Luke Cage Season 2, Episode 5: “Souled Out” Review

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Mustafa Shakir as Bushmaster. Photo taken via screenshot of the official Luke Cage season two trailer.

**This review contains spoilers for “Souled Out” and events that occurred in Marvel Netflix shows prior**

“You know…you could always call Danny.”

Bushmaster made his first big move against Mariah. His lack of presence this episode paid off big time as his strike against Mariah revealed itself. In a shocking and gruesome display, the heads of all three of her potential arms buyers were placed on spikes in the opening of her Clinic for the world to see.  Mariah’s dream of going legit and saving her legacy may be in serious jeopardy. This set-back could easily be the beginning of a very dark road for her as she turns all of her fury onto Bushmaster.

Before her Clinic opening went very wrong, we got more bonding time with Mariah and her daughter. It’s hard to tell sometimes when Mariah is being honest and where her motivations lie.  It’s something that even her daughter once again recognized—she even calls her out on building a shrine to a terrible person. That hasn’t pushed Tilda away, however, as she forced Mariah to tell her the truth about the family business. I’m still not sure where Tilda’s motivations lie, and what her place will be in the grand scheme of things. Will she blossom under her mother and start to fill the role that Shades has been trying to fulfill? Though Tilda does have a lot of pride in what she personally has built up from the ground up, so that could keep her from that specific journey.  

In this episode, Luke was given council by our good friend Foggy after he was sued by Dontrell for his assault. In order to get out of the whole situation, Luke needed a lot of money.  He decided to do an appearance for money—he had to sell out. This led the two of them to Piranha, Luke’s self-proclaimed biggest fan. All Luke had to do was be the center of attention at a party and wear his “classic” shot-up hoodie. The scene evolves to show how the very spotlight and attention that Luke soaked in so lavishly before, now completely dig under his skin. It’s a good thing Luke was at the party, however, as the Jamaicans came to kidnap Piranha.  We had a neat scene of Luke kicking all of their asses with a little sprinkling of a Shades team-up. We even topped it all off with the pay-off to a running thread: Luke is now a Hero For Hire.

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Gabrielle Dennis as Tilda (left), and Alfre Woodard as Mariah Dillard (right). Photo taken via screenshot of the official Luke Cage season two trailer.

Misty had a great and meaningful arc this episode.  First, it’s important to note that she finally got her arm!  Even though she’s still working out the kinks, it seems to have made her more confident. Her confidence led her straight to Dontrell, as she tried to figure out a way to get his family out from under his thumb and to close the lawsuit against Cage. The best part of this was Misty questioning her own morality as she debated whether or not to plant evidence on Dontrell to end it all.  It really was cool getting to see Scarfe again. His presence did a great job at giving weight to Misty questioning herself and her past cases (and the transitions between the time periods was done very smoothly). Was there any good in what he did? Can any of it be justified? Or is that truly a line you can’t/shouldn’t cross? It would seem Misty made the right call, deciding last-minute not to frame him.  Which is good…because then she shockingly found his decapitated body lying on the couch—a very well-done reveal.

A great episode led to Luke and Misty having fantastic character arcs, with great payoffs for both. We got to see an old face in Scarfe; Bushmaster made his first big move against Mariah; and Luke is now a Hero For Hire. The big question now is, what’s Bushmaster’s next big play?

What did you guys think about the episode? Make sure to leave your thoughts down below! Please be courteous by not talking about any details or spoilers from future episodes.  Also make sure to check out our Luke Cage Season 2 HUB to keep up to date on all of our reviews for the new season!

Bonus Notes:

  • Luke trying to fix the broken conference table was a nice touch.
  • If Luke Cage can’t wear yellow, at least Mariah is.
  • Shade’s play for the club was an interesting one, and that idea of legacies will likely be a key component of future episodes.
  • Again, I’m LOVING all of the references to the other Netflix shows.  
  • Foggy should make that mask suggestion to Danny. Also Luke, you really should call Danny.
  • The build up to what Luke had to wear to the party was kind of a let-down.  I was expecting maybe a yellow shirt. Or his classic outfit. But no– just the hoodie he always wears.

 

You can catch Luke Cage Season 2 available now on Netflix.

 

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Author: Russ Milheim

I'm Russ, and I'm a nerd to the core. Pop culture is the fuel that drives me. Television, Movies, Games, Comics, and Superheroes are my passions in life. Want to talk anything DC or Marvel? I’m here for you. Like Funko Pop! figures? Those are my thing as well. The moral of the story, is that I felt Game of Nerds was the best place to try and share my love for all things pop culture to the world, and engage with people across the world.

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