Luke Cage: All Souled Out


You know it’s bad when the hero gets a lawyer

After the surprise at the end of last episode, Luke is dealing with the newest complication in his life with the help of another Marvel/Netflix supporting character. “Cockroach” Hamilton is suing Luke for the beating the Hero of Harlem put on him, and Luke is being represented by Foggy Nelson, usually Daredevil’s sidekick. After the end of Defenders, it looked like the Man Without Fear had been killed, so Foggy stepping in makes perfect sense. I can’t imagine Luke would go to Jeri Hogarth, or that she’d take the case. The deposition goes badly, with Cockroach misquoting various people and Luke pretty much playing into his and slimy lawyer Donovan’s hands. Hamilton whines about everyone picking on him and “dirty cops framing him,” which just about everyone in jail says. Foggy makes a few suggestions, and tells Luke what Donovan is asking for. It’s not a good number for the man without a job.


Alex, Mariah’s assistant, brings Tilda to Mariah’s newest project, and Mariah shows the place off. Mariah veers from slamming on Luke Cage to boasting about her family, which Tilda is clearly uncomfortable with. Mariah exhibits some willful blindness as she goes on about the place, and makes Tilda an offer which clearly surprises her. Misty goes to Rand, where she doesn’t see Danny, but gets a new device to make her life easier and complete her journey towards her comic book incarnation.


Luke studies his map and list of criminals on the wall when Foggy calls with an offer that could help Luke out a lot. Luke is suspicious and then really picky and prickly, and Foggy calmly points out Luke doesn’t have a lot of choices right now. Misty comes in as this call ends, sporting her new “upgrade” as Luke terms it. They talk about Luke’s domestic issues and the strange things that Bushmaster is doing in regards to Mariah. There’s a lot that doesn’t make sense here, and the two try and figure it out. Misty tells Luke about all the cases tainted by the revelation about what Scarfe was up to, and her determination to set it right. She makes a very obvious suggestion about Luke’s money problems that I was wondering about, and Luke refuses, then finds out his other, earlier options aren’t going to happen for various reasons. After fielding a really bizarre offer from a cable show, Luke finally calls Foggy to talk numbers.


Alex, Mariah, and Tilda talk different parts of Mariah’s offer to Tilda. Detectives Bailey and Tyler show up to interrupt the family argument asking about one of Mariah’s contacts, who seems to have been missing since the fundraiser. Tilde hears Mariah lie to the cops and looks troubled. Shades has a meeting with the thugs at Harlem’s Paradise, and isn’t thrilled with the attitude that Comanche keeps giving him. Ray-Ray, another man Mariah knows and works with, is also missing. When Mariah sweeps in and waves the thugs out, Shades shares some concerns with her that she ignores. Shades reveals his own plan, that Mariah quashes without a second thought, and then we hear about a big party that “Piranha” Jones is throwing that night. They disagree over Shades not trusting Jones, and the man takes off.


Misty drops in on Cockroach in an utterly foolish errand. All she does is get more abuse from him and get his wife/girlfriend in more trouble with the man, who shows more of what a slimy piece of work he is. Foggy and Luke go meet Piranha Jones to hear his offer, and learn about the man’s celebrity obsession. There’s a lot of back and forth and Luke proves to be a harder negotiator than Foggy. Jones talks about why he picked his nickname, and Luke almost immediately regrets taking the deal. He muses about Piranha’s connection to Mariah as he and Foggy leave.


Shades and Comanche have some back and forth about assignments and missing people. Comanche is clearly not happy with the status quo, and gets a text that worries him. Misty goes over some old case files and has some flashbacks to her time with Scarfe, and a pivotal scene involving one of the current characters. Ridenhour comes in, not happy about Misty reviewing the case, and they have a talk with Ridenhour acting more like a mentor than a pissed off supervisor for once. He does offer some good advice. Cage glares at his newest requirement for the evening, and ends up feeding the Swear Jar.


Jones’ party is huge, and Foggy is impressed that the entertainment is Ghost Face Killer (even I know who that is). The very white attorney is actually a rap fan, which really doesn’t seem to fit with anything we’ve learned about him so far. Jones moves Luke around the party, where there are stupid questions, idiotic behavior, and a veiled reference to the Hulk. Everyone but Luke seems to be having a great time. Misty goes to visit Drea at the clinic, where the poor woman is denying the very obvious abuse she’s suffered (unless the doors at her place give right hooks now). Drea explains why she isn’t going to testify, and makes a few comments Misty didn’t want to hear about Scarfe. Luke’s night at the party gets even worse as Jones babbles and treats Luke badly (and that’s being kind).


Mariah and Tilda argue about the way Mariah operates, and the former councilwoman/gangster isn’t pleased with the choices Tilda makes. Mariah has a very twisted code she’s living by, and Tilda isn’t buying in, which I don’t blame her for. Luke gets a few good moments at the party before someone comes in that makes him wonder what’s going on that he doesn’t know about. Misty goes over more old case files, has more flashbacks that show she, too, falls prey to willful blindness, and makes a really bad decision. We also see the writers don’t really get how police evidence rooms work at all.


Comanche has a surprising meeting. There’s going to be a lot of problems when this eventually comes out, and he learns that things are worse than he thought in regards to the missing Ray-Ray. Misty comes right up to the edge of doing something out of character and horrible, pulls herself back and then gets a big surprise when she gets a better look at where she finds herself.


The episode ends with a few surprises. Mariah does the big press opening of her new project, and the big entrance goes really badly, but we finally learn where a few missing things are. Shades and Cage exchange some banter at the party, and then Jones goes even dumber in what he demands of Luke. Before the argument between them can get worse, there’s an unwelcome intrusion from another player, and things go so bad Luke and Shades end up working together. Luke gets Jones to come clean about some of what’s going on, and ups his price. Their running fight/retreat has some great moments in it.


What I liked: This was a good use of Foggy, who I like anyway. Jones hiring Luke made sense, even if it was a bit dues ex machina as far as Luke’s problems go. I’m glad Tilda stood up to her mother. Shades’ dream fit his character well and I suspect Mariah will come to regret how she’s treating everyone around her. Ridenhour’s scene with Misty showed he’s more than just a sternly disapproving authority figure (but since he’s a captain, I can’t help wondering why his section seems to be missing Lieutenants and Sergeants).


What I didn’t: Misty is really flirting with disaster and I hope she gets herself under control. She’s being as bad as Luke was the first few episodes, just in a different way. I really can’t stand Mariah, no matter how nuanced they make her. I have my doubts about Bailey and Tyler. Jones is new money trash, through and through. Police evidence rooms do not work as shown on this episode. At all.


It was a good, solid episode. Even with the things I didn’t care for, I’ll give it a high 3.5 out of 5.