This Review Contains Spoilers for this episode! Please avoid leaving spoilers for future episodes in the comments section below when discussing this season.
Without having The Immortal Iron Fist show up on screen as of yet, For Pete’s Sake is determined to make the most out of the inter-universe connections between the Marvel shows on Netflix. I like that one of these series is at least trying to, as Jessica Jones has opted to completely ignore in favour of its own devices. Embracing rather than pushing aside the connection has been one of Luke Cage’s greatest strengths so far this season, and it was cool to see them utilise a hideout from Danny in a Rand Industries hideout.
The main cast promptly got some back and forth bickering out of the way as you would expect from putting a bunch of volatile characters like this together. Luke, Misty, Mariah, Tilda and Luke’s father don’t get on well at the best of times so to see them forced to band together makes for a nice back and forth friction between the characters. Misty’s attitude to Mariah is clear – when James prays to God for protection, Misty looks at Mariah saying that she prayed with the devil.
Mariah refuses to go on record against Bushmaster, who has already beaten Luke twice. But of course, Mariah is the person who sold Bushmaster the Hammer weapons in the process, and the only way Mariah can get out of Bushmaster’s leverage that he has on her is to turn herself in. Naturally, Mariah wants immunity, which is something that Misty isn’t willing to give. Putting her own survival first, Mariah shows that she is more than willing to toss Shades to the side when he won’t be included on the deal. The possibility of immunity for Mariah is a bit of a stretch, but whatever works for plot purposes.
The Luke/Bushmaster showdowns are getting all the more frequent by the moment and Luke giving Bushmaster a beatdown was a long-awaited satisfactory moment. It’s a shame that Tilda had to help out Bushmaster, but there has to be some tension provided somewhere, and it does play into the whole theme of family that this season has been going for with more drama between the mother and daughter pair of Mariah and Tilda. On the other side of family drama, Luke and his father seem to be getting on better than before, and I really like the direction that this has taken. Unfortunately, Reg E. Cathey passed away in February, a real loss – making Luke Cage Season 2 one of his last television appearances. His absence will be felt. He really brought an excellent, multi-layered performance to the table in this show as James Lucas. May he rest in peace.
The revelation that Nandi is corrupt makes her a more interesting character, adding depth to her personality rather than just being the simple other half in a rivalry between her and Misty, and it builds up to an interesting climax, helped by the fact that the Stylers know how to turn up a fight, blaring reggae as loud as possible and making it very clear who they are.
With not long left in the season now we’re in end-game mode, and with the arrival of Danny Rand next episode, things are just about to get all the more interesting. It looks like Luke Cage might have avoided the drop in quality in the second half of its season after all…