We open “All Souled Out”, episode 5 of Luke Cage, in a conference room, with Cockroach (Dorian Missick) shaking in his seat next to Ben Donovan (Danny Johnson), his lawyer. He is weaving a story about how he has been fighting Luke since he was eight years old, and that the night at his apartment, Luke attacked him like a bear. He plays the victim for as long as he can, until Luke (Mike Colter) loses his temper and breaks the table. With Donovan and Cockroach out of the room, Foggy (Elden Henson) tells Luke that he doesn’t want Cockroach or Luke in front of a jury. With Luke as a self proclaimed authority, when it comes to brutality, everything is about perception. He also asks Luke if he’s ever considered wearing a mask to fight crime, and Luke points out that as a six foot three, bullet proof, black man, nobody is going to be able to miss him, even with a mask. Higgins offers a deal, 100,000 dollars, and the lawsuit goes away, and gives them seventy-two hours to accept or reject the offer.
Back at the Family First building, Tilda (Gabrielle Dennis) meets up with Mariah (Alfre Woodard) who is excited to show her daughter how far the project has come. Mariah shows her the portraits of prominent women of color, proudly displayed in the main hallway, saying that you don’t have to be bullet proof to be a superhero, that black women have always been superheroes. Mariah explains that the goal of the foundation, to help single mothers and women to start over, to empower women who couldn’t protect themselves, has always been her mother’s – Tilda’s grandmother’s – dream. Tilda points out that her grandmother was a Madame, and talks about the history of the family. Mariah tells her that she wants to focus more on where the family can go, not where it’s been, and she wants Tilda to be the medical director for the new clinic. Tilda points out that she has her store, and Mariah admits that that is something to consider, though she is barely keeping the doors open, and tries to entice her, making a plea for giving back to Harlem, for putting all of the money that she has made back in to the community.
In an unfamiliar lab, Misty (Simone Missick) is staring at the bionic arm which now takes the place of her missing appendage. She is programming simple actions, grabbing a coffee cup, picking it up and putting it down. It’s obviously painful, and she tells the man sitting behind the computer that it had better help her do more than just drink coffee. He responds that they are programming it, teaching it to respond to her nerve endings, and that it will take time before everything clicks.
Back at Pop’s, Luke gets a call from Foggy, who has a solution to Luke’s lack of a hundred thousand dollars. He wants Luke to do a high class, personal appearance, claiming that it will be easy money. Luke quickly counters that he won’t do porn or be an escort. Foggy is kind of taken aback, and reassures him that it will just be selfies and handshakes, maybe lifting something heavy. He also tells Luke not to be such a baby. Just as Luke gets off the phone with Foggy, Misty enters the shop. He notices the arm, and she just says that Danny and Colleen hooked her up. She asks if he’s sleeping at the shop, and he admits that he is, at least until the lease is up in a few weeks, unless the landlord changes his mind.
He asks her about how it went at ICE. She tells him that Bushmaster’s (Mustafa Shakir) whole plan is to get revenge on Mariah, but that he’s a ghost. Luke asks why Bushmaster would buy guns from Mariah if he was going to try to take her down. Misty doesn’t have an answer, and he tells her about the court case with Cockroach, including the 100,000 settlement. Misty feels guilty, but Luke tells her that he got himself in to this, and he can get himself out. Once Misty leaves he begins to go through all of the contacts that he made during his rise to fame, from the Nike representative, who tells him that there is now a reputation issue, to the football coach, who tells him that he can’t have someone like Luke on his team unless every team has someone with the same kind of abilities, to a film maker who wants to make a documentary with him fighting a shark and various other wild animals. Finally he calls Foggy and asks just how much he would make for the personal appearance.
At Harlem’s Paradise, Comanche (Thomas Q. Jones) returns to tell Shades (Theo Rossi) that they didn’t find anybody, no Bushmaster, no Stylers, and asks if they are worried about an ambush, why did they sell the Stylers their guns? Shades tells him it isn’t his job to ask why, and wants to know where Ray Ray is. Ray didn’t show up today, and nobody else has talked to him either.
Later, alone with Mariah, Shades tries to convince her that they need to get her to somewhere else, somewhere safe, that Bushmaster threatened her. She ignores him, saying that the merger is set and the money is clean. She’s in the clear. Shades starts to object, speculating about if there’s more blood on the streets because of their guns, but Mariah tells him that there will always be blood in Harlem. Her legacy is protected, and they are untouchable. Shades gets a hard look on his face and tells her that he wants to buy Harlem’s Paradise from under her, outright. It’s the only thing that still ties her to her old life. If she really wants out, she should sell it to him. Mariah says not right now, and Shades laughs at her. He goes to leave to attend Piranha’s party, since Piranha gets reckless when he’s drunk and with the merger and Family First opening Shades wants to keep an extra close eye on him. Mariah tells him that Nandi and officer Bailey came to talk to her at the Family First building earlier and asked her about Mark Higgins (Jeorge Bennet Wilson) because he went missing and asks if Shades knows anything about it. He says he doesn’t, that for once they didn’t do anything.
