Life for Mariah is coming apart at the seams as power is consolidated in Bushmaster’s hands. Where can a couple of heroes turn in their hour of need? #comicwatch #iamawatcher @lukecage @marvel @netflix @realmikecolter
Luke Cage – “If it Ain’t Rough, it Ain’t Right”, Season 2, Episode 08
Airdate: June 22nd, 2018
Director: Neema Barnette
Writer: Nathan Louis Jackson
Based on Marvel Comics Characters by: Roy Thomas, Archie Goodwin, and John Romita Sr.
What You’ll Find Out:
In the wake of the fire at the brownstone and the murders of Captain Ridenhour and Comanche, everything in Mariah’s world appears to be spiraling out of control. With no money, no home, no guns, and very few allies left, Bushmaster’s move to power is only limited by his own fragile ego. As is noted several times in the episode, the repeated use of Nightshade is wearing on his body, and as Anansi suggests, his mind and soul as well.
Shades, picked up as a suspect in the murders of Comanche and Ridenhour, is slowly divested of his link to Mariah, who, in a fit worthy of an indignant toddler, continues to drive away all those who would help her. Tilda attempts to create distance as well, only to be reeled in with the tale of her birthday and a mother who suffered having her baby forcibly rehomed.
With no evidence to link Bushmaster to the alleged hits put out on Mariah, Tilda, Luke, and anybody close to Luke, and with the newly retained turncoat lawyer, Ben Donovan, at his disposal, all would seem to be trending towards Bushmaster being in full control of Harlem, however, by the end of the episode, Anansi has fully lost faith in him and leaves him to continue his ill-advised crusade alone, while a watchful Shades lurks in the ally.
Following attempted hits in Reverend Lucas’ church and at Mother’s Touch, a plan begins to formulate. Tilda has knowledge of how Bushmaster uses Nightshade to gain powers and may have a way to counteract it, but with a lack of reliable resources at their disposal, Luke asks Misty to call in a favor—to Danny Rand, the Iron Fist.
What Just Happened?
This episode sees the unlikely and uneasy alliance between Luke and Mariah cemented against the greater threat posed by Bushmaster. As the Stylers become more brazen in their tactics, attempting to kill Mariah outside of Harlem PD, the necessity for a united front becomes more and more apparent, despite Mariah’s best attempts to make such a unification impossible.
A parallel appears to be coming into focus between Anansi and Reverend Lucas, as well, from the perspective of religion and science. While Anansi presses the notion that the Nightshade cannot be manufactured outside of the sacred soil of the Blue Mountain—that science is not the answer–, the good reverend, having had a baptism interrupted by a threat on his life, seems to be moving away from the spiritual towards a more grounded position. That could be an overstatement but placing the scenes side by side as they did certainly feel interesting and intentional. Luke’s powers come from science, while Bushmasters’ powers are rooted in mysticism. As Bushmaster pushes his father figure away, Luke seems to be drawing his closer, highlighted in the moment where Lucas is seen punching a man who shot Luke regardless of Luke’s powers, because nobody has the right to shoot his baby boy.
Final Thought: I am obviously behind much of the country in watching and reviewing, and thus spoilers are nearly unavoidable. I have heard the arrival of Danny marks a turning point for the season. We shall see next time, I suppose.
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