Spurred on by the murder of Pop (Frankie Faison), begins targeting the stash houses of Cottonmouth (Mahershala Ali) and forces the gangster to pull back all his ill-gotten gains into a single location which, while heavily fortified, can’t keep out a man with unbreakable skin and super-strength. The episode offers another hallway sequence, made famous in the First Season of Daredevil and less and less impressive with each rip-off, as Luke breaks through every level of protection the fortress has in order to allow the police to confiscate nearly all of Cottonmouth’s wealth. This of course means reprisal from his enemy who escalate the situation and allow for the part of the origins of Luke Cage to be revealed in the next episode.
The second episode of Luke Cage works to push its title character out of the shadows and back into action. Pressured into service by a debt, Luke (Mike Colter) agrees to track down Chico (Brian ‘Sene’ Marc) for Pop (Frankie Faison) who hopes he can trade on his longtime friendship with Cottonmouth (Mahershala Ali) to save the young punk’s life. What neither Luke nor Pop take into account, however, is the gangster’s trigger-happy lieutenant who decides to shoot up the entire barbershop once he learns where Chico is hiding. While Cottonmouth gets some swift justice for Pop’s murder, the attack is exactly what’s needed to push Luke out of hiding and take action.
Isaiah Mustafa parodies his own Old Spice commercials and makes a somewhat convincing argument for his casting as Luke Cage. No, he wouldn’t be my first choice, but his version of the hero formerly known as Power Man would definitely up the banter and humor in the Avengers mansion.