The ‘Luke Cage’ Finale Ended On A Heartbreaking Cliffhanger

Major spoilers for Luke Cage Season 2 ahead. Can someone please check on Luke Cage? After taking over Harlem’s Paradise, he’s on a somewhat concerning path. Will Luke be a villain in Luke Cage Season 3? As the saying goes, absolute power corrupts absolutely, even for "Power Man" in the Netflix series.

At the end of the season, the incarcerated (and later, deceased) Mariah Stokes offers her club to Luke to run in her absence. It’s clear that her daughter Tilda Johnson is not right for it, but why Luke? What seems like an act of good could be Black Mariah’s final nefarious scheme. She says wants it to go to someone who loves Harlem as much as she does — but predicts that Harlem’s Paradise will corrupt Luke Cage just as it has its previous "monarchs," so to speak.

Has Luke ever been a villain in Marvel comics? Not really, not unless he was framed or under some kind of mind control, as he was in Jessica Jones Season 1. He should be palling around with Danny Rand right about now, starting a team called "Heroes For Hire," or at least reuniting with Jessica. They are married in the comics, lest anyone forget.

The members of The Defenders are really in a dark spot right now. Matt Murdock is still presumed dead. Jessica Jones lost her mother and her best friend. Now Luke is ruling over Harlem with a cold, exacting eye as a crime boss. Maybe this is why Misty will be in Iron Fist Season 2 as well — to ask for his help and friendship.

Whether he is an all-out villain in the as yet-unannounced Luke Cage Season 3 or still struggling to maintain that balance, it certainly sets up an interesting trajectory for the series and the franchise going forward. He didn’t even look happy at Harlem’s Paradise. Maybe that’s what matters most of all.

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