Luke Cage ‘Step in the Arena’ Review

The fourth episode of Luke Cage is finally the origin of Luke Cage. There have been hints here and there throughout Jessica Jones and this series that Luke Cage was framed, a lab experiment, a fugitive from the law and “good at finding people”. Here we find out that all those were true and in fact more to the story. The man known as Luke Cage was formerly Carl Lucas and a former Marine and police officer and sent to Seagate Prison after being framed for a crime. We also see how he met Reva, his now deceased wife, who was the prison therapist.

This is all intercut with things that are happening in the present. Luke is trapped underneath tons of rubble along with his landlady and struggling to find a way out without killing them both. Misty and Scarfe are trying to put the pieces together as to how Luke keeps getting involved in these things as well. This is a relatively slow but important episode as most of the episode is focusing on the past. We see how Shades and Luke know one another and also explains why Shades does not immediately recognize Luke due to a (bad fake) beard and long hair. Also learning that Luke is the son of a preacher and that’s where he derives his new alias.

Other than the bad fake beard, it was another strong episode for the series. In one episode, we see what shaped Luke into the man that he is today. Also seeing that even though there are some slight differences due to circumstance, he is still the same man before he went to prison, when he was in prison and after he got out. While we see how he got the name Luke Cage, we also see that he has now revealed himself to the public. No longer a hero working in secrecy but one ready to be the hero that Harlem needs and deserves.

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