Luke Cage, episode thirteen

Mariah is at her arraignment. The lawyers bicker. Misty is thrilled but Luke isn’t sure its as open and shut as it seems. A woman enters the courtroom but it seems that no one notices. Two members of the audience lash out when the Jamaican restaurant shooting comes up. The judge denies bail and revokes Mariah’s passport. Before she can be taken away though she asks to speak and the judge allows it.

She compares the situation in Harlem to Hurricane Katrina. She’s needed on the outside to prevent the dam wall from collapsing. Resources are overrun. The streets are dangers. She’s has to handle the situation. Mariah is sent to jail and crime rates soar. Luke is handling things his way. Misty is doing it hers. She goes to see Tilda and talks to her about Bushmaster and Mariah. When she starts to snoop, Tilda calls her out and sends her on her way but Misty is suspicious.

As soon as Misty is outside, Bushmaster and his goons come out of the back room. He’s still in a bad way and she is trying to heal him. She tells him what to do and it includes rest. He isn’t looking to do that until Mariah is dead though. Tilda seems pretty close to him. Meanwhile Luke is trying to figure out who is responsible for the violence. He doesn’t know but someone does. Shades. He comes in and explains the whole thing. The Italians are moving in and now the old rules are out.

They need a leader who loves Harlem and he wants Luke to do it. He gets in Luke’s head and it sparks something. He has a point. Luke is headed to Little Italy. On the inside Mariah is being taken out of her cell. Her guard runs into a problem that quickly turns into an issue for her. Its the Italians. They pour lighter fluid on Mariah and then get ready to torch her. Some other people jump in though. It’s a girl from the block who is going to protect Mariah for a price.

She seems to accept it but when the girl gets close, Mariah takes her out. She’s running the show now. Luke goes to see the head Italian lady. He takes out her people along the way and tells her his terms. A lockbox around Harlem or he’ll mess her life up. She seems to agree. Tilda sees Bushmaster and his people off. They are going back to Jamaica and she is done paying her family debt to them. Mariah meets with her lawyer. They are going to spin the whole thing onto Shades and buy off anyone they can.

Those who can’t be bought will be taken out. Very few are safe but Sugar is. Misty is working a case. Its two people that used to be in with Mariah, she tells Ridley. Looks like Mariah is cleaning house. A desperate Alex goes to see Tilda for help but she just tells him to run. Luke has to go see Mariah. She’s messing up everything he just fixed. More people are taken out. Someone goes for Shades but he handles it and then calls in to see Mariah, under a different name.

Alex is killed. His mother freaks out. Tilda sees from afar. Shades gets a face to face with Mariah and goes off on her. He heads out and it looks like he got his closure. Tilda wants to visit and the lawyer is arranging. Luke wants to get in too but Misty is not having it. She won’t let him mess up her case. Mariah still thinks she did what was right and necessary. Tilda doesn’t think she will ever get out.

Mariah goes on about family and loyalty until Tilda taps out and leaves, kissing her mother on the lips on her way out. The lawyer comes back in. Someone else called but Mariah is still caught up in Tilda. It takes her a minute to ask who. Luke pounds the pavement in Harlem. Tilda heads to the club and takes a look around. Luke is still walking. Shades is sitting in a park. Tilda sings in the club. Luke goes to see Mariah.

He tells her to back off the peace he managed and she tries to deny it. Then she tells him that she’s glad he’s the king of Harlem. They argue for a few moments but then she starts coughing up blood. It was Tilda. Mariah dies and since his deal was contingent upon a conviction, Shades is busted for the murders. Tilda takes up her mantle as the head of the family. DW gives Luke trouble for the way he’s handling things but Luke and Sugar roll out.

The lawyer reads Mariah’s will to Tilda and Luke. Most of the money goes into making the Initiative a foundation. Tilda gets the keyboard and Luke gets the club because he loves Harlem as much as she does. Tilda is not happy about it. When she wrote it, Mariah told the lawyer that Luke will think he can change things but it will change him. Luke tells the lawyer to burn the club.

