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Simone Missick - Code of the Streets (Episode 2) lyrics


Luke Cage is standing on a hill overlooking the complex. Someone sneaks up behind him and pushes a gun to the back of his head. Luke lowers his hood and takes out his headphones.

KID: What are you doing here, nigga? I'm not gonna ask you again.

LUKE: Young man I've had a long day. I'm tired. But I'm not tired enough to ever let nobody call me that word. You see a nigga standin' in front of you? Across the street from a building named after one of our greatest heroes?

KID (cocking the gun): Yeah, a dead one.


The still-unnamed detective is imagining herself at the scene of the junkyard murders. Holding her coffee, she spins in place and looks at the chaos. She comes out of it and it turns out that she is really...


...looking at a wall of photos

SCARFE: You're doing it again. I hate it when you do that.

DETECTIVE: Hate it when I do what?

SCARFE: Stare at the photos like they're about to start moving.

DETECTIVE: They are talkin' and movin'. You just have to be still enough to hear what they're sayin'.

SCARFE: Whatever, Horton. A clue is a clue, no matter how small.

DETECTIVE: This was deeply personal.

SCARFE: Well, money invites the beast.

DETECTIVE: There's nothing in Chico's jacket to suggest he was capable of that type of violence. I don't think he has the stomach for it.

SCARFE: Stomach?

DETECTIVE: There was vomit found at the junkyard. Inside it were fibers consistent with that of a winter mask. One of the robbers didn't have the heart to go through with it. My guess, it was babyface Chico.

SCARFE: Uh, he was the last man standing. You mean to tell me Benjamin Franklin was wrong?

DETECTIVE: Well, in this case, it was all about the Benjamins either way.

SCARFE: Always is.

DETECTIVE: Somebody got jacked, and somebody got pissed...

SCARFE: And somebody got dead.

DETECTIVE: This ain't over yet.


LUKE: Eh, I just never got into Donald Goines.

POP: Are you crazy? Donald Goines was a street poet.

LUKE: I didn't say Goines isn't. But Walter Mosley, George Pelecanos? Boom.

POP: I bet you're into Richard Price.

LUKE: I dig Price. Dennis Lehane, too.

POP: What about Chester Himes?

LUKE: Without question. My biggest beef with Donald Goines is that he wrote about criminals and he died like one.

POP: You don't have to get all Fox News about it. Goines invented Kenyatta, the best black hero this side of Shaft.

CUSTOMER: Thank you, my brother.

POP: All right.

CUSTOMER: Keep that magic touch.

POP: I'll keep working on it. See you next week, Victor.

LUKE: So you're saying Kenyatta is better than Easy Rawlins?

POP: I ain't saying all that. I'm just saying Kenyatta's my favorite. He took the fight to the man in the streets by his self. Just like somebody else could if he wasn't sweeping hair and washing dishes.

LUKE: Don't start, Pop.

POP: The whole neighborhood is yapping about how Zip and two goons got the beat down at Genghis Connie's last night.

LUKE: Hmm. I heard it was four guys.

POP: I knew it had to be you. No wonder you came into the shop so light on your feet. Either that or someone finally gave you some trim. Oh!

Pop drops a dollar into the swear jar. Luke pulls out his "New Harlem Renaissance" pamphlet.

LUKE: So that's how it works? Those thugs shake people down? They work for Mariah or Cottonmouth?

POP: A little bit of both.

LUKE: They related? Aunt and nephew?

POP: Cousins. Their grandma was Mama Mabel.

LUKE: Who's Mama Mabel?

POP: The devil's ex-wife.

LUKE: They ever come at you sideways?

POP: No. This place right here is Switzerland. Everybody knows that. Where you from, Luke?

LUKE: Chicago.

POP: You ain't from no Chicago. Where are you from, really?

LUKE: Savannah, Georgia.

POP: All right. Country boy. You know how the wind feels fluffy, like you could stuff it into a pillowcase - right before a big thunderstorm? Harlem's the same. Trouble smells a certain way. You can touch it. Cottonmouth. He's gonna fall behind lookin' for Chico. That's the way that works. Ain't no secrets uptown. I mean, you could set a watch by the way that shit will play out. I'm fresh out of singles, I ain't gonna break no ten for that.

Cottonmouth enters with his entourage and some very threatening music, sits down for a shave.

COTTONMOUTH: Something real about a razor.

POP: You should let me use my clippers. You gonna bump up.

