It says something about the caliber of its show that it shines even when its star isn’t in the spotlight. One of the joys of having a shared universe is that characters from other series pop in from time-to-time to propel the story forward. Such is the case in this episode of Luke Cage.
The cameo comes from Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) who is hanging out with Misty to help her cope with the loss of her arm. Misty feels helpless and Wing is not just a comrade-in-arms (no pun intended) after their battle in The Defenders but someone that gets what it’s like to be different. Let’s be honest, Wing was really the best part of the Iron Fist series and she totally holds her own in Cage’s neck of the woods.
If you’ve ever read the comics you know that Wing and Misty end up teaming up to become known as the Daughters of the Dragon and this episode could easily work as a backdoor pilot for that show. I would watch it in a heartbeat. The interaction between Wing and Misty feels natural and that bar fight is yet another example of the excellent fight choreography in that all of the Marvel shows use (Iron Fist not withstanding).
Since it’s early in the series we’re still dealing with the repercussions of season one and really seeing the long term effects of vigilantes in this universe. Enter Cockroach. Cockroach (who prefers to be called that, on purpose) is a low level thug with a bad habit of hitting his woman and child. After getting his case thrown out because of Misty’s dirty partner Cockroach is back on the streets and up to no good.
Here’s where Luke really shines. While other characters in the MCU may hesitate of be in the hero game out of ego Luke is the one man that runs toward the sirens. He genuinely wants to help and will jump into the fray without a moment’s notice. Give him the call and he comes running, literally. It’s impossible not to get shades of Superman in his persona. Near the end of the episode he goes finds Cockroach beating up his family and goes more than a little postal in him, causing a major riff between him and Claire.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. We also got a much larger glimpse of our villain this episode, Bushmaster. Bushmaster is a Jamaican with an axe to grind with Mariah Dillard with his eyes set on conquering Harlem. Though Luke isn’t his main target he has no problem going against him when the time comes. Luke is still coasting so their first encounter plays as fun, especially when someone fires a rocket launcher at him. Truth be told the scene played a bit too campy and felt kind of like 1960s Batman, but it wasn’t such a huge tonal shift that it was jarring.
While the episode goes through its motions the knockout comes at the very end as Bushmaster straight up punches Luke out knocking him unconscious. It’s about time Luke found an adversary that he could go head-to-head with since Diamondback was more than a little disappointing last season. Things just got fun.