Foggy and Luke are waiting in a industrial-modern style, high class office, asking for Mr. Jones. The secretary was already expecting them, and goes to let Mr. Jones know that they are waiting. After she leaves, Luke asks Foggy if he knows anything about this guy, and Foggy says no, just that he does stocks and speculations, and that everyone calls him Piranha. Before Luke can answer, the secretary returns and escorts them to the office to wait for Piranha. In the office they find the walls covered in Luke Cage memorabilia, from the car door with bullet holes, to a yellow prison uniform with “SEAGATE” stamped across the shoulders, to bent and crumpled guns displayed on shelves. Piranha (Chaz Lamar Shepherd) enters, proud and smiling as ever, greets them and asks what Luke thinks of his “Luke Cage Hall of Fame”. Luke tells him that he finds it pretty creepy, and also that someone ripped him off on some of the items, like the Seagate uniform. His was orange. He asks Piranha how he got everything, and Piranha just says that every time Luke does his thing, it’s “ebay paradise”.
Piranha offers them a drink, but they both turn it down since it is first thing in the morning. Piranha explains that his party is going to be celebrating the Atreus Plastics merger, that anybody can get a DJ, but a celebrity superhero is just next level. Luke notices a picture of Mariah and Piranha, but goes on to confirm that the engagement would just be shaking hands and taking selfies, which Piranha agrees with and assures him that he will be very well compensated. Luke asks for 150 thousand for the night, and Piranha readily agrees, while Foggy looks a little stunned and as they go to leave Foggy tells him that he should be Luke’s client for that much money. Luke shrugs and says that if he’s going to sell out, he might as well get paid. At the door the secretary catches them and hands Luke a box, with the request that he wear it that evening at the party. Luke cracks the top open, then flat out refuses. The secretary smiles and says that Piranha said he’d say that, but that it’s in his contract.
Back at Harlem’s Paradise, Shades and Comanche are having a one on one conversation, where Shades is asking about where Ray Ray is and Comanche wants to know if everything is okay with Shades and Mariah. Shades shakes him off, and asks if Comanche thinks that Ray Ray has been talking to the cops, but Comanche can’t believe it. Shades tells Comanche to find RayRay, which he agrees to, but asks if Shades is leaving him to do it himself. Shades laughs and says that he has to go to a party that night. Shades leaves, and Comanche’s cell phone goes off. The caller ID says “Mama”. Ridenhour’s voice on the other end says that he needs to see Comanche that night.
Misty is sitting alone in an interrogation room with a folder sitting in front of her, with pictures of a crime scene at Cockroach’s apartment in front of her. In a flashback we see her and Scarfe (Frank Whaley) in Cockroach’s apartment, with Misty saying that she still hasn’t been able to find a gun. Scarfe tells her it has to be here somewhere, to slow down, open her eyes and take in the room. He goes back to take a look and comes out of a gun, and tells her that it was stashed behind the headboard.
Cockroach starts claiming it isn’t his while the cops take him out in hand cuffs. We’re pulled back to the present when Captain Ridenhour (Peter Jay Fernandez) comes in. He tells her that she needs to stay away, but Misty asks what if Cockroach was telling the truth, what if Scarfe planted the gun. The Captain tells her that there’s nothing he can do about the past, and that they may not have needed the gun to bust Cockroach. Misty pushes, saying that even if Cockroach was guilty, not all of them were, and what if Scarfe was doing it for years. The Captain says that they have to learn to live with what’s happened, and the fact that they may never know.
Foggy and Luke arrive at Piranha’s party, Luke wearing the bullet torn hoodie that he is contractually obligated to wear, looking like he is contractually obligated to wear it. The party is bigger than either of them really expected it to be, with Ghost Face Killer performing, but Luke is staunchly unimpressed. He leaves Foggy to try to make small talk while he walks through the crowd to find Piranha. He finds him quickly, and Piranha tells him he has to put the hoodie up. People are taking pictures with Luke left and right, asking him questions, and the tension is building. It hits a peak when someone decides to break a bottle over his head. Luke picks the kid up, then looks around and realizes the situation. He drops the kid back in to his group of friends, who think the whole thing is fantastic, and walks away.
We cut away to Drea (Michelle Beck), Cockroach’s girlfriend, bruised and in pain in a doctor’s office. Misty walks in, and Drea immediately rolls her eyes and asks who called her. Misty just says that she has people, and asks Drea to give her some kind of information against Cockroach, tells her that he will keep doing this over and over until he kills her. Drea responds that Misty and the cops really can’t do anything. He got put away once, he got out, and even if he was framed for the murder he went to prison for, he’s killed other people. She admits that she isn’t talking because she’s scared of him, but that there’s really nothing that the cops can do to stop him.
