[Review] Luke Cage Episode 2×02: “Straighten It Out”

written by Kiara Williams


I’m not gonna lie. I’m a bit of a spiteful person. I’m not the type to forgive easily without the other person showing that they’ve changed, and it usually has to be something pretty big.

So while watching Episode 2, I couldn’t help but get irritated at Claire for suggesting that Luke forgive his father just because he’s family. Families are different everywhere, and just because a family member wants to reconnect doesn’t mean they should be allowed to. Family doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone and the fact that Claire doesn’t see that is…irritating, to say the least. No one is obligated to forgive someone just because of a simple blood relation, and that line “I thought we were family” was manipulative as hell.

And I really don’t like that the plot of this episode seems to be backing up Claire in her opinion. From Luke’s father’s sermon to when Luke rescued the young boy and his mother, it all hints towards Luke’s anger being a bad thing, rather than something that can be turned into strength if used properly. Yes, anger should be worked through. And yes, anger can be an all-consuming thing if it’s allowed to be. But not every relationship is meant to be mended, and I’m a believer in healing without necessarily having forgiveness. Maybe the story will surprise me and go somewhere different with this, but I don’t have the most faith in that right now.

Meanwhile, Mariah is trying to use her own family to make herself look better as a politician. She’s trying to reconnect with her daughter, who works in holistic medicine. I wonder if Mariah was pushing her daughter to be great in order to help clean up her family’s name. It was implied that Mariah wasn’t happy with where Tilda ended up. Proving my earlier point, Mariah has an ulterior motive. She may end up just dumping Tilda all over again once she gets what she needs out of her. I hope Tilda makes it out okay; she seems to be stirring up some jealousy in Shades, especially after his screw-up in killing Arturo.

Bushmaster is starting to set his sights on Luke in order to control Harlem. We discover that Bushmaster’s not entirely bulletproof, but can heal himself using nightshade. I really, really loved the use of Jamaican patois in this episode. Those scenes weren’t for people who didn’t understand it (and I didn’t understand some of it in the scene with the children), and that’s okay. That’s how multicultural places work, and Luke Cage has been consistently good showing how Harlem functions as a city.

Despite my problems, I’m gonna keep my optimism up and continue watching. This episode was pretty good.

Luke Cage is available now on Netflix. Kiara can be reached on Twitter @DJPrincessK and her webcomic can be found at http://www.electricrosecomic.com/.

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