Note: Spoilers are below. Don’t read unless you’ve seen Episodes 1 & 2.
To start this episode, We get a look at the inter-working of Detective Misty Knight, who slept with Luke in the first episode, and how the investigation into a gang robbery is going. There’s another scene in Pop’s Barbershop, which is being used as a cornerstone of the show. It’s exactly how it is in the neighborhood. Cottonmouth stops by as Luke is there to get a shave. There’s some interaction between Luke, Shades and Cottonmouth. We also find out Luke is from Savannah, Georgia. Pop becomes concerned about Chico, one of his barbers involved in the gang robbery, and tries to get Luke to find him before cottonmouth does.
As Luke looks for Chico, Cottonmouth pays Woodward’s character, Mariah Dillard, a visit with some of the money from the robbery. Luke finds Chico and the rest of the money, but Chico didn’t want to see Pop. We find out Pop used to run with Cottonmouth back in the day. He tells Luke about life after being locked up. Chico shows up at the barbershop, but cottonmouth’s guy sees him. He gets stopped by Misty who is outside the barbershop. Luke finds out Misty is a detective as Pop gets questioned by her and her partner. Pop sends Luke to see Cottonmouth about Chico. Luke also quit his job at the club as he set up a meeting with Pop. Cottonmouth’s guys found out Chico was at the barbershop. Unfortunately, I knew Pop was a goner. There needed to be a reason for Luke to get more involved in Cottonmouth’s dealings. The fact that Luke wasn’t hurt brings up questions when Misty and the cops come by the shop. When Cottonmouth finds out his man shot up the barbershop, he isn’t happy. He throws his man off the roof after finding out he killed Pop. Mariah witnessed the rooftop incident and made her leave. Both Luke and Cottonmouth mourn Pop’s death. We cut back to the first scene of the episode where a kid had a gun to his head. You see the anger in Luke that will most likely fuel him for the rest of the season.
I like the fact that some of these characters have a problem with the use of the n-word. It shows that even though it’s used for comradery in the African American community, it’s history is very different and some people disagree with its use. I also like the relationship between Pop and Luke. It shows the softer side of the man with rock hard skin. When Pop has his demise, Luke takes it hard. It’s a very dramatic moment. The cameo of Faith Evans singing at the club is nice.
I liked this episode more than the first. There’s a little more story and emotional scenes in this episode. We discover more about each character and finally get the Luke Cage we’ve been waiting for. This was a terrific episode.