PREVIOUSLY: Luke Cage premiere recap
Tragedy strikes Luke Cage in the frustrating second episode “Code of the Streets.” The frustration begins from the first scene of the episode, which is a flash-forward. It’s nighttime and a youngster pulls a gun on Luke Cage, who is standing across the street from the Crispus Attucks Center, Mariah’s base of operations. The youth asks what he’s doing there.
“Young man, I’ve had a long day. I’m tired, but I’m not too tired to every let nobody call me that word. You see a n—– standing in front of you across the street from a building named after one of our greatest heroes?” says a testy Luke. While Luke’s disdain for the N-word is somewhat conservative, it isn’t surprising given the running “swear jar” bit in the premiere (and the fact that this is part the Marvel Cinematic Universe).
The gun-toting youth responds, “Yeah, a dead one.” Cue the opening credits!
Now, we flash back to a few days before and find ourselves in the precinct with Misty Knight, who is visualizing how the weapon-deal-gone-bad shootout went down like she’s Will Graham or something. Apparently, this is her thing. From this little exercise, she’s able to deduce that Chico didn’t have the guts to go through with the shooting and is the one with the money since he’s the only one who hasn’t been accounted for. Now, she needs to find Chico before Cottonmouth.
But, Cottonmouth is already hot on Chico’s trail: He stops by Pop’s Barber Shop with his crew (Shades and Tone) to question Pops about Chico’s whereabouts while he receives a shave. Cottonmouth’s visit leaves Pop even more concerned about Chico, so he asks Luke to find him. Pops wants to get him back to the shop, a.k.a. Harlem’s Switzerland, so they can broker a peace deal with Cottonmouth. Initially, Luke says no, but Pop reminds Luke that he owes him for not asking questions when Reva married an ex-con and for keeping his secret. So, Luke pounds the pavement for Chico and eventually finds him hiding out in some motel. But, Chico refuses to go with him.
This episode also starts to flesh out some of the character relationships and how they relate to the neighborhood. It turns out Misty grew up here and was a pretty legendary basketball player, which is a fun tidbit to know about her. Elsewhere, Pop opens up to Luke about the past and we learn that he used to run around with Cottonmouth and Chico’s father back in the day before he went to prison. Just as Pop and Luke finish chatting, Chico shows up at the shop looking for sanctuary.
NEXT: Death in the family