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Simone Missick - Manifest (Episode 7) lyrics

A WAREHOUSE

Zip is selling some guns.

ZIP: Got that John Blaze shit. Forget about making somebody's day. These two Desert Eagles here? Fly, pelican, fly.

Luke Cage strolls up to ruin the party.

Do I even need to say it?

Everyone runs away but Zip.

Luke casually starts destroying all the guns.

LUKE: Come on, Zip. You should find a new profession. Cottonmouth is done.

ZIP: You ain't heard? Cottonmouth's getting out, so you ain't done shit. Boom!

THE STATIONHOUSE

Misty is watching Cottonmouth and his lawyer in an interrogation room. She walks fiercely towards them.

CAPTAIN: Detective. Remember who you are.

DONOVAN: Next time, it would behoove you to have actual evidence. You know, something besides the dogged harassment of a misguided beat cop.

MISTY: You calling me a dog?

COTTONMOUTH: No, I believe the brother said "dogged," as in determined. Although, true the word is derived from the description of a dog's persistence. See, that's the problem with a bitch. Once they get their mouth on a bone they can't let go.

MISTY: We'll see who's somebody's bitch when your ass is in prison...Cornell.

Cottonmouth and his lawyer leave the building and are immediately surrounded by reporters.

Luke watches him from across the street. Cottonmouth sees him and makes eye contact before getting into his car. Once he's driven away, Luke and Misty share a meaningful look. Misty goes inside, and we see Inspector Ridley arrive at the precinct.

THEME MUSIC

COTTONMOUTH'S OFFICE AT HARLEM'S PARADISE


NEWS ANCHOR: Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes' release this morning was a blow to local law enforcement...

COTTONMOUTH: Mariah ain't gonna like that shit.

SHADES: Neither should you.

COTTONMOUTH: I just shot a cop and walked away free. What's there not to like? Zip and Amos picked up the truck from the docks right after I shot Scarfe. Domingo got his guns back last night. Everyone else will fall in line. Jamaicans, Haitians, Dominicans. Hell even the Koreans. All loyal. We're all good. So when do I get my Judas?

SHADES: You don't. You're too hot right now. Luke Cage is a luxury, Cornell. He's, uh he's ice cream. And you need to keep steak on the table.

COTTONMOUTH: And how do I do that with Luke Cage around? All he has to do is SHOW UP and hoods scatter like roaches with the lights on! Guns, drugs, all street traffic is a mess right now because of him! Niggas act like he can walk on water.

SHADES: Can he?

COTTONMOUTH: I'm done talking, Shades. Tell Diamondback I need to holler at him.

SHADES: You sure that's the way you want to play this?...Okay.

Cottonmouth opens a fancy gold box to pull out a small gun. He holds it up to the mirror until the gun taps its own reflection. Brief flashback to the young Cottonmouth cocking that same gun.

THE BARBERSHOP

The shop is all fixed up and looking just the way it did before.

FISH: So what about all that evidence?

LUKE: Without Scarfe to corroborate, that ledger is useless. Even the whole thing with Spurlock and the bodies Cottonmouth burned there won't stick. Spurlock is going to eat the charge and take the years. He won't testify. He'd be his own client.

CLAIRE: So that's it? Setbacks happen all the time. You can still do something about this.

LUKE: Why me?

CLAIRE: Because you're not afraid of Cottonmouth, and he's obviously afraid of you.

LUKE: What do you expect me to do? I tried to do things the right way. Cops let him go.

CLAIRE: Cops can only do so much. You have the power to do more. Look at what's happening in Hell's Kitchen.

LUKE: You mean that cat running around beating people up? That's what you want me to be?

CLAIRE: Sometimes, if you want justice you have to get it yourself.

LUKE: If Hell's Kitchen's so great, why'd you run uptown?

CLAIRE: Why did you? There is nothing that can hurt you. So what the hell are you afraid of?

The wall phone rings and Fish answers it.

FISH: Pop's Barber Shop...it's for you.

COTTONMOUTH (cut to his office): Let's parley. Either we can be gentlemen about this or we can get into some gangster shit.

LUKE: Parley's just fine. Your gangster shit hasn't worked out so well for you recently.

LUKE: Harlem's Paradise. Bring your apron.

FISH: What'd he say?

LUKE: Enough.

