Luke Cage 1.06 Review: “Suckas Need Bodyguards”

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After declaring he’s staying in Harlem and will take down Cottonmouth in the previous episode, Luke Cage did just that in episode 6.

This episode opens with a neat little voiceover from Jessica Jones‘ Trish Walker talking about Luke Cage on her radio show. Six episodes in and this is the first time (not counting Turk’s hilarious Hell’s Kitchen line in episode 2) the series has subtly made us aware of the larger Marvel Netflix universe.

Luke Cage is a man on a mission. All of Harlem has taken notice to his heroics and this doesn’t sit well with Cottonmouth and Mariah. Both are at wits end trying to bring down our unbreakable hero. At this point, it’s become increasingly clear that good ol’ Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes won’t be Luke’s primary antagonist for long. In fact, you could argue that he was never the shows main big bad to begin with.

“I don’t want the details. I just want results”

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Mariah, while initially reluctant to take matters into her own hands, has shown she maybe willing to get her hands dirty if things continue to get worse for the crime dual. Also, there’s the the mysterious Diamondback (who has yet to make an appearance). Apparently, Diamondback maybe pulling all the strings. What’s his endgame? What’s his connection to Cage? Who really knows.

Much of this episode, Cage was accompanied by Claire Temple as they ran around the city protecting a wounded Detective Scarfe from Cottonmouth’s goons. There are some neat action scenes, but it’s the quieter moments that really stood out to me. More specifically, all the scenes with Mariah. Alfre Woodard delivers a stellar performance this episode. There’s genuine concern in her eyes when she’s talking about improving Harlem to a news crew she invited over to her home.

The episode ended with Cottonmouth being taken away in handcuffs and Mariah being exposed as helping her beloved cousin with his criminal empire. But even with this win under Cage’s and the police departments belt, something tells me Cottonmouth won’t be behind bars for long.

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