In Luke Cage, Season 2, Episode 7, On and On, Luke (Mike Colter), falling through the water, sees flashbacks of family, friends, his mother, and many others. When he is finally able to move, he breaks the surface in nighttime Harlem and makes his way to his father’s (Reg E. Cathey) church, just in time to collapse in front of his dad. When he finally, truly, regains consciousness he asks for Piranha (Chaz Lamar Shepherd), but his father said that he left only thirty minutes after Luke.
Meanwhile, in her office, Mariah (Alfre Woodard) is losing her cool in front of Shades (Theo Rossi) and the rest of her security team over Piranha’s disappearance. She’d rather be talking to the cops, crying on shoulders, and playing the victim about heads on pikes left in the Family First opening ceremony and instead she’s being asked about Tone having been thrown off of a roof, and things that the police should know nothing about. She takes an intimidation tactic and leaves the meeting with nobody willing to challenge her.
On a basketball court, Misty (Simone Missick) is trying to learn how to move with her arm again when the captain (Peter Jay Fernandez) shows up. He tries to convince her to come back, partly so that they can try to control Luke. She refuses and reminds him that not only is Luke an ally but that she doesn’t actually control him.
In a warehouse, Piranha is confronted by the Jamaicans. Passwords is what they’re looking for, the information to get to all of Mariah’s money and assets. They ask him about his name too, prodding him about why he picked it. When Bushmaster (Mustafa Shakir) arrives, he still resists, claiming professional integrity.
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Back at Pop’s Luke is looking at his map of Harlem when Misty arrives. When she sees a picture of Mariah, she comments that she’d like to see Mariah in a box, mahogany or behind bars, it doesn’t matter to her. Luke is surprised but realizes that Misty is off of the force again after she can’t give him a good answer on why she didn’t run down the Jamaican cab herself. He’s not upset about this, and despite the fact that he tells her he’s not looking for a sidekick, he looks pretty pleased that she’s finally acting entirely on his side.
When they arrive at the warehouse connected to the cab service, Luke reminds her that she’s got nothing to prove to him, and she reminds him that she’s got something to prove to herself. A soon as they walk in, a mechanic hits a panic button and disposable henchmen appear from all corners. This is the first time that Luke has seen Misty in action with her new arm, and even though they take one guy out together, she holds her own in every fight. The last person who tries to run from them, Luke prepares to throw a crowbar at, but Misty jumps in and tackles him first, garnering a very approving nod from Luke.
As they make their way to the back of the warehouse, Misty immediately notices that something is wrong. She’s proven right when Luke pulls a tarp off of a fish tank, where they find Piranha’s head, being eaten by piranhas. When the cops arrive, it is, inevitably Bailey and Nandi, who are just as warm and understanding as you would expect them to be. Except this time, Misty and Nandi (Antonique Smith) don’t have to pretend to be professional. Even the captain gets a dose of Misty’s attitude when he tries to say that this gives him leverage with Mariah. He tries to get upset with her for questioning his commitment to integrity, but she points out that she can question his smarts as much as she wants now that she’s not on the force.
In Mariah’s office, Tilda (Gabrielle Dennis) is playing the piano for her mother, something that Cornell did with Mariah. Tilda tries to convince Mariah that she doesn’t need any of this lifestyle and all of the blood and strife that are connected to it, that she can just walk away from it all if she wants to. She wants Mariah to be better than the family that she came from. Mariah shows her the bank accounts, which has a number that knocks the wind out of Tilda. Mariah wanted to be able to leave something to Tilda, so that Tilda could leave something to her descendants, so that she could redeem herself, and everything around her.
Later that day, Ridenhour comes to visit Mariah to inform her that they found Piranha’s head. He’s expecting to find evidence in Piranha’s office of insider trading and suggests that Mariah should cut a deal with him. Insider trading is one thing, a larger conspiracy is another. He pleads with her to not go out like Cornell, to save herself and Tilda. Mariah takes offense, but when she starts to yell at Ridenhour about her family, he asks her cryptically about what Tilda knows. He asks if she knows that Mariah almost died in childbirth, or what her actual age is, or even who her father is. Mariah tells him that Tilda cannot know the truth, but asks for him to give her time.
When he leaves, Mariah, on a hunch, checks her bank account and finds only zeroes.
At lunch Shades and Comanche (Thomas Q. Jones) talk about who might be their snitch. Immediately Comanche throws Sugar under the bus, claiming that he’s been different since he came back and that fatherhood made him soft. He cracks a joke about sensitive men and for once we actually see both him and Shades genuinely laugh together like friends. Shades gets a call letting him know that Piranha is dead and Mariah is running. Comanche offers to help him secure the club, but Shades asks him to keep following Sugar.
Later that night, Comanche meets Ridenhour in a deserted lot. Immediately Comanche is freaking out, telling Ridenhour that Shades knows and that he’s done with being an informant. Ridenhour is trying to calm him down when Shades walks out of the shadows. Ridenhour tries to cut a deal with him, offering him the same thing he’s offered Comanche. Comanche tries to play it off as having intercepted Sugar’s meet up with the captain. As Ridenhour tries to talk Shades into a deal, Comanche loses his cool and kills Ridenhour with one shot.
After watching him shoot a cop, Shades’ first question for Comanche is about the name Ridenhour called him, “Darius”. Once they get past that speedbump, Shades starts to formulate how they can play off having killed a cop in a way that won’t turn back around and get them all landed in Jail. A dirty cop got to Sugar, then tried to do the same with Comanche by threatening to send him back to jail. The conversation got heated and the cop pulled his gun, at which point Comanche shot in self-defense. Comanche is so busy agreeing with Shades that he doesn’t realize that Shades says “and you shot him first”. Shades pulls the trigger on Ridenhour’s gun and shoots Comanche in the chest.
In Mariah’s house, Tilda is trying to get an explanation from her mother for why she is pulling all of the curtains and telling her that they have to get out. In the middle of getting cash and a gun, Bushmaster and his men show up. After tying Mariah and Tilda to chairs, they begin to douse the house in gas, while Bushmaster tells Tilda the story if his father and Buggy Stokes being in business together. When offered the deal to kill Bushmaster’s father and take a ton of profits, Buggy Stokes took it. Not only was his father murdered, but they attempted to burn Bushmaster’s childhood home with him and his mother in it, using Molotov cocktails made from Bushmaster Rum bottles. His mother saved him by helping him escape through a window and telling him to run. He never saw her again.
After telling the story, Bushmaster cuts Tilda free. He tells her that the door is open, and asks if she will be a better daughter than he was a son. He then strikes a match, lights the gasoline, and walks out.
During this eventful night, Luke has been at the church with his father. They are finally having honest, real conversation about how his father responded to his sentencing, how he blamed Luke for his mother’s cancer, how Luke has blamed his father for so many things, and what he’s lost because of his father’s past dishonesty. Suddenly D.W. (Jeremiah Craft) bursts through the front doors of the church to tell them that Mariah’s brownstone is on fire. By the time Luke arrives the entire building is up in flames, a five-story high flaming inferno. He runs in and manages to get both Tilda and Mariah to safety.
Harlem’s paradise, Bushmaster replaces Mariah’s security with his own and takes his place in the VIP lounge.