|The Internet’s failure to find me a proper Comanche screengrab is disappointing.|
More specifically, Claire. The first three episodes introduced us to a Luke Cage who wouldn’t take advice (from Clair) demanded to be left alone (by Claire) and exhibited excessive testosterone and inappropriate violence (toward Claire). Four episodes later, these things seem to be less part of where they’re taking Luke Cage’s character in Season 2, and more a means to get on with Season 2 without Claire in the way.
And certainly, a Claire-less Season 2 gets the series very much on a Luke Cagey track, with lots of action and street justice and a much more viewer-friendly conflict as Cage swallows his pride and decides to cash in a little and then everything goes to hell. Misty gets her robot arm and quits the force, Bushmaster and Cage face off in several encounters that go badly for Cage, well for Cage, and then badly for Cage. And Bushmaster makes his move on Mariah, ruining her community center opening with three severed heads and stealing all her money.
Most of this batch of episodes surround Piranha Jones, the slightly shady investing wheeler-dealer who provided Mariah with her insider trading opportunity and ended up with control over her money. Bushmaster wants him as a result. Cage and Misty want him as a result. And the reveal that Jones is a huge Luke Cage fanboy kicks off an exciting series of events that unfortunately ends with Jones beheaded and Mariah’s money in Bushmaster’s account.
But the most compelling story and character is Comanche, Shades’ right hand man and Unlikely Voice Of Reason, who turns out to be torn between being a confidential informant for Misty’s (former) boss and his requited-only-in-prison love for Shades. It’s heart-wrenching and tragic and plays out to perfection and if something more memorable comes along in the last six episodes of the season, I’ll be very surprised.