Season 1, Episode 2.
After the first episode’s ending where Luke turned down the opportunity to become a “hero for hire” – Code of the Streets wastes no time in getting back into the story. Misty has some sort of special vision that allows her to crack cases just by thinking. She’s obviously a skilled detective, as she can read a crime scene and envision how things went down.
Luke Cage tackles the use of the “N” word a couple of times in the first episode, and it does so as this episode commences. It’s something you’d next expect from a Marvel show, though their collaborations with Netflix have proved they can easily tackle sensitive topics such as this. Think back to Jessica Jones, they tackled the concept of rape. It’s commendable really, and while this doesn’t particularly feel like a Marvel show, it’s still impressive.
Luke, Misty, and Cottonmouth are all involved in Chico – a young guy who was involved with a shooting in Moment of Truth. It seems like this’ll be the common thread between these parties until clearly hero/villain lines are drawn later in the season. Our impression of Cottonmouth so far? He’s quite compelling and he has understandable motives, though he’s not quite as charismatic as Kilgrave and he’s not as intimidating or threatening as Wilson Fisk.
Luke shows he’s learnt a thing or two with his time with Jessica Jones, as he finds Chico in matter of hours. Chico brings Misty and Luke together again after their night of fun with her visiting Pop’s to ask some questions. Pop seems to know everybody, and it creates a tense dynamic when there’s obviously some lying taking place. Another tense dynamic is that of Cottonmouth and Mariah’s, they’re cousins but they’re not exactly on the same wavelength when it comes to Cottonmouth’s activities.
Characters are starting to get a bit of a backstory now, which is needed really. The thing is, we’re always a bit dubious about characters who aren’t vital to the plot when they get developed – there’s a chance they will die soon. The additional development of the character serves as a way to get the viewer more invested in them, which then increases the impact of their death. The character in question? Pop. It’s unfortunate, but we’re sure it’ll kickstart Luke’s heroism. Pop was the soul of the show, and he was a positive influence on Luke. It’ll be fascinating to see just how Luke deals with his loss.
This episode puts somewhat of a story in place, and while Luke isn’t happy with what’s going on in Harlem, he’s not a Defender just yet. He’s got a motive now though: avenge.
Connections are formed between the big players in the series as things get real bad for Luke.