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Episode 1: Moment of Truth
- After an entire episode of Luke Cage insisting he just wants a normal life away from the hero game, he finally cuts loose when some of Cottonmouth's goons threaten his landlords. After an especially gruesome slow-motion shot of one of them breaking his wrist by punching Luke in the face, the others go down like dominoes.
- Cottonmouth concludes his eerily calm monologue by caving in Shameek's skull with his bare handed blows.
Episode 2: Code of the Streets
- Luke's "World of Cardboard" Speech after he's finally driven to step up and use his powers to be a hero, about how Crispus Attucks began a proud tradition of black American heroes that he's now taking his own place in. He finishes by snatching the gun from the guy who was threatening to shoot him, lifting up his shirt, and showing how it just bounces off.Luke: You even know who Crispus Attucks was? A free black man. The first man to die in what became America. He could've acted scared when those Brits raised their guns. Blended in with the crowd, but he stepped up! He paid with his life but he started something. That's what Pop did. Not me. I laid in the cut until he stepped up! And it cost him his life, too. I ain't laying back more! Yo wanna shoot me? Do it. Pull the trigger, nigga! I ain't got all night! Do it! [the guy hesitates] What, you scared? [snatches the gun out of his hands] Fine, I'll do it for you. [Luke shoots himself in the stomach, the guy immediately runs]
- The fact that the mugger was intimidated before he learned what he was dealing with
- There is something infinitely satisfying about Tone getting chucked off the roof of Harlem's Paradise by Cottonmouth.Cottonmouth: You can collect your money from Tone down stairs, Mr.Barrett!
- While the character has always been portrayed as a Butt-Monkey, there's something oddly badass about Turk confronting Cottonmouth regarding money he's owed. It's also pretty funny, given how it completely blindsides the tense emotions of Tone talking about Pop's death.Turk: Yo. Where's my money?
Cornell: [genuinely surprised] How the hell'd you get up here?
Turk: I'm Turk Barett, baby. The door ain't been built yet can hold me back.
- When Cottonmouth throws Tone off the roof, Turk couldn't look more bored.
Episode 3: Who's Gonna Take The Weight?
- The intro. Automatic gunfire rings out inside Crispus Attucks. A couch flies out the window, a couple of guys run out screaming... And then Luke Cage exits. While we, the audience, know who Cage is, it's one hell of an establishing character moment for the crooks.
- Luke tearing through not just Cottonmouth's safehouses, but especially Crispus Attucks which was considered a fortress.
- With more detail, Luke smashes through at least four safehouses in one day, and Cottonmouth gets scared enough to turn Crispus Attucks into what he describes as "Fort Knox", apparently welding steel bars all over the place and filling the entire building with men armed to the teeth. This is after multiple characters state that Cottonmouth and his crew have properties all over town, and that he could buy and sell people if he wanted.
- As for Attucks, Luke puts in some earphones and listens to "Bring Da Ruckus" all the while, apparently not even listening to the sound of all the people attacking him. While he's obviously furious at these people, at no point does Luke's expression ever advance beyond bored, and at no point does his movement ever advance beyond a slow walk. At one point, Luke wanders into a room and at least twenty people follow him inside. Luke proceeds to beat each and every one of them into the dirt, and then leaves without a witty one-liner. According to Cottonmouth, he lost seven million dollars, roughly eighty percent of his cash, from this one attack.
Episode 4: Step In The Arena
- We finally get to see Luke Cage in his classic comic suit, complete with tiara, bracers, open-chested yellow shirt, and chains. It looks goofy as all hell, but it's presented in a totally realistic way, and is no less awesome.
Episode 5: Just to Get a Rep
- Immediately after Claire arrives back home, her purse is stolen. Her response after three seasons' worth of induction into the world of superheroes? Chase the guy down and kick his ass, finishing with a gratuitous shot to the nuts.
- Luke's eulogy to Pop. He gives a Kirk Summation that rallies the citizens of Harlem, honors Pop, and peppers in several Stealth insults at Cottonmouth.
Episode 6: Suckas Need Bodyguards
- A reporter interviews Mariah, who thinks it's going to be a fluff piece, only to find she's being grilled for her family and her criminal connections on LIVE TV.
- Misty exposing Perez as a Dirty Cop by pretending to have a conversation with Scarfe on the phone and tricking him into an Engineered Public Confession.
- Luke dealt with three thugs, and still managed to make it out of the building in time to save Claire and Scarfe from being run over. To reiterate though: Luke let himself be hit by an accelerating car that had to be going well over 40 miles per hour. That is some Superman-type shit there.
- Though it turns out to be all for naught, Cottonmouth being perp-walked out of his club while "People Make The World Go Round" by The Stylistics plays in the background.
Episode 7: Manifest
- Cornell and Mariah's argument gets ugly when he accuses her of inviting her molestation by their uncle. Mariah's response? She whacks him in the head with a bottle, shoves him through his office window, then walks downstairs to the nightclub floor and proceeds to beat him to death with a mic stand. Shades can barely contain his glee at the sight of it.
