Luke escapes from police custody in order to hunt down Diamondback on his own, and the people of Harlem rally behind him.
Tropes in this episode include:
- 0% Approval Rating: In this episode, Diamondback's antics end up driving nearly every single ally he has against him.
- Almost Dead Guy: Luke finds Domingo just barely alive after he and his men were curb-stomped by Diamondback. He lingers on for a few moments to warn that Luke might not even be capable of beating Diamondback.
- Apologetic Attacker: After killing Zip, Shades says, "Sorry, Romeo. He had to go," referring to Zip's late father.
- Assassin Outclassin': Zip and the other two get killed by Shades when they try to whack him.
- Backstab Backfire: Zip attempts to strangle Shades to death, but fails because Shades manages to slip a gun from a nearby thug, kill the others and overpower Zip, before killing him.
- Bad Boss: Diamondback tries to get Zip to kill Shades for daring to question him during the hostage situation.
- Butt-Monkey: Turk's humiliation continues. This time he gets violently interrogated by Luke and trapped in a dumpster... with baby diapers in it.
- The Cameo:
- Method Man appears As Himself, held up in a convenience store robbery and exchanging hoodies with Luke after the latter stops the thieves. Method Man later appears on the real-life radio show Sway in the Morning, with its hosts Sway and Heather B. as well.
- Also from that scene, a picture of Stan Lee appears on a poster.
- Chess Motifs: Bobby picks up a knight to represent Misty. Turk is a pawn.
- Cliffhanger: The episode ends with Luke and Stryker in his Powered Armor charging towards each other.
- Continuity Nod: Minor one, but Luke's discovery of the carnage from the shootout in Diamondback's warehouse and a barely alive Domingo is very reminiscent of Jessica's discovery of the apartment where Kilgrave got his power boost and finding Kilgrave's father clinging to life after having his arms cut off.
- Enemy Mine: Shades proposes a truce with Mariah and Luke to take down their common enemy: Diamondback.Mariah: Y'know, sometimes you have to cross the aisle to get things done.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: One will notice Shades takes a look at one henchman's gun right before Zip tries to strangle him. Thus, the whole time he's fighting back, he's not trying to fight off Zip, he's trying to maneuver Zip so that he can get within arm's reach of a gun.
- Hollywood Law: Inspector Ridley tells Shades he's facing multiple kidnapping with a firearm charges for participating in a hostage situation. She never mentions that he'd also be charged with Felony Murder since a hostage died during the takeover.
- I Am Spartacus: Method Man trades his hoodie with Luke to help him hide from the cops. After that, he freestyles on the radio, and his words inspire black men all over Harlem to wear bullet-ridden hoodies too in order to confuse the police and show solidarity with Luke.
- Just Following Orders: Zip's excuse after Shades thwarts his attempt on him and marches him out onto the roof at gunpoint.Shades: You're a goddamn puppet! Who gave you the order?! [Zip doesn't respond; Shades pistol whips him] WHO?!
Zip: Diamondback! You stopped playing your position. Asked too many questions. Diamondback said you needed to be dealt with!
Shades: Romeo would be ashamed of you. You're such a disappointment.
Zip: You're the second person who's told me that today! I'm my own man, Shades!
Shades: Tell him yourself. [shoots Zip in the head]
- Like Father, Unlike Son: Turk and Shades call Zip a disgrace compared to his father. Turk in particular chastises Zip for acting like Diamondback's errand boy, while Shades' first line after killing Zip is, "Sorry, Romeo. He had to go."
- Must Make Amends: Candace couldn't deal with the guilt of being paid $50,000 to frame Luke, so she comes directly to Misty and confesses the truth behind Cottonmouth's murder.
- Mythology Gag:
- The store's owner comments that some people would pay good money to hire Luke (just like Connie did in the premiere), but he refuses.
- Method Man creates a song about Luke Cage, and it's positively packed with them.
