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Simone Missick - Take It Personal (Episode 10) lyrics



Luke is flatlining.

CLAIRE: Do you have defib paddles?



BURSTEIN: What are you looking for? Claire, what the hell are you doing?

CLAIRE: Stand back!

Claire finds a hot plate and plugs it in. She throws it into the acid with Luke. There's a huge surge and shower of sparks. All the lights go out briefly.

The lights come back on, and Luke's heart is beating again.

BURSTEIN: That was reckless.

CLAIRE: Yeah. Sometimes you gotta throw the science out and go with what you know.

BURSTEIN: Okay, let's take this step by step and think this through. Once we get the shrapnel removed, his healing factor and cell regeneration should take care of everything else. But what's next? Temperature is right. Uh, we have to raise the pH levels so his skin reacts. So what else will break down abalone shell?

CLAIRE: Salt water!

BURSTEIN: Yeah. Yeah. Saline!

CLAIRE: Where do you have it? Is that it?

Claire dumps out a bucket of salt into the bath, which bubbles momentarily. Luke jerks but nothing else happens.

CLAIRE: Let's get him out. He has chills. That won't help him.

BURSTEIN: His temperature's dropping quickly.

CLAIRE: That's it. It's not the pH mixture that's the problem. It's the temperature. We need to turn it up. All the way up!

BURSTEIN: No, no! You don't know what you're doing. Did you bring him all this way just to kill him?

CLAIRE: Think about what happened last time. The temperature was the only thing that you couldn't control. That's what you said.

BURSTEIN: Yes. But Albert Rackham was a racist asshole. He was trying to kill Carl.

CLAIRE: Okay, well, maybe that redneck was onto something. Maybe the explosion is what did it. We don't just need to heat up that soup. We need to boil it!

BURSTEIN: You are about to do something completely stupid. I wouldn't be a good scientist if I let you do it alone.

They stoke some fires and turn some knobs.

BURSTEIN: :All right.

CLAIRE: More. All the way up.

BURSTEIN: It's really heating up. It's climbing....This is good. This is very good.

They get the surgical tools ready. Claire gets out an ultrasound machine. She gets ready to work on Luke while he's still in the acid.

BURSTEIN: You see?

CLAIRE: Yeah. I need a scalpel.

BURSTEIN: Scalpel.

CLAIRE: Okay. I'm seeing something. This is really deep...Forceps.

The monitor is beeping at them again.

BURSTEIN: Forceps.

She extracts the first piece and drops it in the tray.

CLAIRE: Okay. How many more left?

BURSTEIN: Two more pieces.

Claire gets another piece out, but Luke's vitals continue to get worse.

CLAIRE: I'm losing him. I'm not going fast enough.

BURSTEIN: You're doing great.

CLAIRE: Got it.

The last piece is out. They stop and wait for a moment, then Luke jumps up with a scream.


CLAIRE: You're okay. Hey, got you. We got it all. We got it all. You're gonna be okay. We did it. We did it. You're gonna be fine.


Misty is looking at her photo wall. She stops on a surveillance photo of Stryker.

MISTY: Who the hell are you?


Stryker emerges from the warehouse. Mariah is waiting outside.

STRYKER: You took your sweet time, Madam Councilwoman.

MARIAH: Why didn't you just come to me?

STRYKER: Power doesn't travel. First rule of business and war.

MARIAH: You have no real power without me. You could at least let Tony bring me. I got lost three times trying to find this damn place.

STRYKER: Sure, but then I would've had to put a bullet in the back of his head. No one comes here. Period.

Stryker leads Mariah inside. It's full of crates, presumably weapons.

MARIAH: So this is the cure?

STRYKER: That's medicinal-grade, heavy-duty RX stacked up right there. Most definitely. You wouldn't believe how expensive these things are. Untraceable, alien metal explosive.

MARIAH: You hit Luke Cage with one of these. He's still alive. If it didn't work, what's the big deal?

STRYKER: Well, you don't need to kill God with one shot to sell a weapon. You just need to make him bleed.

