Marvel’s Luke Cage
Season 2 Episode 1
Soul Brother #1
Some local drug dealers are pushing a new drug called “Luke Cage” on the streets of Harlem and they had to know that it was going to attract the attention of the man himself.
Luke Cage decides to pay the distributors a visit and the first fight of the season does what it’s supposed to, look too easy. What we get next is Luke’s impact on the people of Harlem as he connects with the kids, gets ogled by the women of the neighborhood and sends small time crooks running. All of this narrated by a reverend who questions Cage’s impact, his celebrity and what he stands for. Despite the message, there is a subtle point to what he says and it looks like the overall theme of this season is being laid out in the first episode.
Back in the daylight, the problems of the world still find their way to Luke’s doorstep and those problems give a sense of reality to the character as Luke has to navigate both sides of his existence. We also get to see what’s been going on with Misty since the events of The Defenders and how she is navigating the world. It’s also good to see Claire there to help and her expanded role in this episode as more than the love interest or the nurse patching everyone up is great to see.
Shades and Mariah are back as well and they are given the opportunity to get rich with a legitimate venture. One that could set them up for life. I like that Shades finds himself dealing with the dark side of saddling himself to Mariah and how their relationship is perceived by people. I can tell this is going to be a recurring issue throughout this season. One that is going to continue to bring out the dark side of Shades and possibly Mariah as well.
Luke is sporting a new sense of swagger in this episode and while it might be cool on the surface, it belies an arrogance that is going to get him checked soon, especially when we’re introduced to Bushmaster. The first episode of season 2 hits all the marks and creates an interesting narrative to lead into the rest of the season. It gives the viewer a look at the conflicts both internal and external that Luke is going to face going forward which will hopefully pay off as the season progresses.