Back at the Party Piranha is telling impressive and entirely fake stories about him and Luke to two girls who don’t understand a word of English. Once he realizes that, he takes both girls to an upper level, and tells Luke to watch the stairs and to not let anyone disturb him.
Meanwhile, Mariah is getting ready for the opening ceremonies for Family First when Tilda arrives to inform her mother that she isn’t going to be attending. Mariah lied to the cops, and to Tilda. She knows that Mariah had a meeting with Mark Higgins. Mariah tries to shrug it off, but Tilda tells her that either she comes clean about everything that’s been going on, or else she leaves, permanently. Mariah tells her about black mailing Higgins with videos of him and “Billy” from Harlem’s Paradise and about the insider information on the Atreus merger.
When Tilda tries to complain about insider trading and blackmail, Mariah tells her that the stock was purchased entirely legally, with money from selling all of their guns. Now Tilda knows where their money came from. It used to be gambling and prostitution, now it’s guns, but never drugs. She tells Tilda that sometimes its better to do a little harm for a lot of good. She asked for the truth, and if she wants to get the family clean, help her clean it up. Tilda is a healer, and Mariah asks her to help heal the family. She’s done with the dirty work, and wants help reaping what’s been sewn. Tilda leaves without saying anything.
At the police station Misty is going through files but is missing one when she realizes that it’s in Nandi’s desk, which used to be her desk. She forces the drawer open and after pulling out the file, finds a bottle of Jameson stashed in the back of the drawer. In a flashback we see Scarfe offering her the bottle and a shot in a paper cup. She turns it down because she’s worried about trying to prove that one of her cases has been scamming little old ladies out of their social security checks. She knows the guy is guilty, but she can’t prove it. Scarfe suggests that they take advantage of the fact that Meg in evidence, goes in and out of the evidence room on a regular basis, wait for her to be gone, slip in and find cocaine or something else similar, plant it on the guy, then happen to pull him over on a traffic stop.
When Misty looks horrified at what he’s suggesting, Scarfe says that it’s not a set up if the guy is guilty. Then starts to laugh. Misty follows suit, and Scarfe tells her that she’s too gullible, but wouldn’t it be nice if things worked that way? She invites him out for another drink, but he says he has to go see Carl. In the present, Misty opens a cabinet in the weapons room, pulls several shells out of a case and puts them in a bag and in to her pocket, then closes up and leaves.
At Comanche’s latest meeting with Captain “Mama” Ridenhour, Comanche tells him that he’s too late, that Mariah has gone legit. Ridenhour doesn’t believe him, and thinks that he’s just protecting Shades. Comanche gets frustrated and tells him to lean on the other guy that they took, that he should just talk to Ray Ray, but Ridenhour doesn’t know who Ray Ray is.
Misty picks the lock to get in to Cockroach’s apartment. Nobody is home, and she pulls open the drawer of the table near the door. She produces the shells from her pocket. She has a flashback to sitting in an interrogation room with Scarfe who is crying and repeating that this wasn’t an accident, it’s punishment. He says that God is paying him back for all of the things that he’s done. That’s why he left the gun unlocked and why Carl found it. Misty tries to reassure him that God wouldn’t do that, because He knows that Scarfe is good cop. In Cockroach’s apartment she changes her mind and puts the shell back in her pocket when she notices a bloodstain on the carpet near her foot. She turns on her flashlight and follows a thickening trail of blood to the living room couch where she finds a headless body.
At the same time, at Family First’s big opening night, Mariah is giving a speech to the press and the waiting crowd about how difficult it can be starting over. When she sees Tilda in the crowd she proudly proclaims that while it is difficult, they will do it together. She opens the doors and invites them in, but they all freeze when they find four disembodied heads waiting for them on spikes just inside the door.
Back at Piranha’s party, Luke is approached by a girl who is too starstruck to say much of anything at first. He asks if she wants a picture, and softens when she tells him how much of a fan she is and that the men in her family look up to him. He gives her a picture, but notices a man in the crowd who is focused on him. He goes to follow him and runs in to Shades. He asks Shades if he’s with the Jamaicans and where Bushmaster is, but Shades doesn’t have any information. Piranha walks back in and tells the crowd that he has another treat for them. He brings Luke up on stage and pulls out a gun, then asks the crowd who wants to shoot the bullet proof man. Luke refuses, but Piranha pressures him with the 150 thousand, telling him that he hired Luke to do a job, and this is part of it.
Suddenly, the man that Luke saw watching him opens fire from the crowd, and several other men appear and go for Piranha. Luke takes out the first shooter but another pops up. Shades takes out another guy from the crowd who is going for Luke, when two other men grab Piranha and drag him out to the street, and in to their car. Luke nods to Shades then follows them out to the street. He chases down the car, knocks out both of the men and pulls Piranha out of the back seat. Luke asks him why Bushmaster wants him, but Piranha says he doesn’t know. He does, however want Luke’s protection. Luke agrees, but says that his price just doubled.