Much of The Basement played out like a bottle episode with Luke holed up trying to keep Piranha safe. While it wasn’t the most eventful episode of the season it had enough to stay engaging until the very strong final sequence.
Sheldon leads Stylers tracking Cage and Piranhas. piranha gives Cage the scoop. Whoever controls you controls Mariah and shades.
Comanche sounds like he wants Shades to get in on his deal with the cops. In an extended conversation, Shades mentions that Mariah killed Cottonmouth and showed him there’s more to life than being a gangster. Finally confirming my suspicion after one too many long gazes, Comanche reminds Shades of their relationship in prison. Shades quickly shoots down any chance of a reconciliation by stating life inside prison is inside. There was this weird, uncomfortable vibe with Comanche and Mariah and now it’s simply that he’s jealous of Shades being with her.
Mariah is back to being unglued with Piranha in the wind since he has power of attorney over her club and her investment accounts. She’s even now starting to get distrustful of Shades, which doesn’t seem like a smart decision. I don’t like one of their chances of surviving this season.
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Misty had a rough go this episode as well. First she was suspended for her continued reckless behavior and somewhat aimless. Misty’s arcs always progress in a logical manner and there’s not that sense that her subplots are dragging or boring. Recognizing she’s on the verge of becoming just like her ex-partner, Misty quits the department. So what’s the deal with that pension again?
Like many of the characters on the show, Piranha had a troubled childhood. He opens up to Luke and drops his braggadocios facade just for a moment to talk about his relationship with his father. It’s interesting how Season 2 of Jessica Jones focused on the mother/daughter relationship and an ongoing theme here is fathers and sons.
The trick with Luke Cage action scenes to keeping them fresh is mixing up Luke’s fighting style. The Basement found Luke fighting more like a stealth fighter in taking down Bushmaster’s Stylers. After evading them a second time, Luke takes Piranha to the one place the Stylers won’t suspect — Rev’s church. I like that this attempt at reconciliation wasn’t blown out of proportion. It was a simple gesture and The Rev was supportive of Luke’s plan.
Challenging Bushmaster was the smart play. And a way to get Piranha safe so he could testify against Mariah, Shades and Bushmaster.
Since we’re just on episode 6 we knew this wasn’t going to be the final confrontation, but this was a terrific appetizer. With a face to face fight, Luke gave a much better account of himself. I really appreciated how Mike Colter and Mustafa Shakir were so active in this fight scene. There were likely some moments when a stunt man popped in, but they pulled their weight in this fight scene.
Like a good villain, Bushmaster knows he’s about to take the L and uses some mystic powder to paralyze Cage. Then he kicks him off the bride. Director Millicent Shelton did an excellent job of staging this entire fight scene and the perspective of Luke plummeting was on point.
Does anyone know if Luke can swim?
The Basement was largely a slow episode, but paid off with some strong character moments and an intense final fight scene.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Photo Credit: David Lee/Netflix