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Simone Missick - Just to get a Rep (Episode 5) lyrics

OPENING THEME


HARLEM'S PARADISE

Jidenna performs "Long Life the Chief" in the empty Harlem's Paradise.

Misty watches Luke clearing rubble at Genghis Connie all by himself. People are filming his feats of strength on their phones.

Claire Temple gets off the train, clearly she's arriving from Hell's Kitchen. Someone tries to snatch her purse, but she chases him down and smacks him for her bag.

Luke finds Pop's swear jar and leaves the rubble.

Misty sifts around in the debris and finds Luke's photo of Reva.

COTTONMOUTH'S OFFICE

Cottonmouth has all of his minions assembled.

COTTOMOUTH: This ain't no social. This is what we call a State of the Union. Darrell, how we doing after Fort Knox? Break it down and let it be broke.

DARRELL: Ain't nothing to let be. You are broke. Let me rephrase. You got your real estate. Mama Mabel left you the club. You and Mariah share the deed on her old brownstone. I know you got some cash, right?

COTTONMOUTH: I got at least 250 laying around.

DARRELL: Well, Fort Knox is what hurts, baby. You lost seven figures, seven times over. All of your cash profits from the corners, stash houses, drops. You still got stocks, the club profits, but...

COTTONMOUTH: But what?

DARRELL: The streets is talkin'.
And that dude with the hoodie, if he's still out there...

COTTONMOUTH: This nigga too scared to say his name.

Koko raises his hand.

COTTONMOUTH: Koko, this ain't PS 154. You ain't gotta raise your hand, man.

KOKO: I been reading this book.

COTTONMOUTH: Huh. You readin' now?

KOKO: Yeah. It's a it's a book on politics and the social conditions that created hip-hop. The Dodgers left Brooklyn, Robert Moses created the Cross Bronx Expressway, and white folks went running for the suburbs. This cat named Moynihan went and hollered at Nixon, and told the prez that maybe the inner city could benefit from the benign neglect...

COTTONMOUTH: Benign what?

KOKO: It's...it's the benign neglect. What it means is this: Maybe if we just leave that Luke Cage cat alone, give him his side of the street, we take ours.

Cottonmouth shoots Koko.

COTTONMOUTH: Benign neglect. (laughing) Yeah, okay. The police sitting on my money. So I'm gonna have to turn up my game. Zip I want you and the fellas to hit the streets. Hit every business from 110 to 155th. If they got a dime, I want at least a nickel. Bring everything back by the end of the day.

SHADES: You think you're gonna recoup seven million dollars, just like that?

COTTONMOUTH: I don't even know why you back here.

SHADES: Look around. You know damn well why Diamondback sent me. Fort Knox? This makes the junkyard rip look like Amateur Night at the Apollo.

COTTONMOUTH: This dishwasher thinks he can prove Harlem don't need me. Let's see how bad he really wants to wear the crown. You hit the boulevard and squeeze 'em hard. And when they start crying, talking about, "Why? Why?" You tell them to go talk to Luke Cage down at the barber shop. They're paying a Luke Cage stupidity tax. What are you doing? Time is precious! Move! Zip! Call Mr. Spurlock. Tell him we gonna need his services.

MONTAGE

Cottonmouth's minions hit up various Harlemites for cash. A pile of money in Cottonmouth's office grows.

MINIONS: You got problems with the tax? Holler at your man Luke Cage...Holler at Luke Cage...at the barber shop.

THE BASEBALL PARAPHERNALIA STORE

Zip and Sugar come into the store and advance on Aisha.

ZIP: Payday, Aisha.

AISHA: We ain't got it this month, Zip.

Aisha picks up a baseball bat

AISHA: Back off.

Zip takes the bat out of her hands.

ZIP: Give me that.



AISHA: What the hell are you doing, Zip?

Zip catches sight of a big gold ring in a glass display.

ZIP: Ooh. Didn't your old man come up on the Mets?

SUGAR: He got cut. He played for the championship New York Nines team.

ZIP: That's a Nine's ring?

