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Recap / Luke Cage 2016 S 2 E 5 All Souled Out

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Desperate to drum up quick cash after being sued by Cockroach, Luke weighs an offer from Raymond "Piranha" Jones. Mariah invites Tilda to join the new family business. Misty receives her new bionic arm and has flashbacks of her time with Scarfe.


Tropes in this episode include:

  • Absentee Actor: Bushmaster is not in this episode, with all the screentime focused on Luke, Misty, Mariah and Shades and their problems. Which makes the reveal of the severed heads even more shocking, as the others have become so preoccupied with other problems that this is the one thing they don't expect.
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  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: The drunken guests at Piranha's party think it's hilarious to break bottles on Luke's head and shoot him with guns to watch the bullets bounce. Shades goes to the party to babysit Piranha, telling Mariah that he doesn't trust Piranha to keep his mouth shut while plastered.
  • Asshole Victim: Cockroach, both in the flashbacks as well as in present day. In the flashbacks, he got framed by Scarfe for a murder he didn't commit (but he murdered several other people) and in the present day, Bushmaster decapitates him and mounts his head at Mariah's new clinic as a warning. This is right after Cockroach put his girlfriend Drea back in the hospital.
  • Ballroom Blitz: Simultaneously to the severed heads at Mariah's ribbon-cutting, Bushmaster's men proceed to attack Piranha at his party.
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  • Breather Episode: Everyone's focused on completely unrelated issues. Mariah is getting ready to open her new Shirley Chisholm complex. Misty is getting her new arm. And Luke is being sued by Cockroach. Which means none of them are prepared for when Bushmaster pulls his severed heads stunt.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Luke spots a suspicious looking man in the crowd staring at him at one point during Piranha's party. This turns out to be one of Bushmaster's henchmen getting into position to attack.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Luke's epic broad jump at the crossfit back in episode 2 comes into play here as he makes a big jump to crush the roof of the car trying to flee with Piranha.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Foggy once again is helping Luke, after having gotten him out of jail.
    • When conversing at the arbitration, Foggy uneasily brings up the fact that Matt wore a mask when fighting crime, and suggests that Luke might consider doing the same thing.
      Foggy: Given my history on the subject, I can't believe I'm even gonna say this, but...if you're gonna fight crime, have you considered wearing a mask?
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    • Luke mentions that Method Man wrote a song about him.
  • Clark Kenting: When Foggy suggests that Luke wear a mask to fight crime, Luke scoffs that he's the only huge, bullet proof black dude in New York, so a domino mask isn't going to do much to hide who he is.
  • Cry for the Devil: Despite having been a Dirty Cop, the audience is clearly meant to sympathize with Scarfe after his son accidentally killed himself with his gun.
  • Decapitation Presentation: Cockroach, Ray Ray, and Higgins' heads are mounted on posts for Mariah at the Shirley Chisholm complex, a message from Bushmaster.
  • Dramatic Irony: Bailey and Nandi drop by Shirley Chisholm during preparations for the ribbon cutting so they can question Mariah about the disappearance of Mark Higgins, hours before his severed head is found mounted on a spike inside the doors not twenty feet from where they stand.
  • Enemy Mine: Shades disarms and subdues one of the Bushmaster goons trying to shoot at Luke when they attack the party.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: Misty recounts when she and Scarfe arrested Dontrell, in which it becomes apparent to Misty in hindsight how he planted the murder weapon to secure the conviction.
  • I Don't Pay You to Think: Shades to his underlings when their attempts to locate intel on Bushmaster turn up empty.
  • It's All My Fault: Misty consoles Scarfe as he's shown thinking his son's death is God's punishment for the wrongdoings he's done on the job. Misty naively tries to reassure him that he is a good cop and a good man, to no avail.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Narrowly averted by Misty, who comes this close to framing Cockroach in order to get him behind bars. Not that it would have mattered, given his timely murder by Bushmaster.
  • Loony Fan: Piranha turns out to be a huge Luke Cage fan, and his office is positively covered with Luke Cage memorabilia.
  • Mythology Gag: Luke references his comic subtitle when he asks Piranha if he wants to 'hire this hero'.
  • Oh, Crap!: Misty has one when she finds Dontrell's headless corpse in his apartment. Then, simultaneously, Mariah has one when she is unveiling the Shirley Chisholm complex and the doors open on the severed heads of Ray-Ray, Higgins and Dontrell.
  • Off with His Head!: Bushmaster has decapitated Cockroach, Mariah's bodyguard/goon Andre "Ray Ray" Jackson, and Mark Higgins, for a little head display.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: After Foggy suggests that Luke wear a mask while doing his vigilante activities, Luke shuts him down by pointing out that he is a 6'3" black man with bulletproof skin. What kind of mask is going to disguise that?
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Regarding the possibility of Luke having an NFL career, a Jets scout tells him that since Luke wasn't born with his abilities, the other teams would see it as cheating and there's no way the league would allow the team to sign him.
    • Earlier, Misty claimed that she would smooth everything over with the police for Luke's assault of Cockroach. There is, however, nothing that she can do about Cockroach himself suing him in civil court.
    • Luke warns Piranha of the possibility of bullets ricocheting off him and injuring the party guests.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Ray Ray.
  • Secret Test of Character: Scarfe passes his proposal to frame a fraudster as this. When Misty looks disgusted, he laughs it off as a joke.
  • The Scottish Trope: One of the guests at the party asks Luke if he is stronger than "the green monster". This is then lampshaded when his friend tells him that's not his name, in what appears to be a playful poke at how the Netflix series tend to do this.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Piranha, when taken by the Stylers.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Despite everything he did so far, Mariah doesn't take the threat Bushmaster presents seriously.
  • Undisclosed Funds: Subverted as Luke is passed a closed note with a figure written on it, typical of this trope, to make his assault charge against Cockroach go away. The next shot reveals it to be $100,000.
  • Visionary Villain: Mariah makes several speeches about planning to improve Harlem with her new social project throughout the episode.

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