Episode 8: Blowin' Up the Spot
- Luke vs. Diamondback inside the theater. After seven episodes of Luke just smacking people around, he gets a proper fight, with Diamondback taking advantage of Luke's wound. We also get to see Luke show the full extent of his Super Strength in combat. Bodies go flying.
Episode 9: DWYCK
- Diamondback's smooth and repeated Bait-and-Switch when threatening Zip and his crew are something to behold. Already fearful of his wrath, they almost panic that he's reaching for his gun when he's just playacting with a finger gun. And then he seemingly shoots them with his hand... only to reveal he had a gun in his other hand this whole time. But for a brief second, in-universe and out, he tricked everyone into thinking he could.
- Claire getting to show off her very considerable medical knowledge.
- Zip saving Shades's life from Diamondback, with a single reply to a question not even aimed at him.Diamondback: [cocks gun and aims it Shades's head] Give me one reason why I shouldn't splatter this pristine desk with your brain matter?
Zip: Because it won't help you find Luke Cage any faster? [Diamondback laughs]
Diamondback: You're smarter than your name implies, Zip.
Episode 10: Take It Personal
- Claire calling out the scientist who experimented on Luke at Seagate:Claire: Be thankful I'm not the one with the powers because I'd kill you if you did half the shit that you did to him to me. Not just ruin your barn.
- Lonnie standing up to the officer in the interrogation room. It may be a bit personal, but not only did he stay aware of his rights, he invoked them without any fear of the officer. All while remaining faithful in Luke's innocence. Even if it ended with him getting beaten, it was still a brave moment considering how most would have acted in the same situation.
Episode 11: Now You're Mine
- Claire Temple is taken as a hostage in Harlem's Paradise and sees Candice in pain, lies to one of the gunmen that this woman is her friend and may have broken her leg so she can treat her, helps her out, devises a plan for the woman to fake a diabetic coma so she can go to the basement, then elbows the guard escorting her and throws him down the stairs. She also gets her comics name dropped in the middle of this.
- Claire and an injured Misty teaming up to knock Shades out. Props to Misty considering how long she was injured.
- While Shades is being taken into custody, Claire crushes his glasses under her foot right in front of him.
Episode 12: Soliloquy of Chaos
- After Method Man meets Luke during a robbery, he goes on the radio to perform a rap about how great it is for black people to have their own superhero. And meanwhile, the black population of Harlem takes to wearing bullet-riddled hoodies as a show of solidarity, plus a way to confuse the police looking for him.
- Turk Barrett of all people holds his ground during his meeting with Diamondback and chastises Zip for acting like Diamondback's errand boy.
- After having his bail posted, Shades is led into an elevator where Zip plans to assassinate him. Shades has other ideas.
- What makes it great is that, up until this point, Shades has never been the physical type. And yet he reminds us that he did grow up in the street when he fights back and kills his would-be assassins with only the slightest amount of difficulty.
Episode 13: You Know My Steez
- Luke Cage's battle with a power-suit enhanced Diamondback, who can now challenge Luke on even footing. After a few rounds, Luke shows he's just as much brains as he is brawn, by identifying a strategy that exploits Diamondback's weakness, allowing Luke to knock him out in a decisive victory.
- Mariah and Shades are the only characters to end the season on a high note, having outlasted Cottonmouth and Diamondback, taken out Misty's star witness against them, and publicly outed Luke as the fugitive Carl Lucas, leading to his arrest and extradition back to Georgia.
Episode 1 - "Soul Brother #1"
- Luke is now invulnerable to even the Judas Bullet!
- Even better after the above Luke goes Mariah (who had previously told Luke he cant touch her and threatened Claries safety) goes to her drops the bullet on the desk and gives her a hell of a threat combined with a Badass Boast that finally causes Mariah to lose her composure as soon as he leaves.Luke Cage: You say Claire Temple's name out loud again and Ill kill you... I will go to jail with a smile on my face. No Bullet can kill me, no jail can hold me. You hear me? Nothing can stop me from getting to you.
Episode 2 - "Straighten It Out"
- While it eventually dives into Nightmare Fuel territory for how brutal he becomes, Luke coming to Cockroach's baby momma and their sons rescue when he starts physically beating them.
- Hell the line he says that comes with his Big Damn Heroes moment is also thisCoackroach: [standing over his defenseless and terrified son] You want some?!
Luke Cage: [busting down the door and ready to whip this coward's ass] I want some.
- Hell the line he says that comes with his Big Damn Heroes moment is also this
Episode 3 - "Wig Out
- Colleen and Misty are accosted by Mr. Fish and his boys in a bar, wanting to settle an old score with Misty. They take down Mr. Fish's crew with ease, Misty clearly having taken lessons at the Chikara, and while only having one hand.
- Luke fights with a couple of Bushmaster's men. Effortlessly withstanding attacks from chains, swords, bats and guns. In the end he even fully contains a grenade blast with his two hands. Plus, deliberately angling his chest so a bullet bounces back into the guy who shot it.
Episode 4 - "I Get Physical"
- The first time Luke goes up against Bushmaster, a man with the moves of Danny Rand and the brute strength of Luke himself, Bushmaster proves he is quite a step up from Diamondback.
