[Review] Luke Cage Episode 2×06: “The Basement”

written by Kiara Williams


This episode has a lot to do with atonement.

Misty was still wrestling with the lengths she was willing go to in order to get Cockroach locked up, so she does the thing that will best clear her conscience, and tells her superior what she’s done. And her boss just…lets her go. He was only going to let Misty live with the decisions she almost made, because Misty never actually executed her plan since Cockroach died before she could. But that wasn’t enough for Misty, so she leaves the police force. This was probably best for her, as her anger and frustration at Cockroach and other criminals being free was starting to turn her into something she didn’t want to be.

On the flip side, Mariah’s inner hurt is beginning to show through in this episode, and I’m finally starting to see a moment of genuineness from her, as sad as it is. She’s pushing everyone away because to her, everyone has failed her. I’m actually starting to believe that Mariah honestly wants to clean up Harlem, and she’s bitter that her family had the money to possibly do it before and didn’t. They had the possibility to be better for her and weren’t. I’m not absolving Mariah of all the terrible things she’s done, but she is someone who’s hurting, and it’s actually pretty sad to watch. Mariah’s trying to clean up her family name and help Harlem, but Bushmaster is looking to ruin it and collapse everything she’s worked for.

Bushmaster is starting to see some consequences for his actions from some of his friends. One of them comments on how the Jamaican community has to work harder to be seen as worthy by other people, and if Bushmaster’s actions from the previous episode get traced back to him and his gang, it’ll reflect badly on the community as a whole.

Boy, marginalized communities all over the U.S. know all about this, don’t we? We’re always afraid of one of us ending up on the news because of how it’ll reflect on all of us, or how it’ll fit into a bad stereotype. It isn’t fair, and it’s not right, but it’s how marginalized people live in the U.S. Every black person I know has watched a news report about an arrest being made and has said “Don’t be black, don’t be black, don’t be bla—GODDAMMIT” to the TV. I can only speak from a black person’s perspective, but we constantly have to act and think with an entire community in mind. Does every black person act perfectly? No, of course not. But I’m glad this episode touched on how the terrible actions of one person in a marginalized community can affect the rest of the people in it.

Oh hey, so Luke saved Piranha and now he’s challenging Bushmaster to another one-on-one fight! That’s exciting! They meet on a bridge and duke it out, but while Bushmaster promised it would be a fair fight, in the final moments he uses a powder to paralyze Luke and kick him off the bridge.

Luke just can’t catch a break for very long, can he?

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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