Episode Title: Soul Brother #1
Originally Aired: June 22nd, 2018
You may know him as Power Man, the hero for hire, or Carl Lucas, but he wants you to know his name is Luke Cage. Luke is back after the events of The Defenders and ready to tackle his second solo season. Several season one favorites have returned including Mike Colter (Luke Cage), Rosario Dawson (Claire), Simone Missick (Misty) Alfre Woodard (Mariah) and Theo Rossi (Shades) they are joined by Mustafa Shakir as the primary season 2 villain John ‘Bushmaster’ McIver. I can’t wait and see who will survive and what surprises we will encounter over the 13 episode season.
I think Claire sums it up perfectly when she talks about Luke throughout this episode Luke is a hero through and through and he is corny. Which makes it hard to tell if it is the character, the writing or the acting that causes some of Luke’s lines to hit with a thud instead of being smooth or intimidating or whatever the situation required.
This first episode was fine, but it existed to mark things off a checklist. They want us to know how Luke, Claire, and Misty are handling themselves after The Defenders. Losing Matt, Misty losing her arm and saving the city, if not the world, could have lasting impacts outside of the obvious that may unfold throughout the season. We get to catch up with our main villains from last season and get an idea of what new schemes they are running. We get a brief intro to this season’s main bad guy and learn he is the anti-Luke, he is a bulletproof mobster.
While we are on the subject of bulletproof, apparently sometime between the events of season one and this episode Luke became impervious to the Judas bullets. Maybe it’s like an immune response or a what doesn’t kill him makes him stronger situation, or perhaps without Diamondback, the weapons are of lower quality. No matter the reason it was poorly handled, he is hit with one and brushes it off like it wasn’t his only real weakness in his nearly 30 episodes in the Marvel Netflix universe.
Despite a few shortcomings, I found this episode enjoyable and it was nice to be back in this world. It may be telling of my reaction to season 1 that I’m most excited for the cameos that may be coming from Jessica, Danny, Jeri or anyone else in this world. However, I am still very excited to see where the creative team takes us and how our characters will evolve over the next 12 episodes.