Zip smashes the display and takes the ring.

AISHA: Zip, please. That's my father's!

ZIP: Aw! Don't cry. You mad? Holler at Luke Cage. He'll tell you why we doin' this.

THE BARBERSHOP

Luke comes in to find Fish and another man waiting for him with a suit.

LUKE: A tailor?

FISH: That ain't no tailor. That's Dapper Dan himself.

LUKE: Dapper Dan?

FISH: Said you needed a suit, that's why I had you come here. And I figure Pop would want you to come to his memorial correct, so I used a little bit of money to have my man Dap do you right.

MOUNT OLIVET BAPTIST CHURCH

Someone is folding and distributing the programs for Pop's service.

BACK AT THE BARBERSHOP

DAPPER DAN: Saw you on TV the other night. Buried alive. Now that's what I call style.

LUKE: Lucky.

FISH: You ain't lucky. You blessed.

LUKE: Hey. What was Mike Tyson like?

FISH: Oh, I know you're sick of telling that story. He whooped Mitch Green's behind, didn't he?

DAPPER DAN: Mike Tyson is a real nice guy, man.

LUKE: But he hit like a beast.

FISH: Yeah, well there was beauty in that beast. You can't control what people say. Just be the best man that you can be. And always make sure they spell your name right.

LUKE: Now, that's a dapper approach, man.

DAPPER DAN: Thanks, man.

LUKE: Appreciate it.

FISH: Let's see here. That ain't no smock.

LUKE: You ready for later?

FISH: All good. Messages stacked up at the door. Like everybody in Harlem looking for you after that building thing.

LUKE: I'm strictly about Pop's memorial today.

FISH: Seating everyone at this thing is gonna be the toughest move I've mastered since the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. I mean I gotta put Estelle up front, 'cause she's been with him the longest, at least as far as the neighborhood knows. Keep her far away as hell from Charlene. She's real sly. Moves like a bishop on the diagonal at all times. Now, they both have to steer clear of Candy, who they both think is his cousin.

LUKE: Candy?

FISH: She rubs everyone the wrong way but Pop. Who she rubs the right way, every Tuesday and Thursday at 9:45.

LUKE: Looks like Shaft ain't had nothing on Henry Hunter. Pop was a mack.

FISH: If that's what you wanna call it. He would want you to have his apartment upstairs. Uh, especially since your crib blew up.

LUKE: I'll earn my keep somehow.

FISH: Goddamn right you will. We fix this place up, the doors gotta reopen.

LUKE: Talk for another day.

FISH: Cool.

Aisha storms in.

AISHA: Luke Cage here yet?

FISH: Whoa, slow down, Aisha. What's wrong?

LUKE: I'm Luke.

AISHA: What you got to do with all this shit happening up and down Lenox Avenue?

LUKE: What are you talking about?

AISHA: Zip snatched my daddy's championship ring and hit about 20 other spots all over uptown.

LUKE: Why?

AISHA: I don't care why. You need to get my daddy's ring back. You remember what he was like before he got strung out?

FISH: Eddie's a good dude deep down.

AISHA: To me, what's left of him is that ring. The only reason why he didn't pawn it is because I took it away from him. Somebody's gotta protect his legacy. Even if he won't.

LUKE: Let me get into this. See what the hell's going on.

AISHA: Get into it? You need to check these dudes! Everybody heard about what you did in the projects. Don't be a punk and just stand by.

FISH: Different kind of chess gambit. Cottonmouth figures if he can't drop you, he'll get Harlem to push you out. Where you going?

LUKE: To make sure Cottonmouth spells my name right.

Luke leaves the barbershop and is accosted by several people in the street.

MAN: They smashed all my displays!

MAN: Yo, they took my Les Paul. That's my life.

WOMAN: Jacked me for my tips!

LUKE: I'm on it!

WOMAN: I work hard for that money.

LUKE: I'm on it!

SOLEDAD'S DINER

SOLEDAD: Hey, you're late.

CLAIRE: What? I got robbed. Some guy stole my bag. I had to whoop his ass.