MARIAH: That's all well and good, but who's gonna be able to afford it?

STRYKER: What price can you put on peace of mind? Don't sweat it. The same Judas metal can be broken down for mass production. Each single bullet is less powerful, but now you can put 'em in a machine gun and let off a hundred of those bitches. Mass production is where it's at.

MARIAH: I'm a politician. I'm not a gun dealer.

STRYKER: Well what's the difference? Sell the fear. Those people need to look at that dashcam footage and ask themselves if the world is ready for bulletproof niggas that eat cops for breakfast. Black fear. After abolition, it's how gun laws got enacted in the first place.

MARIAH: You talk of laws. Laws are bureaucracy. The mayor can't even wipe his ass without three different committees to argue about the texture of the paper and to pick the brand. I'm gonna need time to sell the cops on this, even with the fear.

STRYKER: Ooh. Well, you're out of time. This shit starts right now.

A minion comes up with a pair of high tech gloves in a padded case.

MARIAH: What? I hate to interrupt your Isotoner moment, but this is serious. I'm out of time and then...?

STRYKER: A few illmatic deaths. Word of mouth spreads like wildfire.

MARIAH: No! Luke Cage must be the focus.

STRYKER: Oh, he is my focus. Always.


Claire is tending Luke's rapidly healing wounds.

CLAIRE: I've never seen anything like it.

BURSTEIN: No one has. A man whose cells can regenerate is a man who doesn't age. Do you know how valuable that is?

CLAIRE: Luke's the only one?

BURSTEIN: Yes. All the other subjects failed. There's a lot of work to be done. A lot of good work.

CLAIRE: How many more people will have to die?

BURSTEIN: They volunteered in exchange for time off their sentences. They knew the risks. I'm not a monster.

CLAIRE: I never said you were.

Luke wakes and sits up.


LUKE: Who are you? ...Just kidding, Claire.


A cheerful day. A police officer walks by the park, greeting everyone he sees.

ALBINI: Hi, Ann. How are you?

ANN: Morning, Officer.

VENDOR: Hey, Officer Albini. Got those socks your wife wanted. Pink or red? One set or more?...Yeah. All right. Okay.

We see Stryker advancing behind Albini. One of those high tech gloves makes a humming sound as it powers up.

Albini notices someone behind him and turns around.

ALBINI: Can I help you?

STRYKER: My name is Luke Cage.

Stryker hits Albini with the glove. Albini flies backward into a pile of boxes. The camera pans up and Misty is "watching" using her special ability.

STRYKER: I'm Luke Cage! Luke Cage!

Cut back to


where another officer is interviewing the vendor. Misty starts to listen to them.

OFFICER: So that's what you saw?

VENDOR: Yeah, that's what I saw. Exactly like that. That cat with the hoodie punched that cop and he flew back, like, 20 feet, like he was shot from a cannon or some shit.

OFFICER: So, uh, this was the guy you saw?

VENDOR: I didn't see his face. But he laid him out. Then he said, "Luke."


VENDOR: Oh, I just heard "Luke." Or maybe "Duke" or...

Bailey comes up to Misty and draws her attention.


MISTY: Hey, Bailey.

BAILEY: What do you think?

MISTY: Well, let's eliminate the other possibilities. We know Jackie wasn't hit by a car or anything like that, and this guy over here talking to Chang isn't just making stuff up, 'cause that Luke Cage dashcam video went viral.

BAILEY: Well, there are no impact wounds. No glass, metal flakes or nothing. The impact is localized and focused. I mean, he was hit...

MISTY: Punched.

BAILEY: ...He was punched and he flew back over 20 feet. And the size of the hole and the punch is consistent with that of a human fist. And the punch was so hard, it bent back the shock plate of his Kevlar vest. Nanny said Cage?

MISTY: The nanny is saying she heard the suspect say "Cage." But let's think about this. A guy in a hoodie, punching a cop and then saying his name? If it was one of the goons connected to Cottonmouth, I could halfway see it, but a cop?

BAILEY: Don't forget, you know, he's on the run. You saw him fighting with us on that dashcam vid. Albini, he must've just spotted him and he tried to take him down himself.

