Here's A Luke Cage Season 1 Refresher To Catch You Up Before Season 2
Luke Cage Season 1 spoilers ahead!
Netflix's Luke Cage Season 2 is very nearly upon us, and you might be excited to start binge watching the second it launches. But it's been a while since we last caught up with Luke and the residents of the MCU's Harlem. It's been almost a year since the first season of Defenders dropped, and almost two since Luke Cage season 1.
But don't panic--we've got you covered. Here's everything you need to know if you're looking to jump right into season 2 without going back and revisiting everything that came before.
1. What's Luke Up To?
When we left Luke at the end of Season 1, his cover had been blown and his identity as ex-con Carl Lucas exposed, and he was arrested for escaping prison--but don't panic! In Defenders, we saw his name cleared by Foggy Nelson, allowing him to finally walk free without the ominous weight of his past looming over his head.
Still, Harlem is largely in chaos. Luke may be a free man now, and one who isn't actively keeping any secrets, but his position as Harlem's hero is anything but solid. Luke's left to figure out exactly where he fits into the jigsaw puzzle that makes up his neighborhood's complicated network of communities now that the whole city knows exactly who he is and what he can do. Being functionally invincible may paint a target on Luke's back 24/7--and while Luke may be invulnerable, the people around him are less fortunate.
2. What happened to Misty Knight?
In Season 1, we watched as Misty Knight slowly transitioned from intrepid NYPD detective bent on solving the mysteries surrounding Luke Cage's identity to one of Luke's closest and most reliable allies--though the two of them don't always see completely eye to eye in their methods. Misty set her sights on criminal mastermind Mariah Dillard and her associate Shades, but was ultimately unable to prove their guilt. Later, during the events of Defenders, she lost her right arm saving Claire Temple from a scheme designed by the Hand. She was last seen recovering in a hospital owned by Danny Rand.
She may be down, but she's far from out. Misty's been seen in season 2 promos sporting what looks like a prototype of her bionic arm, a staple of her character's comic book counterpart, so she's obviously going to be heading back into the fray very soon.
3. Who's Mariah Dillard again?
Mariah was an ongoing element of Season 1, a dirty politician turned full on gangster when she brutally murdered her cousin Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes. Thanks to her powerful connections (and the expertise of Hernan "Shades" Alvarez) she managed to dodge all legal fallout from her actions and even try to frame Luke Cage for the deed. The subsequent investigation and fallout nearly cost Luke his life and ultimately sent him back to prison.
Mariah formed a temporary alliance with Diamondback, who she wound up framing for Cottonmouth's murder when things began to fall apart in earnest. With her ice cold business sense and willingness to do whatever it takes to get her way, Mariah managed to avoid all consequence for her actions in the first season and, by the look of things, is back to try her hand at becoming Harlem's queen once and for all.
4. What's up with Diamondback?
Unlike his fellow snake-named villain Cottonmouth, Willis "Diamondback" Stryker actually did survive the first season. Following his framing by Mariah, Diamondback was sent back to prison, where doctor Noah Burstien--the person responsible for the experiments that gave Luke his powers--offered Diamondback the chance to "become stronger."
We have yet to see Diamondback in any promotional material for season 2, but it's clear he's not totally off the table.
5. Who's Shades?
Hernan "Shades" Alvarez is a man of many allegiances. After working with both Cottonmouth and Diamondback, Shades decided to align himself with Mariah at the end of Season 1. Shades has a personal stake in Harlem's future, despite his hard-to-pin-down motives--he was a close associate of the infamous Mama Mabel Stokes growing up, which is what lead him to both Cottonmouth and Mariah's inner circles as an adult.
Shades is a tricky person to pin down, and although he ended Season 1 in Mariah's pocket, it's difficult to imagine him staying there for too long. He prefers to be on the winning team, even if he has to get his hands dirty to get there.
6. What about the rest of the Defenders?
Things didn't end especially well for the newly formed team after their first official outing. Sure, they put a stop to the Hand, but they "lost" Matt Murdock in the process (he didn't actually die, but they all think he did). We've seen Jessica in the post-Defenders world in her second season, and she doesn't seem to have (or want) much to do with her fellow superheroes. We last saw Danny Rand stepping up to patrol Hell's Kitchen in Daredevil's absence, which will make it pretty easy for him to drop by Harlem when Luke needs him for season 2.
What, exactly, Danny is going to be doing when he shows up is still very much up in the air. Luke and Danny did have some heart to heart moments in Defenders, but they're still a ways off from having the Power Man & Iron Fist raport of their comic book counterparts.
Though she's not "officially" a Defender, Colleen Wing, master martial artist and Danny's current girlfriend, is also set to appear in season 2. We last saw her visiting Misty in the hospital after she lost her arm. The two apparently became friends, as we've seen the drinking together in a recent season 2 trailer.