Luke Cage: Now You're Mine

"Whatcha talkin' 'bout Willis?"

Luke Cage does Die Hard in a nightclub with a superhero.

Almost every television series that involves crime fighting of some kind has done a hostage episode. They are almost a rite of passage. But I am no fan of hostage episodes. More often than not they turn out to dull and predictable, and this one was no different.

'Now You're Mine' won hostage episode bingo. Every trope and cliche you can think of was in this episode, from someone inside being injured and needing immediate medical attention to the hot headed SWAT commander who wants to storm the building but was held back by a more level headed cop who knows "Something ain't right here".

As well as failing to do anything new with the sub-genre, this episode failed to do anything at all, really. Luke spent the majority of it hiding in the basement looking after Misty while the cops sat outside twiddling their thumbs and Diamondback continued to blame all his daddy issues on his brother for reasons that are still not entirely clear.

Diamondback is just not working for me as a villain. I like his dress sense and taste in music, even if 'Son of a Preacher Man' was so on the nose it broke it, and that "diet Obama" line was brilliant, but there is just no nuance to him at all, and Erik LaRay Harvey's performance is one bacon sandwich away from being full ham. Why oh why did they have to kill off Cottonmouth? Sure, it made for a really shocking mid-season twist, but it robbed us of more Mahershala Ali. When you have an actor like him on the payroll you don't get rid of him after just seven episodes.

The most surprising thing about this entire episode was what it didn't do. When Diamondback put a bullet through Misty's right arm I was convinced she was going to lose it. One of the things Misty Knight is best known for is having a bionic right arm. When Claire said she might lose her arm I thought to myself, "Yeah, that arm is coming off". But it didn't. Misty got to keep her arm, which, when I think about it, is for the best. A bionic arm would have been one fantastical step too far for the series.

Queen of New York
Notes and Quotes

--Blake Tower is the fourth character from Daredevil to make the trip above 110th Street.

--Shades is openly questioning Diamondback's decisions and making jokes about his name. He isn't long for this world, is he?

--Claire is finally referred to as Night Nurse.

--Which is worse, villains who tirelessly quote Shakespeare or villains who tirelessly quote the Bible?

--Misty and Claire kicking ass together is something we need a lot more of.

Luke: “Couldn’t we have made amends a long time ago?”
Diamondback: “Couldn’t you have died during childbirth?”

Claire:  “Me, medical shit. You, bulletproof shit.”

Two out of four diet Obamas.
Mark Greig is cold outside, there's no kind of atmosphere, he's all alone, more or less. More Mark Greig.


Anonymous said...

Diamondback was just that bit over the top...He did have some hilarious lines in every episode but it wasn't enough to stop Shades getting line of the episode with the Willis line.

Feel so sorry for Shades, he just want's to work for a competent criminal.

Misty and Claire team up saved this episode for me.

migmit said...

MUCH better than the previous one.

Still not perfect. At the end, when cops were surrounding Cage, I expected Candice to scream on the top of her lungs "Hey! The bad guy runs away!" Instead she just mumbled "sorry, man".

But almost everything else did fit. Even the idea that Luke could just charge at Diamondback head on was discussed and later dismissed on the grounds that other hostages might be hurt.

I like the way police is portrayed here. Most of them are competent professionals who are a bit smarter than they would realistically be (even those who chose to work for the opposite side). The SWAT leader was quite trigger-happy — but did not start shooting. Captain — I keep forgetting her name — figured out pretty much everything. Guy from the DA's office was really smart, being more concerned about super-guns ending up on the streets than about hostage situation.

And yes, I can't resist saying that: yes, yes, Misty and Claire were absolutely terrific together. Not just when fighting — all of their interaction was great. They could probably make this series worth watching even without Luke (not that they should — Mike Colter definitely shines).

JRS said...

I think for me the impact of Misty getting shot and bleeding profusely was somewhat limited by just having basically gone through a whole medical emergency for two episodes with Luke.

I also felt Diamondback comes across as just so limited in this episode. Shoot shoot shoot! Agree with Mark, he's just very... one-shot?... as a villain.

I agree with Migmit about Misty and Claire. I thought their interactions over Luke were... much more mature in ways people don't usually see on TV. Misty sees some chemistry between Claire and Luke, and the subtext seems to be almost "huh. He really does like strong women." Think Misty will get her own series at any point?

migmit said...

"Misty Knight" series would be very nice, but I doubt it's possible. She has no superpowers, and the position of S.H.I.E.L.D. director is already filled... although you never know.

BTW, it's Coulson who has a bionic arm now, so, it's understandable that Misty won't get one.

Billie Doux said...

Like the rest of you, I also loved Misty and Claire together. And "Me medical shit, you bulletproof shit," which was hilarious. And the dental floss patch-up, like Supernatural.

Anonymous said...

Misty Knight gets a bionic arm in the comics and she has a relationship with Danny Rand Aka Iron Fist...Hopefully she and Claire are in that series too.