Luke sits in the Powell apartment and looks at his blood-covered hands. Cockroach is unconscious amidst the debris, and Drea is crying as she holds her son. Claire comes in and Luke tells her that Cockroach was beating on mother and son so he stopped him. The nurse goes over to check on Cockroach, and determines that he has a concussion and a few broken ribs. Claire tells Luke that Cockroach needs an MRI, and Luke says that he needs someone who can confirm what happened with Mariah the night she had the meeting. She warns him that if Cockroach dies then he won't say anything, and they call the EMTs. As they take Cockroach in, Misty arrives and asks Claire if she's okay. Claire says that it's not her first time with domestic violence, and Misty tells her that she's not going to arrest Luke.
Once Claire leaves, Misty tells Luke that it doesn't look good. She has him tell her what happened, and warns that it will give Tom evidence to put Luke away. Luke complains that the police isn't doing their job, and Misty says that Luke cost her his best chance of putting Mariah and Shades away. He says that there's still Nigel, and asks if Misty is going to tie him up or let him do what he does. Misty tells him to walk before she changes her mind, and Luke leaves.
The next morning, Bushmaster wakes up in bed with two women. He walks out to his living room and asks Sheldon what's on the agenda. Sheldon says that they'll deal with Mariah and have people in Brooklyn. He has a newspaper with an article on Arturo's death, and Bushmaster says that as long as Luke has Harlem's heart, he can't win it. Sheldon tells him to keep his eye on Mariah, and Bushmaster says that he'll give her the money she needs so she'll be fat when he kills her.
Tilda is in Mariah's house playing the keyboard. After a moment, Mariah comes over and compliments her on her playing, and explains that the keyboard belonged to Cornell. She tells Tilda that it's hers and invites her to sit for dinner. Tilda points out that the last time she ate there was when she was 10, and remembers strangers in the living room, rooms she couldn't enter, and bloody towels in the trash can. Mariah says that all families have dark corners and now they can move past it, and Tilda tells her that's what she's trying.
Shades comes in and Mariah talks to him privately. She tells him to call and say when he's coming, and she's trying to keep Tilda out of the family business. Shades says that Luke put Cockroach in the hospital and they're down to the Yardies. Mariah tells him to go to Brooklyn and get it done, and Shades reminds her that he's her partner. She doesn't want to hear about his feelings and goes back into the dining room. Shades leaves and Tilda watches him go.
At the barber shop, Luke marks off another target and circles the Crown Heights area in Brooklyn. He then lies down and dozes off.
At the hospital, Cockroach wakes up and finds Misty waiting. She talks about how women defended their beaters in domestic violence cases, and later she came back and found the woman dead. Misty asks why Cockroach hurt Drea and attacked Luke. Cockroach demands his lawyer, and denies any knowledge of Mariah. He insists that he's a victim, and Misty tells him that he will be once Mariah finds out Cockroach was talking to the cops. Unimpressed, Cockroach tells her she's not half the cop Scarfe was. Nandi and Mark arrive and order Misty out. In the hallway, Misty tells Mark to get Nandi out of her face, and Nandi insists that it's their case. Disgusted, Misty walks off.
Bobby finds Luke sleeping and tells him to tell Claire that he's sorry whether it was his faulty or not. When Luke says that sometimes Claire needs to hear "no", Claire comes in and disagrees. He says that he didn't come home because he didn't know if she was going to talk to him or at him. Bobby quickly leaves, and Claire tells Luke that she lost control of the situation when Luke lost control. She says that she's never seen Luke brutal before, and Luke tells her that sometimes brutality gets things done. With that, he walks out.
Tom calls Misty into her office and says that she left Luke leave a crime scene. Misty says that Luke is doing what they can't, but Tom tells her that they can't move on Mariah without evidence. He tells her that he'd let her go but his superior figure nothing can happen to her. Outside, Misty beats her fist on the wall in frustration.
Luke walks out of Harlem and goes to a Jamaican restaurant. The owner, Auntie Ingrid, invites him to have some food. Luke says that he's looking for Nigel with the Yardies, and Ingrid says that she hasn't heard that name in a long time. She suggests that he talk to the men playing dominoes. Luke goes over and asks for their help, and they joke about him. While they do, Luke spots a younger man leaving, talking to someone on the phone, and goes after him.
Shades goes to the Yardies' place and finds Bushmaster there. Bushmaster says that he's running the gang for Nigel, and has Sheldon slide Shades a bag of money across the floor. Shades finds Nigel's head inside on top of a pile of money, and Bushmaster says that Nigel had no vision. He tells Shades to convince him he should give the money to Mariah.
Luke follows the Yardie but soon gets spotted. The Yardie ducks into a building until Luke apparently passes, and then runs down the street unaware that Luke is still following him.
At the Family First initiative, Mariah is talking with local celebrities when Tilda comes in. Her assistant Alex Wesley greets Tilda, and Mariah comes over to check on her daughter. She sends Tilda over to get a real drink, then confirms with Alex that Mark is there, has been hanging out with Piranha, and eying Billie. He says that he's had Billie invite Mark to the club for drinks and Mariah can reel him in there.
Misty is at the gym sparring with Colleen. Colleen points out that Misty hasn't been returning Danny's calls, and Misty says that she isn't interested in anybody's charity. She talks about how she's lost her sight with her right arm, and Colleen has her focus on her chi. Misty dismisses it as hokey, and Colleen slaps her around. When Misty fights back, Colleen pins her to the mat. Misty dismisses herself as a cripple, and Colleen says that she knows what Misty's going through. She reminds Misty that she jumped in and sacrificed herself, and says that she'll never pity her. Misty starts to pack her things, and Colleen invites her out for a drink.
