Always forward is Pop’s motto, and it’s something that the makers of Luke Cage keep to heart – even small scenes that seem inconsequential are all moving the plotlines forward. The connections between the various characters becomes ever clearer, with an explanation of Pop’s nickname that gives the excuse for a lookback to the time that the Marvel character sprang from (i.e. the early 1970s and its colourful choice in clothing styles), and another example of Cottonmouth… er, sorry, Mr Stokes’ method of keeping his people in line. Luke and Misti Knight have a second encounter which is nicely underplayed by both Mike Colter and Simone Messick, and Alfre Woodard’s Mariah seems only just to be realising quite how deep she is in Cottonmouth’s business.
Cheo Hodari Coker promised that the musical element would be integral to Luke Cage, and it’s proving to be the case – there’s some well edited sequences counterpointing violent action with heartfelt songs (with judicious use of foley sounds from one scene over the other), all of which serves to set this show apart further… and really encouraging you to move straight on to the next episode!
Verdict: Strong adult drama. 8/10