Netflix ‘Luke Cage’ season 1, episode 2 review: Luke faces hard truths about the state of Harlem

Luke CageThe premiere of “Luke Cage” was a great set up of the season and there’s a lot to love about this show so far. While we may not be sold on “Shades” being as bad ass as they want us to buy into, everything else is on point. Great story, great characters and the over all style and feel of this show makes this a world that we feel completely immersed in. Also, we can’t get over how incredible this soundtrack is! We’ve always said that no one does superhero shows like Netflix and that standard is remaining true with “Luke Cage”. Let’s see what episode 2 has in store.

With word on the street about how Luke destroyed four guys trying to take down Genghis Connie’s, Pop tries to push Luke into more of a superhero role, and at this point he’s ready to listen if Pop will give him information on this “Harlem Resistance” that is trying to push anyone who isn’t black out of the neighborhood.  He learns that this group is connected to Councilwoman Mariah and that she and Cornell are cousins.

As they end their conversation, Cornell and Shades walk into Pop’s barbershop and start asking about Chico’s whereabouts. While they don’t get much information before leaving, Pop notices Cornell’s knuckles and knows that they got to Shameek. After some discussion, Luke reluctantly agrees to locate Chico so that Pop can find a way to get the money back to Cornell without any more blood being spilled.

When Luke finds Chico he tells him that Pop has a way out of this for him. Chico refuses help and won’t let go of the money, forcing Luke to walk away. After having some time to think, Chico comes to Pop and Luke for help. Unfortunately, Turk sees him and we know that’s only going to lead to problems for Pop. Another problem for Pop is detective Misty and her partner strolling into the barbershop asking questions about Chico… and now Luke knows the woman he spent the night with is a cop.

Worried about eyes on the shop, Pop asks Luke to go to the club and talk to Cornell about resolving the situation with Chico. Luke is able to convince Cornell to go to the shop and speak with Pop (these two have a long history since they were kids), but Turk has messaged Tone, saying he knows Chico’s at the shop. After hearing that there’s a location on Chico, Cornell decides to meet with Pop first – unfortunately, Tone has a different outlook on the situation and heads over to Pop’s shop to take care of the situation. He shoots up the place, killing Pop and taking the money – Chico survives, but Turk doesn’t know it. If Luke wasn’t motivated before to fix the crime situation in Harlem, he is now and his number one enemy is Cornell. After losing both of his jobs Luke has nothing but time.

When Cornell finds out what Tone did and that Pop is dead, Tone meets an untimely death, but at least Mariah has all her money now to replace the donation money she stole to help Cornell’s club. Luke sees Mariah carrying Chico’s backpack full of money and she makes his list as well.

Only two episodes in and we are fully engrossed in this world. One of the things we like about the pacing of this show is that they didn’t wait too long before giving Luke a strong enough reason to start using his powers to turn Harlem around. Episode one was a nice set up, and episode two gave us a reason for Luke’s new path. We can’t wait to see what episode three brings us. Episode grade: A-

What did you think of this episode of “Luke Cage” and do you like the season so far? Leave a comment in the box below and share your opinion. If you want to read some further reviews on “Luke Cage” then head on over to the link here. Also, if you want more great TV news sent straight to your inbox then be sure to sign up for our weekly CarterMatt newsletter. (Photo: Netflix)

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