Luke Cage is the third series Marvel has released partnering with Netflix. For me, both seasons of Daredevil and the premiere season of Jessica Jones were all stand outs. With those two shows they have formed a dark tone that is a great contrast from the MCU movies and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. We first saw Luke Cage in Jessica Jones where he played quite a large part in that season. I thought that was a really great general introduction character that left me wanting more and really looking forward to this series.
I loved this season. Luke Cage was a season that was in many ways so dramatically different from the Marvel Netflix shows we are use to but still falls into that tone we have come to love. As someone who lives outside of America, my knowledge on American racial issues are very limited, but I felt you didn’t need much background information on the issues. I feel as though if you have a general knowledge of what is going on, you can see that this season really embraces that issue and tackles it head on. They had a great balance of representing a place of colour in Harlem while still presenting the issues of races and police brutality without shoving it in our faces.
Something I was really looking forward to seeing in this season was the back story of Luke Cage. As I mentioned before, Jessica Jones did a great job of giving us a general introduction to the character but it really was this season’s job to establish this as a character we love. I thought the stand alone episode of flashbacks to Cage’s time in prison was fantastic. It felt like a mini origin movie that was embedded into this bigger TV series. I really liked how in this episode alone we got to see the contrast between him before his powers and his overall change in not just ability but mentally after the accident. What I really loved about this episode was that it loved so much substance to his role in Jessica Jones. Cage’s wife features heavily in the flashbacks and you get to see their relationship grow which adds so much meaning towards her death in Jessica Jones.
Something that has to be mentioned is the music influence during the show. It was made very clear at the start from the opening trailers that it was going to play a major part during the season and it did. I really loved how there were so many references to music artists throughout the season and how one of the major location is club itself that every time we visited had a new live set playing in the background. The are so many great songs that are played thought the season that I loved going to check out the sound track and relive the season through the songs. There is a great playlist on Spotify that has nearly 8 hours worth of songs that are used throughout the whole season and it is a great play.
You really have to pay credit to the cast for this season. I thought pretty much every character nailed the role they were needed to perform. Colter was a stand out during Jessica Jones and he again lead the forefront in his own show. I thought Rosario Dawson was outstanding this season. She’s now played apart in all 3 Marvel shows and as far as I’m concerned, she’s as much as the Defenders as the other 4 members will be. I think she is going to play a big part in that series in bringing them all together and it’s well deserved. Her performance and delivery in all her scenes were outstanding and was my personal stand out in a cast that was fantastic in their own right.
As a whole, I loved pretty much every moment of this season, but getting to the end seems like a bit of a challenge. I find this is a common problem that we are starting to see in these Marvel Netflix shows. I find that I love every episode in the 13 episode season but you get to the end and feel like it could of been a very well executed 10 episode season. I’m not sure what would be edited but based on story alone, I feel like it could easily have been played out in 10 episodes. In saying that though, I never had a moment during my time watching where I felt I was getting bored or it was dragging on.
This season was a major hit for me.Luke Cage is a series that the more I think about it, the more I want to go back and re-watch it all. I loved pretty much everything about it and it gives me even more faith into what Marvel is doing with their Netflix series and what their end goal is. Iron Fist is next and we got a brief nod to it in the final episode with Night Nurse so hopefully that is a sign for all things to come.