In Review: Luke Cage – Season 2

As Luke adjusts to his growing fame and tries to shut down the flow of heroin branded with his name, someone from his past reaches out.

Synopsis: As Luke adjusts to his growing fame and tries to shut down the flow of heroin branded with his name, someone from his past reaches out.

Review: The second season of Luke Cage kicks off with Luke trying to adapt to his growing fame and sees many of his relationships get tested as he tries to be a Hero that all can look up too.

The series continues in this vein as Luke learns that the fine line between Justice, The Law and Crime are not as straightforward as he’d like them to be and over the course of the series he starts to learn that things are far more complex than right and wrong.

It is only when Luke meets Bushmaster that this begins to be clear to the Harlem based Hero, whose not only struggling with his own personal anger but is also trying to find a sense of balance to his life.  This very personal journey for Luke sees his girlfriend Claire Temple leaving him when his anger gets the better of him.

This season. Much like the first season feels like the most Shakespearean of the Marvel TV shows. The complexity of the relationships between all the different characters is phenomenal. I particularly enjoyed watching the love affair between Shades (Theo Rossi) and Mariah Dillard aka Mariah Stokes (Alfre Woodard) unravel as Mariah kind of becomes far more of a Crime Boss than her deceased cousin.

It isn’t until around about the third or fourth episode that the story kicks in when we see Bushmaster (Mustafa Shakir) take Luke down a peg or two with the mother of all beatdowns. Shakri provides us with a character that is initially blinded by vengeance that he doesn’t care who he hurts so long as he gets to take down Mariah and take everything from her. 

Throughout the series, it is very much the relationships that provide us with some entertaining television. I especially loved seeing Luke get to reconcile somewhat with his father who was played beautifully by the late Reg E. Cathey. And it seems to be Lukes father that understands the personal struggle and sense of responsibility that Luke has when it comes to how best use his powers, but I am not too sure if his father would approve of where he ends up by the close of the season, which is perhaps the biggest surprise of the series. 

The chemistry between Simone Missick as Misty Knight and Mike Colter sizzled with the same tension we first saw in the opening season and the fact that Misty has to play by a set of rules whereas Luke didn’t make for an interesting juxtaposition as well as the source of some fantastic scenes. I also enjoyed the fact that we got to see Misty get her prosthetic arm fitted courtesy of Rand Industries. But I highly suspect it was Stark Industries in the comic books. 

We get an episode toward the end of the season where Danny Rand turns up and hangs with Luke and we also get some hints at the whole Heroes for Hire vibe from the comics, but it isn’t really followed through on as we see Luke perhaps find himself making some choices that are far from ideal.

Newcomers Mustafa Shakir and Gabrielle Dennis as Mariah’s daughter Tilda both put in brilliant performances and I highly suspect we’ll see them both return if we get a third season. 

Overall. Season 2 of Luke Cage improves on the complex storylines and relationships that we saw in the first season. The music also continues to be fantastic with a good mixture of Hip Hop and Blues during the scenes set in the nightclub.

 

9.8
Luke Cage - Season 2
  • Story
    9.8
  • Acting
    10
  • CGI
    9.5
  • Incidental Music
    10

Ian Cullen is the founder of scifipulse.net and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: www.scifipulseradio.com When he is not writing for scifipulse.net Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of scifipulse.net You can contact ian at: ian@scifipulse.net
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