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The Basement Recap

Gunfire breaks out in Harlem as Stylers open fire on Luke and Piranha. They take refuge in a parking garage and head to the roof, and Sheldon orders his men to search the building for them. The two men run to the edge of the top floor, and discover that the next building is two stories up. Luke grabs Piranha and throws him up to the roof of the next building, spraining his ankle, Stylers arrive and open fire on Luke, who ignores their gunfire and knocks them out. He grabs Sheldon and threatens to throw him off the roof unless he says why Bushmaster has invaded Harlem and wants Piranha. Sheldon counts down for Luke, and Luke knocks him out. More Yarders open fire from the street, and Luke leaps to the next building, grabs the fire escape, and pulls himself up. He then leaves with the limping Piranha.

At Gwen's, Bushmaster and his people are watching soccer on TV. The news interrupts to report the disappearance of three severed heads at the clinic opening. Thembi Wallace reports on the attack at Piranha's party and shooting in the streets, and Ingrid and Anansi complain about the savagery. Bushmaster glares at Anansi, who says that all he sees is fear. Bushmaster goes outside and calls Sheldon, demanding answer. Sheldon says that Piranha escaped and Luke is helping him, and Bushmaster tells him to flood the streets and find Piranha.

Lonnie is walking down the streets, and Sheldon pulls over and asks if he's seen Luke. Lonnie says that he hasn't, and finally suggests that Sheldon check the shop. Once Sheldon drives on, Lonnie calls his mother and tells her to have Aunt Val stay at home.

Connie takes garbage out of her restaurant and sees the police drive by. She quickly goes back inside.

Luke takes Piranha to the closed Uptown Theater and breaks in. Once they get inside, Luke barricades the door and demands to know why the Stylers are after Piranha. Piranha readily says that he's doing financial work for Mariah and Shades. When Piranha reminds Luke that he's paying him, Luke demands his money, and wonders why he should protect him. He starts to walk, and Piranha asks if he's going to change his word and take it back. The Yarders drive back, and Luke orders Piranha to get down. Once they pass on, Luke smashes off a board to use as a splint.

At the club, Shades tells Sugar to watch the back and shoot everyone that comes close. He says that he'll take care of the front. Comanche comes in and wonders what's going on, and Shades tells him that the Stylers cut off Ray Ray and Cockroach's heads and put them up at the clinic. When Comanche wonders what it has to do with them when Bushmaster is after Mariah, Shades says that they'll decide when Mariah gets back from the situation. Comanche tells Shades that it's time to cut Mariah loose, and Shades refuses. His lieutenant warns that he's getting too emotional about the situation, and Shades agrees and goes to get guns from a secret cache. Shades figures that Bushmaster is after Piranha to get access to Mariah's money, and says that the two of them are going to go special forces like old times. The two of them arm up and salute each other.

At the station, Mariah sits in the interrogation room and Misty watches her through the one-way mirror. Tom joins her and says that he told the chief that there's a connection between the severed heads and Arturo and Nigel's murder. The chief gave them 50 extra unis and 48 hours to get the situation under control or the governor is sending in the National Guard and ICE. Misty warns that they'll round up every Jamaican, innocent or guilty, and suggests that they b ring Luke in. Tom isn't impressed, and asks why she went to Cockroach's. Misty explains that Drea said that Cockroach put her into the hospital, and she went in and found Cockroach's body. She admits that she picked the lock, and Tom tells her that she contaminated the evidence and Ben filed a complaint with IAB after she talked to Cockroach. Misty would rather stop the gang war, but Tom tells her to go home and leaves. Disgusted, Misty punches the table with her bionic arm and crushes it.

As Luke splints his leg, Piranha says that he's been working for the Dillard family for years. She wanted real money and was willing to do anything to get it. Once Luke finishes, they leave.

Tom goes into the interrogation room as Misty watches. He tells her that she's a witness and no one thinks that she's responsible, and Mariah reminds him that he's not the high school kid that held her hand. Mariah isn't impressed and says that she can go whenever she wants, and Tom agrees. Detective Change enters the observation room and tells Misty that she can't be there, and gives her paperwork Tom wants her to fill out. Meanwhile, Tom tells Mariah that the Stylers tried to abduct Piranha and Luke rescued him. No one has seen either one of them soon. Tom asks what she knows, and Mariah demands protection for her and Tilda in return for her information. She identifies the three heads, including Higgins as the third, and Tom says that he knows about her gun deal. He reminds her that Cornell feared the law but the Stylers don't fear anything. Mariah says that she'll be fine, tells Tom it was good to see him, and walks out.

Piranha is checking the press on the party shooting, and tells Luke that he just gave Mariah some inside information. He defends giving inside information to Mariah even though it's illegal, and says that Higgins discovered the sale but Mariah found a way to convince him to let it go through. Piranha says that he offers other services besides money management, including power of attorney, and Luke figures that whoever controls Piranha controls Mariah. Luke says that Piranha is too valuable to let go, and says that in the morning he's getting Piranha to the cops. Piranha complains about Luke's lack of ethics as Luke walks outside and calls D.W. D.W. says that he saw two men go into the shop.

