I definitely understand why people think the Marvel Netflix shows could use a few less episodes. Luke Cage is extremely compelling, don’t get me wrong, but I decided to write about these episodes together, because I feel like they could’ve told this story in one episode. It was still incredibly fun to watch, dramatic, and realistic (as you can be in Marvel, of course), but it could have moved just ever so slightly quicker.
A quick recap of these episodes of Luke Cage: Luke’s life is saved, but he learns the truth about Reva, and about Willis Stryker. Mariah turns the neighborhood against Luke by framing him for more crimes. Luke returns to Harlem just in time to save Misty from a hail of gunfire. Diamondback and his crew create a hostage situation inside the club, while Luke, Misty, and Claire are still inside.
There’s a lot of good stuff here. They use Luke so well to tell these stories from around the world about oppression and violence that African-Americans are facing. This show has an important social message, and it’s great for that. Overall (since I haven’t reviewed any of the previous episodes) I think this show is fantastic. That said, it still probably could’ve told this entire story in an episode.
I appreciated that they were trying to build tension, especially between the episodes. If there’s one thing the Netflix Marvel shows do really well, it’s get you hooked enough to watch the next episode. For the most part, the tension built very well. But, pretty early in Episode 11, I found myself thinking “alright, get on with it already”. If Luke had just gotten them out of there, then Stryker would’ve been caught in his own lie. I was frustrated because it took forever for that story to unfold.
But, the real MVP of these two episodes is the unsung hero of the entire Marvel/Netflix universe: Claire Temple. I’ve always been a Rosario Dawson fan. Aside from my huge crush on her, she’s an extremely talented actress and she’s a highlight of every episode that she’s in. Claire displayed major fortitude and intelligence in these two episodes, particularly in 11 when she convinced that girl to pass out so she could go find Luke. Oh, and then when she and Misty took out Shades? Awesome. Girl power all the way!
I can imagine that the next few episodes will move faster, because the police are on to Mariah’s corruption now. The criminals are not as savvy as Wilson Fisk, so things are starting to unravel for them a little quicker.
Here are a few more thoughts:
- It was really good to see ADA Blake Tower nonchalantly cross over from Daredevil. That and Trish Walker’s radio show is really starting to make the Marvel/Netflix universe feel larger.
- I really wish that Luke would just rip Mariah in half and be done with this already. But somehow I feel like Misty and Claire are going to be her downfall instead.
- Seriously. It’s been 11 episodes. Why are people still shooting at Luke Cage? How stupid can you be?
I know it seems like I hated these episodes, but I actually quite enjoyed them. It’s a really well made show. This is just the part where it drags a little bit, before it gets really good again at the end. I’m grading on a curve because in terms of Marvel/Netflix shows, it’s par for the course, but in terms of other shows, Luke Cage is a high quality program.
What did you guys think? Let us know in the comments!
Luke Cage Season 1 is now streaming on Netflix
Luke Cage Season 1 Episodes 10 & 11 Review: "Take it Personal"/"Now You're Mine"
Luke discovers some things about his past, while Mariah and Diamondback try desperately to bring him down, on the 10th and 11th episodes of Luke Cage.