DW puts up a help wanted sign at the barber shop. Luke keeps the club. He gets rid of the Biggie painting and puts Muhammad Ali instead. Misty doesn’t think he should have taken it but he has grand plans for keeping Harlem the way he wants it. She still isn’t convinced, especially when Sugar comes in to deal with business. The club is open and Tilda comes in. Sugar tells Luke that “she” is here and asks what to do. Luke has him tell Claire to go home. He goes back into the office and sits down.

I knew Tilda would be important but I sort of figured she would end up sleeping with or killed by Shades. I was surprised that didn’t happen. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him. I don’t want Tilda to be the bad guy though. Can’t it be one of the other leaders stepping in on Harlem? Let these people band together! Is there a next season? There should be.

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Reverie, episode seven

Paul and Mara are frolicking in the woods, testing themselves and their control within the reverie program. Paul gets an alert that they are needed topside and they head out. Only it doesn’t work for Mara and she is stuck inside still. She wanders and finds a boy tied to a chair trapped in a cell in a warehouse. She tries to explain the program to him and get him out but it doesn’t work. He can’t get out and neither can she. Something glitches and she gets pulled.

The boy is still inside though. When Mara comes to, Paul is waiting. He asks where she was but she doesn’t know. The team discusses it and realizes that this was a one in a million glitch where reveries cross paths. Mara still wants to find and save the kid though so she has Dylan start a search. They figure out he was taken into custody by the military at LAX. Monica is behind it. Alexis and Charlie try to talk to her but it gets them nowhere.

Alexis heads back and works with Paul and Mara to get the right reverie for the military. Since there are two users inside though, it’s blocked. In the meantime, Mara goes to talk to the kids brother. Paul calls and tells her that she can go in now so she does. The kid is messed up though. He doesn’t believe her. She cuts him loose and he takes off. Meanwhile on the outside, Monica and the army guy threaten Paul and Alexis with charges if they don’t pull Mara.

They don’t back down though. Mara convinces the kid to trust her by talking about his brother. They start to make their way back to where they can get out. There are guards there though so she pulls back to brainstorm. Charlie talks to the brother about ways to prove the kid is innocent. He mentions that there were journalists at the refugee camp. Charlie sends the others to with Dylan and find a picture of the kid at the camp.

Mara figures she can divide and conquer the guards by luring them away. It works at first and she makes a break for the exit with the kid but before they make it, the program glitches and then one of the guards catches up. They duck into a room and that’s when Mara realizes she’s been shot. The photo search turns up nothing but there may still be a video out there. Charlie talks to a documentary maker about her footage.

The kid is freaking out because Mara is bleeding out. She comes up with a plan. She will create a diversion while he takes out the guard. It works. Now they just have to get beyond the glitch to the exit. They do and Mara promises to help the kid before he goes through. Mara wakes up and she’s got a bruise from where she was shot. That’s new. Paul says it’s nothing to be worried about though.

Alexis and Charlie go to threaten the military guy. They get the kid out and the program is being re-evaluated. Mara is at the office looking at a text from Chris when she gets a visitor. It’s the kid. They hug and then he is reunited with his brother. Monica tells Charlie the programs has been suspended and he realizes she orchestrated the whole thing. Mara has Chris over and talks about the case and how happy she is. He kisses her and she is game.

That was like five minutes of her needing to work on things before getting with Chris. And he was the one being pushy about it after he said he’d wait. Also he’s a psychiatrist so he should definitely know the importance of her setting the pace on that. I also figure this will be a love triangle with Paul and I’m not interested in any of that. I’m glad they saved the kid though.

Reverie, episode six

Two women, Holly and Vivian argue about leaving the house. Holly is wheelchair-bound. As soon as Vivian heads out, Holly enters reverie where she can dance ballet. Vivian comes back and finds Holly unconscious. This seems to be a common occurrence. Mara gets to work and talks to Paul about traffic. He tells her that she has a guest in her office. A guy named Chris. She seems surprised. Turns out she has a history with him of the romantic variety.

