It has been a while since “Jessica Jones” was released, and we were hoping that the “Luke Cage” series was going to come around a lot quicker then it did, but we are finally here and we are ready to dive in. While we hope to see some of Jessica in this series, we really want to learn more about Luke and what his role in this universe is going to be.
The premiere sets us up with what Luke’s life is like after his run in with Kilgrave: He’s working a few odd jobs (like at Pops barbershop and washing dishes at a club), women still throw themselves at him like he’s James Bond, he’s barely making enough money to make his rent and he’s keeping a very low profile after everything that went down with Kilgrave and Jessica.
What Luke doesn’t know about the club he works at (but he will figure out soon enough) is that Cornell (the man that runs the club) is dealing in the arms trade and is working closely with a city councilwoman to make it all happen. Unfortunately for Cornell, a low level guy in this organization (Dante) and two of his friends from Pops barbershop (Shameek and Chico) hit up Cornell’s trade taking his money.
With Dante left dead at the scene of the slaughter, Cornell tries to reason with the other side (a man named Shades) saying that if it was an inside job then his man wouldn’t be dead too, but things are taking a bad turn for Cornell and he’s worried that they are getting ready to take him over. Cornell learns of Shameek and Chico and has Shades bring Shameek to him. Luke sees Shades at the club and recognizes him as one of the men that used to beat him while he was in prison (even without his super powers it’s kind of hard to believe this guy actually beat Luke up at all, but let’s continue). Cornell beats Shameek to death after getting spit on, but at least Cornell has half his money… now he just needs to find Chico to get the rest.
Luke is still struggling since he was released from prison and the person that is most on his mind is his wife Reva. He just can’t shake her, even after his “rebound” with Jessica. Speaking of Jessica, Luke hasn’t really dated since and it seems that every woman that asks him out asks him for “coffee” – and it’s the kiss of death since Luke does NOT like coffee. He did take one woman home (from Cornell’s club) after rejecting her coffee offer, so he’s trying to move forward, but who exactly is this mystery woman? She’s a detective working on busting Cornell and his gun running schemes.
There is a really cool mix in this universe of 1970’s Harlem styles with modern day conveniences. We weren’t sure if this was really going to work at first, but it was all put together so seamlessly. The best example was our first introduction to the club, where the lighting and decor felt like a blast from the past, but everyone is dressed in all the latest fashion. Also, can we give a shout out to whoever put this soundtrack together? The music is brilliant! We’re not really sold on Shades being any kind of threat to anyone, but Cornell is something different. He is terrifying and smart which is a deadly combination. This premiere also showed us what we knew all along ever since seeing Mike Colter play a supporting role in “Jessica Jones”… he’s a leading man. There’s a lot to like about this premiere and it sets us up for what we think is going to be an excellent first season. Episode grade: A-
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