MISTY: Jackie was never a hard charger. I don't see it.

BAILEY: Who else has that kind of strength? Look, in Harlem, black, wearing a hoodie...It's not rocket science.

MISTY: What about the backpack they said he was wearing, huh?

BAILEY: What about it? Luke doesn't wear one?

MISTY: Not usually, no.

BAILEY: So he switched it up that day. And what's the big deal? How does that eliminate him?

MISTY: The whole thing just doesn't smell right.

BAILEY: I don't smell anything.

They look through a partition to see a cop kicking a trashcan in another room.

MISTY: Right now, I smell rage.

The man who kicked a trashcan starts to make for the door.

OFFICER: Wait. Smith, Smith, Smith. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Smith.

MISTY: This is Harlem. And when a cop gets killed, heads roll. That's just how we do.


MARIAH: You killed a cop! I know you did it. Now kids are getting jacked up by the police. What are you doing to my city?

STRYKER: It's not yours. Never was.

MARIAH: Harlem is my birthright. It's mine! City council or not.

STRYKER: "When justice is done it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers."

MARIAH: You quote the Bible like you actually believe in God.

STRYKER: And you speak to me as if you're not actually in the presence of death. Your way was taking too long. I killed two birds with one stone by sticking a body on Luke Cage. He's hiding somewhere in the blessed aquarium, so I turned the heat up. Old Carl he's either gonna stand up and defend his name or he's gonna run and hide, like a bitch. Either way, it doesn't matter. I've got the gun to take him out.

MARIAH: You're completely out of control.

STRYKER: And you're not a real politician, because if you were, you'd flip this. Get your Sharpton on. Make this moment all about you.


SMITH: I know the job, Inspector.

RIDLEY: Watch your tone, Jake. That's not what I'm saying. People are pissed. I'm pissed. But we can't let this get out of hand.

SMITH: Goddamn right. One of our own is dead. Cage is gonna pay for what he did. We're gonna hit the streets hard. We're gonna shake the ground. Smoke him out. That's how you find a roach. You fumigate.

During this speech we see clips of the manhunt in Harlem. Black men are, naturally, the targets of the harsh police action.

RIDLEY: You're talking about a community of people, not pests.

SMITH: Oh, come on, Inspector. I'm from the South Bronx. I'm 28 years on the job. I'm not some idiot who's afraid of blacks and Hispanics.

On the street, an officer throws a fleeing young man against a fence.

OFFICER: I said "police." Where's Luke Cage?

YOUNG MAN: Who? Wisdom is locked up. He in C-74. This is not his corner no more!

OFFICER: Not Wiz, fool! Cage, Luke Cage. Where is Luke Cage?

SMITH: This is all about Luke Cage.

RIDLEY: Look, I want Cage as badly as you do. He's at the center of three active investigations. But we need to be careful about how we pursue this.

SMITH: Caution is in the wind, just like he is. Our guys need results.

RIDLEY: Remember who you serve.

YOUNG MAN: All right, all right. I know one kid who knows Luke Cage.

This is a new young man, in cuffs. In the background you can see someone filming the altercation.

OFFICER: Who? What's his name?

RIDLEY: Do not light up Harlem behind this.

SMITH: The good people in Harlem have no problem with me. Just the assholes.

RIDLEY: You need to be responsible, methodical.

SMITH: That, we are.

RIDLEY: Okay. Do it right. No bullshit, no headlines. You find him, you take him down.

Misty hears the end of this exchange from her desk. Ridley comes in to talk to her.

RIDLEY: Anything on your boy?

MISTY: Chang's taking the lead on that one.

RIDLEY: I don't care. Luke is your guy.

MISTY: Look, I'm trying to figure out who attacked me.

LONNIE (from down the hall): I know where I'm goin'. Why you gotta be so tight Why is you holding onto me like that? Get up off me, man.

An officer is hustling Lonnie down the hall.

RIDLEY: Until Luke Cage is in cuffs, he's your priority, not your attacker.

