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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 “On And On” and events that occurred in Marvel Netflix shows prior**

“You can’t drown sorrow with tears…if you want to erase sorrow you must burn it.”

The momentum kept driving forward as lots of major things happened in this episode.  In fact, I’m not really sure where to begin. Why not begin on that extremely haunting visual of Piranha’s head in a tank of Piranhas? That was pretty intense—and brutal.  Bushmaster is not messing around. He kills Mariah’s control man, steals all of her money, and then immediately precedes to kidnap Mariah and Tilda to burn them alive. All in one episode.  Bushmaster is brutal; so far, he is turning out to be a fantastic villain. I’m glad that we haven’t had another dud like Diamondback (and that we haven’t seen him again—yet).

We gained even more insight into Bushmaster, who got plenty of focus as he gave more elaborate and well-performed speeches on why he is doing what he is doing.  He described how he cannot let it go because he chose to never be a puppet or slave and how he must take back what is rightly his—what was stolen from his father and from his mother, who was burned alive by the Stokes family.  We now understand that he is a brutally efficient man on a mission, and at this point he is almost scary to watch in action. Freeing Tilda in front of her mother—while giving her a chance to be a better daughter than he was a son— was haunting.  However I do feel that it would have had more impact if we knew Tilda a little better, and had further insight into her motivations and where they are leaning.

The topic of mothers was a big thread in this episode. The episode cut back and forth between Luke trying to make amends with his father about how his mother had faith in him, and Bushmaster describing how his mother’s murder was what was behind his plan to burn Mariah alive and take over Harlem. Family drives both of these men, but in completely different ways.  It was great to see the plot get back around to Luke and his father, and to have them make actual progress in reconciling. I mean the father actually apologized for his lack of faith in his son, so that’s always a good sign—though they still have a ways to go.

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Simone Missick as Misty Knight (left) and Mike Colter as Luke Cage (right). Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Misty had a really great scene as she went on a mission with Luke.  It really is amazing that thugs still think to shoot at or try and physically fight Luke at this point.  But the Jamaicans stationed at the garage did just that, and we got a neat fight scene out of it. While we got to see Luke do his thing, Misty got the chance to show off her new and improved arm (which is looking great).  She is still adamant about being off the force and doing it Luke’s way, despite the Captain’s pleas otherwise. Their confrontation in the garage after finding Piranha was great.

During that confrontation, Captain Ridenhour’s relationship/connection to Mariah was exposed.  His man on the inside was never meant to take down Mariah, but instead to give him the leverage needed to convince her to get out of the game.  He wasn’t quite the straight shooting cop that we were led to believe when we met him. He also brought up some mysterious questions about Tilda that Mariah never wants her to know.  It’s a shame that although the Captain has been present throughout the season, he got the most screen time and focus right as he dies (as tends to happen in many shows).

Yep.  Captain Ridenhour is dead, thanks to Comanche.  Comanche’s storyline lately has been extremely interesting, and it really took center-stage as his meet-up with the captain turned into an extremely shocking moment for the show.  The moment Shades showed up, the intensity levels spiked. I just knew that Shades was well aware of the situation, despite Comanche’s efforts to keep him in the dark. The way Shades played into Comanche’s story was scary and manipulative, as he picked the perfect moment to turn the story into a bullet through Comanche’s chest.  It was cold to see Shades slaughter him like that, but it really shows how formidable and driven Shades is becoming: willing to murder a man he loves so that he can keep on his path. He doesn’t want out of the life. He wants to be the Mariah of the city, or the Bushmaster. He wants the power. Comanche’s death may just be that push Shades needed to actively seek out that power.

“On and On” fired on all cylinders as characters made their moves across the board.  Captain Ridenhour, Comanche, and Piranha are all dead—and Mariah was nearly burned alive.  With Bushmaster out in full force, Mariah’s life is in imminent danger. She is so scared for her life in fact, that Luke may have just gotten his second gig as a hero for hire. Hopefully it goes better than his first.

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:

  • What a stupid and completely unsatisfactory way for Luke to get out of his paralysis situation. Didn’t get a chance to mention it up in the main review, but it had to be said.
  • Man.  Luke’s father was completely useless at his one job.
  • “It’s my show,” was a great meta moment.


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