‘Luke Cage’ Recap: Episode 5 “Just to Get a Rep”

We start the fourth episode off with Cottonmouth listening to Jidenna’s performance of “Long Live the Chief” at Harlem’s Paradise. He calls his own State of the Union meeting to assess his current situation and to plan his next move. The good news is that he still has his nightclub and some cash laying around. The bad news is that he lost seven figures of his main stash of money when the police raided Crispus Attucks Center after Luke Cage broke in.

Even worse, the streets are talking about Luke Cage and Cottonmouth’s reputation is in trouble. Cottonmouth shoots a henchman who suggests he should walk away from Luke Cage and instructs the rest of his crew to shake down all the businesses between 110th and 155th to recoup his cash. In an effort to turn Harlem against Luke Cage, Cottonmouth also instructs his henchmen to let the streets know that they’re paying the “Luke Cage stupidity tax.”

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Meanwhile, Misty watches Luke display his superhuman strength as he rummages through the wreckage of Connie’s restaurant. He finds Pop’s swear jar but it’s clear that he’s looking for something else specifically. He leaves after checking his watch, signifying that he has somewhere else to be. Misty, being the superb detective that she is, looks through the rubble herself and finds what Luke was presumably searching for, a picture of his late-wife, Reva. Back at the police station, Misty finds out that her partner, Scarfe, is being investigated for corruption.

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Elsewhere, Claire, the nurse from Daredevil, makes her first appearance on Luke Cage. She arrives in Harlem by subway and not a minute goes by before some idiot tries to steal her bag. She chases him down, beats his ass, and reclaims what is hers. She then heads to her mother’s diner and explains that her hospital covered up the ninjas that attacked her in Daredevil and that the powers that be made sure she wouldn’t be able to work anywhere else but Harlem.

Back at the barbershop, it turns out Luke Cage had to leave Connie’s because he had a date with real-life Harlem Legend Dapper Dan himself. Bobby Fish called him in to make sure Luke Cage looked good for Pop’s memorial and dang does Luke look good. Luke Cage tells Bobby Fish that he’s all about Pop’s memorial today but then the people of Harlem start coming to him and asking him to go after Cornell’s henchmen to get their stuff back. Annoyed but undeterred, he tells them, “I’m on it!” and heads out to do Harlem right. Sadly, his nice new outfit gets ruined by bullet holes in the process.

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Luke Cage also shows up at Harlem’s Paradise to check on Cottonmouth and beats his goons up when he does. Unfortunately, Shades recognizes Luke Cage as Carl Lucas when he sees him fight and tells Cottonmouth about their time at Seagate together. Shades also shows Cottonmouth the Judas, a specialized bullet that could possibly be the answer to Luke Cage the problem. Sadly for Cottonmouth, each bullet costs an arm and a leg so he’ll have to ask Diamondback for help if he wants to get rid of Luke Cage. However, Shades warns him that Diamondback may help him but will take Harlem away from him in the process.

The episode ends at Pop’s memorial with Misty, Cottonmouth, Shades, and Luke Cage all in attendance. After a few opening words by Bobby Fish, Cottonmouth volunteers to share a few words of his own. He honors the memory of Pop in his eulogy but subtlety calls out Luke Cage as a “stranger with arcane abilities” to alienate him from the people of Harlem. Fortunately, Luke Cage goes up next to share a few of his own thoughts. He is met with applause as he delivers a fantastic eulogy of his own and declares, “I don’t believe in Harlem. I believe in the people who make Harlem what it is.”

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