Luke Cage 1.05 Review: “Just to Get a Rep”

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With all of Harlem now knowing he has superpowers, Luke Cage hits the streets with a new attitude. Meanwhile, Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes launches a smear campaign against our unbreakable hero in retaliation for all the money Cage has cost him.

Episode five begins with the return of everyone’s favorite night nurse Claire Temple. It’s great to see Claire show up in another Netflix show. As expected as her appearance is, it’s still cool to see someone who has such an important role in all of Marvel’s Netflix shows so far. Aside from seeing her, we also get a little more backstory on the character this time around.

 

Elsewhere, Cottonmouth isn’t too happy with Luke Cage. Cracks in his once cool facade are starting to show after Cage hit him where it hurts: his money. After the rocket launcher attack went south, Cottonmouth revamped his efforts to stop Cage. His attention this time was on the people of Harlem. He sent his men out to raid people’s homes and rob them of whatever money and valuables they have. It was pretty smart move to turn the neighborhood against him. Of course, discovering Luke is practically unbreakable hasn’t exactly given Cottonmouth any other options to get even with him.

Naturally, Luke doesn’t respond well to Cottonmouth’s smear campaign.  There’s one line from Bobby Fish that really sums up Luke’s renewed outlook on life: “You can’t control what people say. Just be the best man that you can be.”

“The next time you say my name, I’m coming for you”

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This episode, we really get to see Luke shed his reluctant hero persona and become more confident in his abilities. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Cottonmouth slowly becomes unhinged. The smooth, charismatic Cottonmouth that we all love (to hate) began to lose control over his emotions and his criminal empire.

The highlight of “Just to Get a Rep” was Pop’s memorial service. There, both Cottonmouth and Luke spoke candidly about Pop’s and what he stood for. Cottonmouth delivered a powerful eulogy meant to further divide Harlem and Luke. Whereas Luke, being Luke, inspired everyone to work to come together.

“I don’t believe in Harlem. I believe in the people who make Harlem what it is”

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