Luke Cage S1 Ep4 – Step In The Arena

Well, episode three was my favorite up until this one.

In the aftermath of the missile at the end of the last episode, Luke digs himself and Connie, his landlady, out of the rubble. Meanwhile, he reflects back on how he got this way, and man oh man, is it a story.

Therapy with Dr. Connors

RIP, Reva – as well as Carl Lucas, I suppose.

I didn’t recognize Reva – aka, Luke Cage’s late wife whom Kilgrave forced Jessica to kill – for a little while. But that just made it more poignant as this pretty prison therapist does her best to get Carl Lucas, ex-cop, to open up – and then someone calls her “Dr. Connors” and that’s when I remembered who she was.

It’s interesting that, throughout the saga of Carl in prison, we never do hear what his alleged crimes were. We do learn that he doesn’t trust easily, but that he’s always been willing to fight to save others. (Also, it’s really weird to watch him fight in the illegal prisoner matches without his abilities! My brain doesn’t want to absorb the sight of him actually getting hurt.)

Again, it was obvious that Squabbles was going to be an innocent who had to be taken out to move the narrative forward. But I appreciate how even minor characters in this show seem like real people, who would be worth more time if the show had it to spend. Rackham the evil prison guard was more two-dimensionally Evil Prison Guard. On the other hand, at least I’m used to that actor playing evil characters.

Oh, and I take back any nice things I said about Shades. Anyone who can beat up an unarmed guy with metal tools just to keep their off-the-books system going is horrible – especially since he’s half the reason Luke (Carl, I should say) almost died. My only question is whether Shades recognized him when they met at Pop’s barbershop. I honestly couldn’t tell.

Now, for the crux of the origin story: there’s no getting around the fact that Luke in that tanning-booth-looking capsule was not a particularly original image, even if you narrow it down to just Marvel superheroes. It could have been Wolverine or Captain America in there. But that’s okay. Some parts of this kind of story are bound to be overly familiar.

Sweet Christmas, indeed. (Comic image via Screenrant)

Sweet Christmas, indeed. (Comic image via Screenrant)

And it was worth it for the image of Luke in that tiara, bracelets, and yellow jacket, like his comicbook self. I did laugh out loud when he told his reflection, “You look like a damn fool.” Hee! And to have him give his signature, “Sweet Christmas,” just minutes before – as he punches through the prison wall – made it all perfect.

I really need to know more about Reva, now. She was pretty mysterious in Jessica Jones too, and it’s even more important to know what she meant when she told Luke she hadn’t always been a therapist. So what I’m saying is, I’m all for more flashbacks with Luke and Reva, even though it makes me sad whenever I see her.

Oh, and just what is dirty Detective Scarfe going to do with the footage of the attack on Connie’s place? The plot certainly thickens.