Luke Cage: For Pete’s Sake review S2 E9

As tired as I’ve grown of these stay pat in one location episodes, For Pete’s Sake was a tremendous episode. And if Alfre Woodard doesn’t get a slew of TV award nominations from her work in this episode alone the process is all wrong. Time to break down the most emotional episode of the season.

We didn’t get a Danny Rand team up, but he did give Cage and company a deserted building to hide out in while they figure out the next step with Mariah. Pretty sure we’re not going to get a prayer circle in any other Marvel Netflix show but Luke Cage and Misty and Mariah’s responses were very funny.

Deputy Chief Ridley is back and impressed with Misty’s growth in seeing the big picture in giving up Mariah now to get Bushmaster. But Nandi doesn’t seem nearly as impressed.

Nandi had a standing offer from Bushmaster and gives up Mariah’s location. Knowing Luke Cage, Nandi isn’t so much crooked as she is mad at Mariah for getting Riddenhouse killed. But hasn’t she been paying attention to how Bushmaster treats his allies once they’re no longer of use to him if they’re not Yardies?

Rev has a quiet moment with Mariah. For Pete’s Sake did a great job switching out the various possible pairings and the Reg. E Cathey and Woodard scene was as good as I hoped as Mariah and Rev talked about their kids. Of course Mariah ruined the moment by stealing his phone to call Shades. He’s at Bushmaster’s aunt’s and sucking down Red Stripes. Hooray beer!

In one of the series’ best scenes, Mariah tells Tilda the truth about her father. Jackson Dillard was gay. He needed a beard and she was content playing the role to stop carrying the Stokes’ name. This was a huge bombshell, but Tilda wanted to know if Mariah killed Cornell. Then the full truth came out. Mariah was mad because Cottonmouth loved Uncle Pete more than her…even after he abused her and got her pregnant! Uncle Pete was Tilda’s father. Mariah reiterated that she never wanted his advances and she never wanted Tilda. She tried to love her, but every time Mariah looked at Tilda she saw Uncle Pete.

This was powerful, powerful stuff. The more layers get peeled back on Mariah the more understandable her actions become. She’s not a sympathetic character in the traditional sense, but you see what’s led her down this path. To Tilda, Mariah is a monster, but this might have been Mariah at her rawest, realest self.

luke cage for pete's sake - luke and the rev

Ridley’s raid on Harlem’s Paradise is a no go since Bushmaster and his crew come rolling in gangster style on Rand Enterprises blaring their music and not even bothering to creep. Bushmaster respects Cage and again proposes an alliance or at least stepping aside so Bushmaster can get Mariah. Everyone else can go free.

Instead, we get our third knock own Cage/Bushmaster fight. Each encounter has been really good while managing to feel significantly different from the previous one. There’s a real physicality to these fights we haven’t seen in the other Netflix shows and Colter and Shakir keep bringing the intensity. This time, Luke is prepared for Bushmaster’s tricks and gets a decisive victory.

Misty and Mariah manage to hold off Bushmaster’s goons too. I wonder if the way Mariah held her gun was an intentional nod to Ripley in Aliens? While Mariah managed to escape, Bushmaster and his crew are in custody…for a moment. No one bothered to properly search Bushmaster, who uses an explosive to escape.

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Luke and Rev had a very nice moment. It was so nice I’m worried Rev won’t make it to the end of the season. Or at least to return home to Georgia. I hope Cathey was proud of his performance on this season as it was a very fitting final role for him.

Tilda returns to Mother’s Touch to find Bushmaster and his boy. Mariah has pushed her to the breaking point and knowing Bushmaster’s goal of killing her mother, Tilda agrees to help.

That’s gonna get harder though as Shades picks up Mariah and has a gift for her — Bushmaster’s uncle in his trunk. Family first, always.

For Pete’s Sake featured a little bit of everything that makes Luke Cage such a great show. It started somewhat slow, but quickly picked up to provide intense action and emotional performances.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Photo Credit: Netflix

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