MISTY: Thanks.

BAILEY: Do you have a lotto winner yet?

MISTY: We have the majority of the face. Lot of angles, but not a full composite.

BAILEY: I have a friend down in intel on the task force. Maybe she could help.

MISTY: Ooh! "She"?

Cut to Lonnie in an interrogation room.

LONNIE: I wanna talk to my mother.

DORSEY: Your mother? You definitely ain't no hard rock.

LONNIE: She's a lawyer. Or she about to be.

DORSEY: Well, if you haven't done anything wrong, you don't have any problem.

LONNIE: I don't. But you've got about five problems, far as I can tell.

DORSEY: Like what?

LONNIE: I was on my way home from school. Y'all picked me up with no PC. I just got back from school. Chess club. Fifteen people can place me there. And all I have in my bag is a half-eaten Snickers bar. I want my phone call.

DORSEY: Sure. After you answer some questions.

LONNIE: About what? I don't bang and I don't hang.

DORSEY: I'm looking for Luke Cage.

LONNIE: What about Luke?

DORSEY: You seen him?

LONNIE: That's my man. He's a good dude.

DORSEY: That "good dude" killed a cop.

LONNIE: There's no way he killed a cop. You're lying.

DORSEY: You calling me a liar?

LONNIE: Luke Cage ain't kill no cop. No way. Look, unless you charging me with something I ain't gotta say squat. I'm leaving.

DORSEY: You better sit your ass down! Luke Cage killed my training officer. He had a wife, twins your age.

LONNIE: Luke Cage ain't kill no cop.

DORSEY: Look you better start talking.


Luke is eating pudding.

LUKE: Your hands are cold...All you had to do was take the shrapnel out?

BURSTEIN: It's like replacing a burnt-out Christmas bulb. You repair the circuit, the whole thing lights up again. It's miraculous.

LUKE: It's no miracle.

BURSTEIN: Wouldn't you say so?

LUKE: Miracles are good things. What's good about me being here, huh? All those prisoners who died. Reva's murder. For what?

BURSTEIN: Immortality.

LUKE: What about those people you work for? Do they know I'm here?

BURSTEIN: No. They barely keep tabs on me anymore.

LUKE: I don't believe that. You're too valuable not to keep tabs on.

BURSTEIN: And you're not? Wounds healed instantaneously on the battlefield. Concussions, major head trauma, healed within hours. You're at the center of that. Cancer and HIV are next.

LUKE: That's a lot for me to think about. Right now, I just want my life back.

BURSTEIN: Well, take your time. I'll be back. Help yourselves to anything you like in the fridge.

CLAIRE: I don't trust him.

LUKE: Me neither. Reva's files.

CLAIRE: It's unlocked and unencrypted. What do you wanna know?

LUKE: Reva. What she wouldn't tell me.

CLAIRE: Maybe we should just take the zip drive and be on our way before he gets back.

LUKE: It might never be unlocked again. I gotta know.
[Lyrics from: https:/]

CLAIRE: Which one?

LUKE: That one.

CLAIRE: "Tiara?" That's a weird name.

LUKE: It's that thing I took off my head after I escaped from the tank. That's my prison number.

The file turns out to be a video diary of some kind.

REVA (on screen): Regarding subject Lucas, Carl He's interesting. He's intelligent. There's a fire that burns within. Even when he's not engaged, you can always tell he's thinking. He's educated. He's not used to being incarcerated, but he always carries himself with pride. I think he's one to watch.

LUKE: Click seven.

REVA (on screen): Lucas' increasing loyalty to Squabbles is an asset. I think Rackham's assertion that Carl wanting to protect his friend will make him more willing to take part in the fight trials is accurate.

LUKE: Click 40.

CLAIRE: You sure, Luke?

REVA (on screen): Subject Lucas is beginning to unravel. He doesn't shave, he doesn't groom and he lives to fight. He's actually beginning to hurt people. Physically, by far, he's the best subject we've had. But it remains to be seen if he'll be cleared for stage three. Every single subject has died approaching that stage. If anyone can do it, he can.

