“Who’s Gonna Take the Weight?”
Written by Matt Owens
Directed by Guillermo Navarro
The episode opens on another flash-forward, this time of Luke walking out of a building with a duffel bag. Someone shoots a couple of dudes packing away merchandise, and Misty and her partner check out the scene. Luke is seeing to Pop’s funeral arrangements, and he doesn’t want Cottonmouth’s money. Luke goes back to Pop’s. He and the chess guy discuss what to do. Luke doesn’t want Pop’s shop to shut down, but he’ll need money for that. And he might be able to get it by going after Cottonmouth, through his assets. He might just be able to kill both birds with one stone. Misty wants info out of Chico, and she wants him to testify. He doesn’t want to. After Misty walks out, her partner (Scarfe) uncuffs Chico. Cottonmouth pays off the funeral home director to get rid of Tone’s body. They have an ongoing arrangement. Misty is suspicious of Luke because he always shows up in places where this stuff is happening. Luke tells Chico he’s in the clear, but he wants his help hurting Cottonmouth. Chico tells him what he knows about Cottonmouth’s business. Luke has a crazy plan that involves scaring Cottonmouth into moving all his cash to the Crispus Attucks complex. He goes around beating dudes up and squishing their guns and proving their money is vulnerable, without stealing any. The cops take the money when they find the tied up goons. Misty tries to interview a junkie hanging out at one of the places. Mariah thinks it’s a terrible idea for Cottonmouth to hide his money in the Crispus Attucks complex. Domingo (the boss of the main rival gang to Cottonmout’s) isn’t pleased with Cottonmouth’s weakness. Luke goes into the Crispus Attucks complex and singlehandedly demolishes several dozen goons (nonfatally), takes one bag of money, and leaves the rest to the cops. Misty is pretty sure she knows who did it. Scarfe is content to let the dude in the hoodie do all the dangerous stuff for the police, but Misty believes in the system. Chico meets with Scarfe to tell him what he knows. And then Scarfe STRANGLES HIM TO DEATH. Scarfe is in Cottonmouth’s pocket. Cottonmouth is extremely angry to have lost $7 million. Scarfe tells Cottonmouth that Luke Cage is the one who busted up all the places he keeps his money. Luke brings the one duffel of cash to the chess guy, to keep Pop’s open. He’s fine with that. They both know how important Pop’s is to Harlem. Luke goes to eat at Ghengis Connie’s. Which Cottonmouth then blows up with a rocket launcher? Did Luke and Connie survive? Find out next time!
Luke is taking action on his own now. He’s not saying a lot, but that’s what happens when an Uncle Ben dies. The reluctant hero starts taking action. This episode is awesome. Luke’s strategy seems to be a lot faster than either Matt’s or Jessica’s, with a lot less preliminary recon and a lot more upfront (or easily acquired) knowledge. And hoo boy are things escalating quickly. This is awesome. I love this show.
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
Luke is definitely Chaotic Good, but he’s been trying to pretend he’s True Neutral because he used to be Lawful Good before he got framed and betrayed by the system he believed in. He’s already on the run from the law, so he can’t use the law to take Cottonmouth down; he’s free of Matt’s dilemma.
Yeah, Mariah definitely believes in the greater good and the ends justifying the means. She has a mental image of the Harlem she wants, but her own greed and impatience get in the way of her achieving that Harlem the right way.
Dangit, Misty, Luke is not the bad guy. Misty’s attitude towards vigilantes is definitely going to be a big deal this season. But she’s figuring this stuff out much faster than she can prove it, which should give her and Luke some good opportunities to discuss the matter. Just...hopefully not over “coffee.”
I think Scarfe’s speech about what cops can’t do is actually why he works for Cottonmouth. He legitimately believes that law enforcement is a meaningless pile of paperwork, but instead of just leaving and finding a good job he finds worthwhile, he sold out for Cottonmouth. If the crime never stops, he might as well get a piece of it.
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.