Marvel & Netflix’s Luke Cage Recap Episode 1; “Moment of Truth”

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Penny Candy Luke Cage Recap Episode 1; “Moment of Truth”

Welcome to the Inside Pulse Penny Candy ep by ep recap of Netflix and Marvel’s Luke Cage!

Right out of the gate everything about this show is unapologetically black and I am loving it. No white Hollywood’s IDEA of black, but BLACK black. So right off the bat I’m intrigued.

We open in a classic neighbourhood black community barbershop. Apparently since the events of Jessica Jones, Luke is a fugitive from the law trying to keep to himself and under the radar. Presumably his stint as one of the many people Kilgrave mindraped got him wanted by the popo. So now he’s a quiet unassuming janitor sweeping up hair, intimidating loudmouth teenagers into not picking a fight, and dodging the romantic interests of a young woman in law school.

He’s also dead broke despite two jobs and behind on his rent. Life seems to have kicked Luke pretty hard since 7 months ago. After a run-in with his grumpy landlady, he heads to his second job washing dishwes at an R&B club, where his boss hands him a shirt and tie and asks him to cover for a sick bartender but can’t pay him til Friday.

Meanwhile, a city council woman is siting in a darkened booth with a sharply dressed, smooth talking guy who I’ll assume is either the season’s Big Bad or in their employ, talking about making some sort of contribution to her real estate ambitions. She’s reluctant to be there butt he feels like some things need a face to face. Somewhere called Cologne’s Gym gets brought up, and she dismisses it as what his boss pus on his tax returns instead of drug dealer, so right hand man it is.

The as yet unnamed gentleman tells her that even if she gets re-elected, when the dust clears it’ll be “ni–ers like me” hat she’ll need watching her back. She frowns upon his using the n word but he says he’s fine with being a ni—er because no one expects much from one and thus he can get away with more when no one is paying attention.

So already I like the way race politics are being handled. They’re not shying away from a topic this show CANNOT not talk about, but not being like a sledgehammer of plot about it either.

As the two continue to discuss business and history, and apparently some really scary AIM weaponry he’s selling, Luke is at the bar trading barbs with a woman who bewtween lighthearted jabs keeps staring up at the well dressed dude, and then we keep flipping between the guy singing on stage and some guys getting shot and robbed, presumably the guys handling suit guy’s ordinance.

As it turns the idiots attacking and robbing Suit Guy’s goons include the  wannabe tough guy kid from the barbershop. He shoots one of his accomplices and runs off with the other one and the money. As it ALSO turns out, the newly shot dead accomplice is the bartender that Luke is filling in for. Luke’s lady coworker asks him to help her bring some liquor up to suit guy’s table because she hates going up there alone. Meanwhile one of Sui Guy’s goons gets a call from one of the robbed goons who isn’t quite dead yet, and Luke ends up getting lucky with the sassy woman he was trading barbs wih. I ignore the sex scene because, well, I’m me. Luke has a nightmare about prison and wakes up to the woman, who calls herself Colleen, is dressing to leave. She claims she’s an auditor, and I’m guessing she’s after Suit Guy. They kiss once more and she leaves. Luke is intrigued.

The next day we’re a the crime scene and shock and awe, Colleen is a cop. Also the kid that wannabe gangsta teen shot was the son of the law student frm the barbershop. Meanwhile Suit Guy is dealing with a slick skeevy white guy who represents someone called Diamondback, about the robbery. They posture for each other a bit then agree to figure out how to fix this.

Luke meanwhile is comforting his boss from the barbershop over Dante, the now dead kid who tried to rob his boss. He feels like he somehow failed the kid after trying to keep him on the straight and narrow, and Luke just listens.
The councilwoman meanwhile is at a photo op at a park in Harlem plying nice with the kids  on camera but using hand sanitizer and barely containing her disgust when off of it. She talks up Harlem and black lives and history , but all she really wants is to pimp her development proposal. Suit Guy shows up to talk and she demands some money he promised her. He plays it off.

Shock and awe, wannabe gangsta is blowing huge stacks of his stolen cash at a strip club, and Suit Guy, {who is finally named as Cottonmouth}, is playing piano in his apartment after a brief run-in with some of Suit Guy’s goons handing out pamphlets. Later at work, Luke sees a goon leading one of he other wo idiot robber kids to meet Cottonmouh, and Luke recognizes the skeevy slick white guy from prison.

Cottonmouth threatens the kid to rat out the other kid then brutally beats him to death. Luke meanwhile runs home and panics, hoping skeevy guy didn’t recognise him. He has a flashback to something his dead wife said to him, and he calms down. Then we skip to Colleen at the scene where the beaten kid’s body was dumped, and she speculates where Chico, the only idiot remaining, is hiding.

Luke walks in on some of Cottonmouth’s goons trying to extort his landlady and her husband and just utterly destroys them. They give a quick nod to Luke’s Hero for Hire comic book roots with her offering to hire him to protect them, but he says he’s not for hire and has their back.

End of episode 1.

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