He’s here on official business though. He’s a psychiatrist and Holly is his patient. She has depression from the accident that left her paralyzed. She used to be a professional dancer but now she’s been under for 16 hours. Mara needs to go in and get her out. Paul is curious about Chris and talks to Alexis and then Charlie about him, and his history with Mara.

Chris seems intrigued by the program, and Mara, and plans to hang around to talk to her after. She goes in and talks to Holly. It seems to work… until Holly pulls a runner. Mara comes out and starts to brainstorm with Paul and Chris. Holly gets transported to the facility. Mara talks to Vivian a bit to try and learn more about her sister but she doesn’t get much. She also talks to Chris and he suggests they go out for a bite. As Chris waits for Mara he runs into Charlie.

Needless to say, Charlie isn’t thrilled for Chris to be in Mara’s life and tries to warn him off. They go out to eat anyway and Mara opens up a bit. After dinner, they have an almost moment but stop it before things can go to far. Chris leaves and Mara gets an idea. She calls Paul to meet her at the office. She goes into the system and wants Holly to teach her how to dance. It works for a while until Mara starts getting pushy with her questions.

She thinks that Holly is keeping her ex hidden behind a locked door and ends up having to leave the system when Holly runs again. She goes to see the ex and finds out he didn’t initiate the breakup in the first place. Now things really don’t add up. Paul explains to her that if there is one door, there is probably another somewhere in the system. Mara goes back in and starts snooping. She finds her way out of the theater and to a small cottage.

Inside is a little girl and Holly. Mara talks to her. When the accident happened, she was pregnant and thrilled about it. With the accident, she lost everything. Mara tries to explain to Holly that she is dying in the real world and will lose this too if that happens. Holly has accepted it. Mara comes out and talks to Alexis and Paul about Holly’s case.

Paul wants to leave her in the and let her die but Alexis is very opposed. She wants to yank her tech to force her out. Mara goes to see Chris and ends up fighting with him instead of making a decision. Next stop is Vivian who apparently has MS and didn’t tell her sister because she didn’t want to worry her. Mara goes back in and tells Holly. It works. She’s willing to come out to help her sister but she needs a minute to let go of this life.

There’s one more thing she wants to do. Mara watches as she dances with her daughter. Holly wakes up. She goes to work with her sister to help her and teaches little girls beginner ballet. Mara is still in a bad way herself. This whole case brought up her own trauma. As she heads out of the office, Paul tells her that he approves of Chris. Mara heads to Chris’ office and they talk about their fight and the fact that she is still working through things.

He wants her to call him when she’s ready. She says she will. They hug and then she leaves. Mara goes to another hospital and visits a coma patient. It’s her brother-in-law. The one that killed her sister and niece before shooting himself. He didn’t die.

I just assumed the brother-in-law died way back when. That surprised me and I’m sure will come into play in the finale to tease a new season. I felt really bad for Holly, especially when she had a daughter but I’m glad Alexis held her ground. That would have been a slippery slope. I don’t know why this didn’t dawn on me before but this reverie stuff is basically the same as San Junipero in “Black Mirror.”

Luke Cage, episode twelve

Some young folks are at a party drinking and dancing. It’s a good time. Two duck off and snort some powder. When they come back they go crazy. The girl bites someone’s neck and the guy is shoving people. The crowd manages to hold them down. The drug package says “Bushmaster.” DW’s girl comes in and tells Luke about it. He’s looking into it. Luke doesn’t think it is him though. His new goon confirms that it is Mariah running this drug.

Mariah meets with the other shady folks at a fancy auction. They agree to team up to take out Bushmaster. Misty and Ridley talk about what to do with Shades. He’s asleep in interrogation. Bushmaster moves in on a Chinese warehouse and they are ready for him. So is Luke who steps in to help him. He’ll walk if Bushmaster starts killing people though.

