Following the incident at Harlem's Paradise, Luke Cage is getting arrested by the NYPD. While being transported to the precinct, Cage easily breakes his shackles and escapes from the police convoy. Cage tries to run away from the police officers, armed by the Judas Bullets, but ends up being cornered by John Polsky. Polsky, being an old acquitance of Pop and believing people's stories about Cage's heroism, decides to let him go, so he could take Diamondback down.
As the news of Cage's escape reach the public, Diamondback meets with Turk Barrett to resume his weapon trafficking business. Diamondback tells Zip that Shades made a mistake of doubting him and states that Shades needs to be taken care of, since he will be bailed out of the custody soon. Meanwhile, the Colon Crime Family concludes that Diamondback became too much of a threat and he needs to be taken out. Domingo Colon remininsces over the massacre of other crime bosses and decides to kill Diamondback and take Harlem for himself.
At the 29th Precinct Police Station, Misty Knight and Priscilla Ridley talk about Cage's escape but Knight points out that hostages' testimonies prove his innocence. Knight requests to be put in charge of the Cage investigation, but Ridley tells her that the NYPD is given the authorization to shoot Cage on sight. All Knight's attempts to contribute to the investigation are fruitless, as Ridley insists that she should be recovering from her wound.
Mariah Dillard tries to figure out her next move, as her life and career were in shambles because of Diamondback. Alex Wesley reassures her that everything can be rebuilt after Diamondback is gone. Wesley offers Dillard his services in her new plan, stating that anyone who is aware of her dealings with Diamondback and Shades are a threat.
While Ridley unsuccessfully tries to interrogate Shades, Knight is called by Candace Miller who asks for an audience with her outside of the precinct. Miller tells Knight that she trust her because Cage does, and he saved Miller's life, so Miller decided to tell Knight the truth. Meeting with Knight, Miller admits that her previous testimony was a lie and that Cottonmouth was murdered by Dillard who paid Miller to back up her story. Fearing for her life, Miller promises to testify against Dillard in exchange for the safety, so Knight hides at her Soledad Temple's apartment, unaware that Wesley was watching them.
Hiding from the police, Cage prevents the robbery of a store, where he meets Method Man. After having a brief phone call, Cage leaves, and Method Man goes on the Sway's Universe radio show to talk about Cage. The tide of public opinion begins to turn back to Cage, although the NYPD conitinues to chase after him regardless. Cage then returns to Pop's Barber Shop where he meets Bobby Fish who had a run-in with Jake Smith and the NYPD. Cage tells Fish that he cannot run away and leave Harlem on Diamondback's mercy, so he needs to find him via other prominent figures in the city.
With the help of a lawyer, Shades ends up being freed from the police custody, and gets picked up by Zip and his men. Zip then attempts to kill Shades, however, he overpowers Zip and kills all of his men instead. Shades then forces Zip to reveal that Diamondback was the one who ordered him to be killed, since he started questioning his superior, before Shades kills Zip.
Wesley updates Dillard on the Miller situation, telling her that he had been watching Miller but lost her after she went away with Knight. Afterwards, she is approached by Diamondback who informs her that Shades is gone and Dillard must pick a side she stays on. Diamondback provides Dillard with money for her projects as a sign of their cooperation, to ensure her loyalty. Although Diamondback intends to leave after he is done with Cage, he makes it clear that their partnership will not end easily.
Cage confronts Barrett on the streets, as he was the one who informed Tone about Chico Diaz, and indirectly caused Pop's death. Cage interrogates Barrett about Diamondback, and he reluctantly tells Cage about his warehouse. At that time, Colon and his men confront Diamondback there and engage in a gunfight. Eventually, Diamondback uses his battlesuit to take out all of Colon's men and triggers a bomb before leaving. Cage manages to arrive before the explosion and get Colon out of there, however, he dies from the wounds anyway.
Shades meets with Dillard at her brownstone, revealing himself to be alive, and showing Dillard a bottle she hit Cottonmouth with, that he kept as a leverage. Shades gives the bottle to Dillard, since they were in the same boat, Shades has no need to blackmail her. Shades and Dillard concluded that they only way to take Diamondback down is to ally themelves with Cage, and Shades tells Dillard that he has something Cage needs.
Knight investigates the explosion and the deaths of the Colon family, before she receives a call from Cage. He tells Knight that Diamondback is the one behind all of it, while she informs Cage that the police had found Zip who was murdered by Shades. Cage realizes that his life will forever be hell, unless he finds Diamondback and ends it all.
