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REVIEW: Luke Cage 1×11 “Now You’re Mine”

Written by Z. B. Hunter

Phew! Glad that’s over and done with. Hostage situations are always suspenseful.

So let’s quickly recap this episode. Luke is under gunfire after turning up at an anti-Luke Cage rally at Harlem’s Paradise, which is unsurprising. He’s protecting Detective Misty Knight, who’s the real target of the barrage of bullets. Luke gets her to safety in the kitchen and the police arrive at the scene. Diamondback has taken hostages, which include Councilman Damon Boone and Claire Temple.

Luke, between trying to keep Misty stable, tries to figure a way out, while the police outside try to figure a way in. At the same time, both Diamondback and Claire try to get to Luke. Claire uses her wits to succeed and attend to Misty, and Diamondback uses the growing fear and distrust against Luke to bring him out of hiding.

In the end, Diamondback misses his last shot at Luke and escapes, leaving him to be finally arrested.

With that all in mind, let’s have a look at the key moments in this episode.

Diamondback and Shades. So far, Shades has been operating in the shadows. He been the whisper in the ear compelling Mariah or Cottonmouth to make their next move. Shades is all about control. He has a method, and it’s proven to work. Calculate the current situation, plan a response. How can this be played to shift blame and maintain control?

Diamondback’s method is a little different. Calculate the situation, but don’t rely too much on hard and fast plans. Flexibility in unpredictable situations is essential.

This concerns Shades and he confronts Diamondback about this. The important thing to notice was the battle for power and control over the situation. It was a subtle skirmish, which made it interesting to watch. We haven’t really seen much interaction between the two characters but we already have a sense of who’s in charge.

Despite that, there was a small hint that that could shift in the favour of the other. This leaves us placing our bets on who’s going to come out on top – an excellent way to keep the audience invested.

Claire Temple and Misty Knight. I’m so glad they made up in this episode. Sorry, scratch that. I’m so glad Misty saw the error of her ways and apologised. And it was a genuine apology, not one done out of a sense of duty because Claire was saving her life. She gained back a few points in my books after that. I think was really important that that happened the way it did. All too often we hear about women being pitted off against each other so it was refreshing to see that there was mutual respect.

Claire could have made Misty feel bad about what she did, but she didn’t. She understands that she was under a lot of stress at the time and doesn’t hold it against her. Instead, she just got on with what she does best – putting the needs of others before her own. Claire Temple is a hero and she doesn’t even know it.

Luke Cage and Misty Knight. In many ways this episode was Misty’s redemption. She finally came around to seeing the truth. Pity it took her getting shot and almost killed (again) for her to see that. As a side-note, great that her story is being set up for bionic arm Misty. But again, Luke doesn’t resent her for chasing him and trying to bring him in. She was just doing her job. And to be fair she was the only one fighting in his corner by looking at the evidence and not just blindly believing the rumours and hearsay. Granted, she could have gone about it better, i.e. not standoffish, but at the same time she didn’t have much to go on.

Having said all of that, I wonder how she would have found out the truth had she not been in grave danger. It’s hard to tell, given that she puts herself in situations that allow that to happen. (I’m talking about going in without back up to arrest a criminal who previously disarmed and almost killed her.)

And this scene wasn’t just important for the relationship between the two onscreen characters. It almost runs parallel with interactions between police and the Black and Latin communities. We know there’s a systematic problem with violence and brutality, and what this scene does is help to address that. It’s wrong that it takes someone’s life in peril to realise that a suspect is innocent, and more often than not, it’s the suspect’s life in question. Just take a look back to the events that inspired the anti-Luke Cage rally.

It begs the questions: How can these interactions be resolved with minimal casualty? Are both parties able to reach a mutual respect for one and other?

Final Grade B-

+ Claire Temple.

+ Inspector Priscilla Ridley acknowledging Misty’s efforts.

+ Shades’ sunglasses being crushed as a visual metaphor.

+ “Bye, Felicia.”

+ Again, Claire Temple. I cannot stress this enough.

– Pacing feels like it’s slowed down even though we’re coming to the end of the season.

– Luke confronting Diamondback felt a little rushed. It could’ve done with a little more dialogue. Perhaps Luke trying to appeal to his better nature, or the Willis Stryker he once knew.

– It takes more that 10 minutes for Luke to get from the basement to the central area of the club, and didn’t show enough urgency. So either Luke is really slow, or Diamondback isn’t a man of his word. That and there was no way for us to know how much time was left.

Additional thoughts

= They should really rename Harlem’s Paradise after this all blows over. That is if they decide to keep it open…

= So… what’s going to happen with all these Judas 2.0 bullets the police now have?

What are your thoughts on “Now Your Mine”? Were there other key moments in the episode that I might have missed? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.

About the author

Z. B. Hunter

Fresh out of university, Zaibien is hoping to make a splash in the world of literary art. When he's not figuring out new ways to subvert the fantasy genre, he's somewhere between writing his first novel and wishing there was a way to telepathically communicate his ideas onto paper exactly as they are in his head.
Unlike his characters, we can't all have superpowers, so he's just having to settle with reading comics, going to the gym and occasionally pouring his heart out over his laptop.

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