SOLEDAD: What were you thinking?

CLAIRE: I was thinking that I wanted my bag back.

SOLEDAD: He could have killed you.

CLAIRE: Mami, please. I grew up here. If you don't fight back, they make you into a doormat. You know who taught me that? You.

SOLEDAD: Things have changed up here, mija.

CLAIRE: Things have changed everywhere.

SOLEDAD: Is why you came back home?

CLAIRE: I wanted to come back where things made sense, yeah.

A STASH HOUSE

Luke Cage busts down the door and beats up the minion.

MINION: What the

LUKE: Where is he?

MINION: Who?

LUKE: Les Paul.

PARKING LOT OUTSIDE A STRIP CLUB

Luke and the woman from earlier find the guys who held her up.

LUKE: Those two?

WOMAN: Yeah.

LUKE: Let's go talk to them.

WOMAN: Don't you need a gun?

LUKE: I am the gun. Yo, Plug One, Plug Two.

MINION: What is this? Your boyfriend?

Luke slaps him upside the head and knocks him into the car and out cold. He grabs the other guy and hold him still so the woman can get her money back.

LUKE: You know my name?

WOMAN: That's Luke Cage, asshole.

LUKE: The next time you say my name I'm coming for you. Now, when you wake up, I want you to tell everybody that you've been screwing with that they got nothing to fear from Cottonmouth, you understand?

MINION: Wake up?

THE STREETS OF HARLEM

Luke hears someone shout and goes to investigate. Sugar is being loaded into an ambulance.

SUGAR: I can't believe that bitch shot me.

PARMEDIC: Got a name on that "bitch" who shot you?

SUGAR: I ain't say I got shot.

PARAMEDIC: No snitching, huh?

LUKE: You remember me from Genghis Connie's?

SUGAR: Oh, shit.

LUKE: What happened? Who shot you?

SUGAR: I'm going back to Raleigh. I've had enough of this shit.

Luke walks away, and a young woman catches up with him.

WOMAN: You ain't moving fast enough. Aisha ain't like the others. She wants that ring back. You gotta understand. When her father was sick, she came up in the streets all by herself. She's tougher than she looks.

LUKE: Aisha shot that dude?

WOMAN: He was with Zip. He laughed at her, and talked trash about the ring.

LUKE: Where'd she get the gun?

WOMAN: Yo, I plead the eighth.

LUKE: You mean the fifth.

WOMAN: Yeah, that shit. I plead the fifth.

LUKE: Where is she?

WOMAN: Check the shop on St. Nick.
If she ain't there, your guess is as good as mine.

Scarfe and Misty get out of their car and stop Luke. Misty holds up the photo of Reva.

MISTY: Don't you get tired of hanging out near crime scenes? Who's this? Is this is what you were looking for this morning?

Luke tries to grab the photo.

MISTY: Uh-uh. It's evidence. Part of my investigation.

LUKE: That's my property.

MISTY: Too bad.

SCARFE: Is she the reason rockets keep getting dropped on your head?

LUKE: A good cop would ask the person doing the shooting that question.

SCARFE: Oh, yeah, wise guy? Well, how about this? What's going on between you and Cottonmouth?

LUKE: He didn't like the way I was washing dishes and he fired me.

MISTY: Chaos rolls off you like water off a duck. But it's gotta stop. Innocent people are getting hurt. Either be a part of the solution or leave.

LUKE: I will. I'll leave. But first, I gotta do right by Pop.

MISTY: Hey! You going to Pop's memorial?

MISTY: Yeah. Don't.

COTTONMOUTH'S OFFICE

Shades and Cottonmouth look at the small pile of money.

SHADES: You need to let this go.

COTTONMOUTH: No.

SHADES: It makes you look weak.

COTTONMOUTH: I can't ignore him.

SHADES: You can't let this dude drive you stupid. It only helps his name ring out like yours used to.

COTTONMOUTH: All right Mr. Gangster Consultant. Take your shot. What would you do?

