Luke Cage 2.02 “Straighten it Out”

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Please keep spoilery comments about future episodes to a minimum. As there will be episode reviews of the entire season, if you have an episode specific comment to make, please wait until the review of the specific episode has gone live. There are also minor spoilers in this review.

Last episode, Luke Cage was able to stand up to a Judas bullet and now he’s sent out a challenge. His bravado is increasing and he’s stronger than ever before, testing himself in a sporting competition where he breaks multiple world records by tossing giant tires around like they were nothing. It’s a cool introduction that shows the balance of its serious side with its desire to have fun every now and again.

This episode spent a little bit of time focusing on Misty’s integration back into her role as a detective, and she was instantly met with hardship and hostility. Already coping with the loss of an arm, it doesn’t take much of a leap to suggest that she won’t be working with the police for very long, given that they aren’t the friendliest people in the world. However, the writers are seemingly making her out to be as incompetent as possible in regards to her job, which is a real shame, so you can’t really blame the characters who don’t look on Misty too kindly. The show has had the potential to explore her actions n the previous season when she screwed up, but the series seems to have brushed over that.



Shades and Maria have been established as a more-than credible threat as well, lurking in the background as the power couple attempting to establish their legitimacy. Thanks to Shades’ actions, though , it isn’t as easy as it first appears. One of the most exciting additions to the cast has come in the form of Mustafa Shakir’s Bushmaster, who really adds an extra dynamic to the show, and he brings a charismatic presence that makes him a formidable adversary especially given that we don’t know that much about him yet. It seems like one of the show’s biggest mistakes was killing off its best villain halfway through the first season, so they have stepped up and made things that much more interesting for the characters.

The pace of Straighten it Out is fast and quick, which is refreshing for a Netflix show, but whether or not the season continues at the same speed is doubtful given their track record. The musical guest this episode was Gary Clark Jr, who was on fire here as usual, and we also got a cameo from New York Jets coach Todd Bowles at Luke’s strength-testing festival.

 

Despite a few problems, Straighten it Out was a solid episode that continued the momentum that the first episode brought to the table. We’re still in the early stages of the season and establishing the characters and the direction that the rest of the season will take, but on the whole, it was an enjoyable hour of television that was more than watchable.

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