Take It Personal Recap

Luke flatlines and Claire tosses a hot plate into the acid tank with Luke. He jerks back to life from the shock, and they use saline to break down Luke's abalone shell-based skin. When Luke's temperature goes down, Claire figures that temperature is the issue and says that they should turn up the heater all the way. Burstein warns that it's stupid, but agrees to do it and turns up the heat.

The acid boils and once Luke's skin softens, Claire operates with a scalpel and removes the shrapnel. She gets the pieces out and Luke rises out of the acid. Claire tells him that they got the shrapnel out and he'll be fine.

At the station, Misty is going over the photos of Luke and Stryker, and wonders who Stryker is.

Stryker summons Mariah to his factory and ushers her inside. He shows her the crates of his weapons made out of the Centauri weapons, and Mariah points out that Luke is still alive. Stryker says that he only had to make Luke bleed to prove his weapons work, and figures people will pay top dollar when he mass-produces the Judas bullets for peace of mind against bulletproof blacks. Mariah says that she'll need time to sell the cops on the weapons, and Stryker says that she needs to do it immediately. Stryker puts on a power glove and assures Mariah that Luke is always his focus.

Claire tends to Luke's gunshot wounds and watches as they heal. Burstein confirms that Luke is the only subject that survived his experiments, and insists that they all volunteered for time off their sentences. Luke wakes up and fakes amnesia to tease Claire.

The next day at the park, Officer Albini goes to the park and approaches a vendor. Stryker comes up behind Albini, wearing the power glove, and says that his name is Luke Cage. He then punches Albini across the street, killing him, and walks off, yelling that he's Luke.

At the station, Misty listens as the vendor describes what he saw. Bailey comes in and tells Misty that all the physical evidence suggests that someone with Luke's powers attacked Albini. Misty figures that it was a setup and points out that "Luke" was wearing a backpack when Luke usually doesn't.

Mariah confronts Stryker and complains that he killed a cop. She insists that Harlem is her birthright, but Stryker says that it's his city. He figures that now he's turned the heat up on Luke and he'll either stand up or hide. Either way, Stryker can take him out. Mariah warns Stryker that he's out of control, and Stryker says that she can flip it and make it all about her.

One of the officers, Sergeant Jake Smith, warns Ridley that Luke is going to pay for what he did. The cops hit the street and grab everyone they can, hoping to drive Luke out. Jake insists that they need results. Misty listens as Ridley tells Carl to go ahead but find Luke. She then visits Misty, who says that she's trying to figure out who Stryker is. the inspector tells her to focus on Luke. Bailey comes in and offers to help Misty run facial recognition software.

The cops bring in Lonnie, who wants to talk to his mother the lawyer. The detective questioning him, Dorsey, isn't impressed, but Lonnie knows that he has an alibi and the police have nothing. He says that he hasn't seen Luke and tells the det3ective to charge him or let him go.

Luke eats as Claire bandages up his wounds. Burstein figures that it's a miracle, but Luke points out that the prisoners died and Reva was murdered. He asks if Burstein's employers know Luke is there, and Burstein says that they don't keep tabs on him. Luke doesn't believe it because Burstein's work is too important. The doctor insists that he can cure cancer and HIV with the research he's done, and figures that Luke will be back.

Once Burstein leaves, Luke and Claire check Reva's files to see what she wouldn't do him. They bring up a file with Luke's prison number and watch Reva's video files talking about Luke and figuring that he'll participate in the fight trials because of his loyalty to his friend. Burstein comes back and says that Luke wasn't supposed to see the video.

At the station, Chang Ridley demands results from the detective in charge, Chang. Meanwhile, Bailey tells Misty that they have a facial recognition match with Willis Stryker. Stryker has a sealed juvenile record because it's past the statute of limitations, and Bailey suggests that Misty go public with the information to pressure a judge into opening it. They hear Dorsey yelling and go to the interrogation room. Misty realizes that Dorsey has beaten Lonnie.

Burstein says that Reva used her therapy sessions to find the people best suited to survive the experiments. Disgusted, the doctor says that Reva lied to everyone and insists that Luke is the future. Luke tears apart the barn lab in a fury and tells Burstein that he's not going to do it to anyone again. Once he walks out, Burstein tells Claire to convince Luke to cooperate. She says that Luke is her friend and says that Burstein will never see Luke or the flash drive again before walking out.