BURSTEIN: You weren't supposed to see that.


RIDLEY: So what you got?

CHANG: They all said the same thing. Hoodie, Cage, and they saw Jackie go flying.

RIDLEY: No other leads? We need something. Chief is up my ass. Social media is blowin' up. This whole job has gone tactical. I don't want anyone from the Two-Nine getting caught up in any bullshit. Everyone in Harlem has a camera.

Bailey passes Ridley and Chang as he rushes to talk to Misty.

BAILEY: Guess what? I got something.

MISTY: What?

BAILEY: Willis Stryker. Facial recognition just made a match. There's also a sealed juvenile record.

MISTY: That's it? Why is it sealed?

BAILEY: It's past the statute of limitations.

MISTY: Okay. So how can I get into it?

BAILEY: Well, if you find a date and a courthouse, and there was some press, you might get lucky.

There's a ruckus from down the hall.

LONNIE: Hey! Stop! Hey! Stop, stop!

MISTY: What in the hell is that?

She and Bailey go to investigate. In the interrogation room two uniforms are holding Dorsey back. In the corner, Lonnie is bleeding.

UNIFORMS: Hands off! Get him off! Dorsey! Dorsey!

DORSEY: Where is he, huh? Where is he, punk? Huh? Why are you protecting him, huh? Just tell me where he is!

Misty goes to help Lonnie up.

RIDLEY: What the hell is going on? What the hell did you just do?


LUKE: We were trash. You knew no one would care if we were gone.

BURSTEIN: That was the whole point of Reva's therapy sessions. To separate the trash from the triumphant. To pick out those subjects that were most psychologically survive the process, Carl.

LUKE: Stop calling me that! I'm Luke. Carl died at Seagate.

BURSTEIN: What, you're still pining like a lovesick puppy for Reva? Please. She lied to everybody. That was her job. She lied to you about her involvement.

REVA (flashback): I promise I'll explain it all.

BURSTEIN: She lied again when she erased both of you from existence.

LUKE (flashback): Thank you for saving my life.

REVA (flashback): Thank you for changing mine.

BURSTEIN: She knew the stakes.You''re the future, Carl. You're a walking fountain of youth.

LUKE: My name is not Carl. I'm Luke Cage!

Luke smashes Burstein's lab equipment and throws a heavy piece of machinery through the wall of the barn.

LUKE: You're never gonna do this to anyone else ever again. How's that for stakes?

BURSTEIN: Claire. Claire, you're brilliant. You're not even trained. Imagine the things I could teach you. Talk to Luke. Tell him what he's throwing away.

CLAIRE: He's my friend. And that's why you'll never see him again. Or this [the flash drive].

BURSTEIN: You didn't say I would never see you again.

CLAIRE: Be thankful I'm not the one with the powers because I'd kill you if you did half the shit that you did to him to me. Not just ruin your barn.


Misty is skimming through a microfilm database. She stops on an article titled "Son of Local Preacher Charged with Grand Theft Auto." There's a photo captioned, "Carl Lucas and Willis Stryker being arraigned in court."

MISTY: Carl Lucas is Luke Cage.


Misty goes into Ridley's office.

MISTY: Hey, I found out that Willis...

RIDLEY: It's gonna have to wait.

Mariah and Lonnie's mother storm in.

MARIAH: Officers. I am releasing these to the media in the next 15 minutes so they can see the contrast.

RIDLEY: Don't make a bad situation even worse, Councilwoman.

PATTY: You'd think a sister in charge would change things. But you're blue, which makes you just as white as anybody else!

RIDLEY: Luke Cage is a suspect at large for murder, a number of other crimes.

PATTY: Luke Cage may be bulletproof, but my boy isn't. Can't y'all understand that?

MARIAH: Patty, Patty, save your words. The only thing they understand is action.

RIDLEY: Mariah. Detective Dorsey has been arrested, suspended without pay. We are taking formal steps to charge...

MARIAH: No! Not enough, Priscilla. Not today. The death of that officer at the hand of that super-freak was bad enough. But to beat down a child? Means you're not doing your job. Come on.

