In the aftermath of Luke challenging Cornell, a police detective may hold the key to bringing the out of control gangster down. Mariah works to put her campaign back on track.
Beware the Spoilers
After a couple of episodes where there was a lot of talking and planning, it was nice to have a more action filled entry to give a break to the monotony. Luke set out to take down Cornell at the beginning on the season and about halfway in comes thru on that promise. The down fall of “Cottonmouth” certainly sets the stage for what will likely be a more menacing foe in Diamondback whom I’m hoping we will meet in the next episode. There has been quite a bit of build up for this mysterious gangster, fingers crossed the hype comes thru.
Building up to that is the confrontation between Cornell and Scarfe which set the events in motion. The corrupt cop has the gangster’s weapons, but he wants more money out of the deal which angers Cornell. It turns into a pissing contest gone really bad after Cornell slaps Scarfe to put the man in his place. Striking a cop, even one you are paying, is not a good idea. Scarfe pulls his weapon and the two men fight over it with Cornell quickly getting the upper hand and shooting the detective. The gun shots grab the attention of dock workers and both Cornell and Scarfe get out of dodge quick.
With the whole of the NYPD and Cornell’s goons looking for him, Scarfe goes to Luke for help. Claire (who ran into Luke at her mother’s diner) finds her opportunity to be helpful to powered people, just not in the way she thought. She removes the bullets in the detective’s leg and abdomen, but he still needs major surgery if he is going to survive. The corrupt cop tells Luke about the detailed notes on all of his dealings with Cottonmouth and the other cops on his payroll.
The notes are at his apartment which is currently being watched by Misty (who is there for NYPD reasons) and Lieutenant Perez (who is there on Cornell’s payroll). Luke finds the notes, but is seen by Misty as he jumps out a window to get away from her and Perez. Knowing the cops will be on their way to the shop, Claire has her mother bring the diner’s van to them. She and Scarfe lay low in the back while Luke gets them to the police headquarters.
Thanks to a heads up from Perez, Cottonmouth’s goons find the van quickly, leading to more shooting that catches the attention of the NYPD in a really exciting chase thru the streets of New York. Misty wants to investigate, but Perez stops her prompting the detective to finally realize he where his allegiance really lies. Misty gets to the area near the police headquarters just after Luke uses his body to stop a car from crushing Claire and the dying Scarfe.
The notes are used to bring Cornell down as well as the evidence in shooting a police officer. Luke says he is done, but Claire has other ideas as to how he can continue to help. Captain Audrey and Misty are frustrated with the upper brass at the NYPD because of how Wilson Fisk and Cornell Stokes have shined a light on corruption. They want to bury those connections, but Misty is not going to let that happen.
The trouble Cornell has brought down is now being felt by his cousin. In an effort to push her message of the New Harlem Renaissance forward, she grants a live interview to a news crew. The ambitious reporter doesn’t just want to cover the fluff the Councilwoman is selling and corners Mariah with accusations of corruption and dealings with Cottonmouth. The “Black Mariah” side she works so diligently to hide comes out and hisses at the news crew telling them to get out of her house. They didn’t leave fast enough as the news of Cornell’s arrest comes down and again the reporter turns to Mariah looking for a statement.
The more she is confronted, the more fascinating Mariah becomes. On the surface, she gives off the aura of a typical politician. Highly polished in that way only someone who works in dirty politics can have. A statement for every inquiry and happy to give the camera a sound bite. But the other side of her, the one Cornell mostly sees, is a lot more cunning and ruthless. It is her that thinks of more plausible solutions to taking care of Luke Cage. Poison him, drown him, find the woman to exploit (there is always one of those). That is the Mariah I think we are going to see more of in the future of the series.
Of course her cousin doesn’t want to take the simpler, more reasonable ways to end Luke Cage. He wanted the flashier version. An overly expensive bullet that would surely leave one hell of a message in its wake. This need to constant need to send a message, prove he is the King, is what gets Cottonmouth in then end.
While this episode seems to put the closing statements in the chapter labeled “Cottonmouth,” it is also the beginning of Black Mariah and the open door opportunity Diamondback needs to step into Harlem. Things are about to get more hairy for Luke Cage.
Also, Trish Talk!!
Another music light episode with only one song I could make out towards the end. A melancholy R&B song “People Make the World Go Round” by The Stylistics as Scarfe is dying.
What did you think of “Suckas Need Bodyguards”? Are you happy to see Cottonmouth get caught? Are you excited to see if Diamondback shows? What do you think Mariah does next? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below and please do not post spoilers for future episodes. Not everyone gets to binge. Come back tomorrow for “Manifest” and click here for all of the Luke Cage episode breakdowns.