COTTONMOUTH: Nah. Doesn't have the same feel. The clippers are idiot-proof. That's what's missin' nowadays, Pop. Attention to detail. Everyone wants things fast, quick. Me? I like to take my time.

POP: Time is a luxury most working class men cannot afford.

COTTONMOUTH: True. Time is precious. Shouldn't be wasted. A good razor shave is like a vacation to me. It's incredible how few people take advantage.

POP: It's a lost art.

COTTONMOUTH: Exactly. That's the problem with these youngsters. They want it all. But they don't want to put in the work. They'll rob lie, cheat, steal, just to get what they want. Damn shame if you ask me.

POP: How'd you cut your hands?

COTTONMOUTH: Oh, uh, eh shaving. That's why I needed a professional touch, you dig?

POP: Sorry, brother.

Luke is walking around the store, assessing threats.

LUKE VOICEOVER/INTERIOR: Twelve feet. Two guns. Four seconds.

TURK(at the chessboard): You gonna move?

FISH: No, not yet.

TURK: Just 'cause they call you Bobby Fish don't mean you're Bobby Fischer.

FISH: And you ain't Turkish neither, Turk. Not last time I checked.

TURK: That's not what your daughter said.

FISH: Yeah, but your mama confirmed it.

TURK: Oh, you think you can throw me off my game talking about my mama?

FISH: Oh, no, she is a well-established ho. That should not faze you one bit. Check.

SHADES: That's a cheap broom.

LUKE: Old.

SHADES: I just got home.

LUKE: College?

SHADES: Three years this time Seagate. I'm from 'round the way. Grew up right here. Everyone knows Pop. There was this little Puerto Rican kid I can't remember his name It's like, um Rico or, uh Chico. Yeah Chico. He used to shape me up back in the day. He was real good, too. I was hoping he was still around.

LUKE: People come and go. You know how it is, right?


LUKE: Pop I've got some fresh towels right here. You've got some dirty ones. I could take 'em out if you want. No sweat at all.

POP: I'm good, Luke.

COTTONMOUTH: Big man you work here, too? This brother got more jobs than a Jamaican. What's your name again?

LUKE: Luke.

COTTONMOUTH: Luke. Old school. Biblical. I'm all about the old school. You know that eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth kind of thing. Fire and brimstone. See back then do someone wrong, wasn't no beggin' and pleadin'. Just took care of it. Handled your business.

POP: What about turning the other cheek?

COTTONMOUTH: Jesus saves I don't.

POP: You want a hot towel?

COTTONMOUTH: Not today. Gotta keep it movin'. I'm a working man, too.

TONE: Chico falls through we need to holler at him.

COTTONMOUTH: Thanks for the shave, Henry. I'm loyal to my people.

Cottonmouth and his entourage ready to leave.

LUKE: You're forgetting something, Mr. Stokes. Unless your last name is Corleone, Shaft or Riley you owe my man $25.

POP: Don't worry about it, Cornell.

COTTONMOUTH: Nah, it's all good. Tone, pay the man.

Tone holds out the money but very rudely drops it on the floor at the last minute. Luke picks it up for Pop once they have all left.

POP: They got Shameek. Cottonmouth did it personally. Did you see his knuckles? LUKE: I'm sorry, Pop.

POP: You never liked him anyway.

LUKE: That's not entirely true.

POP: Shameek is gone. I don't condone what he did. But it's not too late for Chico.

LUKE: Pop, stay out of it. Some people you just gotta let go.

POP: I can't just turn my back on him. You used to find people, right?

LUKE: That was a long time ago.

POP: It ain't exactly a skill you lose. Look, this place is Switzerland. If we can find him before they do, maybe I can set up a parley with Cottonmouth.

LUKE: I don't think so, man. I'm sorry, Pop. I can't do it.

POP: Hey. Yes. You are sorry. Now, I hadn't seen Reva since she was five. So when she comes home with a convict husband and a shaky-ass story I ain't ask her no questions. And when that same well-read ex-con comes back wanting to be paid in cash and lifting up refrigerators like they're empty cardboard boxes, I just nodded my head again. What did you tell me about keeping your secrets? That I owed you one. Well, time is due. I'm collecting.


A lively match starts to break up as soon as they spot the approaching detectives.

BOY: Five-O! Five-O!

SCARFE: Whoa! Hold up Hold up, hold up!
Where's everybody goin'?

