[Review] Luke Cage Episode 1×08: “Blowin’ Up the Spot”

written by K.C. White

SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT

The latest black-ass episode of Luke Cage wraps around judgment calls. Everyone here, with the exception of a couple of characters, makes a choice based on their emotions, and it rarely leads to anything good.

We pick up at the end of the last episode. Luke is crying and bleeding on the floor, so our shooter reloads and goes to do it some more. Claire manages to find a “discreet” ambulance, but apparently no amount of discretion can dodge a well-aimed rocket. We know how much people love rockets on this show, huh? We finally meet our shooter: Willis Stryker, also known as “Daddy Issues with Legs” (or DIWL), for the first time. Claire figures out that Luke knows him, but the reason why DIWL decides this is a great time for target practice is complicated as hell. Of course.

Meanwhile, back at The Cotton ClubHarlem’s Paradise, Mariah is sitting in time-out and thinking about what she’s done. Cottonmouth (R.I.P.) is literally chillin’ on the floor, while Shades‘ fine ass helps Mariah deal with the cleanup and finds a patsy to take the blame. I may be way out of line here, but something tells me this isn’t the first dead body Shades has dealt with. Just a hunch. Shades and Mariah give off a little sexual tension, and Candace gets prepped to throw Luke under the bus for killing Cottonmouth. Et tu, Candace?! Meanwhile, Mariah goes for the Oscar in front of the press, and the Anti-Luke Cage mess begins.

Remember when I mentioned judgment calls? Well they’re here in several forms, but the “Best Lack Of Judgement” award goes to the one, the only, Detective Misty Knight. Misty’s temper has come into play more than once in this series, and it seems like no one checks her on it until it’s too late to reverse the damage she’s caused. Once again, Misty decides to avoid proper protocol and does what she damn well pleases. It makes one wonder: “how is she still employed?” Seriously, she goes charging off with no backup and no plan. Now, there’s a thin line between “stubborn” and “just plain stupid”. In this case, Misty’s entire existence must be a constant tightrope walk.

Back at the clinic, Luke is trying to get his bearings and rid himself of those pesky exploding bullets when Misty appears. They get a little dialogue in before DIWL breaks up the party, commando gear in full effect, and Misty finally decides she needs to call for backup (GEE, YOU THINK?!). But of course she doesn’t actually wait for them because that would make sense and we can’t have that, now can we? Better just take on the bad guys ourselves. What could possibly happen?

Luke tries to defend himself, but before he can really do anything, DIWL relieves Misty of her weapon, fires three shots into Luke (“Can you count, suckas?!”), and runs off with his very own Detective Misty Knight-sized keepsake. To recap: because Misty chose to ignore her superiors, her co-worker (the Squabbles of the police squad), and lives in a constant state of “I got this!”, she has found herself in a new role: hostage. In the words of the great and powerful Tatianna: “Choices.”

DIWL lets her live because time constraints are a bitch, and runs off for his big (eh…) battle with Luke. Meanwhile, in the police station, Misty reveals something very important: she hasn’t learned a gawd. Damn. Thing. After pushing her way into the interrogation room to grill Claire, she loses her temper, and then tries to choke the poor woman! Guess you want Claire to put some respeck on your name, huh Misty? Good luck explaining this to your boss. Do yourself a favor and do not start with “See, what had happened was…” Trust me on this one.

So we close the door on Misty Knight and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and move on to the big(ish?) battle between Luke and DIWL. It’s a draw. Mariah gives Candace a big payoff for her “loyalty”, and Shades keeps an eye out for any signs of second thoughts. Early the next morning, Luke is wandering through Harlem, fighting to stay alive. Unfortunately, DIWL is still on the hunt. He finally finds his target, and takes out the trash. Literally.

Where do we go from here? Only the next episode will tell.

Peace, y’all.

*Shout-Out Section*

  • Shout-out to the Warriors reference. That was my shit back in the day. I don’t know anyone in my hood who wasn’t about The Warriors. If you need a reason for this movie’s appearance on the “Black-O-Meter”, you aren’t paying attention.
  • Shout-out to the constant scripture quotes. Loooord, this episode had more Bible references than my relatives’ Facebook pages.
  • Shout-out to “I got commandments for your ass.” Just one of the best lines ever. No other reason.
  • Shout-out to whoever wrote the line “Nigga, I am your brother.” Is this like the black version of “Luke, I am your father”? Whatever, it had me rolling. And it’s one the best lines to end an episode I’ve seen so far.

Luke Cage is available now on Netflix. K.C. can be reached on Twitter @evil_kinegro.

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