Marvel’s Luke Cage

Netflix

Season 2 Episode 12

Can’t Front On Me

It looks like Bushmaster has a new plan for Harlem and this one involves a new drug that turns people violently impulsive. Which is evident when two kids take the drug and attack others at a house party to the point where they have to be restrained.

Luke decides to investigate and his new informant Sugar gives him information that leads right back to Mariah Stokes. The new Queen of Crime in Harlem has decided to diversify and she’s going to meet with the heads of the criminal organizations of the drug trade to craft a new deal that will them an in road into Harlem as well as make her rich. It’s a good play for her and the added benefit is that puts a bigger target on Bushmaster’s back.

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As to the man himself, he walks right into the trap laid out for him by Mariah and it’s up to Luke to save his life. The two take out a drug distribution center in one of the best fight scenes in the series and Luke lays down some ground rules for getting them out. Rules that he spends most of the fight trying to enforce and this comes back later when Luke confronts Mariah and she clues him in on the fact that his greatest strength is also his weakness. It’s a great scene permeated by great dialogue and a performance by Alfre Woodard.

Luke is starting see some of the problems with his mission and has a pretty raw conversation with DW and Sugar about feeling tired. At the same time, Tilda decides to throw in with Bushmaster to get him to end Mariah once and for all. I love how Luke is struggling with what it means to be a hero and what he knows he has to do in order to continue to be one.

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Shades is spilling his guts to Misty and you can see it taking a toll on her as she tried to maintain her professionalism in the wake of everything she suspected being confirmed as well as what she has to do to in order to get the truth. All of Shades’ lies are exposed and he finally has to face a living consequence of his actions.

I love that there is a scene in this episode where Bushmaster and Luke are getting ready for battle like two gunslingers gearing up for a showdown and Mariah is right in the center of it. What happens next changes everything for Mariah and puts Luke in the position of having to finally decide what kind of hero he is going to be when given the chance to end Bushmaster once and for all.

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