DETECTIVE: Come on, Chauncey. You know the drill. Have you seen this kid? Chico?

CHAUNCEY: No, I don't know that dude.

DETECTIVE: Stop it. His initials are painted right here.
Just like all the other St. Nick playground legends. You seen him or not?


SCARFE: Wastin' time, Misty.

MISTY: Yo, pass me the rock.

CHAUNCEY: What, you fittin' to play one-on-one with me?

MISTY: No. That wouldn't be fair to you. Come on, let's play H-O-R-S-E. Shot for shot. And if I win you tell me everything I need to know about Wilfredo Chico Diaz.

CHAUNCEY: What's in it for me?

MISTY: A get out of jail free card for any non-violent felony.

SCARFE: Not doin' that shit. No way.

MISTY: We good? Ladies first.

Chauncey makes his first shot. Misty hands Scarfe her jacket and gun.

SCARFE: Hey, you better shoot like Cheryl Miller, not Barney Miller.

MISTY: Sometimes I forget how old you are.

BOY: I mean, he gonna hold your purse, too?

Misty makes her shot, then leads Chauncey over to show him the star with her initials.

MISTY: You see that? This is my court, too. Let's play.

We assume that Misty wins


Luke hits the streets with a cell phone photo of Chico to track him down. He sees Cottonmouth going into Crispus Attucks.


Cottonmouth and his minions come in and dump a duffle bag of cash out onto Mariah's desk.

MARIAH: That's not nearly enough.


MARIAH: It's not enough. I need the rest so I can make the deposit.

COTTONMOUTH: Well, I need to find the guy who has it.

MARIAH: Look I borrowed from those donations, at your request, so you could refurbish your club. You go and make a gun deal with Domingo. Then you get jacked and we're all exposed. You promised this would be taken care of, but it's not.

COTTONMOUTH: You don't give me orders. We're partners. You're not my boss.

MARIAH: We're family, Cornell. But think about it. Do you really want to go to jail? Do you want to lose your club?

COTTONMOUTH: Of course not.

MARIAH: Then you need to fix this shit right now.

Mariah notices Shades staring at her from his post by the door.

Does your guard dog want a drink of water?

COTTONMOUTH: Don't worry about him. You worry about the politics, I worry about my job.

MARIAH: Your job is to uncomplicate my life.

COTTONMOUTH: And your job is to turn my water into wine. Family first, right?

MARIAH: Always. I'm coming by the club tonight.

COTTONMOUTH: Why? I thought you said you don't want to be seen there.

MARIAH: I don't. But I like the music. I'm going to be on you until this is resolved.

COTTONMOUTH: It's getting resolved. You best believe that.


Luke breaks the door down and barges in on Chico, who jumps up and levels a gun at him.

LUKE: You ain't gonna fire that.

CHICO: I'll kill you.

LUKE: Shameek is dead. They have his half of the money. Now they want yours.

CHICO: Shameek is dead?

LUKE: Yeah.

CHICO: Well, good. (spitting on the ground) Then you just want my money for yourself, don't you?

LUKE: I couldn't care less. I came here because Pop asked me to come for you.

CHICO: Pops?

LUKE: For your dad.

CHICO: Why does everybody bring him up? He was never there for me. I'm sick and tired of hearing about him.

LUKE: Pop thinks he has a way to clear this mess up. I know you didn't kill Dante or Shameek. All you guys wanted was the cash. It was an inside job. Dante's safe idea. Look I found you in four hours for free. Imagine how fast someone Cottonmouth pays will find you. The only chance you have at survival is if you come with me right now.

CHICO: Well, I got a half a million new chances is the way I see it. Tell Pops I'm sorry. He was always good to me.

LUKE: He deserves better.


Fish and Turk are still playing chess.

FISH: Took your rook, rookie.

TURK: Hmm. It's your move, son.

FISH: Mmm-hmm.

TURK: Don't get scared now.

FISH: Oh, no, no, no.

Pop steps out past them to eat lunch inside. Luke comes by to sit next to him.

LUKE: Want some catfish with that hot sauce?

POP: You count calories, Power Man?

LUKE: Fork will kill you quicker than any bullet. I found Chico. He ain't coming. You can't save everybody.

POP: You're wrong about that. What would have happened in my life if people gave up on me? I was no angel. No, I was a beast. I was a beast. No two ways about it.

LUKE: They call you Pop because you were the OG?

