Luke Cage SN1 EP11-‘Now You’re Mine’

The show is back on top form as Diamondback turns the world against Luke.

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After two unremarkable episodes, Luke Cage hit it out of the park during a tense and thrilling episode. Picking up immediately where the previous episode left off ensured there was no drama lost in the transitions, as every moment was fully explored. The decision to leave Mariah Dillard out of this episode was a smart one, keeping the focus mostly on Diamondback’s vendetta against Luke, as opposed to the power to be gained from the situation.

What a vendetta it was! Diamondback treated us to a full blown hostage situation, giving us the second best action sequence of the series. Whereas the one back in Episode 3 demonstrated the raw power Luke possesses, this one here showed how a more calculated Luke approaches things, weighing the risk of innocent lives being taken against Diamondback’s clear taunts to aggravate him. We got a glimpse of a different Diamondback here, one truly haunted by the neglect of his childhood. It was a powerful moment that showed how easily a life can be ruined, but was also a refreshing break from the usual loud, psychotic way Diamondback carries himself. We’ve seen plenty of villains like that before, and we’ll see plenty again, so it’s the quieter moments that make or break them.

This episode also saw the truth start to unravel, as the façade Mariah and Diamondback created saw scrutiny from the police. The new police captain has been an interesting character. Her clear past with Misty, and early actions, suggested she would be more of an antagonistic force. However, what outwardly appears a more hostile relationship, is actually very trusting, as the captain begins to believe Misty. Unfortunately, with one dead cop, two injured and a whole lotta hostages, the rest of the force doesn’t feel the same. It’s frustrating knowing Luke’s innocent but he’ll still take the heat, yet that will make his ultimate release all the more satisfying. In any case, the captain is starting to hone in on the actual suspect Mariah Dillard, but with Diamondback’s plan already in play it may be too little too late.

The episode stood out most in the way it finally tackled the relationship between Luke and Misty. For much of the season Misty has been more of an annoyance than anything else due to her insistence on pinning everything on Luke, so to see them finally on the same page is such a relief, and make’s her character all the better for it. What’s more is that in her blood drained state we saw a softer side to Misty. One who was afraid of dying. So often in movies and TV shows, characters aren’t actually afraid of dying, which disconnects them from the audience some. So whilst we did find her cracking jokes, the way she was afraid of death stood out as a uniquely human moment in a show about someone more than that.

In such an awesome episode there are bound to be a lot of great moments, so other notable highlights are:

  • Claire continued to amaze this episode. She is hands down the best character in the Marvel/Netflix shows, maybe the best in the wider MCU. The way she acted her way out of the hostage situation and then took down a goon, she’s just full of surprises. As Misty said, she’s got skills.

  • It was great to see the both of them build bridges as well this episode. There’s a strong friendship to develop there, and it was clear they’re both of the same mindset. Them taking down Shades together was a treat to watch because of how raw it was. It didn’t feel choreographed; it was just the three of them fighting however which way they could.

  • Speaking of Shades, is that really it for him? I enjoyed him this episode, as he kept a cool head. He’s been the calm, intelligent one since his introduction back in episode one, and you can always rely on him to think things through, so it was a shame to see him so easily taken out of the game. I expect we’ll see more from him, if not now then later in the show’s lifespan, but he didn’t really have much impact this season.

  • I also hope we get to see more from Candace going forward. She seemed truly sorry for what she did to Luke, and the way she calmed down and fought through her pain in order to help Claire out was worthy of a true hero.

  • A character from Daredevil Season Two made a worthy appearance this episode. After seeing the devastation caused by Frank Castle with normal bullets, it’s understandable as to why he wouldn’t want Judas bullets getting onto the streets. Something tells me he won’t have succeeded.

So Episode 11 saw a triumphant return to form for Luke Cage, as everything started to come together. Whilst the city might now be against him, Luke finally has Misty and the police captain on his side, who will no doubt be instrumental in his ultimate defeat of Diamondback. Mariah Dillard may have been absent from the episode, but she was still causing chaos. It’s the sign of a truly great villain if they can disrupt the protagonist without even appearing onscreen. We’re heading into the final two episodes now, it’s still not exactly clear where things are headed. Both Diamondback and Mariah need taking out, but there’s no idea of how that will happen yet.

 

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