Luke Cage Season 2, Episode 8: “If It Ain’t Rough, It Ain’t Right” Review

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Simone Missick as Misty Knight. Photo courtesy of Netflix.

**This review contains spoilers for “If It Ain’t Rough, It Ain’t Right” and events that occurred in Marvel Netflix shows prior**

Mariah has hit rock bottom as Bushmaster has taken everything from her.  Now under Luke’s protection (though he’s not officially employed), and under the watchful eyes of the police, she has nowhere to go. She has nothing to her name—not even her handy lawyer who solves all of her problems. It was still fun watching Mariah try her hardest to lie and avoid the truth when being grilled by Misty.

Shade’s story is evolving into an extremely strong part of the show.  His murder of his best friend has really shaken him, yet his drive is still there.  Standing strong against Misty’s interrogation was great, but even better was how he opened up just a bit once the family lawyer walked away.  I think Shade’s strongest moment of the episode was with Mariah in the ruins of her home. Essentially, he put her in her place. He warned her. He told her that selling the business, especially to those people, could cause a domino effect into chaos.  For now it seems like he’s back under Mariah’s wing, but I do hope that Shade makes a move for a higher ranking position by season’s end.

Misty had more to do than simply interrogate Mariah and Shade.  In fact, she became the head of the precinct, now that Captain Ridenhour is dead—since no one else knew that she quit, she was the highest ranking officer remaining.  Part of me feels like this is a backslide for her character, as I felt that it was a strong move to have her working on her own terms. It may provide a mechanism to join the police resources with Luke’s efforts for Harlem.  In fact, one of the first things that Misty asks of Luke is to talk to Tilda and get her to say something useful about her mother and what really happened. It was good to see the two of them interacting again, and Tilda did let slip some interesting information on the herbs that Bushmaster was looking for at her shop.

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Mike Colter as Luke Cage (left) and Reg E. Cathey as James Lucas (right). Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Under the circumstances, it makes sense that Luke would reject Mariah’s job offer.  I do find it great, though, that despite his unwillingness to work for her, Luke still has to protect Mariah until Bushmaster is out of the picture.  Though smugly he makes sure to point out that after that, Mariah is on her own. In the meantime, Bushmaster’s forces were in full kill mode as everyone across the board was a target:  Luke, his father, Mariah, and Tilda. The ending of the episode was relentless, as both the church and Mother’s Touch were assaulted back-to-back. Both sequences were great, and even within all the action we had a sweet moment between Luke and his father.

Bushmaster is continuing to kill it this season. He is extremely intimidating, and his plans are working flawlessly.  He finally has Harlem’s Paradise, the club that his father built. His confidence in his current situation shows strongly.  The entire warrant visit scene with the police force was flawless. He held his ground, and he felt more powerful in that situation than did the cops. Nonetheless, not everything is going well for Bushmaster.  On top of Mariah being alive and well, he is running very low on his supply of Nightshade. It is Nightshade that is giving him his powers, but it is to that herb that Anansi believes he is losing his soul. We also learn that Bushmaster’s powers work in methods similar to steroids, and Nightshade’s lasting effects are hurting him—as shown by his hand throughout the episode.

Bushmaster’s attack on Mariah had it’s fallout, and we got to see her at her lowest and most vulnerable state.  Shade continues to be one of the most intriguing antagonists on the show. Both Luke and the Police were left scrambling trying to stay protected from Bushmaster’s constant attacks, and by episode’s end there is nowhere left to go—and no one left to go to.  Well except for maybe Danny Rand?

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:

  • Bushmaster sure did replace his seat really quickly.
  • Nightshade is very reminiscent of Black Panther’s heart shaped herb.
  • Tilda finally added something of her own to the season’s storyline by revealing the fact that she has been looking into Nightshade.  Not only that, but she is looking for a potential way to counter the effects.

 

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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