JAMEL SHABAZZ: Hey, yo, yo, yo.
Can I take your photo?


YOUNG POP: Jamel, right?

JAMEL: Right over here, man.

LUKE: What'd that make you? The Cat in the Hat?

POP: Something like that.

Pop hands Luke the Shabazz snapshot. The flashbacks cut out.

LUKE: So what happened?

POP: We got popped. Wilfredo went from selling crack to smoking crack. I got caught with a gun and a bag of money. Kept my mouth shut. Went on pause for ten years. My woman was pregnant when I went in. I haven't seen her or my son since he was 13. I have this nightmare that one day, he's gonna come to the shop ask for a cut, sit in my chair and I'm not even gonna know him. I didn't have one single skill when I got out. I could've gone back to the streets.

LUKE: But you weren't that guy anymore.

POP: I wasn't and I'm not. And that's what I go through every day. Trying not to be that person.

LUKE: I'm not that guy either.

POP: I thought you was innocent, Shawshank.

LUKE: I ain't guilty. But I ain't innocent either.

POP: I had to balance my dirt so I opened up this shop. So those young knuckleheads have a place to get away. Like Fredo's son, Chico. And certain muscle-headed fugitives lookin' for a change of pace.

LUKE: After what I did at Genghis Connie's for the first time in a long time I felt at peace.

POP: Mmm-hmm.

LUKE: I made a decision when I got back to the crib. I'm done running.

POP: Boys run. Men stand. You're a man.

LUKE: I am who I am. Or maybe I have a chance to find out who I could really be.

POP: That's right. Come on. Let's get going.

They walk back into the shop

FISH: Hey, Pop.

POP: Damn. Y'all still at it, huh?

TURK: He don't know when to quit.

FISH: Oh, I know. Until I win.

LUKE: Gonna leave it open?

POP: Yeah, till we shut the doors, whether it's empty or not. I'm gonna go get my smock...

Chico emerges from the back room. Pop advances on Chico like he's going to hit him and pushes him up against the wall.

POP: What were you thinking?

At the last minute he hugs him instead.

CHICO: Sorry. I'm sorry!

POP: You dummy. You dummy.

LUKE: What's up?

POP: Dummy. You did good. That's what.

Turk pokes his head into the back room.

TURK: My bad, Mr. Hunter. Where's the restroom key?

LUKE: Just Get out of here. Go. You heard me. You got to get him out of here.

Scarfe and Misty are on the street in front of Pop's shop.

SCARFE: And you know damn well, Chico ain't gonna show up for work today.

MISTY: Of course not, but Pop will tell us the truth about who Chico really is.

SCARFE: He's just a barber, right?

MISTY: Ah, he's a little bit of everything.

SCARFE: Not a very good judge of character.

MISTY: He's got a big heart. We should fault him for that?


Misty catches sight of Turk leaving the shop

MISTY: Gimme a second. And don't start without me.

SCARFE: Can't do the one-two punch without you.

MISTY: Turk.

[Lyrics from: https:/]
TURK: Misty.

MISTY: I'm surprised to see you this far uptown.

TURK: I'm mostly Midtown nowadays, you know? Puffy ain't got shit on me, baby. I'm the real bad boy worldwide.

MISTY: Yeah, your rap sheet got so many hits, your record could put out a record.

TURK: Hey, I just fell through to see my man, Bobby Fish, and to play some chess.

MISTY: Well, you need to fall your ass back downtown, 'cause if I catch you around here again it's gonna be checkmate. Understood? Mr. Barrett?

TURK: I hear you, Detective. Loud and clear.

Cut back to the back room

POP: Did anyone see you come here?

CHICO: No I don't think so.

POP: Luke, check.

LUKE: Five-O!

POP:You need to go in the bathroom and hide. Go. Go!

FISH: Hey, Misty.

MISTY: Fish. How you doin'?

FISH: Good to see you.

MISTY: You, too. Is Pop around?

FISH: He's in the back. He'll be out in a minute.

POP: Let me stall 'em. Sit tight...Whoa. Detective Mercedes Knight.

MISTY: It's Misty now, Pop. You know that.

POP: All right, all right. Call yourself whatever you want to, Detective.


POP: Ooh! I respect authority. I bet Kelly must be really proud of you, hmm?

MISTY: He's still mad I went to Temple instead of playin' for St. John's.

POP: Bam!

MISTY: Swish!