Claire goes to James' church and tells him that she's new there. James assures her that God is there, and Claire claims that her boyfriend is going down a dark path that she can't follow. She says that she's lost her purpose, and James asks what hers is. Claire says that she helps people with special physical abilities, and admits that she doesn't know how to help her boyfriend. They chuckle over Titanic, and Claire says that she loves her boyfriend "Luthor". James tells her to dive into the depths of her heart and she'll find her answer.
The Yardie ducks into a warehouse where a couple of his fellow gangsters are waiting. He tells them to put guns on the door just as Luke bursts in. He easily knocks them out, and Bushmaster and more men come in. Bushmaster tells him that Nigel is gone and he's in charge, and Luke tells him that he's not taking over. When he says that he's taking down Mariah, Bushmaster suggests that they work together and insists that Harlem is his birthright. Luke insists that Harlem is under his protection, and Bushmaster chuckles and has his men surround him. A teenager, Mouse, watches from the shadows and gets the fight on video, and Luke takes down the first man Bushmaster sends after him.
Bushmaster sends two women in, and Luke takes them down. More gangsters open fire, and Luke lets a ricochet hit one of them. Another ganger throws a hand grenade at Luke, and he catches it and contains the blast in his hands. Luke then walks out as Bushmaster watches.
Mariah tells her guests that Mabel believed in stepping up for people in need. Everyone applauds as Mariah describes the single-mother facilities, and she says that it's personal for her. She describes how she fell in love with her future husband Jackson, and that after they married he went to South America to work against the contras. He was killed on the same day that Mariah found out she was pregnant with Tilda, and Mariah explains that she had to return home and Mabel embraced her. From that Mariah learned that family always came first, and then has Tilda wave. Mariah says that family and Harlem come first, always.
At the bar, Misty and Colleen drink and talk about where'd they go if they won a million dollars. A man, Morty, comes over and hits on Misty. Colleen tells him to get lost, saying that he's "Mr. Fish", and Misty laughs and tells him to take his ass elsewhere. Morty says that Misty is the bitch that sent his brother to prison, grabs a pool cue, and smashes the glasses on the bar. Misty punches him but hesitates when she tries to throw a right-handed punch. Morty hits her, and Colleen just watches. Misty takes on Morty and his men, while Colleen watches and drinks. When one man grabs a bottle from the bar, Colleen takes him out. Morty grabs Misty, and Colleen tosses her a cue ball and Misty knocks the man out. Colleen tells Misty that she got her swagger back and they leave.
Bushmaster sits in a circle and performs an obeah ritual. He watches the video that he had Mouse take of Luke fighting, and rehearses his moves against the film.
Piranha meets with Mariah in her office after the gala. Mark comes in and congratulates Mariah on her speech, and Billie comes in and drops the photos of the two of them together. Mark wonders what Mariah does, and Mariah says that she needs a vote of confidence. She excuses Piranha and Billie, and then explains that she wants a piece of Atreus. She's going to purchase $20 million worth of stock, and wants Mark to ensure the merger and then retire. If Mark doesn't then she'll distribute the pictures and media.
Tilda comes in to say goodnight, and Mariah says that Mark is single-handedly bankrolling the initiative. Mark tosses the folder of pictures on the desk and leaves, and Tilda complains that Mariah put her on the spot. However, she admits that she felt something for Mariah and believed her, and apologizes for never considering Mariah's point of view. Mariah says that it means a lot to her and says that she's always tried to bring their family into the light. Shades comes in the bag of Yardies' money, and Mariah abruptly dismisses Tilda. Once Tilda leaves, Shades shows Mariah the money and says that Bushmaster put up the money. Happy, Mariah kisses Shades as Tilda sees them together through the office window.
Billie goes to the Jamaican restaurant and tells Sheldon what Mariah is doing with Mark. He tells her that he needs her spying on Mariah a little longer and then she'll get what she wants.
Luke returns to the apartment and Claire tells him that she loves him. He says that he loves her but she can't castrate him, and he's finally getting results. Luke says that he's rough but he's a hero, and Claire tells him that he's scaring people, including her. He explains that people have always been afraid of him, and Claire tells him that she has plenty of racism in her own home. Claire says that they have to rise above the labels, and Luke insists that black men either have to either lean into the fear or play along. He insists that he's a man and his anger is real, and he'll use the anger to stop those who would do others harm. Claire tells him that he can't use hate as a crutch, and Luke tells her that she has to be down with all of him. She says that he can't enjoy the stomping, and tells him that he's blaming everyone but himself.
Luke doesn't want to hear about James, and Claire says that she met James and he's not the ogre Luke thinks he is. She tells Luke that he should talk to James, and James would be ashamed of him. Furious, Luke punches the wall repeatedly. Claire gasps in shock, and then tells Luke that she needs to go back to Cuba and spend time with her family, away from Luke so she can get perspective. Luke begs her to stay, saying that they can talk, but Claire says that it isn't the time to talk. She grew up in a household where her parents fought, and she swore to never live with anger again. Luke insists that he would never hurt her, and Claire tells him to go right away. He says that he'll be at the shop and suggests that they talk tomorrow after they've had some time to think., and says that he loves her and he's sorry. With that, Luke walks out.
Luke is walking down the street when Bushmaster punches him in the face. He stuns Luke and says that Harlem is his.
Written by Gadfly on Jun 24, 2018