Marvel & Netflix’s Luke Cage Recap Episode 4; “Step in the Arena”

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Aaaaaaand I just realized every episode title is a rap song. Brilliant.

So no cold open this time, but after the opening credits we see fire crews and Detective Misty at the wreckage of Genghis  Connie’s with Luke and Connie buried under the rubble. Misty talks to Connie’s husband to confirm Luke was in there. Luke has a flashback to his time in prison in Georgia. Prison guard punches him for supposedly talking in line and loudly announces he was a cop, which is basically saying “all you dudes please try to murder this guy.

It doesn’t take long before the crooked guard sends Skeevy  Guy and another inmate to rough him up, but Luke hands them their asses. Crooked guard offers to give Luke extra privileges if he’ll be a gladiator for his prisoner fights. He declines. Back in the present Luke tells Connie he’s going to try to dig them out because  they can smell gas. Then back to prison Luke makes a friend and slowly opens up to the prison shrink. Crooked guard threatens to frame Luke’s friend with a shivving if he doesn’t agree to the fights, and Luke caves.

Squabbles, Luke’s friend, trains him to box and they debate Kung fu movies. Luke is taken to the secret fight area and watches a fight before engaging in his own. Back in the present Luke is lifting a slab of concrete off Connie’s leg, and we then get the obligatory fight Montage of Luke kicking ass in the crooked guards fights. Squabbles worries that Luke might be losing himself and was clearly a father figure during Luke’s prison time.

Prison shrink comes to see Luke asking why he looks beat up and why he stopped coming to group. She thinks he looks broken and he says survival costs. Crooked guard smugly tells Luke now he has two folks in jail he can use against him.

Another brief dip back to the present has Detective Misty being alerted something is happening in the rubble and her partner calls Cottonmouth. Back in the flashback Luke stupidly tries to warn the Shrink to leave the prison before she gets hurt and the law of TV says he’s signed her death warrant. He tells her to call his lawyer, then tells squabbles he’s going to take down the guard, then gets jumped by Skeevy guy and his buddy after they beat the info out of Squabbles.

Luke wakes up in the infirmary. Shrink lady tells him they beat Squabbles and asks the prison doctor to save him. The doc runs an experiment on him and OH MY FUCKING GODDESS I am so laughing my ass off at the thing on Luke’s head in the device because it looks exactly like the stupid ass crown he wore in the comics in the 70’s.

Crooked guard comes in all pissy and interrupts the procedure to try to kill Luke for trying to rat him out and causes an explosion. Luke wakes up looking very much like a nod to the 70’s and we briefly segue to the present where Luke is trying to help Connie escape. We rapidly flip back and forth between time periods as Luke pounds his way out of two piles of rubble. He and Connie are freed, and Luke asks her to not tell anyone about his strength.

Back in the past Luke finds a yellow disco shirt and the homage to his ridiculous 70’s outfit is complete. He catches his reflection and decides he looks like a fool. Later he meets the shrink at a motel. He shaves his head and she erases his records. Luke chooses his new name and starts over. He talks about his preacher father and quotes Luke 4:18 and his father, and chooses Luke Cage.

Back in the present Misty talks to Luke. He blows her off as reporters hound him for his name. End of episode.

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