MISTY: Patricia. How's Lonnie?

PATTY: Keep my son's name out of your mouth. He's at Frederick Douglass Hospital right now, getting checked out. Y'all gonna pay for this shit.

MARIAH: Until you capture Luke Cage, and apologize to the people of Harlem, we will...

Quick cut to Mariah continuing her speech in front of a big group of reporters.

MARIAH: ...bring this city to its knees. All over Harlem, young black and brown men are being slapped around by an NYPD too scared to do something about Luke Cage. And because young Lonnie Wilson, our brother just had the misfortune of knowing this supposed superhero turned super-menace he was beaten in custody like it's 1956. Any time one of Harlem's finest is killed, we all suffer. But let's make sure that that outrage is pointed in the right direction. I encourage the NYPD to effectively arm themselves to protect the public, not to harass young brothers and sisters, hermanas y hermanos, who are the lifeblood and the future of our community.
And I encourage that community to rally with me at Harlem's Paradise. We will discuss our next plan of non-violent action. Luke Cage must be found. He must be stopped. This must never happen again.

Back inside, Ridley is on the phone. Misty taps on the door and steps in while she finishes her call.

RIDLEY: Yes, Chief. Yes, sir.

MISTY: Do you have time to talk now?

RIDLEY: About what? About Mariah's little "I Have a Dream" moment outside? About all the kids getting beaten up by cops and the videos going viral?

MISTY: Something's off about this and you know it. Why the hell would she hold that rally at Harlem's Paradise? Shouldn't she be too spooked to even go inside after what happened to her cousin? Cage did not kill Officer Albini.

RIDLEY: Nothing settles down until Cage is in the box. We need to talk to him.

MISTY: And I need to talk to Willis Stryker.

RIDLEY: Who is Stryker?

MISTY: I get the feeling that he is connected to everything that's been going on. Cage, Cottonmouth, all of it.

RIDLEY: You'll need proof.

MISTY: I'm on it.


CLAIRE: You swam that whole way?

LUKE: Doesn't seem as far away now. you ever hold someone in your arms, hear them breathing against your chest, and you're in one emotional place and they're in another? And you have absolutely no idea what they're thinking.

CLAIRE: It's called having a boyfriend.

LUKE: Reva lied to me.

CLAIRE: She helped you to disappear because she was protecting you. It couldn't have all been a lie.

LUKE: You don't understand. That woman? The idea of her...her smell...That was the only thing that kept me sane at Seagate. That's what's eating me up inside. I don't think I really knew her at all.

CLAIRE: You still love her.

LUKE: I love the idea of Reva. But not her, specifically. Not anymore. I should just go, you know? I should just turn around and walk away from all this shit.

CLAIRE: I wish you would've told me that, what, 800 miles and 28 hours ago? I could have got some sleep. We've come too far. We're both in this now. Together.

LUKE: Look, it's It's a lot for me to take in all at once. I just need a plan, that's all. Willis hates me, and I just need to figure out why. This was all so long ago. Savannah's the place where all those answers are.

CLAIRE: The past is present for him. Whatever wounded him has not cooled off at all.

LUKE: I trusted Reva and I was wrong. How can I trust you?

CLAIRE: I never back down from a fight. Even if you don't trust me, trust the fighter in me.

LUKE: Fair enough.

Luke very flirtatiously reaches into Claire's pocket to get the car keys.

LUKE: I'm driving.

CLAIRE: About time.


Burstein roots around in the debris Luke left behind until he finds a hard drive. He plugs it into a laptop and retrieves the Reva files.


MISTY: Domingo.

DOMINGO: Do I know you?

MISTY: No but I know you. I've seen your rap sheet. How do you have time to commit crimes and train boxers?

DOMINGO: I guess you must have to be good at multitasking.

MISTY: Yeah. I like boxing. You know what Mike Tyson once said?

DOMINGO: Uh, Mike Tyson mumbles too much to say much of anything.

MISTY:No, Mike is great. He said, "Everyone has a plan until they get hit."

DOMINGO: Well, sometimes you have to take a hit before you can punch back.

MISTY: And I know how to counterpunch.

Misty shows Domingo a photo of Stryker.

MISTY: Who's this?

DOMINGO: You tell me.

MISTY: Look, I saw you with Cottonmouth. I heard about your little beef.

DOMINGO: Beef? No beef.

MISTY: All I know is, Cottonmouth dies, this guy shows up, and suddenly everything changes all over again. Who is he?

DOMINGO: You come alone? Why are you asking me all this?

MISTY: Because everybody is so focused on Luke Cage, nobody's talking about the fact that the heads of the Jamaican, Haitian, and Cuban crime families have all gone missing.

DOMINGO: I'd go to Harlem's Paradise. It's under new management.

Domingo turns back to his boxers and starts coaching them.


CLAIRE: So this is it?

LUKE: It used to be. My grandfather built that sign. He founded this church after he came home from World War II. He was a Red Tail. Tuskegee Airman.


LUKE: He wanted a sign that was bold just like the tail of his plane.

CLAIRE: So what happened here? Why is everyone gone?

LUKE: I don't know.

They go inside the church, which is abandoned and seriously vandalized. Luke looks around and we move into a


to when the church was clean and well-maintained.

ETTA LUCAS: James, Carl needs you now more than ever. How can you be here for your community and every other family in the congregation, but you're never here for us?

Dana Strykerwalks into the frame and addresses young Carl

DANA STRYKER: Stay out of grown folks' business.

YOUNG CARL: Yes, ma'am. Mama?

ETTA: Carl, come on. I'm taking you to practice.

YOUNG CARL: All right. Let me say goodbye to Daddy.

ETTA: I'll be waiting in the car.

DANA: Mrs. Lucas.

ETTA: Ms. Stryker.

We return to the present for a moment, then back into the flashback. Young Carl wanders through some doors at the back of the church. He knocks over a stack of books. Dana bursts out of the room adjusting her clothing.

DANA: Carl.

ETTA: Look, heffa. You're not fooling nobody.
You're little more than his hoe, and we both know it.

DANA: He lied to me too, Etta. You think we're the only ones?

ETTA: You're through. And you're done.

DANA: Are you kidding me? Come at me again, bitch, and I won't hold my tongue about Willie anymore.

ETTA: You say a word, and the checks stop coming. He'll get pulled from Lieber Academy so quick, your head...

CLAIRE: Luke? Luke, are you all right?

LUKE: Willis Stryker is my brother. I never wanted to accept it, but it's real.

CLAIRE: They never told you?

LUKE: No, no. No, no one dared. It was all the little things. All the sideways glances during service. My mother hating on Willis, even after he won the city championship. All my dad's convention trips with Dana. He was always so protective of her.

CLAIRE: Who's Dana?

LUKE: His secretary. Willis's mother. He was two years older than me. For years, my mother couldn't conceive, and then one day, I I came along. That's why everybody called me the miracle baby. I hated that spotlight.

CLAIRE: They should have told you.

LUKE: Had Willis not framed me, I wouldn't have gone to Seagate. No Seagate, no powers. Reva would still be alive.

CLAIRE: How is that your fault?

LUKE: It's not my fault. My father started this whole thing. Willis hates me because my father hates the idea of him. What he doesn't realize is that my father never really liked me very much either.

CLAIRE: So where is this grand Reverend Lucas? Why does he get a pass?

LUKE: Doesn't matter. Diamondback is after everything and everyone that I've ever cared about. So it stops with me. I am my brother's keeper whether I like it or not. It's on me.


CROWD: This stops now! This stops now! This stops now! This stops now! This stops now! Yes, it does.

MARIAH: Yes, it does. Oh, it warms my heart to see you here this evening.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Good to see you, too.

MARIAH: My cousin, Cornell Stokes was murdered right where you're standing, and it pains me to even be here. But it's necessary. Luke Cage murdered my cousin, and I am not afraid to speak out about it. The man is a liar, he is a menace, and as long as he is running around loose, hiding amongst us, no one is safe.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Ain't none of us safe!