SHADES: Sell this club. You can net three mil, easy, on the real estate alone.

COTTONMOUTH: Not happening. No one black has ever done anything like this. Percy Sutton came close, but that was years ago. Harlem's Paradise is special. And it's not going nowhere.

SHADES: If you don't make the right moves now you are done.

COTTONMOUTH: This place is my reputation. My blood. My legacy.

Luke Cage walks into the club and carefully drapes his suit jacket over a chair.

COTTONMOUTH: He's here.

Some minions advance on Luke.
[Lyrics from: https:/lyrics.az/simone-missick/-/just-to-get-a-rep-episode-5.html]

LUKE: You guys? Again?

COTTONMOUTH (from above): There he is. Dishwasher Lazarus. You want your old job back? Costs to be a savior. Ask Jesus.

LUKE: You started all this. This is me finishing it.

COTTONMOUTH: You want Harlem? It's expensive.

LUKE: I don't want Harlem. I just want you to stop messing with it. This is my home. You don't know a damn thing about it.

The minions attack Luke with first fists, then guns. Shades finally recognizes him.

SHADES: Carl Lucas?

LUKE: It's called deductive reasoning. If a rocket launcher couldn't stop me what's that little peashooter gonna do?

COTTONMOUTH: You wanna go to war? Hmm? I'll take you to war.

LUKE: You don't have enough people. This mob's not deep enough. Ask your man, Shades.

SHADES: You're supposed to be dead.

COTTONMOUTH: You can't kill me.

LUKE (to Cottonmouth): Keep my name out your mouth.

COTTONMOUTH: Or what?

Luke leaves without answering.

COTTONMOUTH: You know this son of a bitch?

SHADES: It's a long story.

COTTONMOUTH: I'll make time.

SOLEDAD'S DINER

Claire is playing with a salt shaker.

SOLEDAD: Don't do that.

CLAIRE: What? Worried I'm gonna spill it? Mami, you're so superstitious.

SOLEDAD: And you're not?

CLAIRE: There's more to this than superstition.

SOLEDAD: That's a kind of yes/no thing.

CLAIRE: There's a middle ground. Unexplainable. The hospital was attacked by men in masks. And the one I took down had a scar like from an autopsy. Like he had died and come back to life once before. And his friends broke in and killed Louisa. The hospital wants to cover it up. They're saying that a junkie stabbed Louisa. I was gonna go to the cops, so they gave me a choice. Actually, it wasn't a choice at all.

SOLEDAD: I'm glad you came home.

CLAIRE: I kinda had to. Metro-General pretty much made sure I can't work anywhere else in New York.

SOLEDAD: What would make you happy?

CLAIRE: I've seen a man a blind man who can see, because his other senses are so amplified. And this other man who survived a shotgun blast to his head and recovered from a brain hemorrhage in a few hours. And they both needed my help. I think that's what I want to do. Is help people with abilities.

SOLEDAD: You know what your abuela said about these things?

CLAIRE: Well, you know I don't believe in that Santería mumbo jumbo.

SOLEDAD: She was a curandera, not a priestess. The world isn't the world anymore, mija. Aliens coming out of the sky. People with silver hammers. Green monsters. All I know is everything happens for a reason. And now, somehow you're a part of it. What do you call that?

CLAIRE: The worst luck in the world.

SOLEDAD: It's called fate.

COTTONMOUTH'S OFFICE

SHADES: That's Carl Lucas. I did time with him at Seagate Prison when I first got there. Rackham, captain of the guards, he had us work him over real good. There's no way he could've survived in one piece.

COTTONMOUTH: This nigga's half Houdini, half Ali.

SHADES: There's a bullet for everyone.
Diamondback taught me that. Say what?

SHADES: I got something to show you.

Shades puts something up on the TV screen. One man in a bulletproof vest and another man pointing a gun at him.

COTTONMOUTH: Russian?

SHADES: Ukrainian, I think. Eastern European connection.

COTTONMOUTH: Kevlar?

SHADES: Must have a South American hookup. It's heavy duty. Military grade.

