Luke Cage Season 2, Episode 12: “You Can’t Front On Me” Review

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Mustafa Shakir as Bushmaster (left) and Mike Colter as Luke Cage (right). Photo courtesy of Netflix.

**This review contains spoilers for “You Can’t Front On Me”, and events that occurred in Marvel Netflix shows prior**

“This ain’t over yet.”

Pushing towards it’s finish, Luke Cage is continuing to impress—which isn’t what was happening at this time last season. There’s so much to cover in this episode, so where should I begin?

How about that awesome and unexpected team-up between Luke Cage and Bushmaster as they shut down the Chinese drug factory. I always enjoy those spontaneous and uneasy alliances, and it offered us another fantastic action scene—one of two impressive showdowns in a single episode. It was neat seeing the two of them on the same side ever so briefly. Luke keeping Bushmaster from killing people in the middle of the fight was hilarious as well, much like Daredevil did with Punisher. Unsurprisingly, they didn’t break away from each other cleanly.

Luke’s rage was still very much the hot topic this week. It boiled down to Luke being tired of needing to protect a shark from a shark. He even went to Mariah herself, and said that he was done (a really fantastic scene for the two of them as well). But Luke is the hero. He knows this, and he now sees what Claire was trying to say earlier in the season. Living on the edge does something to a person—and that’s where Luke lives on a constant basis. But after going to Danny’s choice thinking spot, Luke knew he had to continue being that Hero. He couldn’t willingly let someone die…not even Black Mariah.

Now that Mariah has embraced her Stokes heritage, Tilda started to walk down a similar path. After thanking Cornell at his grave site for loving her despite knowing who her family really was, Tilda went to see Bushmaster. She wants the lion to maul her mother. She even brought him a special dosage of Nightshade to do the job. Not only that, but she provided the way into Mariah’s Paradise. I’m very happy with the amount of development that Tilda has received, as I remember being worried that she could end up only being used as a pawn within Mariah’s storyline. Clearly, I was wrong to worry.

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Mike Colter as Luke Cage (left) and Mustafa Shakir as Bushmaster (right). Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Tilda wasn’t the only one turning against Mariah. Shades went all out as he told Misty and the police force everything in exchange for an immunity deal. Watching him re-tell all of the twisted events in which he took part was menacing, as he was essentially taunting the cops for their failures. Nonetheless, Shades couldn’t hold strong the whole time:  seeing Anansi’s burnt body and talking about Comanche still rattled him. Clearly Shades is doing this so that he has a vacuum to fill, but his path forward isn’t easy. Even after all of his confessions, Misty made it clear that without the revolver the deal doesn’t go through. Good thing for Misty, that Shades is one clever bastard.

All of the pieces started colliding at Mariah’s big free concert—her attempt to protect herself from Bushmaster’s attack:  Luke showed up as a precaution; Misty kept a watchful eye on Shades; and Bushmaster made his way into the guarded castle. In order to get the gun Shades needed, he tried to woo his way back to Mariah. We all knew she wasn’t going to be so easily tricked, and this led to the standout scene of the episode as all players collided in the vault.

This scene was masterly crafted, and the way everything played out was golden. Everyone in the room had different things to worry about—but everyone had to worry about Bushmaster at the same time as he attacked everyone in the Vault. It was truly a thrilling scene as Bushmaster got close to his goal multiple times, despite efforts from all angles. Even with Bushmaster’s power, Luke got his uppercut defeating blow in. The scene led up to Luke with Bushmaster’s life in his hands. He didn’t let his anger drive him this time. He loosened his grip to free Bushmaster, so that no one had to die.

A terrific episode played out in an exciting and unexpected manner, as all parties collided in an exhilarating fight within Harlem’s Paradise. With Bushmaster having escaped, and Mariah now in police custody thanks to Shades slick moves, it almost feels like we just watched a finale. But as Luke said, it’s not over yet—and somehow I don’t think Mariah is going to stay still for long.

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:

  • Tilda…we all miss Cornell’s laugh. We miss it a lot.
  • The silent scene as Misty went to grab Shades a bottle of water was powerful—seeing her nearly break was hard to watch.
  • Misty…why on earth would you talk out loud about Shades snitching while in Harlem’s Paradise? I don’t care if it’s to Luke Cage, or that’s it’s loud—that’s not very careful of you.
  • Luke getting kicked out of the same window as Cornell was a nice touch.

 

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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