Luke Cage's Surprising Season 2 Finale, Explained

Luke Cage

luke cage season 2

After spending the first season, and The Defenders, coming to terms with his role as hero, Luke Cage (Mike Colter) grapples with his darker urges as well as what it is Harlem really needs: a sheriff, a king or, as Mariah Dillard would have it, a queen. He ultimately settles on sheriff,  but from his new position within Harlem's Paradise, it certainly seems more like a dictator, as Misty Knight worries.

RELATED: Luke Cage Season 2 Certified Fresh By Rotten Tomatoes

Encouraged by Shades Alvarez, of all people, even before Mariah's death, to take control of Harlem before someone like Bushmaster or crime boss Rosalie Carbone can step into the void, Luke brokers a truce by placing a "lock box" around the neighborhood: If any rival organizations attempt to operate in Harlem, Luke will make Rosalie's life a living hell. The inheritance of Harlem's Paradise, which he initially rejects, makes his new role -- "Luke Corleone," in D.W. Griffith's assessment -- official. Although Luke insists he's the only one who can make Harlem great again, D.W. spies the flaw: "If you’re gonna be the boss of crime, then you’re a crime boss."

Convinced he can keep best keep watch over the neighborhood from Harlem's Paradise without being corrupted by the power, Luke ends the season isolated, and (literally) surrounded by those just waiting for him to make a misstep: crime lords Rosalie Carbone and Anibal Izqueda; Tilda Johnson; and the NYPD's Misty Knight and Priscilla Ridley.

Streaming now on Netflix, Marvel's Luke Cage Season 2 stars Mike Colter, Simone Missick, Alfre Woodard, Theo Rossi, Mustafa Shakir, Gabrielle Dennis, Rosario Dawson and Reg E. Cathey.

Marvel Comics 1000 Clayton Crain feature
Marvel Continues to Dominate Sales with Variants, New Titles & One-Shots

More in CBR Exclusives