At the barbershop, Cage is approached by Shades and Dillard who offer him a truce, so he would leave them be in exchange for Diamondback's location. Although Cage does not want to ally with them, Shades also offers him an evidence that would help him clear the name of Carl Lucas. Dillard also promises to testify against Diamondback for the murders of Cottonmouth and Damon Boone, but Knight reveals herself listening and attempts to arrest Dillard. However, Diamondback interrupts the conversation by attacking the barbershop, and engages in a fight with Cage.
- Mike Colter as Luke Cage
- Simone Missick as Misty Knight
- Theo Rossi as Hernan Alvarez/Shades
- Erik LaRay Harvey as Willis Stryker/Diamondback
- Alfre Woodard as Mariah Dillard/Black Mariah
- Rob Morgan as Turk Barrett
- Ron Cephas Jones as Bobby Fish
- Karen Pittman as Inspector Priscilla Ridley
- Jacob Vargas as Domingo Colon
- Tijuana Ricks as Thembi Wallace
- Jaiden Kaine as Zip
- Sean Ringgold as Sugar
- Deborah Ayorinde as Candace Miller
- John Clarence Stewart as Alex Wesley
- P.J. Marshall as Lieutenant Mario Green
- Lee Sellars as Sergeant Jake Smith
- Justin Swain as Mark Bailey
- Edelen McWilliams as Kerry Duggan
- Roberto De Felice as Ernesto
- Edward Torres as Ricardo
- David Chen as Bryce
- Andrew Casanova as Michael
- Jose Angel Diaz as Willie Gomez
- Eddie Clark as John Polsky
- John Garrett Greer as Mikey
- Brad Fraizer as EMT
- Cliff "Method Man" Smith as himself
- Sway Calloway as himself
- Heather B. as herself
- Reginald L. Barnes as DJ Reggie Reg (uncredited)
- Chris Keegan as News Reporter (uncredited)
- Justin Michael Woods as FDNY Paramedic (uncredited)
- Mark Pettograsso as Undercover Detective (uncredited)
- Stan Lee as Captain Irving Forbush (photo; uncredited)
- New York City, New York
- Seagate Penitentiary, Georgia (mentioned)
- Ryker's Island, New York (mentioned)
- New Hampshire (mentioned)
- New Jersey (mentioned)
- Switzerland (mentioned)
- Sing Sing, New York (mentioned)
- Attack on Shades
- Attack on Diamondback
- Attack on Harlem's Paradise (mentioned)
- Assassination of Jackie Albini (mentioned)
- Destruction of Genghis Connie's (mentioned)
- Attack on Pop's Barber Shop (mentioned)
- Assassination of Cottonmouth (mentioned)
To be added
- New York City Police Department
- Colon Crime Family
- Stokes Crime Family
- Cuban Mob (mentioned)
- Yardies (mentioned)
- Korean Mob (mentioned)
- Dominican Mob (mentioned)
- Macoute (mentioned)
- Hudson Rubbish & Disposal (logo)
- Jackie Albini
- Neville Barnwell
- Peter Hong
- Jacques Alef
- Juan Carlos Castro
- Mama Mabel
- Damon Boone
- Benjamin Donovan
- Joel Spurlock
- Claire Temple
- Soledad Temple
- Iron Man
- Chico Diaz
- Mayor of New York City
- Kendrick Lamar
- Martin Luther King Jr.
- Malcolm X
- Trayvon Martin
- Larry Davis
- Jean Paul Gaultier
- Wu-Tang Clan
- Angel of Death
- The 48 Laws of Power
|Bulletproof Love||Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad (feat. Method Man)||
Method Man spits rap live on Sway Calloway's radio show dedicated to Luke Cage; Montage as the police encounter multiple people dressed as Luke Cage; Willie Gomez that Luke saved sells "bullet holed" hoodies; Thembi Wallace reports the solidarity that people are taking with their 'Hole-y Hero'.
|Blood On The Cobblestones (feat. U-God, Inspectah Deck & DJ Mark Luv)||Ghostface Killah|
- This episode was nominated for a Golden Reel Award for TV – Short Form Musical Score.
- Soliloquy of Chaos is a song from the album Daily Operation of the hip-pop duo Gang Starr.
- When Diamondback lectures Zip about Icarus, he mistakenly assumes he is talking about the rapper Icarus Moth who was featured with Kendrick Lamar for his song "Breeze Thru".
- In the line of Method Man's freestyle rap "Now we got a hero for hire and he a black one"; hero for hire is a reference to Luke Cage's debut comic: Luke Cage, Hero for Hire.