MARIAH: Now, I know what brought us here tonight. The police putting their hands on yet another young black man. It's wrong. It is wrong. No doubt about that. But we cannot lose focus here. A cop was killed by this super-powered menace. And our young brother was hurt during their witch-hunt. Brothers and sisters our world has changed. We have new threats, new terrorists. That woman over in Hell's Kitchen snapped a man's neck because he was mind-controlling her. We got a bulletproof murderer on the loose in Harlem with his own twisted sense of justice, putting us all in harm's way. Do I trust the cops?


MARIAH: Not blindly. We need protection from Luke Cage. We need protection from the other powered people like Luke Cage. He is the real threat! We need to arm our men and women in blue so that they can protect us. Truly protect us and never confuse us with those who are the real threat. You stay strong! I know you will stay strong, and I know you will welcome to this mike right now, Reverend John Pope!

Mariah steps off of the stage and speaks to some nearby people.

MARIAH: Emails. Make sure you get emails and a head count. Oh! I didn't know you got off work.

MAN: Hey. How you doing? - Because you are here.

Damon Boone is waiting for her. It seems like he catches her off-guard.

BOONE: Are you that desperate?

MARIAH: What do you mean?

BOONE: You're just using that kid to stay politically viable even though Brenda's still gonna force your crooked ass off the city council.

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

BOONE: You know damn well Luke Cage didn't kill that poor cop. Everyone knows he's the one who busted up Cottonmouth's...

MARIAH: Cornell.

BOONE: Cottonmouth's operation at Crispus Attucks and that $7 million in blood money that came out of your office. Cornell dies, Brenda and the rest of the party back off and your popularity surges. But I see right through you, Mariah.

MARIAH: How dare you.

BOONE: You can't be trusted.

MARIAH: Who needs trust when you have power?


Luke and Claire are back in New York. The bootlegger shows them a poster with Luke Cage's face that says "MENACE."

BOOTLEGGER: Yo, Luke. I won't say nothing. You're not going, are you?

LUKE: Why not? Nothing like a warm welcome from Mariah Dillard.


POP: Now, he calls himself a friend.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: He ain't my friend!

POPE: But by his actions we know that this is false. Now, can you say "false"?


POPE: Say it again.


POPE: Mean it this time!


Misty comes into the club around the same time that Claire and Luke do. She's watching Stryker, who's watching from the balcony.

POPE: Yes! False! Yeah. Now Luke Cage has a lot to prove to us. What is he? Where does he come from? And will more come like him? And does his presence here mean that we will be endangered? Endangered by superhuman threats? Now, I want you to follow me this evenin'. From the bottom of your heart.
No, no, no, not from the top, or the middle. From the bottom of your heart.

Misty starts winding towards Stryker.T he crowd is chanting, "This stops now!"

LUKE: I'm gonna go upstairs.

CLAIRE: You sure that's a good idea?

LUKE: Misty's gonna need backup.

CLAIRE: Be careful.

LUKE: Always.

CLAIRE: You're so corny.

The crowd is still chanting. Misty is slowly climbing the stairs. She passes Candace, who keeps walking. Misty reaches the place where Stryker had been a moment ago and he's not there. She proceeds into the office. Stryker speaks from behind her.

STRYKER: Hey, baby. You miss me?

MISTY: Put your hands where I can see 'em! You're under arrest.

STRYKER: Nah. Not today.

Stryker pulls out too guns and fires. One of them hits Misty's arm. Chaos erupts in the club. Someone pulls Mariah out of the building. Luke runs to shield Misty as Stryker keeps firing. Downstairs, a cameraman spots him.
CAMERAMAN: That's Luke Cage! He's here!

Stryker runs out of ammo. Luke picks Misty up and makes a run for it. On his way down the stairs some more minions catch him and try to shoot him. Luke breaks through the rail and jumps down to the lower level. Through the gunfire he jumps over the bar. They're pinned back there by gunfire. Luke wraps himself around Misty.

LUKE: I got you. You hear me? I got you.

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