Episode 5 - "All Souled Out"
Episode 6 - "The Basement"
- Luke and Bushmaster's rematch in which Luke shows that hes both Strong and Skilled as he notices that Bushmaster relies on agility and footwork allowing Luke to telegraph his moves and resorting to body slams and holds to keep him off his feet and as the fight goes on its pretty clear that if Bushmaster hadnt used that paralyzing dust that Luke would have beat him.
- Bushmaster snarls at his uncle that "Another man would have lost his head for the disrespect you shown tonight!" His uncle is completely unafraid of the death threat, saying "The day I'm scared to speak me mind, Lord strike me dead. Even you!"
Episode 7 - "On and On"
- Luke and Misty team up to hunt down Piranha, identifying the garage where his low-rider cabs are serviced. After a little banter over whether she's his sidekick, Luke decides to spend the fight deliberately not helping Misty so that she can have a little extra challenge with her opponents. And she succeeds.
Episode 8 - "If It Ain't Rough, It Ain't Right"
- Luke catching his father in the process of beating one of Bushmaster's thugs into unconsciousness for shooting his son. When Luke points out that he's bulletproof:
Episode 9 - "For Pete's Sake"
- There's a degree of Let's Get Dangerous! to admire at Mariah picking up a shotgun to blast away several of Bushmaster's men as they attack the clinic.Mariah: Kiss. My. Black. Ass...!
- Luke vs Bushmaster: Round 3. And this time, Luke wins. Smashing Bushmaster into a car and knocking him out in the middle of his monologue.
- The minute the fight starts, Luke tosses a charging Bushmaster aside like an ordinary mook.
- Bushmaster also attempts to use the paralyzing dust from their last fight, and Luke smacks it right out of his hands.
Episode 10 - "The Main Ingredient"
Episode 11 - "The Creator"
Episode 12 - "Can't Front On Me"
- Luke Cage and Bushmaster both team-up briefly to fight the Chinese to the tune of "Shame on a N***a" by the Wu-Tang Clan
- Bushmaster's rampage through Harlem's Paradise.
- He tosses aside Mariah's guards like trash and kicks Luke out through the window. This actually knocks Luke out for a minute or two.
- Bushmaster catches Luke's punch and is temporarily able to hold it in his place.
- He ferociously smashes down through the thick metal wall keeping him from Mariah. Shades shoots him at his eye from only a few feet away the moment he walks in and Bushmaster casually sidesteps the bullet.
- It should be noted that Mariah's "Lair" (including, presumably, the door, because that would be a ludicrous oversight) was reinforced with the "indestructible" plastic Atreus had developed before Mariah bought stock in them. . . three feet of it. Plastic designed to reinforce bunkers to withstand nuclear attack. It only slowed Bushmaster down.
- Bushmaster vs Luke, Misty, and Shades. He beats through all of them and was that close to finally killing Mariah before Luke beat him down with a few strong punches to the face and a chokehold, forcing Bushmaster to retreat. If he didn't resort squeezing Mariah's head into paste to savor her death and kill her immediately, he would have gotten his vengeance then and there.
- At one point, Luke and Bushmaster end up wedged into the narrow entryway, which puts both at a disadvantage. Bushmaster can't rely on his Dance Battler fighting style and Luke can't use the body slams that gave him the edge during their fight on the bridge. So two superpowered guys just start whaling on each other to see who can take the most punishment.
- Special props to Misty and Shades for going close quarters against someone they know full well can knock Luke Cage out.
- He tosses aside Mariah's guards like trash and kicks Luke out through the window. This actually knocks Luke out for a minute or two.
Episode 13 - "They Reminisce Over You"
- After every monstrous thing she's done over the course of the series, getting away with them and acting smug about it to boot, Mariah Stokes Dillard dies a slow painful death by poisoning by her own daughter.Tilda: Beso de la Araña note
- Luke, while initially as shocked as Mariah, promises to keep her company in her final moments. Not out of compassion, but because he's been waiting for someone to do this for him and wants to savor it.Mariah: It burns.
Luke: [through his teeth] Good.
- Luke, while initially as shocked as Mariah, promises to keep her company in her final moments. Not out of compassion, but because he's been waiting for someone to do this for him and wants to savor it.
- D-Dub standing up and telling Luke that he's buying the barber shop, and Luke and Sugar have to get out.
- So many people tried to watch the show that Netflix actually crashed for hours until it could be fixed.
- After the disappointing final villain of Diamondback, season 2 gives us Bushmaster, who is now widely hailed as one of the best and compelling villains of MCU live action series franchise, heck even as one the best in the MCU, with both brains and brawns to threaten the hero, a genuinely sympathetic backstory and motives, well developed and levelled character. Him, with Mariah upping her game brings a very solid villains which have the fans Rooting for the Empire.
- And even better, they did it around the time of the best villains in movie side debuting and held their own. All in all, the cast and crew did a fantastic job, especially coming in the wake of the disappointing 2nd season of Jessica Jones.
- Danny Rand in episode 10. Fans repeatedly have stated that this is the Iron Fist they've wanted.