The great Luke Cage binge is upon us. Head here to see my reactions to each episode. Keep reading for my thoughts on “Suckas Need Bodybuards,” episode 6 of Luke Cage‘s first season.
Which One Is “Suckas Need Bodyguards”?: The one that ends with Cottonmouth being arrested for murdering Misty’s partner.
The Five Things That Mattered Most to Me:
1. Cottonmouth’s in jail? Already? Wow!
Remember how last episode ended with Misty warning Luke he had just started WWIII, and everyone in Harlem was going to suffer?
Yeah, that didn’t last long. Cottonmouth’s already in prison, his temper finally coming back to haunt him. Granted, we know Cottonmouth’s financial situation is such that he probably really couldn’t afford to float another 100 grand Detective Scarfe’s way, but, dude, the quickest way to invite holy hell on yourself is to shoot a cop.
To recap, by the second episode Luke and Cotton had already met and engaged in multiple verbal confrontations. By the end of the third episode, Cotton shot a rocket at Luke. In the fifth episode, Cotton declared war on Luke, but now in the sixth episode he’s been arrested. On top of that, Mariah Dillard’s political scandals have been uncovered, and her cousin’s temper is threatening to drag both of them down.
And there are still 7 episodes left.
Again, the way this season is being structured continues to surprise me, but both Daredevil and Jessica Jones have proven that sending a villain to prison or capturing them yourself doesn’t mean the end of the story, not even close. It just means the power has temporarily shifted from the bad guy to the good guy, and in Luke Cage’s case this storytelling trick is made all the more interesting since this appears to be the realization of the good guy’s primary goal. Luke wanted to put Cottonmouth behind bars and then move on with his life, and he’s done that. So, why isn’t he moving on? This might be the moment where Luke enters into his most interesting period because now his actions no longer have to be motivated by self-preservation or vengeance. We might just be that much closer to Hero for Hire.
Now watch Cottonmouth break out/get out on a technicality next episode and throw my theory to shit.
2. Mariah has issues
Mariah is barely holding it together. We already knew that in terms of her fledgling criminal operation and tainted campaign finances. However, “Suckas Need Bodyguards” curiously offered us the first concrete hint that she’s also barely holding it together psychologically, clearly struggling to apply her own make-up after chastising a picture of her mother (?). This moment of struggle came after Cottonmouth compared favorably to Mama Mabel, which suggests Mariah may have a dark side which scares her. She’s previously claimed to genuinely care about cleaning up Harlem and keeping it black-owned, but doing so in the right way, striving for a time when the neighborhood no longer has any use for people like Cottonmouth. However, she’s actually a better crime boss than him, and her coldly logical suggestions for eliminating Luke Cage (i.e., poison, drown, burn) are all more practical options than Cotton’s preferred, super pricey exploding bullets.
I’m not saying Mariah is heading for some kind of Riddler, Gotham-esque psychotic break. God, I hope that doesn’t happen. However, the more we learn about her the more fascinating she becomes, a politician forever fighting against her family legacy and scared of just how good she could be as a pure criminal.
3. Do we dare look to the comics for spoilers about Misty?
In an earlier review, I praised the production team for its Sherlock-esque method of visualizing the way Misty recreates crime scenes in her mind. This is a place where my lack of familiarity with the Luke Cage comics has shielded me from spoilers because it is only just now that I realize Misty’s eerily photographic memory is not a mere production quirk but instead a likely comic book easter egg hinting at her own superhero future. This finally occurred to me after she told her temporary partner about how she’s always had this ability.
4. Claire totally shot Luke down
Luke’s a manwhore. He just is, more or less fucking his way into the MCU (i.e., by the third episode of Jessica Jones he’s engaging in spirited, superhero sex). As such, it’s totally hilarious to see him blatantly hit on Claire just as it was totally hilarious to see her shoot him down, accurately poking holes in his supposedly innocent offer for a cup of coffee.
Of Luke’s manwhore ways, Mike Colter told TVGuide: “The guy is in a lot of pain and medicates himself with one-night stands. The panties fall easily for him, and that allows for a real disconnect. Luke wants a solid relationship. He wants to settle down. But he can’t open up. There’s a lot of vulnerability under that indestructible skin.”
And, apparently, Claire sees right through all of that. For now.
5. Hey, that voice sounds familiar
Yes, that was Rachael Taylor’s Trish Walker from Jessica Jones as the talk radio host during the opening montage. Synergy. One assumes, then, this means if Trish has heard about Luke’s Harlem heroics so has Jessica.
On to the next episode: “Manifest”
Or you can use these direct links to my other reviews: