This article contains information that could be considered too revealing according to our spoiler policy. Proceed with caution. You can't unsee it!Reason Netflix released the whole season the same day.
Luke Cage Gets His Heart Broken In Every Possible Way
But somehow 'I Will Survive' gets left off the soundtrack.
Before we get to That Moment, let's take a few seconds to check in on what's happening in Harlem. With Luke road-trippin' it down to Georgia -- not on a midnight train, but in Claire's Mom's Hyundai -- Diamondback pushes the neighborhood toward chaos by using a special glove to punch a hole in a cop while screaming "I'm Luke Cage! Luuuuuke Caaaage!"
(Can we take a moment to talk dialogue? Overall I'm digging this show, but as the season progresses, some noticeable flaws are showing up. There is just some clunky-ass writing going on. Like, you're still driving your Mom's 1995 Ford Taurus clunky. Nobody is expecting Shakespeare, I know, but I also don't want to get pulled out what is otherwise a great show by some freshman year Intro to Scriptwriting dialogue. Get it together, writer's room!)
Anyway, the cops start hassling Harlem residents, and Mariah, taking Diamondback's advice, uses the killing to start her own mini-Black Lives Matter movement with the ulterior motive of getting the cops to purchase Diamondback's super weapons to subdue the real threat -- "freaks" like Luke Cage.
Somehow, Misty is the only one remaining calm and rational during the growing crisis and figures out that the cop killer is Diamondback, but she's having a hard time convincing her superiors to go after him.
Meanwhile, down in the Peach State, Claire and Dr. Burstein continue their attempts at recreating the experiment that gave Luke his superpowers so they can extract the Judas bullet fragments and save his life. They succeed, of course, but only after effectively poaching Luke in an acid bath that temporarily kills him. Claire brings him back by tossing an electric hotplate into the mix, which I assume Burstein had lying around so that he could whip up ramen noodles during those all-night experimentation sessions.
Fully recovered, Luke and Claire take advantage of Burstein's absence to sneak a look at the contents of Reva's encoded flash drive, which Burstein had been able to unlock. Which brings us to That Moment.
From Luke's introduction in Jessica Jones and into this series, his relationship with Reva acts as a primary factor behind almost every one of his choices. Jessica saves Luke's life, but he leaves her because she murdered Reva. Luke ends up in hiding at Pop's Barbershop because Pop was Reva's father. Not to mention the umpteen number of times we saw, in both shows, Luke pull Reva's picture out of the medicine cabinet. Luke's relationship with Reva grounded him, provided him with hope while he was in Seagate, and gave him a moral compass to guide him after her death.
Turns out it was all bullshit.
Exploring the contents of Reva's flash drive, Claire and Luke come across entries Reva made about her sessions with Luke at Seagate. Instead of protecting him, Reva groomed Luke for involvement in Burnstein's secret experiments. Burstein confirms what was on the drive -- Reva was a part of the deception, lying to Luke to push him into the program.
The revelation crushes Luke, but also frees him from his past. Carl Lucas is gone. Now there is just Luke Cage.
This brings up some interesting possibilities going forward -- not just in this show, but in the other Netflix Marvel Universe series coming down the pike. Luke certainly has proved he's not averse to a little casual sex, but now that the memory of Reva has been tarnished, will he fully commit to a relationship with another woman? Maybe it will be Misty -- he certainly seems to have changed his attitude toward her when, after arriving back in Harlem, he saves her life during a gun battle at Harlem Paradise. (My vote is a Peaches and Herb "Reunited" moment with Jessica Jones.)
Then again, is what we learned about Reva really true? There certainly is room for another twist in the Reva/Luke relationship.
How will this affect Luke's decision-making as a superhero/vigilante? Reva acted as a check on his choices before -- with her gone will he take a darker turn? Whatever happens, this is the moment it all changed.