Luke Cage Recap: S1E10 “Take It Personal”


Tensions run high in episode 10 of Luke Cage, the show’s most political episode yet.

The hunt for Luke Cage is heating up and everyone is getting involved in episode ten. Diamondback isn’t content with waiting for action, instead he dons a black hoodie and some kind of non infinity stone gauntlet and kills a police officer in broad daylight while yelling, “I’m Luke Cage.” Very subtle. But it works. Harlem was a powder keg about to explode and Diamondback just lit the match.

The police officers are angry that one of their own was murdered. They hit the streets, shaking down mostly young black kids to get information about Luke. This leads to Lonnie (Darius Kaleb), one of the kids who frequented Pop’s barber shop, being dragged into custody. He knows his rights, but is beaten by an overzealous cop who was close to the deceased officer.

Image via Netflix

This is the moment Mariah has been waiting for. She uses this attack to get herself back in the public eye in a big way. She holds a press conference to further denounce Luke Cage and the beating of a young black man at the hands of the police. Mariah’s goal isn’t to get insight anger at the NYPD, but to show that in their frenzy to find Luke the cops are hurting innocent citizens of Harlem. She wants to rally the community around the need for greater protection for all from those with powers.  Already Mariah is laying down the groundwork for the plan to get the police department to buy Diamondback’s weapons.

For an episode that was written last year it is surprisingly current. The idea of black vs. blue lives comes up in a conversation between Lonnie’s mother Patricia (Cassandra Freeman) and Inspector Ridley (Karen Pittman). “You think a sister in charge would change things, but you’re blue, which makes you just as white as anybody else,” Patricia tells her. The issue isn’t just everyone against Luke, it’s much larger and more systematic. Luke’s powers add layers, but it doesn’t take away from the relevance and the questions this episode brings up.

Luke has a lot of questions he finally finds answers to in this episode. Reva never told him the whole story about her involvement at Seagate and now he knows why. She was in on the prison experiments even to the point of encouraging hurting his friend Squabbles to get him to join the fight club. Luke realizes he didn’t really know that much about the woman he loved. It marks the beginning of him letting go of the idea of Reva he had held onto for so long. Reva was his light in the darkness, but now he is free. He doesn’t need her any more.

Luke also realizes something else he has known all along: Diamondback really is his brother. As a preacher it wasn’t as if his father could recognize his illegitimate child and it is obvious that Diamondback still harbors resentment over his treatment. Luke knows it is time to confront his brother and set things right. He arrives at Harlem’s Paradise only to find Misty going after Diamondback as well.

The episode ends with members from Mariah’s “peaceful” protest and Diamondback’s gang all trying to kill Luke while Luke acts as a human shield for Misty. This may be just the thing Luke needs to get Misty on his side though. Now that she has put the pieces of his past together and seen him use his powers for good, she can’t possibly doubt him anymore, right?

Next: Luke Cage Recap: S1E9 “DWYCK”

Stray Observations & Easter Eggs

  • “Power doesn’t travel, first rule of business. And war.”
  • “That woman in Hell’s Kitchen snapped a man’s neck because he was *mind controlling* her.”
  • Luke’s files are labeled “tiara” after the headpiece he is known for wearing in the comics
  • How many times are they going to rebuild Harlem’s Paradise before they give up?
  • Who is this Bailey guy who suddenly seems so eager to help Misty and why does he not seem trustworthy?
  • Award for best protest sign goes to:

Image via Netflix