The standoff inside Harlem’s Paradise gets heated.
Beware the Spoilers
I really don’t know what it is about Diamondback that I just can’t get behind as the big villain for the series. He is wonderfully unhinged and his vendetta for Luke is purely Shakespearean, but he is not nearly as menacing as Cottonmouth was or Mariah Dillard is. It has to be the long, strange soliloquies he spouts. When Cornell or Mariah start monologuing, they are not speaking to just be heard. There is a reason for their speech. To inspire, to intimidate. When Willis Stryker talks, he is does it because he can. A villain who has to fully explain himself the way Willis has doesn’t make him menacing, just overwrought.
“Now You’re Mine” really showcased how ineffective he is as the main heavy, but it also pushes Mariah Dillard as the big bad to come. She is not seen, but her power is felt as she uses the hostage situation Diamondback created willy nilly like to push the Judas 2.0 bullet into the hands of the police. As ADA Tower (Stephen Rider who was also in Daredevil) pointed out, once the police show off the newest weapon that can take down a bulletproof man, it won’t be long before it is in the hands of criminals. Things never got that far, but it seems like it will soon.
Diamondback uses the hostage situation to muddy Luke Cage’s name further by having Damon Boone make phone calls to the police to tell them Luke is running the show. But that plan goes to hell quickly when conflicting reports from those who got out say Luke had nothing to do with the shooting. When some of the hostages were released to stall for time, they supported the story it wasn’t Luke who started the shooting.
I guess Willis expected the police to come in and start firing the moment they had the Judas and kill Luke in the process, but that feels like something only a bad guy who watches too many crappy action movies would expect the police to do. A halfway smart villain would realize the NYPD have to deal with the fallout of a cop beating up a kid and are going to be as careful as they can be about a situation with several hostages.
The best moment of “Now You’re Mine” was watching Misty and Claire bond over taking Shades down. It is nice to see these two strong women in the show get along especially since Luke is going to need the both to keep him out of trouble.
The big takeaway at the end is all the secrets are out. Luke’s name may not be completely clear, but soon more of the truth will come out to the citizens of Harlem. The Misty knows she can trust Luke and understands who Willis Stryker is. Now she just needs to make sure the NYPD are on the same page now Luke is in custody.
What is going to be interesting in Shades is in custody of the NYPD. What is he going to tell them? What did he mean when he asked Diamondback if he remembers who he is talking to? Who is Shades?
In an episode where Willis gets to explain his history with Luke Cage and the Lucas family, Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man” is used aptly.
What did you think of “Now You’re Mine”? Do you like Diamondback more than Cornell Stokes? Do you think the series is setting up Mariah as the season 2 big bad? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below and please do not post spoilers for future episodes. Not everyone can binge. Come back tomorrow for “Soliloquy of Chaos” and click here for all of the Luke Cage episode breakdowns so far.