Luke teams up with Claire to help a detective in need
Credit: Myles Aronowitz/Netflix

Sometimes Netflix’s Marvel shows can be quite heavy-handed with their nods to other shows or the events in the films (see Turk’s corny line at the end of episode 2). However, there are times when they connect their properties in a way that subtly fleshes out the universe. And “Suckas Need Bodyguards” is an example of the latter.

The episode opens with Jessica Jones‘ Trish Walker talking about Luke Cage on her radio show. It’s only a voiceover cameo, but I really liked it because it feels natural. The radio segment plays out as Luke goes for a run around the city, and as he passes by Mariah’s brownstone, he lets her know he’s coming for both her and her cousin.

His threat is enough to send her running to her cousin, who happens to have more important things to worry about since he shot a cop that morning. Earlier that day, he met with Detective Scarfe, who demanded more money for the guns. Things got heated and Cottonmouth ended up shooting him, but he had to flee the scene before finishing the job. So, now they have to worry about Luke Cage and a dirty cop with evidence that could bring Cottonmouth down. I definitely clapped when Mariah called Cottonmouth on his stupidity and listed a number of obvious ways they could kill Luke; she suggested drowning or poison.

Meanwhile, Claire finally manages to track Luke down at her mother’s diner. Obviously, Luke doesn’t remember her at first because he spent most of the time in her care unconscious. Eventually, they head back to the barber shop and that’s where they find a wounded Scarfe waiting for Luke. In exchange for Luke’s help, Scarfe says he’ll come through with evidence to take Cottonmouth down. So, they make a plan to drive him down to One Police Plaza, which they hope is outside of Cottonmouth’s sphere of influence.

Pretty much everyone in the episode who isn’t Mariah is looking for Scarfe, and while it wasn’t the most compelling plot, it did give us a chance to witness more of Misty’s ingenuity. The Captain pairs Misty with Lieutenant Perez, who is working for Cottonmouth, to find Scarfe. It doesn’t take long for Misty to figure out that Perez is dirty and she fakes a phone call, which tricks him into confessing, and she gets it all on tape.

By the time Misty catches up with Luke, Claire, and Scarfe, who have spent the last few hours evading Cottonmouth’s men, Scarfe has died. But, before he died, he gave Luke all the evidence he had to take down Cottonmouth.

Meanwhile, Mariah invites a news crew into her home for an interview, and it’s clear from the beginning that Thembi, the reporter, has more on her mind than hearing Mariah’s canned quotes about the spirit of Harlem. Midway through the interview, Thembi brings up Mariah’s connection to Cottonmouth and the Crispus Attucks center. I loved that scene because Alfre Woodard’s eyes go from warm to cold in an instant. I still may not completely understand Mariah, but I love watching Woodard’s performance.

All in all, it’s a pretty bad day for the Stokes family. With Scarfe’s evidence, Misty and the rest of the police are able to arrest Cottonmouth. But, something tells me he won’t be behind bars for too long. The Captain complains to Misty about the city timidity about going hard on Cottonmouth.

Additional Thoughts:

  • It was pretty clear Scarfe wasn’t going to make it out alive. The show inelegantly tries to flesh him out by revealing that Scarfe’s son accidentally killed himself with Scarfe’s gun, but that information comes a little bit too late.
  • The banter between Claire and Luke at the end of the episode was great. She definitely knew what he meant when he asked if she wanted to get some coffee.
  • It seems Claire has become the MCU’s superhero whisperer. She spends half the episode reminding Luke of all of the good things he can do with his powers.

Episode Recaps

Marvel's Luke Cage
The third colloboration from Marvel and Netflix, Luke Cage is based on the comic of the same name. Mike Colter plays the titular character, who is a former convict with superhero strength. Cheo Hodari Coker developed the series.
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