It’s hard to rate this season as the first half would get a terrible score and second half a high score. Luke Cage, the bullet proof man started extremely slow. I usually binge each of the Netflix shows and I found myself extremely bored. Every other scene was a lovers quarrel between Cage and Claire and the story was moving at a snail’s pace. It simply wasn’t entertaining.
The one exception to the show first half was Bushmaster, this seasons new villain…kind of. This is another area where the show faltered. It brought it in the amazing Bushmaster and his Jamaican gang. The character and those surrounding him we’re so intriguing, refreshing and delightful to watch all season. Even in the first few episodes, I found myself wanting to see more of the Jamaicans. The accents were so hard to understand I had to turn on subtitles but I honestly found that endearing. It brought a level of authenticity to their characters.
While Bushmaster was a big bad, ultimately Mariah Dillard is the true big bad. Mariah isn’t a bad villain at all but she gets old for me. There were far tooany times where she would be close to being arrested or killed and some loophole got in the way or someone or something saved her at the last second. It’s a well known trope is much of entertainment bit it was massivley overused here.
Mariah’s counterpart Shades stole each scene once again. It was great to see the character back and even more involved than before. I hope to see more of him in season 3. Shades brings composure to Mariah and levels her out often. He’s easily the smarter criminal and she refused to listen to some of his better advice. Unhinged and emotional, Hernan AKA Shades knows how to play the game with the best of them. Rarely does he show weakness, and when he foes, it shifts back to strength quickly. Other members of the supporting cast offered were fantastic this season. Misty Knight, who gets a bionic arm, is the hard hitting cop like before but even more tenacious than before. Mariah’s daughter Tilda brings some great tension to the show and has an extremely interesting arc. It was exciting to see her change and evolve over the course of the season as well as watch her relationship with her mother as well.
The titular character, Luke, goes through his own journey. The show starts with him at the height of Fame. Everyone knows who he is and he tries to run from his celebrity in many ways. His refusal to accept payment for his services is Noble but also ridiculous. He can’t pay his bills and refuses to get paid for what he does. This mindset changes over the course of the season but it’s another reason I disliked the first few episodes so much. It’s no fun to watch the main character make poor decisions and be un-likeable.
It gradually improved after episode 4 but around episode 7 is when it hit its stride. The heroes for hire story arc improved on Luke’s attitude and brought some adrenaline pumping action as well as story depth. The peak was episode 10 when a wonderful team up happens with Danny Rand. Say what you will about them in Defenders but this episode nails their relationship. Personally I hope to see much more of Danny and Luke teaming up in the future.
Episode 10 was the peak for the season as, unfortunately, the final episode was strange and contradictory. On the one hand I can see how it’s a great ending but mostly I feel like it betrayed the character and came out of nowhere as well as giving no closure to one of the greatest characters this season. It was a massive let down for me and came from out of left field. I’m sure the writers knew it was a risk and hoped it would pay off, but it certainly did not for me. I’m interested to see where the story goes in season three but ultimately I was left with a stale taste in my mouth after following such a great character for 12 episodes and seeing him drastically and unexpectedly change with no good reason as to why.
Overall it was a good season of television. I just wish it was good from start to finish. The boring beginning is hard to see past even when compared against the exciting back end excluding the confusing finale. Great action , an amazing team up with Danny Rand, Claire leaving early in the season, and Bushmaster are all some of what made this season fun to watch. I recommend you give it a watch. It’s worth sticking it out if you find the first few episodes to be long and drawn out .
3 out of 5 Couch Cushions and a throw pillow!!!