Luke Cage recap: Season 1, Episode 11
Diamondback takes a control of Harlem's Paradise, and the police force receives an upgrade
PREVIOUSLY: Luke Cage episode 10 recap
Diamondback has Luke Cage right where he wants him. Or, at least he thinks he does. After the events of the last episode, Diamondback decides the best option is turn the current situation — Luke Cage hiding behind the bar with Misty Knight — into a hostage situation that he can pin on Luke Cage. It’s a ridiculous plan, and Shades points it out, but he goes through with it because he’s crazy.
If anything, “Now You’re Mine” revealed how boring Diamondback is as a villain. In his first episode, he was interesting because Erik LaRay Harvey’s broad performance shook the show up a bit, but a few episodes later, the character is starting to grow old. He spends most of the episode preaching, which he has done since his introduction, and goes on this long-winded expository speech about growing up the bastard of a preacher who wouldn’t acknowledge him.
Honestly, it was really the speech that soured me toward Diamondback — it revealed that his revenge was his main motivation, which, frankly, is rather boring. Even though this is a comic book show, I don’t find his hatred for Luke Cage such a convincing motivation, especially after all these years. Yes, his impulsive actions in this episode establish that he is a few rhymes short of a full verse; but “he’s crazy” isn’t a great explanation either. It would’ve been more interesting if Luke was just one part of his plan for Harlem, but that doesn’t seem like the case.
While Diamondback was ranting like an auto-tune-less Kanye West, Luke and Misty spent some quality time together hiding in the basement. Misty uses this as an opportunity to ask all of her questions, and Luke does her the courtesy of answering truthfully. As always, Simone Missick steals the show, as Misty went from cracking jokes one moment to saying something heartbreakingly real the next. “I don’t want to bleed to death on the floor like Scarfe,” she says to Luke, breaking my heart. Luckily, Claire ensures that doesn’t come to pass.
Using her cunning, Claire escapes Diamondback’s goons and finds Luke and Misty’s hiding spot. Once there, she uses dental floss to tend Misty’s wounds, like she’s some kind of medical MacGyver. “Me, medical s—. You, bulletproof s—,” she says to Luke because he did a terrible job of taking care of Misty. Her best moment in the episode, however, was when she and Misty knocked out Shades, which has been a long time coming. It was a great that Luke Cage wasn’t the only one who got heroic moments in this episode.
Speaking of Luke, the police eventually storm Harlem’s Paradise with Judas bullets and arrest Luke for the hostage crisis, allowing Diamondback to escape. Thankfully, he has a strong ally and defender in Misty, and it’ll be interesting to see how these two work together to clear his name of this debacle and the multiple murders that have been pinned on him.
- To be fair, I do kind of understand what the show is trying to do with Diamondback. Right when Luke Cage is finally starting to live up to Pop’s words — “Forward. Always.” — he’s confronted by this figure from his past.
- But he lost me again when he started calling Luke’s mom a bitch.
- “Whatcha talking about, Willis?” asks Shades when he hears Diamondback’s plan. Diamondback may not have been amused by his joke, but I certainly was.
- Diamondback referring to Damon Boone, Mariah’s main political rival who he ends up murdering with his super gloves, as “Diet Barack Obama” was hilarious.
- DA Blake Tower (who we met in Daredevil) shows up at the hostage situation to work with Ridley and mentions Frank Castle’s gun-happy rampage through Hell’s Kitchen in Daredevil season 2.
- One more Easter egg: Sugar refers to Claire as “night nurse.”
Marvel's Luke Cage