The third episode of Luke Cage is where things finally get up and going. I have yet to mention Mercedes ‘Misty’ Knight. A detective whom Luke had a one night stand with in the first episode and is basically after the same thing that Luke is after. This episode is really the first one where she shined for me. Her familiarity with the community helps carries more weight for her as a police officer especially during a game of HORSE at the local basketball court. The dichotomy that she has with her partner, Scarfe, is an interesting one. Scarfe is an older white detective while Misty is a younger black woman. It’s clear that they play that fact up during their interrogations but it’s also apparent that it is something of an act for Scarfe. But Misty Knight really shines and it’s apparent she is the deuteragonist in this series.
But after the events of the previous episode, Luke Cage is out to make Cottonmouth, and by extension Mariah Dillard, out to suffer. Knowing that the best way to hurt a crime lord is through their money. This is probably the best use of Luke Cage and his abilities. Luke knows that he is a bull in a china shop so using this keen ability to bust up Cottonmouth’s stash houses all with the intent of him putting all his money in one location, which just happens to be Mariah’s office. This culminates in Luke taking down the “fortress” in Harlem all while shrugging off the numerous attacks coming his way. It seems that it would be hard to make a fight with tons of non powered people against a man who is like a tank exciting but the creative team behind the show make it work. All set the tune of Wu-Tang Clan’s “Bring Da Ruckus”
The only fault that this episode really suffers from is a twist towards the end. A character make a face to heel turn that was pretty predictable. In fact, I thought the twist was going to be that this character was not corrupt as it was pretty obvious. But this character has thrown a wrench in Luke’s plan and so Luke may have won the battle but he is far from winning the war against Cottonmouth. But now thanks to this character knows that Luke Cage is responsible for all his trouble and what better way to retaliate against a bulletproof man than with a rocket launcher to Luke. It was a literal explosive cliffhanger as we know Luke can shrug off many things (and since he’s the main character we know he’ll live) but it looked to be a more direct hit than anything and who knows he might be worse for wear.