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Marvel`s Luke Cage - Season 2 - Advanced Preview: "A Hero, A Freak Vigilante or A Pallet Cleanser"

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The last thing I expected from this show is to leave me quite impressed when I press the X on episode 13. Season Two of Netflix Luke Cage is a major improvement over the first 13 episodes both story wise and acting wise setting up a probably smashing third season, and yes guys we need and most of you will be longing for the potential third season.

The simple beauty of this season is that it feels completely different from what we saw so far from Marvel`s Netflix Universe. Yes, there is a lot of Villain fights, lot of plotting and slow spots (especially eps 5-8) but the show takes a different approach on what it means to be Hero and even more important what it means to be a Hero with his identity known to the whole world. That is also why I put the Pallet cleanser nod in the preview title. The way they handle Luke`s known identity and how Mike Colt portrays this season is truly remarkable. The whole season has a fresh note to it and takes upon different angles and lets us slowly experience everything that happens to Luke. As said I`m positively surprised by Mike Colter`s acting, season 1 Luke Cage always felt wooden and unwell in his skin. And while that part of his arc last season, this season we see a more human Luke, an imperfect Luke who tries to grow into the shoe people force him into. Generally, Mike Colter feels more comfortable in the role and also he looks like he deflated a bit, the muscles are there (don`t worry girls) but seem not like he is a balloon going to explode any second. Another thing this season did even better than in season 1, they purely embraced the spirit of Harlem. The performers in Harlem`s Paradise had so much swagger and soul, give the show another unique trademark.

And while Luke is put or better said puts himself under the weight of Making Harlem great again, the relationships with the people around him are put on tiny threads which will break very swiftly. This, of course, brings the amazing Rosario Dawson into play and makes us remember why we fall in love with her the moment she appeared on Daredevil. The energy Rosario brings to the table is just captivating and so honest, which resonated so well with me as a viewer, she literally spoke all the s#it I wanted to say. A fight between Luke and Claire during the first third of the season gave me true goose bombs and will score the duo a SOTW and POTM nomination from me. As part of Luke`s arc this season, they limited the amount of Claire and Bobby (played by the magnificent Ron Cephas Jones). They alienated Luke this season and in the process humanized him, which is a major plus point for me. I know the Claire fans and Claire-Luke shippers will be disappointed with that but it is worth it. Don´t worry though the writers are adding a perfect amount of newbies to keep the story interesting. My favorite addition this season is certainly Reg E. Cathey`s James Lucas. Not sure if this is the last on-screen appearance of Reg E. Cathey but he does a hell of a job. He is phenomenal and puts a major twist on Luke`s character and the temptations he faces this season. Their interactions are intimate but estranged, they know each other well and know how to hurt each other which just makes you wanna make another bowl of popcorn.

Now onto the villains of the season. More than once this season you will think about that phrase "The Enemy of your Enemy is your Friend". A lot of zoning and push and pulls in that regard this season. As I started watching the season and realized that Mariah and Shades have a major part in it, to be honest, my eyes saw the back of my Orbita more than once. Their part in the season felt mostly forced we saw them trying to climb up the Criminal letter and even in season 1 it felt redundant. Luckily the writing took some neat twists and creating compelling stories for both characters. Rarely we see Villains being down in the middle of their story and this is just what made it so intriguing. The lengths they would go, the triggers they had to suffer to rise above and be the powerhouses they were always meant to be. Alfre Woodard is just breathtaking. I saw her in so many roles with so many faces but she always finds a way to leave me without breath and emotionally drained. Take note of episode 9, she will try and succeed in breaking you.

Villain No 2. aka Bushmaster, played by Mustafa Shakir, was the one going head to head with Luke`s invincibility. Their fights were amazingly choreographed and a major improvement over the stuff we saw in season 1. Not sure if there were changes in that department but the changes are obvious and are definitely on Daredevil level of choreography. Despite this I had issues feeling Bushmaster truly threatening. It certainly wasn`t cause of Mustafa he was giving his all, still, it is the same issue I have with The Flash villains. Like how is he affected now? Shouldn't he be able to cough it away? The writers do try to give us justifiable reasons for it being competitive it just didn`t truly resonate with me. Also very mention-worthy is Bushmaster`s past and his relation to Mariah which is revealed to be the major engine behind this season.

Last but by no Marvel Universe invented measurment, there is Misty Knight. The Simone Missick portrayed character just as last season once again slayed. With Luke, without Luke, while dragging her frenemy or by just drinking a beer with her bestie Colleen. Misty`s journey just as looks was very well thought through, it gave Simone a lot of space to show off and deliver very compelling performances. The writers had a lot of story to cover with Misty. ICYMI during the Defenders season 1 Misty lost her right hand from elbow down. It completely opens Misty`s story and character development as she struggles to adapt to who she is. It gets a bit too fast resolved but a bit later in the season and what is even more important the motivation for the Rand Hand isn`t that she is incapable of taking care of herself, cause she eventually adjusted well she just opens up to help and that is an important moment for all disabled people.

A couple more Teasers:

- As said episodes 5-8 drag a bit, just as most shows from Netflix`s Marvelverse, but they bring on of our favorite Lawyers from the verse into play.

- Gabrielle Dennis plays a very well known comic book character and her background evolution is very interesting. She should be a major player in a potential third season.

- A very interesting part of Shade`s character gets revealed towards the end of the season and Theo Rossi knocks it out of the park.

- Expect a lot of guns and death to be spread. Firestarters will be quite excited for sure and one toxic kiss is more than obviously going down.

Hope this preview worked well enough for you guys. I tried to balance the good and the bad and keep being realistic of what to expect when you turn on your Netflix account on June 22n,d 2018, when Marvel`s Luke Cage Season Two will be available worldwide.

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