As Luke’s life continues to fall apart at the seams, things are looking up for Bushmaster and his plans for Harlem.
Luke Cage – “I Get Physical”, Season 2, Episode 04
Airdate: June 22nd, 2018
Director: Sali Richardson-Whitfield
Writer: Matthew Lopes
Based on Marvel Comics Characters by: Roy Thomas, Archie Goodwin, and John Romita Sr.
What You’ll Find Out:
The episode opens with a brief but furious fight, in which Bushmaster Deebo’s Luke with a quickness, all of which was being filmed by D.W. and proceeds to go viral. As news spreads of Luke’s vicious defeat, Misty seeks out Luke to look into the sudden disappearance of Nigel and the two of them search the Yardies’ warehouse and discover Nigel’s headless body. Upon calling in assistance, the pair learns more about the history of the Yardies and their more current incarnation, the Stylers, and are tipped off to a man in custody of ICE that may have more information regarding the mysterious Bushmaster.
Also, while at the scene of the crime, Luke spots a bag from Mother’s Touch, Tilda’s holistic medicine shop, and pays Tilda a visit. Although Tilda stays tightlipped about what she has discovered regarding Bushmaster’s medicinal mixture, she does befriend Luke and the sequence shows an obvious sexual chemistry between the two characters.
While interviewing the ICE detainee, more is revealed about Bushmaster, including the notion that he is the man at the bottom of a hill, looking up at the one on top of the hill, waiting to walk up and cut off the head of his oppressor—Mariah Stokes. Meanwhile, Mariah continues to move forward in her deal to buy out the plastics company, refusing fully to accept the possibility that she is being played in the deal despite the urgings from Shades and Commanche.
Later in the episode, in perhaps the most anxiety-riddled scene, the man from the bottom of the hill, the stone that the builder refused, Bushmaster, pays a visit to Paradise and meets Mariah face to face. The animosity between the two is palpable as Bushmaster presses Mariah on her family’s treatment of his own somewhat obliquely, but still rather pointedly in a manner of speaking.
As the episode nears its close, we see that Shades is following the extremely confident Bushmaster while Commanche reports back to his police handles, revealing that he is working some form of a deal for his freedom, and most likely sealing his own fate. A concussed Luke finally makes his way back to the barbershop to learn that Bobby’s daughter needs a kidney transplant in San Diego, and Bobby is also leaving Luke for the time being. Misty returns to her desk to find a letter from Danny Rand and Colleen, accompanied by a sketch for a robotic arm. Finally, at the very end of the episode, Luke is served a subpoena, but for what has yet to be revealed (I suspect for the beating he laid on Cockroach).
What Just Happened?
Musically, we see the connections being directly drawn between notions of magic and Bushmaster, which Bushmaster refers to as “the purest science”. This episode has a stunning lack of reggae music, even in the sequences in Brooklyn, other than an offhand reference to Shabba Ranks. Otherwise, this episode is strictly blues, which seems fitting considering we see Luke slowly have his support system stripped away. He went Eric Benet, letting “the baddest girl in the world get away”, loses face and possibly the heart of Harlem with the viral video, and by the end even loses Bobby, at least for now. The stripping down of a hero, whilst on a dark path, is a common trope in the context of the Hero’s Journey, and Luke, for all his charm, seems to not be immune to the typical narrative trappings of the genre.
This episode features a lot of insight regarding the history of Bushmaster. The most interesting moment for me among the myriad of interesting moments was when, when asked who he was, Bushmaster responded with “the stone that builder refused”. Originating in the Book of Psalms, this quote regarding the stone refused becoming the head cornerstone is a widely spread line, from Madison Smart Bell’s trilogy on the Haitian revolution to the legendary Bob Marley and seems particularly crucial to gathering a sense of Bushmaster’s motivations. In the Book of Matthew, Christ references the Psalm (Psalm 118:22), followed by “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit” (21:43 NIV). While this message is later spelled out much more clearly in the tale of the two men, one on top of the hill and one at its base, the addition of a sense of divinity seems worth noting here.
Final Thought: Given that there were numerous promo photos in circulation of Misty with her new arm, it seems inevitable that Danny Rand will be making an appearance soon. Four episodes in and it feels like the series thus far is light on action in favor of character development, which is fine in principle, but it does make for a much slower moving season.
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