THE STATIONHOUSE

Misty is staring at the wall. Captain Audrey comes in with a box full of her stuff.

CAPTAIN: Might as well take all that down now.

MISTY: No. There's still plenty of work to be done.

CAPTAIN: Not for me. They just made it official an hour ago.

MISTY: But you had nothing to do with Scarfe.

CAPTAIN: My shop, my watch...All right, here we go. You've got to play this smart, Detective. IA's gonna be up your ass with a flashlight.

MISTY: I can handle Ridley. She was my lieutenant at the 31st.

CAPTAIN: Listen, you still have a future here, Misty. My advice to you is to let go of this board and everyone you have pinned on it.

MISTY: Cottonmouth needs to be in handcuffs.

CAPTAIN: Don't let this twist you to the point where you can't see which way is up.

Audrey leaves and Inspector Ridley comes in.

RIDLEY: Mercedes?

MISTY: Priscilla.

RIDLEY: I prefer Inspector Ridley.

MISTY: Priscilla, I heard they started calling you Inspector Gadget behind your back...once you got promoted.

RIDLEY: This is gonna be fun.

MARIAH'S BROWNSTONE

Damon Boone gets out of his car and heads for Mariah's door. He's instantly surrounded by reporters.

BOONE: Councilwoman Dillard and I don't agree on much. But she's a good woman who loves Harlem, and I'm a strong believer in party first, no matter what. I came as a friend in her time of need.

MEGAN MCLAREN: Mr. Boone, is it true you're here to ask the councilwoman to resign?

MARIAH: He's here because I asked him here. Damon.

MARIAH: Let him through...Wait, wait, wait. First question, go.

REPORTER: Was your affordable housing initiative funded by drug money?

MARIAH: My cousin has never been accused of selling drugs. I thought you all said he was running guns. Will you please make up your mind?

ROBIN: Councilwoman, have you been questioned by the NYPD about your cousin?

MARIAH: Family first, Robin. I love my cousin Cornell Stokes. The charges against him are categorically false, which is why they let him go. He is an integral part of my New Harlem Renaissance and our movement to rebuild Harlem for our Harlemites. Okay? That's it. Get out of the rain. Go, go!

Mariah and Damon Boone go inside despite the clamoring reporters.

MARIAH: Ah! This is low even for you.

BOONE: I wasn't lying. I'm here as your friend.

MARIAH: Pretty boy Stanford Carpetbagger. You've been trying to knock me off my spot for years.

BOONE: How much of what they're saying is true?

Mariah sits down instead of answering.

BOONE: Damn. That bad? You're tainted. And the infection is contagious.

MARIAH: So what do you recommend, Dr. Boone?

BOONE: You step aside and let me take your seat. Then I can support your initiatives on the inside. And push your permits through. A year from now, all four of your complexes could be up and running.

MARIAH: That's cute. You've been trying to knock me out of my spot for six years, Damon. It didn't work then. It's not working now. Find a new hobby.

BOONE: You can't stay on top forever, Mariah. You're gonna fall. And I'll enjoy every second when you do.

MARIAH: You need to leave now. Show your Marigny ass out.

Boone steps out into the scrum. Alex comes in.

ALEX: Do you need anything?

MARIAH: Scotch. Neat.

Alex goes over to the bar and sees Shades emerging from the shadows.

ALEX: Mariah?

MARIAH: How the hell did you get in here?

SHADES: We need to talk. Alone.

INTERCUT SCENES OF LUKE WALKING THROUGH HARLEM/THE STATIONHOUSE

RIDLEY: So, this Luke Cage was a bartender at Harlem's Paradise?

MISTY: Actually, I believe he was the dishwasher. He was filling in for Dante that night.

RIDLEY: One man is linked to a criminal, the death of four people, the destruction of a restaurant, and you don't find him suspicious?

MISTY: Of course I do.

RIDLEY: Step back. Take a look at your board. Who is the one person that is linked to every single location up there? It's not just this case that depends upon on it. Your career is also in the balance.

MISTY: ...Shit.

COTTONMOUTH'S OFFICE

Cottonmouth is playing the piano alone. Segue into

MAMA MABEL'S CATHOUSE, THEN

with young Cornell playing.

PISTOL PETE: Damn, Cornell, you just playing that, like, out of thin air like that? You don't need to, uh, write it down?