They fight and knock everyone out but Bushmaster wants to take all of them and the warehouse out too. Luke doesn’t let him and while he stops that, Bushmaster gets away. Tilda goes to visit Cornell’s grave and thanks him for many things. Luke is less grateful when he stops by to see Mariah. They share a drink but still are at odds. As he leaves Mariah calls someone to set up a charity event. She wants the club packed.

Misty has a deal for Shades and starts the questioning. Tilda throws Mariah under the bus to Bushmaster. She knows a back way into the club is willing to show them. Shades is talking. He’s in his element and his lawyer can’t stand it. She quits. Luke realizes that Mariah wants the club packed so that he will have to show up to protect those people and her by extension. Shades keeps talking. Misty asks real questions and he answers.

Shades rolls up in the club and talks to Mariah. He wants to go into the office to break down the details but she hired a legend and wants to watch the show first. About halfway through she pulls him into the office. Misty catches up with Luke and updates him. Shades is wearing a wire. Luke is skeptical. Tilda is leading Bushmaster into the club through the tunnels to go after only Mariah. Speaking of, she brings Shades into her bunker and pulls her gun on him.

Bushmaster gets into the club and trouble ensues. Mariah finds the wire. Luke is knocked out and Bushmaster heads after Mariah. Shades tries to take control of the situation but Mariah is banking on Luke showing up. Luke comes to and with Misty’s help gets to the bunker. He fights Bushmaster and Mariah yells for him to go for the kill. Luke doesn’t do it though and Bushmaster gets away.

As everyone is disappointed, Shades approaches Misty. He hands over Mariah’s gun. Misty arrests her but Mariah doesn’t figure it’ll mean much. She thinks her word is worth more than Shades’. Ridley doesn’t have time for her prattling on though so she cuts her off and has her led out. Misty wants to take the win but Luke points out that it means nothing.

I really thought that Shades would end up shot. Not killed but shot. Also where is Tilda now? She’s in a league with Bushmaster so where does she stand in the legal part of this. It’s so confusing. Also now is Shades done? Who runs the club? When is Claire coming back?

Sharp Objects, episode two

As she wakes up, Camille flashs back to finding Natalie’s body and then to herself as a kid. Adora is dressed in black. Seems most of the folks in town are. Willis is getting a cut and a shave. He talks to the barber about the murders and the superstitions in town. Afterward he heads down to the creek where Ann was found. Camille is dressed in black too. They are heading to the funeral. They exchange words beforehand. Willis talks to Vickery who thinks that he is paranoid.

Jackie saved seats for Camille and Adora. The whole service was waiting for them. There is no body because of the investigation. Camille takes notes and Adora tries to stop her. She has another flashback to Marian’s funeral. Her mother turned her away when she was grieving. When she tries to take more notes, Adora stops her again. Camille leaves. She goes to the convenience store and runs into a drunk Amma who had been told to stay home.

Camille just tells her to be safe and get home before their mother does. Then she calls her editor who tells her to get the story. She heads over to Natalie’s house where the repasse is in full swing. She sits in her car and watches Mr. Nash get tossed out. She self-harms with a needle before heading inside. She drinks and eavesdrops. Willis has a few flashbacks of his own to the search party in the woods. Camille runs into a few women she knew in school.

She tries to get some information out of them about the family but doesn’t get far. They just want to gossip. She gets saved by Jackie but that conversation doesn’t get her anywhere either. After a while she ducks outside and talks to Natalie’s father. He was in Philly when it happened. He also reiterates it wasn’t his son. Willis pays a visit to the ME and finds out that Natalie’s teeth were all pulled with household pliers. The killer had to be seriously strong to manage that.

