With Luke Cage wounded, the show takes time to explore other characters on a deeper level. Most notably, we get a closer look at Misty Knight in the aftermath of her encounter with Diamondback and find out what makes her tick. After losing control during an interrogation with Claire, Misty has temporarily lost her badge and must sit with a volunteer police psychologist for an evaluation. Misty is hesitant at first but eventually opens up when she realizes that she rather chase after bad guys on the street than sit behind a desk.
Meanwhile, Luke Cage is aimlessly wandering the streets with the Judas bullet injuries he suffered from Diamondback. Unfortunately, the police are out looking for Luke Cage for the murder of Cottonmouth because Shades and Mariah set him up. He has a run in with the police and is forced to defend himself by attacking them. He couldn’t let them arrest him because he would risk being sent back to Seagate. He and the police have brief fight and Luke does his best to make sure there are no casualties, even going so far as to shield one officer from ricocheting bullets. However, the dash cam on the police cruiser catches Luke Cage hurling a police officer onto the hood of the car before running away. Someone leaks the dash came footage and the video goes viral.
At the morgue, Mariah grieves over the body of Cottonmouth when Shades shows up and begins to give her counsel. Mariah decides that she doesn’t want to be like Mama Mabel and sets up to sell off Cottonmouth’s criminal business and legitimize herself. She asks Domingo to set up a meeting with the other major crime bosses of the city so they can carve up the remnants of Cottonmouth’s business.
Unfortunately, Diamondback crashes the meeting and murders everyone except for Domingo and Mariah. He spares Domingo because of his familial connections and Mariah uses her political experience to leverage herself as a valuable asset to Diamondback’s plans. She suggests he should vilify Luke Cage and then sell super weapons like the Judas bullet to the police force as the only defense against super freaks. Her suggestion comes at an opportune time as Luke Cage unwittingly helped Mariah vilify himself earlier by attacking the police. However, this does mean that Mariah has only dug herself deeper into the criminal world when she was only trying to legitimize herself.
Fortunately, Luke and Claire are able to eventually find one another and they try to figure out how to treat his injuries. They agree that Dr. Noah Burstein, the Seagate doctor who was responsible for the healing bath that gave Luke his powers, is the man who is most likely able to help them. They eventually track him down and after theorizing possible scientific solutions, they conclude they must dip Luke’s body in acid to get his skin to open up so they can retrieve the bullet (essentially deep-frying him). Suddenly, Luke goes into cardiac arrest and the episode cuts to black.
R.I.P. Luke Cage: Episode 1 – Episode 9?