“Suckas Need Bodyguards”
Written by Nathan Louis Jackson
Directed by Sam Miller
We open with Luke out for a jog while citizens discuss him on “Trish Talk.” The people who’ve met Luke are on his side, those who haven’t are more anxious about what he’s doing. Cottonmouth meets Scarfe to get the guns for Domingo, but Scarfe wants another $100K for it. Cottonmouth isn’t interested. It becomes a struggle that results in Scarfe shot multiple times. Cottonmouth leaves him there because there’s a witness. Mariah is still working her PR. Luke strolls up for a word. He gives her fair warning that he’s going to be shutting both Cottonmouth and her down. Luke and Chess Guy go eat at a diner. Chess Guy advises him to wear a mask and do the superhero thing for real. Mariah is very annoyed that Cottonmouth shot Scarfe. She’s on team Sell the Club too, but he still won’t budge. Mariah wants him to kill Luke, and she points out that there are other ways to kill a man than with bullets. Try drowning or poisoning him. Cottonmouth calls the other detective on his payroll to have him deal with Scarfe.
Claire walks into the diner and sees Luke. She heads over to say hi. He doesn’t remember her, at first. And Chess Guy is Bobby Fish (I finally know his name! Sheesh). He gives Claire his seat and heads out. Luke and Claire discuss the experience of saving a life. She’s very happy to see him okay. She wants him to roll with his abilities and be a hero. He bails. She follows him. The police captain is putting out an APB for Scarfe. She grills Misty for info on Scarfe, which Misty doesn’t have. She unwittingly pairs Misty with Perez (the other dirty cop). Claire follows Luke back to Pop’s, which is suspiciously unlocked. And has blood on the floor. Scarfe’s! He dragged himself in. Lucky a nurse followed Luke in! Claire does what she can to patch Scarfe up. Misty walks herself through scenarios involving Scarfe while scoping out his place with Perez. Perez pauses over a picture of Scarfe’s son. Misty tells him how the kid died, accidentally shooting himself with Scarfe’s gun. Ouch.
Mariah is trying to convince herself she’s not becoming Mama Mabel. Claire is still working on Scarfe. The bullet that hit his gut is really dangerous, but the ones in his legs she can handle. Luke gets him to start talking. He does, but he’s less willing to incriminate himself for Chico’s death than he is to pile dirt on Cottonmouth. Luke moves to strangle him. Claire talks him down, and he lets him go. Before Luke and Claire can walk out, he tells Luke he can help him put Cottonmouth behind bars for life. He’s got tons of notes on him, particularly about the other dirty cops and his connections to the mortuary for disappearing bodies. He says the notes are at his apartment, but he was looking shifty while he said it.
Mariah is getting ready for an interview. Misty and Perez are staking out Scarfe’s place. Misty notices two loudly arguing people, but what she missed was that Luke walked right behind them and broke into Scarfe’s building. She reminisces on how Scarfe was her mentor as a detective. She wants to be the one to bring him in, clean or dirty. Luke finds the notes. Perez calls off the stakeout, but Misty notices the busted door, and they go running in. Luke bails out the window before they get there. Luke gets back to Pop’s with the notes, but Misty is hot on his trail. Claire has her mom pick them up in the catering van from the restaurant. Misty finds the remnants of Claire’s work on Scarfe. Cottonmouth and Perez have a phone call. Cottonmouth is losing it. He puts a 100K hit on Scarfe. He knows what van to look for. Uh oh.
One of Cottonmouth’s guys gets on the van’s tail. They shoot the crap out of the van, but not before Luke, Claire, and Scarfe ditch it. through the wall of the next building. Dang. Perez convinces Misty not to respond to the call about shots fired. She calls Scarfe, who tells her not to trust Perez. Actually, it was a trick, and she was recording him. Whoops! The interview lady isn’t at Mariah’s house to be nice to her and provide her good PR. She’s there to put her on the spot with her family connections to Mama Mabel and Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, and everything that went down at her prized Crispus Attucks complex. There’s nothing Mariah can do to save face, so she kicks them out of the building.
The dudes with guns are catching up to Luke, Claire, and Scarfe, so Luke stays put to be a human shield for them. Claire gets Scarfe up to the street, but he can’t keep going. A car comes cruising up to crush them, but Luke makes it in time to take the hit instead. Scarfe is not okay. Misty only arrives in time for his dying words. Cut to Misty arresting Cottonmouth. Holy crap. Luke thinks it’s over now. That’s...naïve. Claire wants him to do more, and she wants to help. Misty grieves Scarfe. Her captain comes in. Misty vows to be the one who makes sure these charges stick, since it’s going to be hard to keep them down on the word of a dead dirty cop alone.
This show continues to floor me with the pace of its storytelling. I’ve been trying to keep these summaries to a single paragraph, but so much happened, without feeling rushed. It’s hard to believe there’s still seven episodes worth of story left when things have been escalating so quickly. I can’t wait to see what happens. And having Claire and Luke working together is freaking awesome. I knew Claire would be on the show, but I had no idea to what extent.
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
Luke is usually a very peaceful man, and he doesn’t kill, but he definitely has berserk buttons. When he thought he’d found Reva’s killer, a man who apparently got off scot free after hitting Reva with a bus, he was going to kill him. And when Scarfe admitted to killing Chico, he started strangling him. He definitely didn’t care about Chico as much as he cared about Reva, so I think the common factor is that the (alleged) killers seemed completely indifferent and managed to avoid punishment. Luke is a very compassionate man who sympathizes deeply with the people around him, even if it would be more convenient to close himself off and keep them all at arm’s length, so when he sees people who casually ruin or take lives without even pausing to consider how serious that is, he snaps. But so far, he’s been able to get back in control before he does permanent damage. How will he handle it if he actually kills someone? His reasons for not killing aren’t the same as Matt’s. We haven’t really examined those yet.
The pressure on Mariah is increasing extremely quickly. I do not think she’s going to choose her good intentions over her bad connections when it comes down to it, because she only thinks the good intentions are worth having when there’s a good reputation and plenty of money to pair them with. I’m starting to think she might be the more serious threat than Cottonmouth. We haven’t seen her snap and do the criminal stuff herself yet, but I get the feeling (particularly from the scene where she very pragmatically explains the alternative ways of murdering a dude than using bullets) she’ll be extremely good at it if she tries it.
Claire is so much less angsty with Luke than she ever was with Matt. It’s fascinating. I think a lot of it has to do with Luke’s attitude. Matt is dead set on being a vigilante, no matter the toll it takes on him, and that’s extremely stressful for someone who cares about him. But Luke isn’t quite convinced this is what he should be doing, and he definitely wants to make sure the city doesn’t pay for his actions, so that might make him much easier to work with. Claire has made her peace with the idea of working with superheroes too. After what happened with the Mercy General coverup, she realized that she can’t work somewhere that doesn’t prioritize saving lives over making money, and how better can she keep her priorities where she wants them than by helping people who save lives for free?
I love Bobby Fish. He’s just sort of quietly brilliant and has an excellent sense of humor. I hope he continues to have a major role in the season.
Will Misty have to work with Luke from now on? Will Scarfe’s death be the catalyst that makes that changes her mind, or will it make it worse? I really liked the stuff about her and Scarfe. At some point, he sold out to Cottonmouth, but their friendship was real, and he was a wonderful mentor to her.
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.