The second episode continues the flow of the first one. In fact you can say that they could have been just one two hour episode if you really think about it. But now Luke Cage has decided to get more active in what is brewing in Harlem now that a barber at Pops is caught in the potential crossfire. We also learn more about the titular Pops and why he is so keen on wanting to see Luke do more with his abilities. Learning that Pops was a former dealer/enforcer for Mama Mabel and in fact Cottonmouth used to run in his crew. But now that he has changed his life, he wants to see Luke do the same even though Luke is really not guilty of the crimes that put him in jail. Despite only being in two episodes, you can tell the impact Pops has had on Luke. Pops used to know Luke Cage’s deceased wife, Reva, from when she was younger and took the man in when he had no other place to go following the events of Jessica Jones.
We learn a lot more about Cottonmouth in this episode as well. The fact that he hates his nickname (as it stems from a beating he got when he was younger that cost him some teeth) and that he does have some genuine affection for Pops as well. Shades is a character we were introduced in the previous episode and we know that we works for the infamous Diamondback and that he helped give Luke a beating in prison and thus knows about his previous life. Even though he doesn’t seem to be directly involved with Cottonmouth (now), he still seems to want to help him and his organization. But after a mishap where Pops is killed due to an overeager employee of Cottonmouth, Luke Cage is on the warpath.
The show has improved since the first episode. We’re starting to learn more about Luke Cage’s life as well as the other characters involved. Luke Cage finally gets his mission statement and that is to put an end to Cottonmouth and his organization. No longer content staying in the shadows and more willing to get actively involved even with the risk of exposure. Overall a better second episode than the first. Showing the potential that the series has under its feet.