POP: Is this your partner?

SCARFE: Detective Rafael Scarfe.

Scarfe ignores the hand Pop sticks out to shake.

POP: Okay...How can I help you?

MISTY: We're looking for someone who works for you. Wilfredo Chico Diaz?

SCARFE: You heard about that shooting at the junkyard? Near the edge of the river?

POP: No.

SCARFE: Really?

MISTY: There was a shootout. Looks like a gun deal that was robbed. Turned into a bloodbath.

SCARFE: Dante Chapman was found dead at the scene. Shameek Smith was found about 18 hours later, beaten to death. Last person to see Shameek Smith alive, other than a strip club was right here at the shop with his homeboy.

POP: Uh, they were both here. Chico gave Shameek a fade in that chair, right next to where you're standing. That's it though. That's the last time I saw them both.

Luke, who had been listening by the door, steps into the main shop area.

LUKE: You really think Chico killed his friend? Over money?

MISTY: You are?

LUKE: Luke Cage.

MISTY: Detective Misty Knight.

LUKE: Detective. Looks like you found some better clothes to audit in.

POP: Look when my guys are here, they know the rules. Respect, no street talk. But when they leave, I got no control.

MISTY: Understood, but Chico is a person of interest who might have pertinent information.

LUKE: Pertinent information? Like, someone saying who they really are?

SCARFE: Pertinent as in useful. As in factual. Like, uh Chico's number. You got that, right?

POP: He missed work the last two days. His booth rent is due, so maybe he'll return my call.

MISTY: If you see him, tell him to call me. Call me anyway. He may not be safe otherwise.

POP: Will do.

MISTY: Nice meeting you, Luke.

LUKE: You too. Detective.

Scarfe and Misty leave.

POP: Really?

LUKE: We had coffee.

POP: Mmm-hmm. Right.

LUKE: You gonna call Cottonmouth?

POP: No. You need to see him.

LUKE: What? He's going to want to see you.

POP: No. I'm afraid our friends in blue might have eyes on the shop. You work at Harlem's Paradise. You have a reason to go there. You can't do this kind of thing on the phone. Look, man, Wilfredo he died on these streets. I don't wanna see Chico go out the same way. Can you do this for me?

LUKE: I'm on it.

POP: All right. Thanks.


Luke walks through the kitchen and completely ignores Nate as he calls after him.

NATE: You're late. I have your money. Cage. Cage! Do you hear me? Cage!


MARIAH: Your brother down there told Candace to send me up a Blue Hawaiian. Like he gonna get up on me with a Blue Hawaiian.

COTTONMOUTH: Ah, he lucky I let his ass in here.

Luke comes to the entrance, but Tone tries to stop him at the door.

LUKE: I need to speak to your man.

TONE: What? You didn't get tipped at the barber shop?

COTTONMOUTH: Pat him down.

TONE: He's clean.

COTTONMOUTH: Thought you already had a job. 'Cause I could use some more ice.

LUKE: I'm here for Pop.

COTTONMOUTH: Pop is a grown-ass man. Why ain't he here?

LUKE: He said you wouldn't wanna hear this over the phone. So he sent me.

COTTONMOUTH: Ha! The suspense is killing me.

LUKE: Pop wants to set up a parley for Chico. He doesn't want him to end up like Shameek.

COTTONMOUTH: I don't know what you're talkin' about.

LUKE: Those cuts on your hands say different. All I'm saying is that if you want to talk to Pop about Chico, that can be arranged. All of your goods will be returned. The only thing our mutual friend wants is safe passage. He'll never come back to New York, ever.

During this speech Tone gets a text.

COTTONMOUTH: I don't speak Chinese. 'Cause that's what this conversation is to me. If I got somethin' to say to Pop, I say it to him my damn self, you dig?

LUKE: There's history. Pop understands your trouble. He's just asking you to remember your history.

COTTONMOUTH: Tell Pop I'll come by the barbershop for a haircut. Same time as before. You understand?

LUKE: I'll tell him.

COTTONMOUTH: By the way you're fired.

LUKE: No, I'm not. I quit before I walked in.

DJ D-Nice spot


TONE: We got eyes on the boy. What do you want me to do?

COTTONMOUTH: Your man say where he was?


COTTONMOUTH: Hmm. Let it go. Take care of it in the morning.

TONE: You sure?

