Up until this point Marvel’s Luke Cage (Currently streaming on Netflix) has been firing on all cylinders with the tension built up over 11 episodes and with two more to go, Soliloquy of Chaos is where lift off is achieved. Opening with a touching moment between the fugitive Luke and a cop, this episode sets the stakes for the rest of the season by the time the credits roll leaving the audience wanting more.
The Penultimate episode marks the point where everything the show has been building up to, comes to a head. It also features the best writing of the entire series for every character both major and minor. Featuring some of the best performances of the series, this episode is particularly noteworthy as it marks the climax in the slow evolution of Alfre Woodard’s Mariah Dillard completely accepting her inner devil.
Theo Rossi is especially memorable in this episode as he gets a lot more to do, reaching into his inner thespian in portraying ‘Shades’ cunning nature and his darker side all the while maintaining the composed cool he has made synonymous with the character. There’s a particular involving his character in an interrogation room sure to send chills down your spine and leaving you with the question, ‘when is he gonna grow that sweet beard?’
Now for the main story, Mike Colter is Luke Cage. His portrayal of the tortured ex-con manages to find the balance between his painful past and accepting his present. A theme rounded out by Pop’s mantra which encourages one to always look forward. Mike Colter gives his best performance in the series capping off with quite possibly the biggest cliffhanger of the series so far (Thank Netflix for binge TV. For this would have been a brutal and long wait if we had to wait another week for the finale).
Quite possibly the the most well placed celebrity cameo ever also takes place in this episode. Harlem’s Hip Hop Legend, Method Man, plays himself in the much spoiled scene from the trailers (which is even better in context) when he encounters Luke in a corner store. One might think that was all Meth Man was in the show for until he shows up again on a fictional version of Sway’s Universe (Yup, he’s in there too!) to drop the instant classic “Bulletproof Love”, a hip-hop ballad showing solidarity for a fellow brother and tackling issues of racial injustice and police brutality.
Overall, Soliloquy of Chaos is a strong episode with fantastic writing, captivating performances and a firm understanding of African American culture. While it would leave you wanting more, it stands on it’s own as peek into African American life under the guise of a superhero show.
LUKE CAGE is currently available to stream on Netflix.