. And their take down of Shades was pretty sweet.
Now here’s what didn’t work.
I had mixed feelings about Diamondback’s plan. On the good side, the crazed obsession with ruining Luke’s life perfectly fit Diamondback’s character. The bodies needed to secure the frame up were not a problem for him. It showed how much of a wild card he was.
But the plan made very little sense. What about all the people who got out before he took hostages? Why would a super powered Luke have to shoot people? Maybe it was my frustration with how badly the show botched the frame up story line in the previous episode, but I wanted Diamondback to just drop it. But remember, Cottonmouth’s downfall was his obsession with Luke. And we saw what happened to him. Diamondback’s power as a villain was severely under cut here.
I compared Diamondback to Heath Ledger’s Joker in a previous episode review. Both were unpredictable, but the Joker always had a plan. Diamondback relied on luck in this episode. It was a good thing Zip happened to be there at the end to lead him out.
Shades continued to be a voice of reason as he pointed out the flaws in Diamondback’s plan. But this felt familiar…Shades did the same with Cottonmouth. The show was starting to spin the wheels again here.
And then there was Diamondback’s origin. When he was first introduced, he talked about Luke leaving him in a gutter. I was intrigued…what did Luke do? Diamondback’s utter hatred suggested that Luke tried to kill him.
So what happened?
They stole a car. And Diamondback got the more severe punishment.
Yes, Diamondback was forced to kill someone and his mother died while he was in prison, but I was expecting something more. Cottonmouth’s origin was more compelling. Honestly, Diamondback came off as a resentful punk. I didn’t hate him or feel sorry for him, and that’s not good for your main villain.
While the tension was built very well, the ending was also a disappointment. The episode was seemingly building to another confrontation between Luke and Diamondback. The aforementioned Luke “showdown walk” through the corridors of Harlem’s Paradise. Diamondback getting his power glove ready. But instead we got a stand off with more verbal sparring.
The ending saw most of Diamondback’s gang scattered or arrested, most notably Shades. And now Candace, the woman who falsely accused Luke for Cottonmouth’s murder, confessed to Claire. Hopefully that means an end to this frame up story.
Score: 6 out of 10
WARNING FULL SPOILERS