The fifth episode of Luke Cage begins with our main hero jogging while listening to Trish Walker’s radio show (who you may remember from Jessica Jones). Callers chime in and share their opinion on Luke Cage. Some call him a menace who should allow the police to do their job while others deem him a respectable bro who is doing good for the people of Harlem. He ends his morning run at the footsteps of Mariah Dillard’s home who he finds getting ready for her next interview. After letting Mariah know that he plans to shut her and her cousin Cottonmouth down, he departs and heads to the diner to catch breakfast with Bobby Fish.
Meanwhile, Cottonmouth meets with Scarfe to secure the guns he owes Domingo. Unfortunately, Scarfe’s greed gets the better of him and demands more money from Cottonmouth. When he refuses, Scarfe unholsters his gun but Cottonmouth manages to wrestle the weapon from him and shoots him.
Later, Mariah learns what her cousin did and berates him for the stupidity of his actions. She explains that everything they have built will be become undone if Scarfe is allowed to live. Not only that, Luke Cage remains a bulletproof problem that Cottonmouth can’t seem to figure out. Mariah suggests alternative angles of attacking him including poisoning him, burning him, drowning him, or breaking him by squeezing his loved ones. Cottonmouth remarks that she is beginning to sound like Mama Mabel.
Back at the diner, Claire bumps into Luke Cage who doesn’t initially remember their previous encounter in Hell’s Kitchen. After a quick catch up, the two head back to Pop’s barbershop where they find the door unlocked. They follow a trail of blood that leads inside and discover Scarfe bleeding but alive. He asks Luke Cage and Claire for their help in exchange for evidence he has that will put Cottonmouth away. After Luke Cage gets Scarfe to confess to the murder of Chico and his wrongdoings, he and Claire reluctantly agree to help.
At the same time, the police are on the lookout for Scarfe and no one is looking harder for him than his partner, Misty Knight. She gets partnered with Lt. Perez, another corrupt cop on Cottonmouth’s payroll, but it doesn’t take long for her to suspect that he’s crooked. After checking out Scarfe’s apartment for clues, they decide to stake the place out.
Misty catches a glimpse of Luke Cage visiting the apartment who had come to retrieve the evidence Scarfe had in his home. Luke Cage makes a run back to Pop’s barbershop and Misty pursues. By the time Luke Cage comes back, Claire has already prepared a van for them to travel in courtesy of her mother. They do the best they can to stabilize Scarfe and start making their way to the police station in Claire’s mother’s van. Misty and Perez arrive at Pop’s just as they leave and they learn the color of their van and partial plates. Perez sends the info to Cottonmouth who dispatch his men to take Scarfe out.
Cottonmouth’s goons find the van quicker than expected and open fire. Luke Cage pulls into an alley, punches a hole through the side of a building and escapes with Claire and Scarfe. Misty and Perez get an update from HQ that shots have been fired and deduce that Luke Cage must be near that location. Perez gets super shady when he attempts to prevent Misty from heading towards Luke Cage. At this point, Misty sniffs out the trash that is Perez and tricks him into making a confession after she fakes a phone call from Scarfe. She records it on her phone, makes him handcuff himself to the car, and starts heading towards Luke Cage’s location.
As this is happening, Mariah is being interviewed by a reporter named Thembi who seems set on exposing the dirty side of Mariah’s activities. She brings Mariah’s familial connection to Cottonmouth to light and exposes her involvement with the Crispus Attucks Center. Enraged, Mariah kicks them out of her home but the damage is done and her reputation is sullied.
Back to Luke Cage, Cottonmouth’s goons are fast approaching so Luke Cage decides to slow them down as Claire helps Scarfe get to the police station. Despite Luke Cage stopping an accelerating car with his body, Scarfe succumbs to his gunshot wound and dies. Misty makes it just in time to tragically hear her partner’s last words. On the bright side, the police show up at Harlem’s Paradise to arrest Cottonmouth and take him away. On the other hand, the Police Captain tells Misty that the higher ups of the department are thinking of keeping the news of the corruption on the down low because it would affect the integrity of the police. The episode ends with a dejected Misty sitting at her former partner’s desk.
R.I.P. Detective Rafael Scarfe: Episode 1 – Episode 6