Looking for leads, Camille heads by the park. She finds two little kids and one points her in the direction of a third that apparently saw the “woman in white” take Natalie. Willis buys a pig head and pliers to see about pulling teeth. Then he goes over the files. Camille goes to talk to the kid named James. He tells her what he knows, which isn’t much. He told the police but they think he’s seeing ghosts and didn’t take him seriously. His mother, who is very sick, doesn’t have any use for Camille coming around or asking questions.

Time for another flashback. Camille and Marian are playing and running around. They run up the stairs at the house and Marian runs right into her mother’s arms. There is no hug waiting for Camille through. After some time to collect her thoughts, Camille heads back into town. She sees a woman taking the missing flyers down to save Natalie’s family the trouble. She also comes across the chief fixing a stop sign. He doesn’t see James as a credible witness because of his home environment.

Next stop is the bar. Camille sits down with Willis. After a few false starts he’s willing to talk off the record about the cases. Back at the house, Adora and Amma are bonding when Camille gets home. Adora has no use for her so Camille heads upstairs and calls her editor. They talk about the story and how Camille feels good about having a big project. After hanging up, Camille stabs herself with a needle. She hears some commotion downstairs. The situation is catching up with Amma and she has a fit.
So was it the chief? He was using those plier things to fix the stop sign. That seemed relevant. I don’t know who else it would be otherwise. The dads and the brother seem too obvious. They haven’t really touched on anyone else yet. Willis maybe but I just can’t see that. I’m calling it as the chief.

Sharp Objects, episode one

Two young girls are roller skating. They are sisters enjoying an afternoon out. They head back home and sneak in. One sister, Camille, leads the other, Marian to a closed door and they head inside to a much more modern apartment where they find another door where an adult Camille is sleeping. She’s wearing long-sleeves and has her hand outstretched. Young Camille kneels down next to her, grabs a paper clip, bends it apart and stabs her. Camille jolts awake, and the two young girls disappear.

It was just another nightmare which seem to be commonplace for Camille. Still half sleeping, Camille answers a call from her boss Frank who needs her in the office. She is a reporter and she has a new assignment. There’s a missing girl in her hometown and it’s not the first time. He wants her to go out and cover it. She’s not happy about it. She’s rather estranged from her small town Missouri home and seems haunted by it. She coops mostly by drinking so she packs alcohol and hits the road.

When she makes it to town she checks into the hotel and takes a bath, flashing back to a scene with drops of blood. Then she has another one of herself floating in a river when she hears boys shooting guns. She sneaks into their hideout and finds raw meat and porn. Present day Camille masturbates before going to be. The next morning she heads to the police station and tries to find out about the cases.

The first girl Ann Nash went missing on her way to a friend’s house 10 blocks away. Her body was found on a clothesline by a group of hunters. The second girl, Natalie Keene only went missing recently and they haven’t found her body. Vickery doesn’t want to talk to Camille. She heads out to the woods to join the search group for Natalie and runs into three girls on roller skates, smoking a joint. Camille also sees her mother’s old friend Jackie who likes to talk. There’s also a detective named Richard Willis.

Afterward, Camille heads to her mom’s house and has another flashback to a conversation about ghosts she had with Marian, and whether or not they’re real. Her mother turns up in the doorway and seems less than enthusiastic about having her in town. As soon as she can, Camille ducks out to a bar. She finds out one of the other patrons is the missing girl’s brother. Before she can try to talk to him, Willis turns up.

He’s working the case but won’t give her anything. He’s starved for city folk conversation having moved to town from St. Louis himself. She’s not interested in playing ball though. She ends up drinking some more and passes out in her car. When she drives back to her parent’s house the next morning she has a confrontation with her mother about how her behavior reflects back. Her mother, Adora, is not happy but Camille tries to be conciliatory. She goes upstairs to clean up before heading out to work on the story.

After a stop to pick up some cough medicine and vodka. Then she heads to the Nash household. Their daughter was the first victim. She talks to the father about what happened to his daughter, Ann, and the family and what people in town think about their family. He’s kind of cagey and aggressive but he’s adamant that he doesn’t hurt his kids. Camille reports back to her editor. As she wraps up her call she sees some teens messing with the memorial for one of the victims.

