Celebrity Sightings in New York City - May 23, 2016

And now, at last we reach the end of ‘Luke Cage,’ with the final two episodes showing casing the final battles between Luke, Mariah, Diamondback and Misty. The show definitely did not end the way that I thought it would, but we can go into more detail about that later. For now, the final episodes worked hard to pay off the entire season and set up the future of ‘Luke Cage’ the series and the character.

lc-at-bodegaOf course, the episode begins with Luke escaping from the police van, he has more important things to do at the moment than deal with the police, especially since he is not too found of them or their system anyway. So he escapes and is almost caught by an older black cop, but the man lets Luke go, telling him “more people are rooting for you than you think.” For it seems despite the bile Mariah has been spilling about him, the people of Harlem have not given up on Luke. And the man himself definitely helps his case when he stops a robbery in a bodega shortly after his escape, and in the process meets Method Man. Both men are impressed at the other and practically gush upon meeting each other, with Method Man even giving Luke his hoodie and taking the bullet ridden one the hero is wearing, thus starting a movement in Harlem of everyone wearing hoodies with bullet holes to emulate their hero. It’s a nice moment and in today’s troubled times a solid statement.

luke-cage-still_0Misty has Candice in her own custody, hiding her at Claire’s mom house after the woman tapes a confession about lying about Luke murdering Cottonmouth, and she prepares to arrest Mariah as soon as she possibly can. Luke continues the hunt for Diamondback and tracks him to his new hiding place in a warehouse thanks to some information from Turk, who offers it up after Luke traps him in a dumpster with baby diapers. Before Luke arrives, Shades gets to the warehouse after having been freed by Zip and his men at Diamondback’s orders, clearly to make sure he did not talk to the police. However, Diamondback is done with Shades and gave orders for Zip to kill him, which Zip does attempt, but he and his crew are not enough to shut down Shades. Shades kill them all, steals their sunglasses (weird moment), and returns to Mariah. Luke arrives at the warehouse and finds dozens of dead gangsters from other crime families, including Domingo. They had shown up to take out Diamondback themselves, but Domingo warns Luke that Diamondback has a suit that makes him stronger than Luke himself. Luke finds a bomb planted by Diamondback in the warehouse and flees with Domingo, but the gangster dies on the street outside nonetheless

lc-shades-and-mariah-make-a-dealMariah can see the writing on the wall and decides to go for her final play, which is to make a deal with Luke to clear his name (courtesy of a folder exonerating Carl Lucas for his past crimes) as long as he takes out Diamondback. She calls for a meeting at Pop’s Barbershop, hoping that with her plan Luke and Diamondback might just kill each other and solve all of her problems. So she and Shades meet up with Luke and Misty at the Barber Shop, where Bobby Fish is still hanging out despite the lack of business. Mariah offers her deal, but Luke is clearly hesitant to get into bed with her, especially knowing that she killed Cottonmouth. Misty still just wants to arrest Mariah, and is in the process of doing it when the Barbershop is attacked by Diamondback in his new super-suit (courtesy of Hammer industries), and he and Luke begin the final battle.

lc-misty-cheers-on-luke-against-diamondbackThe battle is well fought, with Luke struggling to hold his own against Diamondback in his super-suit, and it gets intense when it seems like all of Harlem comes out to watch, even the news. Mariah uses the opportunity to deride the ‘super freaks’ and out Luke as Carl Lucas, but she knows Misty will arrest her as soon as the fight is over, and she has lost her leverage with Luke in the barbershop, dropping the folders somewhere. However, she and Shades do discover Misty’s phone, which they plan on using. Claire comes out to cheer on Luke and remind him that everyone is behind him, and with that in mind, Luke finally manages to wear down Diamondback and deliver an uppercut that finally does him in, ending the fight. Misty arrests Mariah, and Luke and Claire have to go to the precinct to officially clear his name.

lc-luke-and-claire-say-goodbyeMeanwhile, Shades uses Misty’s phone to lure Candice out, killing her in cold blood so she cannot testify against Mariah. While Ridley and Misty are speaking to Mariah they learn the news about Candice, and have to let Mariah go, which infuriates them both, with Ridley blaming Misty for not putting Candice in proper police custody. As Luke and Claire wait for Misty to return, they get closer and it is apparently they are going to “get coffee” as soon as they leave the police station. Which makes it all the more sadder when US Marshals arrive to arrest Carl Lucas, since Mariah outed Luke earlier. He agrees to go back to prison to serve his time, though Claire promises that she “knows a good lawyer” (which I guess is supposed to be Matt Murdock, but he kind of sucked as a lawyer in ‘Daredevil Season 2’ – maybe she meant Foggy or Jeri Hogarth). As Luke is driven back down to Georgia, Mariah and Shades return to Harlem’s Paradise to settle in as the new crime rulers of Harlem, but Misty can be seen “undercover” once more in the crowd below, clearly intent on keeping an eye on the pair, ready to pounce as soon as they make a mistake. In Claire’s final moments we see her take a number for self-defense class taught by Colleen Wing, who will be a prominent character in ‘Iron Fist.’ On a more optimistic note we see Bobby Fish find Mariah’s folder exonerating Carl Lucas in the rubble of the barbershop, so hopefully Luke’s prison stay will not end up as long as he thought. And we see the return of Dr. Noah Burett when he appears in Diamondback’s hospital room, and we realize he might just be trying to create another Power Man, especially since the catalyst might have been Luke’s DNA, which his half-brother also shares…

‘Luke Cage’ the series was a fascinating watch for so many reasons. It hit all of the important Marvel marks of good storytelling, great characters, great action, but it also explored a side of the Marvel universe that we have never seen before, mainly the experience from the eyes of a black  man. From bullet ridden hoodies to police brutality, the show definitely had a few points to make about the world we live in, and it is always refreshing to see a show unafraid of making those points over the course of the narrative, even if they could be a little heavy-handed from time to time. I loved the character of Luke and everything Mike Colter brought to him, and I cannot wait to see him reappear in ‘The Defenders’ (or maybe ‘Iron Fist’, though I doubt it). What were your thoughts on the season? Do you think it was comparable to ‘Jessica Jones’ in terms of overall quality? Feel free to share your opinions in the comments below!

What were your thoughts on the season? Do you think it was comparable to ‘Jessica Jones’ in terms of overall quality? Feel free to share your opinions in the comments below!

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