Misty goes through the microfiche and finds a newspaper article about Luke being charged with auto theft, and a photograph of him with Stryker. She goes to tell Ridley, just as Mariah comes in and says that she's releasing photos of the beaten Lonnie to the media. Patricia is with her and complains about how they treated her son. Ridley insists that they're taking formal steps, but Mariah warns that they're not doing their jobs. Misty asks about Lonnie, and Patricia says that he's at the hospital getting checked out.

Outside, Mariah gives a press statement saying that the police are too scared of Luke so they're beating the children. Stryker is watching from across the street as Mariah encourages the police to arm themselves against superhumans and invites the community to come to Harlem's Paradise and discuss a plan of non-violent action.

Misty visits Ridley in her office. She's on her phone to chief, and afterward Misty says that something is off. She insists that Luke didn't kill Albini and says that Stryker is the key to everything that has been going on. Ridley warns that she needs proof and Misty says that she's on it.

Luke and Claire drive to the shore across from Seagate. As they look across the water, Luke says that Reva lied to him. Claire points out that she protected Luke, but Luke says that the thought of Reva was the only thing that kept him alive in Seagate and he figures that it was all a lie. He considers walking away from it all, but Claire says that they've come too far and they're both in it together. Luke says that he needs to figure out why Stryker hates him, and the answers are in Savannah where they grew up together. Claire assures him that she's never backed down from a fight, and Luke takes the car keys and says that he's driving.

Burstein goes through his equipment and finds a hard drive. He hooks it up and confirms that the copy of Reva's data he made is intact.

Misty goes to Domingo's gym, shows him a photo of Stryker, and says that she saw Domingo with him. She asks who Stryker is, and points out the heads of the major crime families have gone missing. Domingo tells her that Harlem's Paradise is under new management and suggests that she visit it.

In Savannah, Luke parks by a church and Claire points out that everyone is gone. They go inside and discover that the place is torn up.

Luke's mother Etta tells her husband James that Luke needs him more than ever. Stryker's mother and James' secretary Dana comes in and says that she needs to talk to James, and Etta waits outside to take Luke to practice. A young Luke looks around and sees Dana come out of James' office, laughing and adjusting her dress. Etta knows what she's been doing and says that she's done, but Dana threatens to reveal who Stryker's father really is.

Remembering the past, Luke realizes that Stryker is his half-brother. Etta couldn't conceive for years and then Luke was born. He tells Claire that James started the whole thing because he hated what Stryker stood for. Luke refuses to say where James is, and tells Claire that it stops with him because he's his brother's keeper and it's on him.

The locals come to Mariah's rally at Harlem's Paradise and she insists that Luke killed Cornell and no one is safe as long as he's at large. Stryker watches from the balcony as Mariah says that they have to focus on superhumans and Luke is putting them in harm's way. She tells the crowd that they have to arm the police so they can truly protect them, and everyone applauds as Stryker smiles in satisfaction.

Mariah calls up reverend Pope and goes out into the crowd. Damon is waiting for her and figures that she's using Lonnie to remain politically relevant. He says that everyone knows that Luke busted up Cornell's operation, and warns that he can see through Mariah.

Luke and Claire return to Harlem and Dave sees Luke. He shows Luke a wanted poster with Luke's face on it but says that he won't say anything. Luke takes the poster and goes into the club. Inside, Pope is speaking against Luke and riling the crowd against him. Misty spots Stryker on the balcony, and Luke and Claire at the door. Stryker sees Misty moving toward the balcony stairs. When Luke sees Misty heading toward the balcony, Luke tells Claire that he's going to back the det3ective and goes u after her.

Misty reaches the balcony, gun drawn, and finds no one there. She goes into Cornell's office and Stryker greets her. When she says that he's under arrest, Stryker draws and fires two guns. Luke runs in and protects her with his body, and the cameraman on the floor sees him. He then carries Misty out and two of Stryker's men open fire on him. Luke jumps off the balcony and then takes cover behind the bar. As Stryker's men continue firing, Luke tells Misty that he has her.

Written by Gadfly on Oct 15, 2016