CORNELL: I just see it in my head.

PETE: This boy is a damn prodigy, Mabel.

MABEL: That prodigy needs to keep it down. Mariah's trying to study.

PETE: Like a little music is gonna disturb all that hoein' you got goin' on over there.

MABEL: That hoein' is what keeps the lights on.

PETE: Look, all I'm saying is that Cornell should be in one of them schools like, um Juilliard.

MABEL: There's only one school that matters.

YOUNG MARIAH: Cornell is really good.

MABEL: Did I ask you anything, Little May?

PETE: The girl's got a point.

MABEL: She don't need you to defend her.

PETE: I know she don't. Because she's gonna be a lawyer, and she's gonna be able to defend her damn self. Ain't that right, baby?

Young Pop enters with another young man.

YOUNG POP: Hey, Mariah.

MABEL Snap, crackle, pop! How you doing, Henry?

POP: Good, ma'am. Hey, yo, Cottonmouth. You coming?

CORNELL: You know I hate that name.

POP: Well, I could just called you Corny. Is that better?

PETE: Hey! He's practicing. All right? He needs to stay right here.

MABEL: He needs to get a little dirt on him...Actually, Pete's right. You stay here, Cornell. (to Pop) You can go. (to the other young man, Donnie) You stand right here with me...My husband, his brother, and me built this here Harlem game brick by brick. Numbers, pussy, guns. But you know good and goddamn well the one thing I never sell is drugs. So what the hell made you go and do something so stupid?

YOUNG MAN: I thought I was helping your ass.

MABEL: Helping me?

DONNIE: Man, this crack game is blowin' up. Salvador Colon and all them, they making mad loot, and your old ass is getting left...

Mabel grabs his hand and cuts one of his fingers off with the shears she'd been using to trim roses.

MABEL: Finish your studies upstairs, baby girl.

Mariah gets up to leave. Cornell tries to follow.

MABEL: Uh-uh, not you. You stay right there, Cornell. And your dumb ass ain't inventive enough to think of some shit like this. Who gave you this idea, huh?

PETE: Who the hell are you looking at? Hmm?

MABEL: Take out this trash, Cornell.

PETE: No. Cornell ain't ready for nothing like this, Maybelline.

MABEL: Well, he need to learn how to piss standing up.

PETE: Come on, nigga!

Pete drags Donnie towards the door.

MABEL: Cornell, you go with your Uncle Pete.


PETE: Stand up!

MABEL: And keep it down...I got white folks in the front room. I don't want to scare 'em off.

Mabel sits back down at her table. We hear the sounds of Uncle Pete beating Donnie while Donnie begs for mercy.

Cornell comes back into the room after a moment with bloody hands. He sits at his piano. Mabel goes over to him and wraps her arms around him to hold his bloody hands in hers. Transition back to

COTTONMOUTH'S OFFICE, NOW

Cottonmouth is still playing. He stops and clenches his shaking hands. He doesn't notice Luke until he starts to speak.

LUKE: Even though I hate your ass I gotta admit you got talent. You could have been somebody. This is the first time I've ever seen you flunky-free. I guess now that you're untouchable you don't need them.

COTTONMOUTH: So, what? You here to take me in or take me out?

LUKE: Hey. You called me. And unlike you, I'm not a murderer. I'm taking you in. You're gonna sit down with Misty Knight and you're going to confess to everything.

COTTONMOUTH: That's what you think's about to happen? 'Cause last time I checked you were no longer a sheriff...Carl. Hmm. You ain't doing much of anything. Carl Lucas. That's a square-ass name, man. Oh, if my mama named me that, I'd change my name to Luke Cage, too. See I don't know shit about going to prison. But I figure if you escaped, faked your death, and all that other slick shit, eventually it's bound to catch up with you. And you gotta go back.

LUKE: You're not turning me in. You wouldn't snitch.

COTTONMOUTH: Well, there is honor amongst thieves. But you ain't no thief. Gave a speech at a church, knocked down a few doors in the projects and now you Harlem's Captain America. Nigga, please. How they gonna feel about their folk hero when they find out he ain't nothing more than a goddamn criminal? And you act like you better than me. You ain't better than me.You got caught.

LUKE: I was framed. I'm innocent.

