Luke Cage season 2
Updated: Jul 4, 2018
After the disappointment that was Jessica Jones season 2 I didn’t know what to expect from the next season of Luke Cage. The follow up season had a lot to live up to. Almost every media outlet agreed that season one was excellent. Luke Cage season one brought this iconic hero to life in an unbelievable way. The show runners new what made Luke Cage special other than the fact that he was bulletproof. They treated Harlem as a living being and not just a location. There were 2 incredible villains, Diamond Back and Cottonmouth that although were bad men felt sympathetic and to some degree justified. So how will they top it, is it even possible? I am happy to say Luke Cage Season 2 is just as, if not greater, then it previous season. It took everything that worked and somehow made it better . The action was bigger, the characters were complex, and the story was engaging throughout.
This time everyone knows Luke Cage and what he is capable of. People greet and praise him as he walks down the street, major companies are interested in sponsorship deals, and there are even smartphone apps that can track him. Maria Dillard/Stokes is back and is attempting to go straight but a borough over a mysterious man that goes by the name Bushmaster is hell bent on destroying Maria’s life and conquering her empire. This puts Luke in the middle of the crossfire picking up the pieces and questioning what’s best for Harlem. The story is very well paced and gets more and more interesting with every episode. Many times I felt conflicted on how I felt towards the characters and I would always feel surprised in the decisions they made. Nothing felt too predictable keeping me guessing all the way through.
Mike Coulter as Luke Cage is excellent as always but in this season he really shows off his range as an actor. He is charming charismatic, and is always a joy to watch. Simone Missick returns as Misty Knight and is spectacular. Simone is absolutely electric and steals the show in every scene she is in. She is much more of a physical powerhouse this time around but her impressive detective work is still showcased nicely. After her performance on this season I would definitely watch a solo series staring Misty.
The new villain, Bushmaster, is absolutely captivating and Mustafa Shakir kills it. Bushmaster is as powerful and threatening as Diamondback but has the charm and charisma of Cornell Stokes. He is constantly keeping the viewer on there toes and really gives Luke a run for his money, matching his strength in almost every encounter giving way to some of the shows most memorable fights. Mariah has an excellent arc that really gives her character a much needed face lift. At the start of the season she is still the same annoying Mariah from before but slowly, slowly she becomes more confident and deranged and becomes a villain in every sense of the word. Theo Rossi also returns as Shades and is given much more to work with in this season. The writers did an excellent job making us hate him but also sympathize with him.
We do get introduced to some new characters this season including James’s Lucas, Luke’s father played by Reg E Cathy. Reg does such a stellar job with this character. Everything we though we knew about Luke’s father leads us to believe he is a bad man but Reg brings this swagger and charisma to the role that makes you fall in love with him almost instantly and also helps us understand him a little more. Tilda Johnson, Mariah’s daughter makes her debut and although I didn’t think she was much of an interesting character, towards the end she found her footing. Another notable new character (kind of new, he was in the first season for about 3 seconds) was Comanche. At first he’s just another thug but his story develops into something really memorable and heartbreaking.
We also get some awesome cameos that I wont spoil for you here but ill just say they are handle amazingly and leave a lasting impression that begs to be further explored. This season did an excellent job giving every character their time and room to grow, for better or worse. Each one comes out different by the time the final credits role.
In the last season it seemed as though for the most part Luke pulled his punches but this season the gloves are off. Luke is way more aggressive this time around leading to some of the best fight scenes and fight choreography seen in the Marvel Netflix shows. A lot could be attributed to Bushmasters equal power to Luke but even when fighting thugs Luke is not afraid to break some bones. There are some really shocking and horrific moments as well but they are done tastefully and not in a way that just exploits violence for fun. These moments or impactful and are used to further the characters development.
I could nitpick a few things about the show like the theme music would sometimes be a little overbearing and repetitive and that for half the season Mariah’s story would have me looking at my phone instantly but by the end almost every problem I had with the show would be resolved. I just felt like there was just so much good in this season. I never really felt board and the story continued to surprise up until the last episode. By the end each character had significance and I cared about each of them. Luke Cage season 2 shows us that the street level heroes have some awesome stories to tell even when the world is occupied with an infinity war