Luke Cage Recap: S1E13 “You Know My Steez”


Luke and Diamondback face-off on the street while Misty continues her legal battle with Mariah in the final episode of Luke Cage season 1.

It’s the rumble in the streets of Harlem for the season finale of Luke Cage. In one corner, we have the Hero of Harlem, the unbreakable Power Man, Luke Cage. Facing him is his brother from another mother, the Bible thumping, out for revenge, Diamondback, Willis Stryker. It’s not the first time these two have fought, but as we see in a flashback, last time Diamondback was in Luke’s corner teaching him how to win. This time the two are opponents, fighting to destroy the other and Pop’s Barber Shop in the process. Their battle takes them out onto the streets where once again Luke has the support of the people. A crowd has gathered and they are all rooting for him. It looks like Diamondback is going to win this round until Luke strikes one finale blow and gives Diamondback the KO.

Mariah knows that she’s in trouble, but once again she’s two steps ahead. She drops the idea that Luke Cage might actually be Carl Lucas in a TV interview before she is arrested by Misty. Mariah knows the charges against her won’t stick. Shades killed the only person who can prove her guilt, Candace, the waitress from the club. Now there is no one to prove that Mariah killed Cottonmouth despite the fact that Misty still has the audio from her testimony. Candace lied before so there is no way to know if she is telling the truth now. A smug Mariah walks free and there is nothing Misty can do about it.

Misty also can’t prevent Luke’s arrest. After Mariah outs him, marshals show up to bring him back to jail for escaping. Luke goes willingly because he says he is done running. He knows the truth is out there and he wants to clear his name, not just as Luke Cage, but as Carl Lucas too. Claire, it looks like it’s time to finally get Matt Murdock on the phone.

Claire has been a vital character in Luke Cage, but in this final episode she becomes Luke’s official love interest. After episodes of flirty banter and long meaningful looks Luke finally asks Claire out for “coffee”. They never make it on their date, but they do get to share a kiss before Luke is sent to jail. It has been nice seeing Claire get so much screen time in this show, she has grown so much as a character this season. Claire is a tough woman who can more than handle herself and hopefully this doesn’t change to her becoming a damsel in distress just because she is Luke’s romantic partner.

Now that Luke is being sent back to Seagate Mariah really can’t be touched. There is no evidence she killed Cottonmouth, Diamondback is gone, and Shades remains loyally at her side. She returns to (the once again refurbished) Harlem’s Paradise to claim her kingdom. Mariah was the one to look out for all along and it looks like she’s going to be running things for awhile in this part of town. Wonder what Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) would have to say about this.

More than ever Misty believes that the justice system is broken. She cannot do her job under the law if people like Mariah and Shades don’t have to play by the same rules. However, as Inspector Ridley points out, Candace is dead because Misty didn’t follow correct protocol. She didn’t put the girl under protective custody or tell anyone else about the situation. Misty is devastated by these realizations. The end of the episode shows her eyeing down Shades, obviously not ready to let all it go. But is she going to fight on her own terms next time?

Another person we may not have seen the last of is Diamondback. Luke knocks him out at the end of their fight and he is hospitalized for his injures. It is later revealed that Diamondback has been placed under the care of Dr. Burstein. It looks like the good doc has a patient for his next round of experiments, but what his intentions are remains to be seen. All the world needs is a bulletproof crazy guy like Diamondback running around.

The first season of Luke Cage ends with most questions answered and ends tied up. It’s a happy ending for the most part: the hero got the girl, big bad was defeated, although the hero does still have some legal trouble to get himself out of and Mariah and Shades are still up to no good. The last shot is of the season is Luke in the car on the way back to prison, remembering the mantra Pop taught him, the one that has become his own: Sometimes backwards to move forward. Always.

Next: Luke Cage Recap: S1E12 “Soliloquy of Chaos”

Stray Observations & Easter Eggs

  • Why are all fights superheroes have about their mothers?
  • Luke says “Sweet Christmas” because he’s not allowed to curse having a preacher for a father.
  • Claire grabs a number off of a flyer for “self-defense and martial arts training” by Colleen Wing.  Looks like Danny won’t be the only one getting his kung-fu on in Iron Fist.