COTTONMOUTH: Aren't we all? I'mma keep your little secret. I've got use for bulletproof niggas. I own you now. And if you refuse then back to Seagate you go. I'll charter the yacht my damn self. See, you thought I only had a hand in one of the pies. But I own the whole goddamn bakery, son.

Cottonmouth waves his hand to dismiss Luke, and Luke goes. Cottonmouth laughs at him.

MARIAH'S BROWNSTONE

SHADES: Do you remember me from when I was a kid?

MARIAH: No. Are you one of those that used to follow Cornell around like a puppy?

SHADES: Hmm. I didn't have shit. I grew up in the street. But the one name that always rang out was "Stokes." You needed a Thanksgiving turkey? Go see Mama Mabel Stokes. School clothes? Mama Mabel Stokes. Your old man put his hands on you? See Mama Mabel Stokes and it would never, ever happen again.

MARIAH: Your point?

SHADES: Your family name meant something. Harlem's Paradise meant something. Everyone from David Dinkins to Pappy Mason showed that woman love. But what does that family represent now? A washed-up gangsterland? An empty politician who'll be lucky at this time next year to be a greeter at the Harlem Hair Expo?

Mariah tries to slap Shades, but he catches her hand.

MARIAH: You don't talk to me like that.

SHADES: I can talk to you any way I want. Because you got no power to shut me up. Do you like how it feels? Being so powerless? Being pushed around by other people?

MARIAH: What do you think?

SHADES: I think that when you get the nerve you're gonna be surprised at just what you're capable of.

BEHIND THE BARBERSHOP

Luke stuffs his copy of Invisible Man into a duffel bag and puts on his coat.

CLAIRE: So that's how you're gonna play this? You're running?

LUKE: There's nothing I can do.

CLAIRE: Enough with this defeatist bullshit. What the hell is going on?

LUKE: Cottonmouth knows about my past, Claire. If I don't work for him, he's gonna out me. I'll go back to prison. I've been through too much hell to let that happen.

CLAIRE: Yeah, I I sympathize. I really do. But if you run you'll be running for the rest of your life.

LUKE: You think you're the first person to tell me that? I told Pop I was done running. I stayed and he died. I didn't run when they came after Connie, and they lost everything because of me. Who's next? I'm no good for anyone.

CLAIRE: You can't take the blame for everything that happened. People need you.

LUKE: Yeah, well, sometimes I'm no good for people.

CLAIRE: If people see that you're one of them, that's good. If you stand and fight, they'll follow you.

LUKE: If I go to prison, who's gonna wanna follow me?

CLAIRE: Half the people uptown have fathers, cousins, uncles, brothers in prison! You're no different than anybody else. You get your wish. You're not special. Instead of running, if you make a move and you take him down once and for all? You stop him, you save this community, and you free yourself.

HARLEM'S PARADISE

The DJ is playing for Stokes. Shades joins him at the railing.

COTTONMOUTH: Turn up the bass. I ain't one to apologize.

SHADES: Then don't.

COTTONMOUTH: But I was feeling myself a little earlier. My bad. I ain't mean to come at you like that.

SHADES: You're under a lot of stress.

COTTONMOUTH: It's that nigga, Luke Cage. I invited him over. Had to let him know.
[Lyrics from: https:/lyrics.az/simone-missick/-/manifest-episode-7.html]

SHADES: What'd you do?

COTTONMOUTH: I gave him the business. All that Seagate shit you told me about. What?

SHADES: Diamondback didn't want you to do that. He's got plans for him.

COTTONMOUTH: Well, Diamondback ain't my daddy. What's he know about Cage?

SHADES: Did you spook him? Is he gonna run?

COTTONMOUTH: He will fall in line. No doubt.

MAMA MABEL'S CATHOUSE, THEN

Mabel is looking at a bruise on one of her sex workers.

MABEL: Sometimes pain is the only thing that gets 'em going. They can't do that to their wife so they take it out on you.

Cornell comes in

MABEL: Where the hell have you been? We needed you an hour ago. Look at what happened. Sister Boy didn't have any protection. At least the bastard had enough sense not to hit him in the face.

CORNELL: Maybe Sister needs to learn how to throw her hands up like a brother.

Mabel slaps Cornell

MABEL: While you out there in the street running around with your friends, my people in here getting hurt. You better have a damn good reason for not being here when I needed you.

