WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Marvel’s Luke Cage Season 2, streaming now on Netflix.
After two seasons of Marvel's Luke Cage, the titular character (played by Mike Colter) is, as expected, a force to be reckoned with in his quest to clean up the gangster-ridden streets of Harlem. In doing so, he's been rigorously tested by a handful of villains who want to their criminal empires to remain untouched by cops or vigilantes.
Whether it be overlords like Black Mariah (Alfre Woodard), Shades (Theo Rossi) and Cottonmouth (Mahershala Ali); Luke's half-brother Diamondback (Erik LaRay Harvey) in his super-powered suit; or his supernatural equivalent in Bushmaster (Mustafa Shakir), Luke really has gone through the motions, physically as well as mentally.
However, in an action-packed Season 2, we come to find out that Luke's worst enemy actually isn't any of these individuals, it's himself.
Despite his impenetrable skin and super-strength, Luke's weaknesses come from within, thus creating a monster he's in denial about. This inner-beast is something he insists can't be tamed, or worse yet, it's something he doesn't want to tame. And as things progress throughout Season 2, his lack of control allows his temper to more or less become a self-destruct button.
Showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker clearly set out to highlight that as impervious as Luke is, he's still mentally susceptible to failure. A lot of this stems from the anger he's harboring towards his father, the reverend James Lucas (played by the late Reg E. Cathey). They became estranged after Luke was framed and went to prison, and his mother died, as James blamed his son for her suffering and subsequent death. Luke was left feeling abandoned just when he needed a dad the most, and never recovers.