The man holding the gun shoots. The man in the vest jumps, but stays standing.

COTTONMOUTH: This ain't shit.

SHADES: Wait for it. Wait for it.

There's a whirring noise and the bullet hole in the man's vest starts to smoke, then the man's middle explodes and splatters blood everywhere.

Cottonmouth laughs and whoops.

COTTONMOUTH: That is the illest shit I've ever seen in my life! Are you serious?

SHADES:Based on a prototype by Hammer. The rounds are a composite, invisible to metal detectors. And they incinerate forensic evidence, so they are untraceable.

COTTONMOUTH: What kind of metal does that?

SHADES: Nothing from this Earth.

COTTONMOUTH: The incident?

SHADES: That's what I hear. Yo, if you wanted to kill Jesus that's the bullet you'd use. That's why they call it the Judas.

COTTONMOUTH: Hmm I can think of a few fools I'd love to baptize with that joint. How do I get 'em?

SHADES: One of two ways: you pay for it, or you ask Diamondback to handle Carl Lucas for you.

COTTONMOUTH: I don't need Diamondback to handle my problems. How much for the damn thing?

Shades writes a number down on a coaster.

COTTONMOUTH: Per bullet?

SHADES: Mmm-hmm.

COTTONMOUTH: For real? God damn it. Diamondback can front me. I'm good for it.

SHADES: He ain't gonna front you a dime. You made too many mistakes.

COTTONMOUTH: He told you that?

SHADES: Does he have to?

COTTONMOUTH: I'll call him my damn self.

SHADES: He ain't the same Diamondback. If he does you this favor he's taking Harlem from you. I'm just letting you know.

COTTONMOUTH: I'll get Domingo his guns, square everything away so Diamondback can front me the loan. Then I'll kill Cage so shit can get back to normal. Let me make a few phone calls.

SHADES: My man.

THE STATIONHOUSE

Perez and Captain Audrey are looking at Misty's photo wall.

MISTY: Hey, Captain.

PEREZ:We need to talk, seriously.

MISTY: What's the problem?

CAPTAIN: Scarfe. IAB hasn't officially said anything, but someone I trust is telling me he's under investigation.

MISTY: What? Look, I've been riding with Scarfe for years. Is he salty? Yeah. But dirty? Never.

PEREZ: We have a lot of eyes on us, Misty.
Can't take any chances.

MISTY: What's this based on?

CAPTAIN: The night of the restaurant explosion and Crispus Attucks raid, you and your partner logged into the crime scene 40 minutes apart.

MISTY: So?

CAPTAIN: In the time that was unaccounted for, your only source of information for the barber shop shooting, Chico Diaz, went missing. He was last seen with Scarfe.

MISTY: That's not true. Scarfe left the precinct to pick up Chico, but Chico was gone.

CAPTAIN: So, he picks up a witness unsupervised, which is against protocol, doesn't even log it in, and he still has time to get to Genghis Connie's before anyone else. What, is he clairvoyant?

PEREZ: He's not telling you everything.

MISTY: Look, they are wasting their time on this.

SCARFE: Good news. Gyro guy's back. Got your nasty, mystery meat for you. Veggie for me. Captain, LT. Y'all hitting on my partner again?

PEREZ: She's fair game when you ain't around.

CAPTAIN: Let me know when you have something that, uh, we might be able to use, Detective.

SCARFE: What was that about?

MISTY: Luke Cage. They think we're losing sight of Cottonmouth by focusing on him.

SCARFE: That's what happens when you start hawking raffle tickets in your own precinct. You forget how to do police work.

MISTY: Hey. When I get back from the memorial, you good with going over all the shit that's gone down since Crispus Attucks?

SCARFE: Sure. I'll get started while you're gone. Go say goodbye to your friend.

Scarfe's desk phone rings.

SCARFE: Scarfe. Yeah, got it.

JACKIE ROBINSON PARK

Zip and some other minions are playing dice in the park.

LUKE: Damn. You guys actually take lunch breaks like real employees, huh? Any of you guys at Crispus Attucks the other night?