CORNELL: Pete took me to an audition.

MABEL: You expect me to believe that an audition took six hours?

CORNELL: He stopped in Spanish Harlem.

MABEL: Puerto Ricans? Like that Tato Lopez and Sal...

CORNELL: I heard Salvador. That's who Pete talked to.

MABEL: Where were you?

CORNELL: I kicked it with Salvador's little brother, Domingo. We watched Video Music Box.

MABEL: What'd they talk about?

CORNELL: They were in the back room. They were gone for a while.

MABEL: You done good...You done good.

THE STREETS OF HARLEM

BOOTLEGGER: Hey. HD, Blu-ray, I got all the best angles of the incident. I got everybody in here. You know you want to see it.

LUKE: People actually pay money for that?

BOOTLEGGER: Yo. Yo, it's you! You one of them!

LUKE: No.

BOOTLEGGER:Come on, let's talk. My man's got a RED, next time you do something, I could film you. We could both get paid. For real. 4K for four K, you know what I'm sayin'?

LUKE: Hey, hey. I know you hear things.

BOOTLEGGER: Look, I hear and see everything. The streets know what you've been up to. Everyone's talking about it. But I ain't no snitch.

LUKE: Not everyone deserves discretion. I'm not asking you to get involved. I'm not even asking you to speak. I just need to borrow your eyes.

BOOTLEGGER: All right. Who you looking for?

LUKE: Domingo Colon.

COLON'S GYM

Domingo is watching a boxing match in his gym. Luke Cage bursts in by sending a minion through the door.

LUKE: Domingo Colon! I'm guessing that's you.

Luke starts taking guys down. Eventually they manage to get their guns out.

LUKE: I guess you guys haven't heard about me, have you?

DOMINGO: Take him out.

The minions empty their clips. Bullets ricochet like crazy, hitting a few people and knocking down punching bags.

I'm about sick of always having to buy new clothes.

Luke makes quick work of the rest and finds Domingo hiding in the back office.

LUKE: Where are the guns?

DOMINGO: I don't know what you're talking about.

LUKE: The ones you got back from Cottonmouth. The ones my friends died over.

DOMINGO: What, you think you can go after everyone?

LUKE: I kinda do. I can pick you up walk you over to the bridge and throw your ass in the Hudson. And here's the thing. It's not the fall that kills you. It's the impact against the water.
And when the water fills your lungs, right before you black out, you'll ask yourself "Why didn't I just give Luke Cage what he wanted?"

DOMINGO: The guns are downstairs.

LUKE: Muchas gracias.

On his way out he sees a "Colon's Gym" hoodie.

LUKE: You got this one in a double XL?

THE STATIONHOUSE

BAILEY: You'll like this.

Bailey shows Misty a scan of Luke's New York diver's license.

MISTY: I already know what he looks like, Bailey.

BAILEY: But aside from your board this is the only photo of him. Anywhere.

MISTY: Nothing else?

BAILEY: Nope.

MISTY: Why do you seem so excited by that?

BAILEY: 'Cause he is too damn clean. You know, he's so clean, it's it's freaky.

MISTY: In what way?

BAILEY: He has, uh, no credit cards. No email address.

MISTY: But he has a social security number.

BAILEY: Yeah, but no bank account. No Facebook. No porn.

MISTY: Why do you find no porn so disturbing?

BAILEY: This guy, he doesn't exist. He was created. He's the figment of someone's imagination. Who the hell is this guy? And and who made him?

MISTY: Yeah. Who you telling?

MARIAH'S BROWNSTONE

Mariah is on the phone in her office.

MARIAH: But he's innocent. I give you my word.

WOMAN ON THE PHONE: That may be. But all this tension is hurting the council, and it's harming the party.

MARIAH: Yeah. When will you make the announcement?

WOMAN ON THE PHONE: Charlene will send a press release at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. I'm going to have to ask you to resign, effective immediately.

MARIAH: I hear you. You realize that I will fight this with every ounce of my energy, right? Right?

WOMAN ON THE PHONE: It's painful for all of us, but it's necessary. We have no other choice, I'm sorry.

MARIAH: Okay.

Mariah hangs up the call, throws her phone across the room and hurls a bottle against the wall.