- Match Cut: As Domingo dies, the camera pans back... out of a crime scene photo of his body that's been faxed to Misty.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Mariah and Shades are just about to convince Luke Cage to accept a truce and work with them to take down Diamondback, in exchange for information that will exonerate him of every crime he was accused and convicted of committing, and Detective Misty Knight barges in, forcing everybody into a Mexican Standoff.
- Not Worth Killing: Diamondback lets Shades, Mariah, Bobby Fisher, and Misty Knight walk out of the barber shop because he wants to have it out with Luke and beat him to death first.Diamondback: You know I'm just gonna kill them all later, right?
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When Shades gets to Mariah's brownstone, he deduces that Diamondback has gotten to her because she's holding a revolver and looks shaken up.Shades: Diamondback got to you, didn't he?
Mariah: No, he didn't.
Shades: What are you doing with a gun? It's not you.
Mariah: Shut up!
- Powered Armor: Diamondback suits up to kill Domingo and his gang. He's also ready to fight Luke at Pop's Barber Shop.
- Pretender Diss: Diamondback is unimpressed by Zip's shades. He still sets him up for a Klingon Promotion though.Diamondback: Take those off!
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: During the Mexican Standoff in Pop's Barbershop, Diamondback shows up and trashes the place by throwing in a grenade; everybody survives unharmed because Luke uses himself as a Bulletproof Human Shield. Mariah, Shades, and Misty all start firing at Diamondback, but his powered armor protects him. Seeing this, Mariah and Shades bolt out like bats out of hell, followed soon after by Bobby and Misty.
- Short-Distance Phone Call: Mariah gets a phone call from Diamondback.Mariah: What do you want?
Diamondback: That's no way to speak to a business partner.
Mariah: After what you did to my club, do you really think I'm gonna shuck and jive with you?
Diamondback: You might want to check your attitude. If you're not any use to me, then you're not any use to anyone. Shades would tell you, if he was still alive.
Mariah: What the hell are you talking about?
Diamondback: I had to let him go. So now, I'm giving you the chance to tell me where you stand. I've taken Shades and Damon Boone off the table so you can grow. I'd hate for us to part, too.
Mariah: I wasn't particularly fond of Shades. And the death of Damon Boone, although unnecessary, was appreciated. [stands up] But you need to know this: I'm out of the political game. I'm focusing on Harlem's Paradise; using it for, uh, a power base for community relations. [Diamondback enters the room from behind Mariah, putting his own phone away]
Diamondback: That's a smart move. But you've made some dumb ones, also. You should never talk about murder on an open line.
- Shout-Out: Bobby Fish says of Diamondback's powered suit, "What type of Jean Paul Gaultier shit is this?" Jean Paul Gaultier is known for enfant terrible fashion. His fashion sense has been known to be very different and some could say ugly looking.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Luke pulls this on Misty after telling her to question Turk about Diamondback. Misty tracks him to the barbershop instead.
- Stupid Crooks:
- The two thugs robbing the store that Method Man is in. One of them actually unmasks himself to Meth just to apologize to him, and they even call each other by their names! The whole scene is a reference to robbers and criminals not using their actual names to avoid being tracked from their crimes. This reference can be related to Reservoir Dogs where all the guys used colors for their codenames.
- Zip's men just stand around as Zip tries to garrote Shades to death. Their inaction ends with Shades managing to struggle long enough to grab a gun from them, kill everyone and escape.
- Domingo decides to just point guns and monologue to Diamondback long enough for him to pull out his own guns instead of just gunning him down immediately.
- Trespassing to Talk: Diamondback and Shades both enter Mariah's brownstone from the back door to talk to her. Shades had done this before a few episodes earlier, so his first remark is, "You really need a security system."
- You Have Failed Me: Diamondback acts as if he's going to kill Zip when he comes back and says all his files are gone from his house. He grabs Zip by the throat and forces him onto his knees, but he was just messing with him.