[Review] Luke Cage Episode 1×05: “Just To Get A Rep”

written by Sabra Schirm

SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT

tl;dr recap:

Everything's On Fire

(No, no…everything’s fine. It’s. All. Fine.)

So, I am going to flex my academic muscles and start us off with a thematic quote that came to mind while watching this episode:

“There’s a passage that I got memorized. Seems appropriate for this situation. Ezekiel 25:17. ‘The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of the charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know My name is the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon thee’.” -Jules Winnfield, Pulp Fiction

My thematic quote game is strong.

Anyway, if the quote didn’t give it away, the name of the game in this episode is vengeance. Cottonmouth’s vengeance on Luke. Luke’s vengeance on Cottonmouth for his acts of vengeance. There’s a whole lot of vengeance being taken on both sides, is what I’m saying, and everyone is caught up in it, in one way or another:

  • Luke and Cottonmouth (obviously).
  • Shades.
  • Misty and Scarfe.
  • Basically all of Harlem.
  • Hell, Justin fucking Hammer.*

Things look very bleak for Harlem with Misty as the only one overly concerned with due process and collateral damage. Things are complicated by the fact that Scarfe is obviously Up To Something. Whether he is turning over a new leaf or being shady (I suspect the latter), it is only going to escalate matters once Cottonmouth gets word, as he inevitably will. In either case, it is definitely an instance of “Bad Timing On the Dick Move, Bro.”

The dick moves keep coming when both Cottonmouth and Luke use Pop’s memorial to preach their visions of Harlem…couched, of course, in terms of what they think that he would have wanted. Though Luke’s vision is a bit less “blame the Other”, it is no less a rallying cry to his cause.

It’s not all dick-measuring contests– sorry, I mean righteous acts of revenge by Luke and Cottonmouth, however. This episode also sees the arrival of Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson), who has returned home after being basically blackmailed-slash-run out of Metro-General, thanks to an incident she refused to keep quiet about.

As the Netflix Marvel through-line (through-character?), she is here to remind us that both Jessica Jones and Daredevil happened. Since this is her first appearance, it is difficult to tell how her character arc is going to play out, but I’m guessing – hoping – that she’ll end up being more than a “Super Groupie With Attitude.” She has, undoubtedly, proven herself capable of being so much more than that.

She deserves to be so much more than that.

*side-eyes Marvel*

In the end, this episode left me wanting nothing more than for Misty and Claire to meet, become the best of friends, and run off to have adventures as BAMF BFFs, leaving the dudes to their pissing contest. With all the shit they’ve had to deal with, they’ve earned a bit of downtime.

*Side Note:

My reaction to learning that the much-desired guns are Hammer guns: AHAHAHAHAHA. I mean, we’re talking about the Justin Hammer who, in the MCU, has consistently proven to be an inept opportunist, right? Right?! So, let me just say it again: AHAHAHAHAHA. This…isn’t going to end well for you, Cottonmouth. It really, really isn’t.

Luke Cage is available now on Netflix. Sabra can be reached on Twitter @cue_face_palm.

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