Episode Title: Blowin’ Up the Spot
Originally Aired: September 30th 2016
The latest episode of Netflix’s Luke Cage picks up seconds after the end of last week’s episode, Luke bloody on the ground looking for his attacker before he passes out. It was an entertaining episode and it could lead to some exciting moments but so far, I am not impressed with the direction the show has decided to take. After just one episode, the tail of the tape when comparing snakes has Cottonmouth dominating Diamondback in every category. I think making it a personal story for Luke is a good decision if they are not ready to go down the hero for hire road.
The main issue I have this week is the portrayal so far of Diamondback, he is full of anger and resentment, spouting bible verses, and has the same level of charisma as an actual snake. The way this episode ended, I will not be surprised if next week is another flashback heavy episode as Luke tries to recover from his injuries. If that theory holds true I hope that we will get to see a lot of scenes of a younger more interesting Diamondback and what happened to their relationship. Are they actually brothers or was he just trying to torment Luke before trying to kill him.
I wish that Theo Rossi’s Shades could have been the next main advisory, he is charismatic like Cottonmouth was but he is also much creepier and intimidating. Shades may be in line for more screen time now that he is running Harlem’s Paradise and his boss is in town. Shades also seems to be grooming Mariah into the next Mama Stokes, whether she likes it or not. We saw a major uptick in her ferocity in this episode as she casually discusses murdering an entire family, but she still insist that she is not like that woman. They both protected themselves first, family second and Harlem third, the only real difference at this point is that Mariah does not run a bunch of hookers out of her back room.
I am coming to the decision that I just do not like many of the people in this world. The majority of the focus characters are either criminals, crooked cops, idiots or selfish and all around unenjoyable. Claire is always likable even if she does overstep from time to time but she does it for good reasons at least. The most disappointing so to me is Misty, just in this episode; she celebrates someone’s brutal death, chokes an innocent person, believes whatever she was told most recently and spends a few minutes being a good cop. It is the inconsistency that makes it the most frustrating, How she can go from thinking it is one suspect not the other, then finding out suspect two also has an alibi, then getting a phone call and arresting suspect two in less than five minutes of screen time, is beyond me. Luke is extremely likable and relatable but as previously stated, Mike Colter is the shows weakest actor so he pulls me out every now and then when he gives a weak line reading. If the writing continues at this level, I may end up giving him a pass as doing his best with average material. The best acted and scripted material this week were the scenes between Claire and Luke when they are trying to remove the bullet and discussing how his ability actually works.
Blowin’ Up the Spot was well shot and it was different to see Luke as vulnerable for once. In another example of this episode’s poor writing, Diamondback will either have to be shown as enhanced or he should have died two or maybe three times in this episode. His fall from the balcony, being thrown 50ft through a door and into a wall and maybe even the damage from being stabbed multiple times in the arm could all result in death, but he shakes it all off with no problem. I do not think he will turn out to be enhanced based on how he spoke to Luke with disgust about how Luke has abilities. I am hoping for good things, because after four episodes, this was my favorite of the Marvel/Netflix shows and now it is falling down that list.