Everyone besides Zip decides to leave.

ZIP: Like I need these bitches.

Zip take out his gun and fires at Luke a few times, with predictable results.

LUKE: Aisha's ring. You got it? Think about where you are. It's hallowed ground this park. Named for Jackie Robinson. It's here. It's all around you if you respect yourself enough to take a look.

ZIP: At what?

LUKE: Our legacy.

Luke reaches into Zip's pocket and finds Aisha's ring.

THE STREET

Scarfe meets Perez on a park bench.

PEREZ: I don't know what the hell you've been doing, but IA's onto you, and they've given the captain a heads-up. You're being investigated, Scarfe. Captain was poking around Misty, seeing what she knows. But we've got bigger problems than IA. Cottonmouth needs Domingo's guns from evidence. Now.

SCARFE: Goddamn Cottonmouth.

PEREZ: What do you suggest?

SCARFE: It'd be easier just to kill him.

PEREZ: Not really. We don't know if he's got a backup plan.

SCARFE: You better have a backup plan for getting them guns.

PEREZ (voiceover): I got Sergeant MacClean from property on it.

Onscreen the aforementioned MacClean authorizes the "disposal" of the guns and loads them up into a van.

SCARFE: MacClean? That fat donut-eating bastard is gonna get us burnt.

PEREZ: We'll be fine. He's on payroll.
If we go down, he goes down.

THE BASEBALL PARAPHERNALIA STORE.

LUKE: Aisha, I got something for you.

Aisha's not there. Instead, Luke sees her father with a can of Colt 45.

EDDIE: You with them stickup boys?

LUKE: No.

EDDIE: Good. 'Cause we ain't got shit left.

LUKE: I'm sorry about what happened to your shop.

EDDIE: Back in the days, people had respect. I seen 'em all come and go. Nicky. Fritz. Azie. It's always been wild. But people carried groceries for old ladies. Your name meant something.

LUKE: Maybe that's why they call it "back in the day." You're Eddie?

EDDIE: The one and only.

LUKE: I need to find your daughter.

EDDIE: She still carrying on about that ring? It ain't worth shit.

LUKE: Maybe it reminds her of better times...back in the day. What about your father? Did he play the game?

EDDIE: Of course. Baseball is a game passed from father to son. That's why you don't see no niggas playing the game no more. 'Cause all the fathers is gone. Aisha's the one had the idea for this damn shop. Said I could sign some autographs and keep my hands on something positive. I said, "Baby, everything I touch turns to shit." She never did listen.

Luke takes the can out of Eddie's hand and sets it down.

LUKE: Quit letting her down. If she comes back tell her Luke Cage came by. I need to see her.

Eddie picks the can up again.

EDDIE: You him, huh? Your name is all over Harlem today. Not in a good way.

LUKE: I'm about to change that. You should do the same.

SOLEDAD'S DINER

Claire is flipping through a medical textbook. She sees Luke's face on the news as her mother puts down a cup of coffee.

CLAIRE: That's him.

SOLEDAD: Who?

CLAIRE: Luke.

SOLEDA: Oh, he's trouble. He reminds me of your father.

DINER: Yo, that's Luke Cage.

CLAIRE: You know him?

DINER: Yeah. From the barber shop. He's for real.

THE BARBERSHOP

Luke comes in and sees his bullethole-ridden shirt in the mirror.

LUKE: Shit...Sorry, Pop. You got me.

He drops a dollar in the swear jar.

MOUNT OLIVET - POP'S FUNERAL

Misty, Aisha, Shades, and Cottonmouth all sit down. Aisha looks shifty.

Cottonmouth sends a text from the church. Across town, Scarfe is with the guns. He takes out his phone. A text from "Charlie Mack" says: "You have my merch?" Scarfe types, "Yes," but he doesn't send it. He closes up the van with the guns and drives away.

Back at the church, Aisha has a gun. Everyone turns to look at Luke as he walks down the center aisle. He sits down next to Aisha.