She goes to confront them and finds out that one is the brother of the little girl that is missing. Before the conversation can progress any further, they hear a scream from nearby alley and run over. They found the missing girl’s body. Camille goes to the station and talks to Willis before heading home. She has another talk with her mother and with Amma before going upstairs to rest. Amma asks about Marian and notes that her room is like a museum. Amma goes to her own room and Camille opens the door to Marian’s. She flashs back to the funeral. She broke down during it. Present day Camille has a drink and takes a bath.

I think that Amy Adams was a good choice for this role. She can convey a lot with just an expression which is important considering she spends so much time alone. I haven’t read the book so I really don’t know much about how this will play out. I hope Amma isn’t killed though.

Luke Cage, episode eleven

Misty and Luke are at the Jamaican restaurant crime scene. Luke feels guilty about it because he saved Mariah and didn’t really confront her at the club. They both know it was her though another cop seems reluctant to assume anything yet. As they examine the burned body, Luke notices a blood trail leading away. There may be a witness still alive but that won’t be the case if Mariah finds out. Bushmaster is not getting any better despite Tilda’s work.

In Kingston 30 years early, a young bushmaster heard the business dealings for the rum business and the club. Present day Mariah is building a safehouse into the club to wait for Bushmaster to come knocking. Shades wasn’t down with what happened and mocks Mariah’s new attempts at security as a result. Luke is pounding pavement to confirm it was Mariah and to track down the witness, Bushmaster’s aunt. Misty is about to head out and help when Ridley stops her.

They need to have a press conference and this is the first step toward commissioner for Misty so she has to be the face of it. There is a leak that let out about the witness but Misty doesn’t confirm that. Luke gets a lead on where Ingrid might be. Shades and Mariah argue about what to do but she talks him into falling in line for now. Tilda hears about what Mabel did to Bushmaster’s family and gets threatened for it.

Mariah makes a deal to protect her ass even if it means selling out. Luke is still track down Ingrid. He runs into some of Mariah’s goons and knows he is in the right place. He finds her but leaves the room and she ends up at the mercy of Shades. Luke intervenes and saves her. He talks to her about ending the feud and keeping her safe. Flashback to a Bushmaster surviving being shot because of the nightshade. Misty uses the same technique and it revives him.

Luke has Ingrid. He wants to take her to Misty but Ingrid just wants to go to her husband. Misty is on her own mission. She has a ballistics match for one of the bodies to another murder. She can tie it to Mariah. Speaking of, Mariah is going nuts and fighting with imaginary Mabel and Pete. Bushmaster gets an update on what happened. Misty talks to Luke and finds out that Ingrid isn’t coming in. She’s pissed.

Bushmaster goes to the restaurant and sees what’s left. He knows this was meant for him. He’s mad. Mariah is at the club with Alex. He’s growing in her esteem. Shades walks in and Alex leaves. Mariah and Shades argue and Shades makes to leave but Mariah keeps running her mouth. She brings up Comanche and Shades flips. He chokes her but doesn’t kill her. He walks out and moments later Tilda confronts her mother about the restaurant. Mariah owns that.

Misty is leaving the station when she gets a visitor. Shades. He is going to help her take Mariah down. He lets her take him into custody. Bushmaster is at the morgue with his uncle when his aunt walks in. Luke brought her. While she grieves, Luke tries to talk Bushmaster out of the feud. It’s no use. They part ways knowing their next fight will be it. On his way home, Luke runs into one of Mariah’s goons. He’s out of that business now and wants Luke to run Harlem instead of police it.

I’m glad that Shades is thinking for himself and moreover, is willing to help Misty. He’s got so much to offer her that he can probably barter to save his own ass. I don’t know how I feel about Luke as king. Also, if Karen broke the story about a witness why wasn’t she at the press conference.