WARNING: FULL SPOILERS
Soliloquy of Chaos got Luke Cage back on track by artfully blending contemporary issues with a solid and entertaining story. The bad logic from the previous episodes was gone and it seemed like the show regained its stride.
Luke’s escape at the beginning might have seemed unwise, but Misty was right. As long as he was in custody, the police weren’t going to look for Diamondback. Just watching that SWAT team’s hostility towards Luke confirmed that. It was also cool to see that there were some cops who were on Luke’s side when the older cop let him go.
Misty’s argument with Inspector Ridley (Karen Pittman) over Luke’s escape was great. She argued that it wasn’t unusual for him to run: He was a bulletproof black man and a hostile police force suddenly had exploding bullets that could kill him.
Method Man’s cameo was hilarious especially since he was playing himself. I had completely forgotten about Luke’s love for Wu Tang, so in hindsight it made sense. It was a great way to show how much the community was embracing Luke.
I had issues with the radio show scene, mostly due to Sway and Heather B.’s “acting,” but it still worked in an odd way. Method Man’s rap, while incredibly on the nose, showed just how much Harlem would rally behind a cause. As many donned the bullet riddled hoodies, it was reminiscent of the the movements that have swept through the communities that deal with police brutality. It might be a controversial decision for a comic book show to go this route, but at the very least it could start a conversation about the relationship between the police and black communities.
Meanwhile, Shades showed just how much of a survivor he was, foiling Diamondback’s attempt to kill him. I was glad to see him get away, not only because he’s been one of my favorite characters, but he also had much more story to unravel. But who was this Romeo that both he and Turk referenced?
Mercifully, it seemed like the Luke frame up was coming to a conclusion as Candace (Deborah Ayorinde) confessed to Misty. But with Alex, Mariah’s assistant, watching it probably meant that Candace was doomed. Hopefully Misty gets that confession to stick somehow.
Shades and Mariah’s conspiracy to get Luke’s aide was not surprising, especially with Diamondback promising to stalk Mariah’s dealings in Harlem. She completely embraced that darkness Cottonmouth had seen in her before. However, her willingness to compromise with Luke shows that she was smarter than both Diamondback and Cottonmouth. Ironically, she turned out to be the biggest snake of them all. And it looked like Shades’
Action wise, the show took a bit of a stumble. The shoot out in the warehouse between Domingo and Diamonback’s gangs was solid, but the allusion to a new weapon was handled weirdly. Granted, we got to see what Diamondback had in that trunk later, but at the time it seemed like Diamondback simply used the power gloves again.
Now about that “weapon.” The reveal of Diamondback’s suit was handled perfectly, since Bobby Fish’s incredulous outburst seemed to acknowledge the show’s opinion of the suit. One wonders how Diamondback got around Harlem in that get up, with its bright greens and yellows. Anyway, it was cool to see that Diamondback had a way to be a physical threat again without repeating the exploding bullet ploy.
The episode ended with a pretty cool cliffhanger of sorts, just before Luke and Diamondback’s first blows. Though an hour long brawl might be a bit tedious to watch.
Soliloquy of Chaos showed just how good this series can be. It showed how important it was for the black community to have its own hero while also telling a compelling story. With the season finale up next, Luke Cage seemed to be on solid ground.
Score: 8 out of 10
WARNING: FULL SPOILERS