She looks at a photo of herself, Cornell, and Mama Mabel on her desk. She gathers herself briefly and turns on her intercom.

MARIAH: Tony.

TONY (over the intercom): Yes, ma'am.

MARIAH: Bring the car around.

TONY: Right away.

COTTONMOUTH'S OFFICE

Cottonmouth is playing the piano again to bring us into another flashback.

MAMA MABEL'S CATHOUSE, THEN

Mabel is waiting at her table with a bottle of scotch. Pet comes in and she pours him a glass.

MABEL: On his deathbed what did you promise Buggy? That you'd take care of me and our business.

PETE: What the hell are you talking about, Mabel? I've always put this shit before anything else. You were my woman before you was his. But I let that go. You always protect your family. No matter what.

MABEL: So you betrayed me? To some goddamn Puerto Ricans?

PETE: This...this shit should have been mine. And you know it. Now, Salvador and his brothers have agreed to let us come in on the ground floor. We can own this whole goddamn city.

MABEL: I already have everything I need. Pigs get fat but hogs get slaughtered. This was all about you.

PETE: You know what? You always stay ready with a plan, bitch. So what is it?

Mabel gestures behind Pete. Cornell emerges from the shadows with that pearl-handled gun. They all go out into the yard.

PETE: You don't have to do this, Cornell. And all that talent you have? What are you doing? You're not built for this. Why do you think I pay for all those lessons, man? You can be something better than all of us.

Cornell is losing his nerve. Mariah runs out to join them.

MARIAH: You deserve this for what you did to our family. What you did to me!

PETE: Hey, Little May, don't What are you talking about? You laughed with me.
It was it was a game.

MABEL: Cornell. I told you what to do. Stand up straight. And do it.

PETE: Look at me. Look at me! Every time...

Cornell shoots him twice. Mabel takes the gun out of his hands.

MABEL: You know the rule, baby. Family first. Always.

CORNELL: Yes, ma'am.

HARLEM'S PARADISE, NOW

Mariah arrives.

COTTONMOUTH: You could have called first.

MARIAH: Oh, now I need an invite.

COTTONMOUTH: Can't imagine the kind of pressure you're under. Especially after that shit-show of an interview.

MARIAH: You need to drop this Luke Cage shit. Shut it down. Get your head back in the game.

COTTONMOUTH: Don't lecture me about the game. I was born to this shit. I finally got his bitch-ass in my pocket.

MARIAH: My party chairwoman called me tonight to tell me I had to step down from the council. The fundraising for my complexes dried up since you got arrested. My reputation is in the shithole!

COTTONMOUTH: Maybe Madam Councilwoman need to step off her high horse and get her hands dirty.

MARIAH: We family, Cornell. Mama Mabel taught us that...

COTTONMOUTH: Mama Mabel, Mama Mabel! Go on with that shit. All the things I could've did with my life, my music! But who does she send to that uppity-ass boarding school? You. She put you in school and forced me to run the streets.

MARIAH: You idiot. She sent me away to keep me away from Pete!

COTTONMOUTH: You know damn well what that woman made me do. I was 14 years old.

MARIAH: Uncle Pete betrayed us.

COTTONMOUTH: Uncle Pete was the only one who ever had my back. Mama Mabel was always sheltering you, protecting you. And for what? All that education, and you just as shady as me.

MARIAH: Me protected? All I did your whole life was protect you! Your junkie mama dropped you off at Mabel's and never looked back! Your daddy didn't want you! Who was there changing your diapers? Tending your needs? Dealing with your whining?

COTTONMOUTH: I saw the way you used to flirt with Uncle Pete when I was little.

Mariah slaps Cottonmouth, but he doesn't back down.

COTTONMOUTH: Running around half-naked all the time. You wanted it, Mariah. You wanted it and you know it.

Cottonmouth turns his back on her. Mariah screams and hits Cottonmouth over the head with a bottle., then pushes him out of his office through the glass window.

MARIAH: No! No! I did not want it! No! You shut up!

She goes downstairs and picks up a mic stand. She beats him with it over and over.

MARIAH: I didn't want it!

SHADES (from behind her): Look at you. You got the nerve and you stepped up.

MARIAH: I didn't...I didn't want this.

SHADES: Deep down, I think you did. First time is always the hardest. Do you think they have rubber gloves in the kitchen?

