- "You're wasting your gifts, my brother. This gangster life not what our ancestors fought for. Not what our people died for."
"This is exactly what they died for. Self-determination, control, power. [...] Money outlasts respect. Respect will put your name on the side of a building, but the money that put your name up there comes from some place."
- ―Mariah Dillard and Cornell Stokes
Staring at photos in the 29th Precinct Police Station, Misty Knight uses her detective skills to reconstruct the gunfight between Stokes' and Colon's families and masked robbers. Knight informs Rafael Scarfe that it was deeply personal while Scarfe thought that all that matters is money. Also, Knight notes that Chico Diaz is too weak to do something like that.
In Pop's Barber Shop, Pop and Luke Cage discusses Afro-American writers, such as Donald Goines and Walter Mosley. Pop then makes a tribute to Jomo Kenyatta who fought for his people, like Cage. He says that all Harlem is talking about what happened in Genghis Connie's where Cage defeated Zip and his gang. Cage asks Pop who they work for - Cottonmouth or Mariah Dillard, which Pop replied as "a little bit of both". Pop notes that a big danger is coming to Harlem due that Stokes will be looking for Diaz.
They are interrupted by sudden arrival of Stokes who asked Pop for shaving. While talking, Pop notes some cuttings at his knuckles what Stokes explains as his failed attempt to shave himself but Pop guesses that Stokes killed Shameek Smith. Meanwhile, Cage was swepping the floor and looking for Shades and Tone. Shades, who did not recognized him, asked Cage for whereabouts of Diaz. After a talking, Stokes prepares to leave the barbershop before Cage reminds him that he needs to pay Pop for shaving. Knowing that Smith was killed by Stokes and Diaz is next, Pop asks Cage to find him.
Knight and Scarfe comes to the local basketball playground to ask about Diaz' location, however, Chauncey claims that he knows nothing. Knight then win over him in basketball and forces him to tell her what he knows.
Stokes arrives to the Crispus Attucks Complex where he brings Dillard part of money what he took from Smith. However, Dillard claims that this is not enough to make a deposit for her community project.
Cage searches for Diaz through all Harlem, asking citizens. Finally, he finds scared Diaz who points his gun at Cage, fearing that he came to take his money. Cage says that he came upon Pop's request, who wanted to save Diaz from Stokes' rage. However, Diaz refuses to go with Cage.
Outside of the barbershop, Pop tells Cage about his criminal past; he was a member of Stokes family and ran his own gang with Cottonmouth and Fredo Diaz, Chico's father. Entering inside the shop, Pop and Cage sees Diaz who chose to return to him. However, Cage spots Knight and Scarfe who arrived to the shop. They asks him about Diaz who was the only link with gunfight at the junkyard. Cage enters the shop, confronting Scarfe. Knight and Cage then recognizes each other, making situation more awkward. When cops left the shop, Pop asks Cage to visit Stokes personally to negotate situation with Diaz.
At night, Cage comes to the Harlem's Paradise and heads to the VIP lounge. Cage informs Stokes that Pop wants to discuss situation with Diaz because he did not wanted him to end like Smith. However, Stokes does not attach Cage's words, saying that he will speak with Pop himself. Before Cage left, Stokes says him that he is fired, but Cage says that he quit before he walked to Stokes.
Tone later informs Stokes that he know where Diaz is, however Stokes says him to do nothing with that. Outside of the club, Tone and Shades meets with Turk Barrett who saw Diaz in the barbershop. They arrives to the location and Tone opened fire on the barbershop. Cage manages to cover Lonnie Wilson while Diaz was wounded and bullet ricochetes from Cage and fatally wounds Pop. Tone and Shades takes Diaz' part of money and leave the place.
Cage then tries to help Pop but he dies on his hands before NYPD arrived. While Diaz was taken to hospital and Scarfe questioned witnesses about shooting, Knight notices bullet holes on Cage's shirt who was unharmed.
Returning to the club, Tone, Stokes, Dillard and Shades heads to the rooftop where Tone gives Stokes his money and tells him about shooting at the barbershop. Stokes does not appreciate the attack on his friend and his barbershop and decides to support him financially. Shades then informs him that Pop was killed by Tone's bullet. Before Stokes reacted, Barrett interrupts him asking for his money for information. Stokes then furiously throws Tone from the rooftop, killing him and says Barrett to take his money from Tone's corpse.
Pop's sudden death affected on everyone who knew him, Cage, Knight and Stokes mourns the death of good man and their friend. Cage is watching outside of Crispus Attucks Complex. Mamba then pulls a gun at Cage's head, threating to shoot him. However, Cage scares him off, forcing him to run. Cage then notices Dillard with Diaz' money entering the complex.
- Mike Colter as Luke Cage
- Mahershala Ali as Cornell Stokes/Cottonmouth
- Simone Missick as Misty Knight
- Theo Rossi as Hernan Alvarez/Shades
- Alfre Woodard as Mariah Dillard/Black Mariah
- Frankie Faison as Henry Hunter/Pop
- Frank Whaley as Detective Rafael Scarfe
- Rob Morgan as Turk Barrett
- Ron Cephas Jones as Bobby Fish
- Cassandra Freeman as Patricia Wilson
- Brian 'Sene' Marc as Chico Diaz
- Darius Kaleb as Lonnie Wilson
- Jermel Howard as Shameek Smith
- Warner Miller as Tone
- Hugues Faustin as Dante Chapman
- Steven Ted Beckler as Nate
- Cedric Benjamin as Jamel Shabazz
- Elijah Boothe as Young Cottonmouth
- Peyton Smith as Chauncey
- Camrus Johnson as Torre
- Alsharik Sejour as Mamba
- Anthony Aroya as Victor
- Faith Evans as herself
- D-Nice as himself
- Justin Andrews as Basketball Player (uncredited)
- Nancy Cejari as Clubgoer (uncredited)
- Jerry DiLeo as Police Officer (uncredited)
- Saliyl Dotson as Bartender (uncredited)
- Nathalie Georges as Pedestrian (uncredited)
- Mohammed Hossain as Photographer (uncredited)
- Lynn Marocola as FDNY Paramedic (uncredited)
- Nicholas Marocola as FDNY Paramedic (uncredited)
- Phil Oddo as Reporter (uncredited)
- Annie Pisapia as Pedestrian (uncredited)
- Ann Marie Seall as Bartender (uncredited)
- Nora Sommerkamp as Clubgoer (uncredited)
- Kellen C Wingate as Detective (uncredited)
- Leroy Phillips Jr. as Pedestrian (uncredited)
- Unknown Actor as Fredo Diaz
- New York City, New York
- Chicago, Illinois (mentioned)
- Savannah, Georgia (mentioned)
- Seagate Penitentiary, Georgia (mentioned)
- Switzerland (mentioned)
- Turkey (mentioned)
- Jamaica (mentioned)
- Temple University (mentioned)
- Attack on Pop's Barber Shop
- Ambush at the Harlem Junkyard (flashback)
- Attack on Zip's Gang (mentioned)
- Little Green: An Easy Rawlins Mystery
- New Harlem Renaissance
- Mama Mabel
- Buggy Stokes
- Bobby Fish's Daughter
- Turk Barrett's Mother
- Reva Connors
- Domingo Colon
- Bert Hunter
- Kelly Knight
- Candace Miller
- Crispus Attucks
- Benjamin Franklin
- Donald Goines
- Walter Mosley
- George Pelecanos
- Richard Price
- Dennis Lehane
- Chester Himes
- Bobby Fischer
- Pop's Free Hair Cut List
- Cheryl Miller
- Barney Miller
- Quentin Tarantino
- Sean Combs
- Horton the Elephant
- Jomo Kenyatta
- John Shaft
- Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins
- Michael Corleone
- The Cat in the Hat
- The Shawshank Redemption
- Django Unchained
- Code of the Street is the name of a song included in the album called Hard to Earn of the hip-pop duo Gang Starr.
- Tone compares his shooting up of Pop's Barber Shop to the Candyland Massacre from Django Unchained.
Faith Evans sings at Harlem's Paradise; Mariah Dillard tells Cottonmouth he's wasting his talents which he disagrees with; Turk Barrett meets with Shades and Tone, he tells them where Chico Diaz is located; Patricia Wilson looks for Luke at Pop's Barber Shop; Shades and Tone head to Pop's; Luke reports back to Pops.
|Cristo Redentor||Donald Byrd||
Cottonmouth takes a moment on the roof top of the club; Rafael Scarfe and Misty Knight drink as Misty continues to be perplexed by Luke Cage and the bullet holes in his shirt; Luke comes to a resolution about what he should do as holds the Pop's Barber Shop swear jar and a leaflet of Mariah Dillard's; Cornell cries over a picture of himself, Pop and Fredo Diaz; Luke challenges Mamba to shoot him.