POP'S SON: I never really knew my father. I always said that outside of my conception he was never there for me. It got easier and easier to think of him as dead. And now that he is I need him. More than ever. I was gonna tell him I've got one on the way. He's a grandfather. I just hope that by being in my son's life I'm able to do the things that seems like Pop did for everybody else.

LUKE: Aisha. I took care of it. You don't have to do anything else. And take your hand out of your purse.

Aisha removes her hand. Luke crushes the gun in her bag.

MINISTER: Would anyone else like to say anything?

Luke makes to stand.

COTTONMOUTH: I have a few words. Henry Hunter was my mentor and oldest friend. Taught me streets the hard way. Y'all don't remember the sound of his fist, but that's how he got his name. Pop. But he changed. He evolved. You see, Harlem would do that to you. Where some people saw a war zone, Pop always saw a pasture. A breeding ground for artistry greatness. From Billy Strayhorn Teddy Riley, Big L, A$AP Rocky. All those brothers came from right here. Roses from the concrete, all 'cause of people like Pop. Now, I believe that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. And that's how we got to look at Pop's death. Now, they never caught the shooter. But I have faith that he is rotting in the depths of hell. I miss Pop. I promise you with all my might that even though we are being attacked from all sides by foreign interlopers strangers with arcane abilities I promise you I stay true to what we have right here. 'Cause that's what Pop woulda wanted.

Sounds of agreement and applause. Cottonmouth sits down, and Luke takes the pulpit. As he walks up he sees flashes of Pop's death.

LUKE: I asked Pop once why he didn't want people to curse in his shop. And why we had to wear these ugly smocks. He said "These kids need to see a man go to work every day and to be in the presence of men in uniform putting in work." I didn't want to walk in late, but I was trying to do what Pop always did. Help those in need. And protect them from the forces that would do them harm. At first, it was selfish because my name was attached to it.
But then it got bigger. If we try to protect only ourselves without looking out for those people closest to us then we lose.
Pop never forgot his people. Where some people saw hard rock kids he saw precious jewels. He reminded me that diamonds are formed by pressure covered in dirt. But then you polish them and they shine. Pop saw the shine in everyone that walked in his barber shop. He cut their hair. He listened to their problems. And he made them feel better about the world and themselves. We have to strive on a daily basis to do the same for each other. And sometimes, that's gonna mean standing up to a bully. Especially if he calls himself a friend. Talk about it. I don't believe in Harlem. I believe in the people who make Harlem what it is.

People stand up and applaud. Luke hands Aisha her father's ring.

LUKE: I believe this belongs to you.

AISHA: So, you're one of them, huh?

LUKE: You mean someone who gives a damn? Yeah.

Aisha and Luke hug.

Outside, Luke approaches Cottonmouth and Shades at their Escalade.

LUKE: I was wrong. I'm glad you came. Embarrassing you in public was much better than doing it behind closed doors in your cheap-ass club.

COTTONMOUTH: Never confuse the battle with the war.

LUKE:Next suit that gets damaged I'm taxing you.

COTTONMOUTH: (laughing) Yes.

Luke walks away as Cottonmouth and Shades get in their car. Misty catches up with Luke down the block.

MISTY: Hell of an impression you made in there.

LUKE: I'm sorry, did you just pay me a compliment?

MISTY: No, I didn't. You need to stop with this pissing contest before more people get killed.

LUKE: Maybe if y'all stopped him in the first place, no one would've had to die.

MISTY: I will get him the right way. The system will win.

LUKE: Forget the system. Arrests lead to indictments. And indictments lead to pleas. There's always a bigger fish, a bigger angle. A slap on the wrist. Boom. Right back in business. I ain't going for that.

MISTY: You just started World War III in there. And your ass might be bulletproof, but Harlem ain't. Harlem is gonna suffer. So if you aren't gonna help us take him down, then you need to leave right now, Luke, before you make things worse.

LUKE: I'm sorry things couldn't be different between us. But I ain't going nowhere.

Luke goes down into the barbershop and turns on the lights.

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