MARIAH: Next to the dishwashing station.

SHADES: That's a great idea. Look what Luke Cage did to your cousin.

THE STREETS OF HARLEM

Luke and Misty meet in the street.

MISTY: Nice sweatshirt. You box now?

LUKE: What I do is more like CrossFit.

MISTY: Always full of surprises. And I hate that. I don't know shit about you. Nobody does. And that's the problem. But out of all the people in the world, Scarfe went to you for protection. Why?

LUKE: You'd have to ask him that.

MISTY: How convenient for you that I can't. Look, you texted me. What do you want?

LUKE: You see that van parked over there? I bet if you looked inside, it's filled with all of those Justin Hammer guns from the heist.

MISTY: You think being a vigilante makes this all right? Do you have any idea how much trouble you've caused?

LUKE: Misty, I know what you're going through. Finding out your partner was corrupt, losing him..it's messin' with your head.

MISTY (choking up): Do not talk to me like you know what I'm going through.

LUKE: I'm gonna take care of Cottonmouth. You need to be ready to move on him when I do.
MISTY: What's your big plan? Huh? You gonna take over Harlem?

LUKE: I don't want Harlem.

MISTY: Then what do you want?

LUKE: To be left alone.

MISTY: If that's what you truly want then you will give me all the information you have right now. On the record. Tell me everything you have and end it. Right here.

LUKE: I'm not going to do that, Misty.

MISTY: Then that makes you an accessory.

LUKE: To what? After what happened this morning, you expect me to trust the system?

MISTY: The system is not your enemy.

LUKE: Really? How's the system been treating you lately? I should kill Cottonmouth. But I won't. I want him to suffer. He should know what it feels like when your life is over, while everyone else's life goes on as if you don't exist.

MISTY: You sound like you're speaking from experience.

LUKE: You should trust me, Misty. Like Pop did.

MISTY:If you gave me one good reason why...I would.

THE STATIONHOUSE

Misty is at her desk surrounded by confiscated guns.

RIDLEY: Anonymous tip?

MISTY: Every cop needs a good snitch.

RIDLEY: You're not out of the doghouse. Not by a long shot.

Her desk phone rings.

MISTY: Detective Knight...What? Oh, shit!

A PARK IN HARLEM

Claire and Luke are walking together.

CLAIRE: Okay, so I'm just trying to picture it in my head. Was it mustard yellow? Or canary yellow?

LUKE: It was all I could grab. I couldn't go running around Georgia looking like a runaway slave.

CLAIRE: Oh, God. What did your father say when he saw you?

LUKE: Nothing. He doesn't know I'm alive. He wouldn't want to see me anyway. I'm his shame. The last thing my father wanted to do was to raise a black criminal. He did everything in his power to give me the kind of life so that wouldn't happen. And yet I still went to jail.

CLAIRE: That wasn't your fault.

LUKE: He didn't see it that way. I tried to explain. I made calls. I sent letters, and he returned every last one of them.

CLAIRE: Then why let your father's last memory of you be as a criminal? A dead criminal? I think he'd be very proud to know who you are now...Anyway, thank you.

LUKE: For what?

CLAIRE: I can't imagine there are that many people who know the saga of Luke Cage. It means a lot that you trust me.

LUKE: I didn't come to Harlem to be a hero, Claire. I came because I needed time to figure shit out.

CLAIRE: So did I.

LUKE: You're right. I can't keep running. But I want you to know what you're getting into. If Cottonmouth talks, or if anybody connects the dots that Luke Cage is Carl Lucas I go back to Seagate.

CLAIRE: You knew the risks and you did it anyway. That's what makes you a hero.

LUKE: Maybe I should get a mask after all.

CLAIRE: No. Too much in Harlem happens in the shadows. People fear what they can't see. And that's what makes you different. They see you. It makes them trust you.

At some distance, a strange man sets Luke in his crosshairs.

MYSTERY MAN: Hey, Carl. One Judas for another.

CLAIRE: I may have a lawyer friend who can help.

LUKE: Oh, really?

The man fires, and the bullet sinks straight into Luke's stomach. Luke looks at his own blood in confusion.

CLAIRE: Luke? Luke!

Another gunshot. Luke collapses to the ground screaming in pain.

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