Luke learns some hard truths about his late wife while Diamondback creates conflict in the streets for his and Mariah’s gain.
Beware the Spoilers
The crazy science that opened up this episode felt out of place in the more real world like problems everyone else is facing, but the writers had to find a way out of the heart-stopping cliffhanger from “DWYCK.” Claire and Burnstein were able to get Luke back up and running and the good doctor got more valuable information out of Reva’s research. Unfortunately, Reva’s video diaries were also on the flash drive and they tell a very different story about her. Much to Luke’s shock, his wife knew all about the fighting and the experiments. She was the one who thought he would be the best candidate for what Burnstein was looking to do.
These revelations pushed Luke to destroy Burnstein’s lab (but he missed the hard drive with the info on it), move on from his grief, embrace his life as Luke Cage, and seek out some answers about Willis Stryker’s claims. Finally realizing Willis is his brother, Luke returns to Harlem to put things right. What he didn’t know is he is walking into a crap storm Willis created in his absence.
To push the Judas bullet into the hands of the government, Willis created a reason for the public and the police to call for Luke’s head on a platter. Wearing a black hoodie over his head to pose as Luke, Willis uses a special glove to knock a cop back 20 feet. Afterwards he yells out, “I’m Luke Cage” to make sure people know who to look for. It would have been a hell of a lot less suspicious if he would have just walked away. A black man with a hoodie over his head with the strength to throw a man is not common around those parts. The punch to the chest kills the officer and now the rest of the NYPD is tearing up Harlem to find Luke.
The tension culminates in a detective beating up a teen boy, Lonnie who Luke saved in the barbershop shootout, and Mariah parading him in front of the cameras. According to the soon to be former Councilwoman, the blame is not to be placed entirely on the cops, but on Luke Cage. “I encourage the NYPD to effectively arm themselves,” she says in her
sales pitch press conference.
While the other cops were taking the bait Willis laid out, Misty is not buying it for one second. Even Inspector Ridley is not sure what is being said is real after Mariah becomes involved. Misty finds the real culprit in the death of the police officer when she uses facial recognition on a photo of the crime scene. Willis Stryker has a sealed record because he was a juvenile the only time he was caught, but combing thru newspapers, she finds more information about him. Misty also sees a photo with a familiar face, but a different name.
As Luke comes back to Harlem, he is clued in to the goings on in his absence and the rally being held at Harlem’s Paradise by Mariah. He and Claire go to take a peak as Misty arrives and spots Willis in Cornell’s former office. She goes upstairs to question him and Luke follows. Willis quickly opens fire on Misty and she is wounded as Luke shields her from the rest of the bullets. The episode ends with bullets flying as people are scrambling out of the club to safety while Luke and Misty are pinned down behind the bar.
Luke Cage is at its best when it touches on real issues. The police getting worked up over losing one of their own and taking it out on the neighborhood was a brutally honest moment in the show. When the police fail to put aside their emotions and do the job correctly, people suffer and can no longer trust in the force that is supposed to protect them. While the police should be active in getting a menace off the streets, it is imperative that they work with those around them to make it happen.
I have a feeling that hard drive Burnstein recovered will culminate in Willis Stryker getting powers to destroy Luke Cage.
No music this episode much to my disappointment.
What did you think of “Take it Personal”? Are you glad to see Luke moving on from Reva? Talk to me in the comments section below and please do not post spoilers for future episodes. Not everyone can binge. Come back tomorrow for “Now You’re Mine” and click here for all of the episode breakdowns of Luke Cage so far.