COTTONMOUTH: If he's out on the streets slippin', handle it. But if he's not moving around, I'll deal with it, all right?

Faith Evans performing "Mesmerized."

MARIAH: You're wasting your gifts, my brother. This gangster life not what our ancestors fought for. Not what our people died for.

COTTONMOUTH: This is exactly what they died for. Self-determination, control, power.

Footage of Faith Evans's performance is cut with these various short scenes.

TURK: That boy we was looking for earlier today he's at Pop's Barber Shop.

TONE: You seen him?

TURK: With my own two eyes.

SHADES: How long ago?

TURK: A little while back. Hey! Hey! Yo, what's up with my money?


POP: You need to leave?

PATRICIA: I'm just gonna pick up dinner from Boulevard. Where's Luke? Have you seen him?

POP: Girl, you just don't quit, do you?

PATRICIA: I just want to take him out for coffee.


COTTONMOUTH: You know what people remember besides black martyrdom? What? Black money.

MARIAH: Don't you ever get sick of people calling you a criminal?


Tone is loading some sort of automatic weapon.

SHADES: You gonna at least wait for Chico to come outside, right? Right?


Luke comes into the shop.

POP: What he sayin'?

LUKE: He'll only talk to you. Right here at the shop.


MARIAH: I want something better.


MARIAH: Respect. It's all that ever really matters.

COTTONMOUTH: Money outlasts respect. Respect will put your name on the side of a building but the money that put your name up there comes from someplace.

MARIAH: At what cost, Cornell?

COTTONMOUTH: When you find out you'll tell me.

"Mesmerized" finishes.


Chico comes into the front of the shop

LUKE: What are you doing out here with that bag, man?

CHICO: There's no TV back there.

LUKE: Are you serious?

Tone comes to the entrance of the barbershop with his two huge guns

LUKE: Pop!

In slow motion the entire shop is destroyed. Luke throws himself on top of Lonnie. Both Chico and Pop catch bullets. Tone keeps shooting far longer than necessary.

LUKE (whispering to Lonnie): Stay dead. Stay dead.

Tone finally empties his clip. he and shades step into the trashed shop.

SHADES: You should've waited.

TONE: Shut up, man.

Shades grabs the backpack with the money and they leave. Luke gets up, checks with Lonnie, and runs to Pop's side.

LUKE: You okay? Pop! Pop...Oh, Pop. Come on. You hear the sirens? They're almost here. They comin'. Someone call the goddamn ambulance!

POP: Swear...swear jar...

LUKE: I will. I will.

POP: Luke...Forward always. Always...forward. Always forward.

LUKE: No. No. No! No! No!


Luke is sitting in a chair staring blankly at the bullet-riddled swear jar. Scarfe and Misty are on the scene. Lonnie is standing with his mother, Chico is alive, on his way out on a stretcher.

LONNIE: Mommy, I'm okay. I'm okay. Luke covered me. He said he didn't move because he didn't want them to shoot again.

PATRICIA: You see who did this?

LONNIE: No, Momma.

SCARFE: You get a look at the shooter?

BOY: Nah. It's a miracle I'm even alive, man.

MISTY: Luke. Luke? Are you okay? You didn't get hit?

She sees the multitude of bullet holes in his T-shirt.

LUKE: I said I'm okay.

MISTY: What happened?

LUKE: They started firing. The kid, Lonnie, was in the middle of the room. So, once I saw the flash instincts kicked in. I grabbed him and I shielded him.

MISTY: You shielded him? You shielded him with what? Have the paramedics seen you yet?

LUKE: I said I'm good.

MISTY: How long have you been working here at the shop?

LUKE: Five months.

MISTY: Did Chico reach out to Pop since we were in here earlier? Was he hiding out here the whole time?

Luke doesn't respond. Misty steps away to talk to Scarfe.

MISTY: What did they get from the canvass?

SCARFE: Uh, patrol got nothing. Traffic cam picked up a black Escalade. Tracked it to Hunts Point in the Bronx, but it was torched. No prints. They were after Chico?

MISTY: There's no doubt in my mind.

SCARFE: Hmm. I checked out Cottonmouth. He's been at the club all night in VIP.

MISTY: So we don't have shit?


MISTY: No decent witnesses except for Chico, but then what else? Nothin'?


Tone and Shades hold up the bag so that Cottonmouth can see it from his office. He indicates for them to head to the roof.

MARIAH: I'm coming with you.


MARIAH: No, I need to be there.


