Marvel’s Luke Cage
NetFlix Original Series
Season 1, Episode 8: Blowin’ Up the Spot
Air Date: 30 September 2016
Starring: Mike Colter, Frankie Faison, Simone Missick, Theo Rossi, Frank Whaley, and Alfre Woodard
WARNING: SPOILERS – review written for those following the show who have watched episode six through its completion!
Luke’s been shot. I mean, he gets shot at all the time. But this time, he’s been shot. And it sticks. In a particularly nasty way. The bullet, the Judas, has a spin to it, drilling into its target, and then exploding once it reaches a certain depth beyond impact. No exit wound means that the bullet, or rather its resultant shrapnel, remains within the victim. This is exactly what has happened to one Carl Lucas.
We go round and round this episode, about the shooter, about why Luke is somehow responsible for this guy being on the lose. And here is where some of the show’s premise and setup start to show some signs of weakness. I get it; it’s a show that is supposed to be rooted in ethnicity and it urbaneness. A show that is, I am sure, labelled by many of different colors as a “black” show. But does it need to be? And case in point, does every villain Luke Cage faces need to be African American? Diamondback, it turns out, is just another Cottonmouth carbon copy. He extends the questionable depth of villains in Marvel movies. And, in the end, his origin story is just stupid jealousy. It is an incredibly disappointing reveal; that all of the shooting and explosions and blood is because Diamondback is jealous that Luke Cage’s dad called running plays for Luke as coach of their high school football team, even though Diamondback was a class A quarterback and they should have thrown the ball more. Seriously? This is the huge Diamondback reveal I have been waiting for?
Fortunately, the show continues to shine when certain characters and combos are on-screen together. I loved the interrogation scene between Claire and Misty. Mainly because I love it when someone frustrates a yelling authority figure by just looking at them like they are an idiot. While I love the scenes between Misty and Councilwoman Dillard, Misty allows herself to become unraveled when she is pushed to arrest Luke Cage by Internal Affairs. Claire plays her like a violin and it’s excellent character development through conflict that ends in a way that causes me to wonder if Priscilla is also on the take.
Quite frankly, the women stole this episode, and the least interesting parts of this show were Luke Cage and Diamonback. At this point, I am much more interested in the intrigue that may come about, and the emerging dynamic between Misty, Claire, Mariah, and Priscilla, and worried about how interesting Power Man himself is going to be.