Luke tests out his abilities on the ballfield, Misty ruffles feathers at the precinct, and Mariah plans a reunion to boost her image. Bushmaster meanwhile makes preparations for his takeover of Harlem.
Tropes in this episode include:
- Artistic License Physics: Cockroach uses all six barrels of "Josh" to dislocate Luke's shoulder and hurl him through a window, yet shows no problem with taking the exact same amount of force to his own shoulder from the kickback.
- Bilingual Bonus: Arturo Rey III calls Mariah some pretty nasty things in Spanish, which are what prompt Shades to shoot him, and Comanche to kill Arturo's bodyguards.Arturo Rey: [in Spanish] Sorry boy, but your dark lady is a dog, a dark-skinned black bitch- [Shades shoots him in the head]
- Blood Knight: Claire seems to think that Luke's becoming more and more like Matt Murdock and going out hitting people to vent his rage.
- Blown Across the Room: Cockroach has "Josh", a six-barreled shotgun specifically for dealing with Luke Cage. It's unclear if the gun was expected to harm Luke or not, but it did blow him out of what appears to be a third-story window (as well as dislocate his shoulder), giving Cockroach time to escape.
- Boom, Headshot!: Arturo Rey gets this treatment from Shades after saying a few too many nasty things about Mariah, and threatening to go to Misty with what he knows.
- Call-Back: After Claire compares him to Matt Murdock, Luke brings up the fact that Claire somehow always seems to get involved with people with abilities, like Matt, Jessica Jones and Danny Rand.
- The Cameo: New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles appears at the park to help test Luke's abilities.
- Cool Old Lady: Drea Powell's neighbor, who gives some intel on Cockroach to Luke and also flirts with him.
- Deadly Euphemism: Shades and Comanche when they tell Mariah that their attempt to negotiate with Arturo Rey has failed.Hernan "Shades" Alvarez: We have a problem.
Mariah Dillard: What's going on?
Hernan "Shades" Alvarez: We had to end our negotiations with Arturo.
Mariah Dillard: What do you mean "end"? [Shades turns his head away in shame; Mariah realizes he means "We killed him" and jumps to her feet] WHAT?! Why?!
Darius "Comanche" Jones: He was talking puntas or some shit, so he had to go adios.
- Dramatic Dislocation: Cockroach hits Luke with a multi-barrel shotgun blast strong enough to knock him out a second storey window, landing hard on a car below and dislocating his shoulder. Unable to get the leverage to reset it himself, he's forced to call Claire to help do it, who lampshades the fact that popping one's own shoulder back in only works in the movies.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Turns out Mariah has a daughter, Tilda, to whom she tries to reach out.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Being arrested and subjected to legal problems means that Arturo Rey has chosen to back out of the gun deal.
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: When Misty tries to interrogate Arturo, he asks "Who are you supposed to be, the short arm of the law?" His lawyer Benjamin Donovan also makes several mean-spirited jokes at Misty's expense when he comes to pick up his client.Big Ben Donovan: Detective! As always, I find your charm disarming.
- Exact Words: Luke complains to Bobby that when the latter said they were going to work out where the Jets play, Luke thought he was referring to the New York Jets pro team, not the Harlem Jets Pop Warner team. Though at least Todd Bowles shows up.
- For Want of a Nail: Luke believes that, were it not for his father Reverend James Lucas lying about Willis Stryker being his son, the chain of events that led to Luke being incarcerated and given his powers, Willis becoming Diamondback, and Kilgrave killing Reva might never have occurred.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Shades becomes quite jealous when Mariah sends him away to talk with her daughter alone, as Comanche notices.
- Idiot Ball: Luke lets Cockroach shoot him with a custom-made shotgun. While he did find himself invulnerable to Judas bullet Luke knows kickback can still hurt him from his fight with Jessica.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: Misty is the subject of mockery from Arturo Rey, from Donovan, and her fellow cops, who make several cruel jokes towards her disability. "The short arm of the law?", "I find your charm disarming", "You need a hand uncuffing my client?"
- Law of Inverse Recoil: Cockroach's six-barreled shotgun is powerful enough to blast Luke out a window, but the recoil doesn't throw Cockroach flying in the opposite direction. Though seeing as "Josh" is a custom-made weapon, it might be designed to dampen recoil.
- My God, What Have I Done?: After beating on Cockroach for a little too long, Luke realizes that CJ is still in the room, and is horrified to realize he almost killed a man in front of his son.
- Mythology Gag: Cockroach's six-barrelled Judas shotgun "Josh".
- Not So Different: Claire brings up Matt's fate as a warning to Luke. When Luke tells her that he is nothing like Matt was, Claire says that they were more alike than he admits. Remember that Claire had briefly been in a relationship with Matt during Daredevil season 1, and they ended things because she didn't like his Blood Knight tendencies. This is further emphasized when Luke nearly beats Cockroach to death, which is very reminiscent of the story Matt told Foggy in "Nelson v. Murdock" about beating an abusive father so badly that the man spent a month in the hospital drinking through a straw.
- Passive-Aggressive Kombat: Misty and her old acquaintance Nandi Tyler engage in some when meeting at the precinct. Later turns into full hostility. Bailey, who is Nandi's partner and Misty's friend, is visibly uncomfortable trying to play peacemaker.
- Pet the Dog: Bushmaster gives Tilda a handsome payment after she provides him with his wanted ingredients.
- Rage Breaking Point: After Arturo Rey III insults Mariah one too many times, Shades shoots him on the spot.
- Took a Level in Badass: Claire suggests that maybe Dr. Borstein's acid bath made Luke's skin even more durable.
- Truth in Television: The Harlem Jets are actually a real Pop Warner football team.
- Unwanted Rescue: Drea Powell didn't want Luke Cage around. Then again, Cockroach deserved that beating.
- Wife-Basher Basher: Luke beats Cockroach to a bloody pulp due to his Domestic Abuser tendencies against his girlfriend and her son.