‘Luke Cage’ Recap: Episode 4 “Step in the Arena”

In this week’s episode of Luke Cage, we finally get to find out the man with unbreakable skin’s past. How did he get his powers? How did he meet his late-wife, Reva? What happened during his time at Seagate Prison? We learn the answers to all of these questions and more in this flashback episode!

We pick up in the wake of Cottonmouth’s rocket launcher bazooka attack on Luke Cage. Connie’s restaurant is completely decimated with Cage and Connie trapped inside the rubble. While Cage is passed out, we get a flashback to his time at Seagate Prison. We learn that his real name is Carl Lucas and that he used to be an ex-cop who went to jail because he pissed off the wrong people. Unfortunately, he gets noticed by a corrupt guard named Rackham who attempts to get Lucas to fight for him in a secret fight club. Lucas initially refuses but Rackham makes it clear that he’s not one to give up easily. Oh, we also get to learn that he used to have a lot more hair. Like a LOT more hair (which is probably why Shades didn’t recognize him on the outside).


We also see Lucas meet his late wife, Reva, who works as his prison counselor and begins to connect with her after a rocky start. Other than Reva, Lucas mostly keeps to himself but he does befriend another inmate name Squabbles.  However, this proves to be a mistake because Rackham takes note of this and coerces him into his secret fight club by threatening Squabbles. Lucas finally agrees and begins fighting other prison inmates in Rackham’s secret fight club and begins to win regularly. In the meantime, Lucas starts to try and build evidence against Rackham who catches wind of his plans. In response, Rackham kills Squabbles and has Shades and another dude beat the life at of Lucas.


Reva finds Lucas beaten in a hospital room and begs the prison doctor to help save him with some experimental treatment. Reva leaves and the doctor begins the procedure. Of course Rackham learns of this and arrives to sabotage the experimental treatment. In doing so, he causes the healing bed that Lucas is in to malfunction. It takes up so much energy that the power goes out. Lucas arises unharmed as he surveys the scene. He finds Rackham dead and hears guards quickly approaching. He punches a nearby wall out of anger and discovers his newly gifted powers. He begins to literally punch his way out of Seagate Prison. Meanwhile, in the real world, Cage is literally punching his way out of the rubble of Connie’s restaurant.


After Lucas busts out of Seagate, he steals some clothes and we get a little nod to his original costume on which Lucas comments, “You look like a damn fool.” Agreed Cage, you look ridiculous. He eventually meets up with Reva in a motel room, shaves his head, and begins his life anew as Luke Cage. Back in the present, Cage has finally made it out of the wreckage with Connie and is found by Misty Knight and some firefighters. A group of media flock to Cage after hearing about the miracle that happened and asks for his name. In a super Iron Man moment, he declares “My name is Luke Cage” and the screen goes black to credits!