Worried Luke is headed down a dark path, Claire pays a visit to his father. Bushmaster makes a bid for Mariah's guns. Colleen tries to help Misty with her pain.
Tropes in this episode include:
- Adaptation Species Change: In the comics, Mortimer "Mr. Fish" Norris got mutated into a humanoid fish. In the MCU, he's just a crook.
- Artistic License Physics: If a six-barrelled shotgun blast from "Josh", and a fall from a second story are enough to dislocate Luke's shoulder, then a grenade blast should've broken every bone in his hand. That is, unless the bullets fired from "Josh" were of the Judas variety (which, given this is Cockroach, they probably are), in which case it makes perfect sense that Luke is all right.
- A Threesome Is Hot: Bushmaster is introduced waking up after a one-night stand with two women.Sheldon: You want coffee? Blue Mountain?Bushmaster: You not see me just get two cups? [They both laugh] They keep me energized, y'know?
- Badass Boast: Misty probably really needed a drink with a badass woman who was willing to give her shit and take no shit. She definitely needed some two-bit punk to shit on.Misty: You know, that's the second time someone's called me a bitch today, and it's gonna be the last.
Morty: Bill Norris. Don't remember him?
Misty: Sorry. I don't look down when I flush.
- Batter Up!: One of the two female Yardies that attack Luke fights with a baseball bat.
- Both Sides Have a Point: Luke and Claire's argument.
- She's absolutely correct that he needs to deal with his past and that his father isn't quite the abusive shitbag he used to be (we've seen the old man still has a lot to work through, though).
- Luke is also correct that his emotions are valid and black men have a metric fuckton to deal with, where monster and minstrel are just about the only two options available in the public eye.
- In the end, the fact that his rage boils over and becomes terrifyingly physical means that she was quite a bit more right than he was.
- The Cameo: Esperanza Spaulding performs at Mariah's fundraiser. Geoffrey Canada also shakes hands with Mariah.
- Chain Pain: The first Yardie Bushmaster orders to attack Luke fights with a chain.
- Combat Pragmatist: Bushmaster at first lets Luke fight his men without getting himself involved while his friend records it, which allows Bushmaster to study Luke's fighting style and prepare countermoves to it. He later opens his fight with Luke by suckerpunching him.
- Contrived Coincidence: A minor one, but Luke heads down to Brooklyn to seek out Nigel at the exact same time that Shades heads down to get the money the Yardies were promising them.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory!: During the bar brawl, Misty tries to hit a thug with her non-existing right arm.
- Decapitation Presentation: When delivering the money that Shades has come to collect, Bushmaster throws in Nigel's severed head with one of the bags.
- Domestic Abuse: The argument between Luke and Claire reaches its peak when he loses his temper and pounds a hole in the wall. This is treated exactly as seriously as it should be. Claire is visibly terrified and declares she needs to leave. Luke, who probably witnessed his father doling out violence as a child is visibly deeply ashamed.Luke: Look, you know. You know I would never hurt you. You know that, right?
Claire: You need to go.
- Dwindling Party: With Cockroach in the hospital, and Arturo dead, Mariah is down to only the Yardies as potential buyers, and sends Shades down to collect the cash.
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: Bushmaster, twice.
- When Shades comes by to get the cash Nigel had promised, Bushmaster hands him a bag containing Nigel's head. When Shades looks up at Bushmaster to demand answers, Bushmaster "explains" that "Nigel had a big head. A big mouth and smart ideas. Him had no vision."
- When Luke asks about Nigel, Bushmaster chuckles that he is headed someplace else.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: Bushmaster has a pair of women as part of his Yardies gang.
- Fridge Logic: An In-Universe example. Claire and Rev. Lucas both believe that there was plenty of room on that door for both Rose and Jack.
- Honey Trap: Mariah has Billie/Stephanie seduce Mark Higgins and got it all on photographs and video so she could blackmail him into approving the sale of Atreus Plastics to Glenn Industries.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: The Bulletin front page headline for Arturo Rey's death is "Death of a Salesman".
- Let's You and Him Fight: Bushmaster has each of his henchmen fight Luke one-on-one with different kinds of weapons, while Sheldon films the whole thing. This is all so Bushmaster can study Luke's fighting style before he goes out to attack Luke in public.
- Machete Mayhem: The other female Yardie that attacks Luke fights with a pair of machetes.
- Match Cut: As the camera focuses on Bushmaster studying Luke's fight with his men, his face morphs into Mariah's and transitions to Mariah talking to Piranha in her office.
- The Mole: Billie/Stephanie is actually a plant by Bushmaster within Harlem's Paradise.
- Missed Him by That Much: Luke and Shades both head to Brooklyn to seek out Nigel, and both visit Bushmaster's lair, ultimately missing each other by a matter of minutes.
- Mythology Gag:
- Much like in the comics, Colleen uses a tough love approach to get Misty to stop feeling sorry for herself over the loss of her arm.
- Luke Cage rogue Mortimer "Mr. Fish" Norris is the thug who decides to attack Misty as revenge for his brother's incarceration.
- Percussive Therapy: Colleen tries two approaches of this with Misty, first in the ring and then by taking her to a bar where they end up in a Bar Brawl with "Mr. Fish" and his boys.
- Rage Breaking Point: When Claire won't stop bringing up his father, Luke punches a huge hole into her wall, shocking her and himself.
- Running Gag: Every time Luke talks to a Jamaican, they bring up the fact that a reporter said Luke was faster than Usain Bolt, very offended. And they act as if Luke himself said it.Luke: I never said I was!
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Luke beating Cockroach to a pulp pushes Claire to talk to his father, because she's incredibly worried. During the argument that follows, Luke's anger and violence scares her and she decides to take a break.
- Oh, Crap!: Luke can tell he's crossed a line. Claire is visibly terrified. Given his father's behavior in other scenes, it's not unreasonable to conclude that Luke has witnessed domestic violence.
- Tap on the Head: Discussed. Claire calls out Luke for beating Cockroach so hard that he sustained a concussion and says that Luke should've knocked him out with a simple "tap on the head" instead.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: Luke invokes this as a reason for playing the Scary Black Man in order to fight the criminals of Harlem.
- Wham Shot: More or less literally, since in the last scene, Bushmaster punches Luke so hard that he feels it.