COTTONMOUTH: What's wrong, Shades?

SHADES: You should've waited.

TONE: Waited? Bump that noise. I got the call. It was me.

COTTONMOUTH: What happened?

TONE: Look, Turk calls me. Tells me he saw Chic at the shop, slippin'. I came and ask you if it was important if the nigga was breathing. You seem non-committal so I make an executive decision.

COTTONMOUTH: That's what you call an executive decision? Yeah, okay. So you caught him slippin' outside?

TONE: No, bro, I lit that shit up like the Fourth of July. It was all some Django Candyland shit for real. Lights, camera, action, baby! Somebody call Quentin!

SHADES: I suggested we wait.

TONE: Wait? Wait for what, Shades? You ain't even down with the clique. You can't give orders. It was loud 'cause it's supposed to be. Niggas need to know you don't rob Cottonmouth!


TONE: My bad. My bad. He's dead, right?

SHADES: Chico's laid out He's done.

TONE: It don't matter. We got the money!

COTTONMOUTH: You had to do it, I guess. Pops can rebuild. He won't like it but I'll donate some money anonymously. It's all gonna be okay...What?

SHADES: Pops is dead.

TONE: A casualty of war. You know...shit happens.

Turk appears suddenly.

TURK: Yo. Where's my money?

COTTONMOUTH: How the hell did you get up here?

TURK: I'm Turk Barrett, baby. The door ain't been built yet that can hold me back. Now, where's my money?

COTTONMOUTH: Okay, Mr. Barrett. Tone promised to pay you for finding Chico, right?

TURK: Yeah.

COTTONMOUTH: That right? Okay.

Cottonmouth seizes Tone and drags him all the way to the edge of the roof and throws him off. The camera follows his descent and his landing on a car in the street.

TONE: Hey, hey, hey!

COTTONMOUTH: You can collect your money from Tone downstairs, Mr. Barrett! I assume that completes our business.

TURK: Y'all Harlem niggas are off the hook. I'm going back to Hell's Kitchen, where it's safe.

Cottonmouth hands Mariah the backpack

COTTONMOUTH: Is that sufficient?

MARIAH: There's enough there.

COTTONMOUTH: You all right, cuz?

MARIAH: With what? Extortion? Well... Murder, no! I'm not good. Don't expect me to be.

COTTONMOUTH: The money's still green.

MARIAH: That it is.

COTTONMOUTH: You should get outta here. You shouldn't be seen associating with known criminals, Councilwoman. Take the side exit. I got some garbage to clean up downstairs.

Mariah leaves.

SHADES: Sorry about Pop.

COTTONMOUTH: Yeah, so am I.

SHADES: I know what he meant to you.

COTTONMOUTH: Believe it or not, there's supposed to be rules to this shit.


Scarfe and Misty are passing a pint of Jameson back and forth.

MISTY: He must have gotten hit.


MISTY: Luke Cage. He shielded the kid. He had bullet holes in his shirt. Blood everywhere, none of it his? How did he not get hit?

SCARFE: You're drunk.

MISTY: Not yet.


Luke stares at the swear jar and his "New Harlem Renaissance" pamphlet.


Cottonmouth stares at the Shabazz snapshot and cries.


Again the gun, again the hoodie and headphones.

BOY: What are you doing here, nigga? I'm not gonna ask you again.

LUKE: Young man I've had a long day. I'm tired. But I'm not tired enough to ever let nobody call me that word. You see a nigga standin' in front of you? Across the street from a building named after one of our greatest heroes?

BOY (cocking the gun): Yeah, a dead one.

LUKE: You even know who Crispus Attucks was? A free black man. The first man to die for what became America.

Luke turns around to stare the boy and his gun down. The boy is understandably antsy.

LUKE (con't): He could've acted scared when those Brits raised their guns. Blended in, in the crowd. But he stepped up! He paid with his life. But he started something. That's what Pop did. Not me. I laid in the cut until he stepped up! And it cost him his life, too. I ain't laying back no more! You wanna shoot me? Do it. Pull the trigger, nigga! I ain't got all night. Do it! What, you scared? Fine. I'll do it for you.

Luke takes the gun and shoots himself in the stomach, showing how the bullet bounced off of him. The boy runs away. He picks up the bullet and inspects it for a moment before he sees Mariah arrive carrying Chico's backpack.

LUKE: Always forward, Pop. Forward always.

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