Luke Cage season 2 episode 10 review: The Main Ingredient

This article comes from Den of Geek UK.

This review contains spoilers.

2.10 The Main Ingredient

IT’S THE IMMORTAL IRON FIST! Maybe this marks me out as a complete rube, but even though Danny Rand was annoying, bordering on unbearable in both his own show and Defenders, I was quite looking forward to seeing him on this show, where the general quality has been much higher than both of those outings. I won’t keep you waiting: I quite liked it.

Jones’ performance is still some distance off anything I recognise as Iron Fist/Danny Rand, but this version of the character has his own charm. Under the Luke Cage team, we even get some gentle ribbing of Danny as he insists on telling everyone a version of his full origin every time he turns up and trying to convince disbelieving city dwellers that yes, he did actually fight a dragon. And yet despite this, Danny actually gets to look cool as well – the choreography is much improved over his previous appearances and when he uses his powers, it’s in inventive ways.

What Danny actually brings to this show is also valuable, in that it gives Luke an outside perspective and someone he can converse with as an equal. We also get to see some points made about the nature of power and its ties to wealth, so it’s not like having the billionaire turn up is made completely unremarkable. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a total nerd for the interconnectivity of these shows and if getting Defenders out of the way means we can have more one-off guest appearances like this, I’m into it.

Elsewhere in the episode, I had to laugh at Donovan reconnecting Mariah with her money on the grounds that Piranha signed the contract to transfer it under duress, not least because I spent that whole episode going “but if someone signs a contract then their head turns up in a fishtank you can probably have grounds to get that annulled…”. I’ll say this for Coker and the Luke Cage team: they’re trying to close off the plot holes.

Of course, Iron Fist wasn’t even the best guest star to show up in this episode, because hey! Turk is back! And he’s gone legit! Running a head shop and forever being knocked around by heroes because they know he’s actually more use to them on the streets than anywhere else. Netflix, I would like to pitch the show Turk Barrett: Man of Steal. Have your people call my people.

I liked that Nandi got collared for her betrayal, and them turning up at the airport to arrest her as she tries to board a private jet was just too soap opera not to enjoy. I would totally understand it if people found this a bit too much, but I had fun with the scene, right up to her deciding the best way out of the situation is to clock Misty and run, as if that had any chance of working.

But the real scene this episode revolves around was the slaughter at Gwen’s. We all knew that was coming (well, except Shades) and they did not shy away from making it pretty damn harrowing. Mariah has clearly hit the point where redemption is impossible, right down to replacing the Basquiat with Stokes’ old portrait of Biggie. If you’ve read the rest of these reviews you’ll know I’m more invested in the Shades/Mariah plot than pretty much anything else here, so I love the hint that Shades knows Mariah has gone too far. I fear he might not make it out, but other than that I’m ready for what’s next.

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