All hail the King!
Normally when I write about any of the Marvel Netflix series I start saying that they have stretched ten episodes worth of content into thirteen episodes. Maybe I’m now used to the pacing, but after a shaky first few episodes it seemed to just hum along. I never got to the end of an episode and thought to myself that nothing happened. So, it was an improvement.
Those first few episodes set the scene, and gets the pieces into place for the remainder of the season. One of the things about Luke Cage is that he internalises a large amount of his anger, and it is interesting when he loses a large amount of his support network with both Clare and Bobby Fish leaving. Luke isn’t the most open of heroes, but I feel that there isn’t a way of releasing the tension building in him.
There is a vulnerability in Mariah Dillard\Stokes and sometimes I feel that she is overcompensating for that in the decisions that she makes. Depending on the situation she seamlessly moves between crime matriarch and women who is over her head. It is a masterful performance, one which is necessary as she is the person who links all of the stories together.
The one character I’m not too sure about is Mariah’s daughter Tilda. To a certain extent Tilda tries to atone for the sins of her family, going so far as to poison her mother. However, she is really aggrieved when Luke, not her, is bequeathed Harlem’s Paradise. Is she being setup as an antagonist for the next season? I suppose who holds Harlem’s Paradise holds Harlem.
I laughed when Bushmaster left to go back to Jamaica and his henchman said that he left on top. Not really. Yes, he was on top for about five minutes, but it certainly felt more of a strategic retreat than leaving in victory. I didn’t think that he was that interesting a villain. He could kick Luke Cage’s backside, but he was only interested in revenge which felt shallow.
Do people not realise yet that Luke is bulletproof? Just wondering as I don’t think that the bad guys of Harlem have figured this out yet. There was a whole thing at the beginning of the season about bullets that could hurt Luke, but it seemed to just disappear.
So Misty is going to be the new Captain at the Precinct. A note for the future, never agree to an immunity deal with the NYPD. Something always seems to happen to let them get out of it. Poor Shades, that whole confession business reminded me of Vic Mackey’s from The Shield. Of course, with Mariah dead he’s admitted to a whole pile of stuff.
But going back to Misty. She is still coming to terms with losing her arm in The Defenders, which added to the continuing corruption within the police gives her a full plate work on. Unlike Luke, she uses her work as an outlet for her tension. It does get too much for her at one stage when she goes to plant evidence on a suspect, but finds his dead body instead. She even admits to this, which makes her more human.
Both Colleen Wing and Danny Rand make appearances this season. I still find Iron Fist to be annoying more than anything else, but I would happily watch a series about the adventures of Colleen and Misty. You know it would be loads of fun. Their blossoming friendship is a bright spark in the season. I did like the Iron Fist and Luke Cage smash up.
The idea of owning Harlem’s Paradise is an obvious trap, and one that Luke Cage cannot resist. The temptation to use his new position to protect Harlem is simply too great. He now has the power to influence the crime families around him, but doesn’t that mean that he is in league with them? Luke is at the top of the helter skelter and it is a long way down. Mariah may be dead, but she may have found his price.