With ‘Now You’re Mine,’ Luke Cage brings us closer to the boiling point. As Luke faces off with Diamondback once more, everything begins to add up. More characters are putting the pieces together, with the conflict rising more and more. All the pieces are being moved into place for the finale, but how will it all be resolved?
The way that Luke Cage weaves its storylines together is wonderful. ‘Now You’re Mine’ does an especially good job of bringing all those elements to a head. Misty’s conflicted views on Luke, along with her headstrong nature, helps to inform her involvement in the Harlem’s Paradise situation. Keeping Candace, the club waitress, in the loop works wonderfully, making the Luke Cage set-up more of a gamble. Shades is still hardcore, but more cautious, making him a more volatile figure. Who knows, maybe we’ll see him turn angel yet. Even Sugar, the scared Diamondback lackey, gets his due. ‘Now You’re Mine’ proves just how good of a handle Luke Cage has on its various moving parts.
‘Now You’re Mine’ gives us the greatest insight into Diamondback that we’ve gotten. ‘Take It Personal‘ gave us most of Willis’ backstory, but this episode gave us a key detail. Apparently, while he was in prison, his mother died of cancer, abandoned by Reverend Lucas. It follows along with the spurned step-brother storyline, but it gives Diamondback that extra edge of explainable anger. This irrational anger somewhat explains why he tells his whole life story to Damon, but it does make Diamondback fall more into the hokey, stereotypical villain stereotype. At the very least, his Biblical fascination keeps him interesting.
This episode also brings in some lovely references to other Marvel works as well. Blake Tower, last seen in Daredevil‘s second season, comes in to help the cops decide how to handle Luke. Punisher also gets his first reference in the series, aptly tied in with the new Judas guns. Luke Cage seems intent to involve Misty and Claire in a love triangle, which seems distracting. At the very least, we get to see the two ladies kick some shades-wearing butt, highlighting how powerful they are on their own.
It’s hard to say how long Luke will remain in police custody. The cops seem more open to believing Cage’s innocence, but how long will it last? He’s made his choice to stop running, so maybe he just has more fights coming his way. However, for whatever’s coming next, Luke Cage proves it knows how to move everything closer to the breaking point.