Shades and Comanche search the shop for Piranha and find nothing. Sheldon and his men drive by Shades and Comanche settle down to wait.

Misty meets with Dr. Gabe Krasner at a restaurant to eat, and Gabe brings up Misty's bionic arm. He says that whatever she says is confidential, and Misty tells him that she was about to plant evidence on a guilty suspect but discovered his body again. The psychiatrist tells her that she needs to be honest with herself about who she is and make the right decision for herself.

After Gwen's closes, Bushmaster tells Ingrid to go and they'll clean up. Once she leaves, Bushmaster says that he would have killed someone else for showing him disrespect. He reminds Anansi that the Stokes took everything from him and he's going to make Mariah burn, and Anansi tells him to kill her but not make all Jamaicans look bad with his terror campaign. Bushmaster insists that the country turned on him, and Anansi tells him that the past can't be changed. He tells Bushmaster to find peace in his heart, and Bushmaster goes back to work.

The Stylers drive through the Jamaican neighborhood men, and the Jamaicans on the street recognize them and leave.

In the shop, Comanche wonders why Mariah is wondering things. Shades says that when Luke showed up, Cottonmouth became a problem and Mariah killed him to fix the problem. He says that Mariah has ice in her veins, and she won't hesitate to deal with the Stylers. Shades confirms that Comanche is the only one who knows Mariah killed Cottonmouth, and Comanche says that Shades is a born leader but rides with Mariah. He wonders what Shades' plan is, and Shades tells him that he just wants to live the American Dream. Shades figures that there's a life where he doesn't have to look over his shoulder, and Mariah taught it to him. He says that they can be more than gangsters, and Comanche asks him if he's forgotten that they are more than gangsters. Shades tells him that inside was inside, and they did what they had to to avoid going crazy. Comanche admits that he wanted to and says that Shades did as well, but Shades insists that it was prison and no one on the outside would understand. He says that they're different, and Comanche tells him that he is who he is. After a moment, Shades tells Comanche that he'd die for him but it is what it is otherwise. Comanche figures that they need to find Luke and walks off.

Mariah returns to her office and looks at a photo of Mabel as she pours herself a drink. She calls Tilda and gets her voice mail, and tells her daughter to call her. Shades calls and Mariah throws the phone across the room. Alex comes in and Mariah tells him to pour himself a drink, and offers a toast to screw love and trust. She talks about how everyone who has ever loved her has betrayed her. Alex mentions Shades, and Mariah says that if it wasn't for Luke and Piranha, everything she has would be gone.

As the sun rises, Luke peers out of the theater. Two of Mariah's men spot where Luke broke into the theater and call it in. Meanwhile, Piranha tells Luke that his mother was one of Mabel's prostitutes. A banker fell in love with love with her but left her behind rather than leave his wife. Piranha went to see him after he graduated, and the banker had Piranha escorted out. the man lost everything in the mortgage crisis and came to Piranha for money, and Piranha told him to get lost. He tells Luke that he paid his mother's medical bills, and remembers that Luke's father is a reverend. Luke finally says that James didn't believe that he was innocent, and Piranha figures that Luke is just running from himself. He advises Luke to see James, and Luke tells him that he knows what he has to do: take Piranha to the cops.

Luke calls Misty and tells her that he has Piranha. As Misty goes out, she spots one of Bushmaster's men in a gypsy cab. He drives off as Misty approaches him, but she gets the license plate. Luke goes back and discovers that Piranha is gone.

Two Stylers carry Piranha out, and Luke hears Piranha yelling. he runs after the Stylers They have backup and Luke takes them out as he heads through the building. The remaining two get outside, and Luke drops down and takes them out.

Shades arrives at Mariah's office and she complains that Shades failed her. He insists that they'll get Piranha back, but Mariah doesn't believe it and insists that her dream of FamilyFirst is gone. She admits that she sold out Harlem to Bushmaster, and Shades tells her that it's time to take care of their enemies. Mariah hears him out, and Shades says that he followed Bushmaster to Gwen's and the crime lord has friends there. Mariah tells him to wait until they get Piranha back and then take out the restaurant and anyone in it. She asks who else knew what was going on, and Shades claims that there was no one.

Misty tells Tom that she was at Cockroach's place to plant evidence and she wanted payback. Tom merely says that he can work with it, and tells her that she has to live with what she did. Misty tells him that if she does it Tom's way nothing changes, and the other way she becomes Scarfe. She hands in her badge and gun and tells Tom that she's done.

Luke takes Piranha to James' church. James comes in and tells Luke that it's about time, and Luke says that he can't stay but he needs his help. He explains that Piranha needs a place to hide, and James asks him to give them a moment alone. Once Piranha leaves, Luke explains that he's trying to get Piranha out of trouble. James agrees to take Piranha in, and says that Luke is also welcome anytime. He wonders if it's safe on the streets for Luke, and Luke tells Piranha to call Misty at the station while he does what he does.

Luke leaves the church with Piranha's phone, calls Bushmaster from the phone list, and asks for a showdown in a fair fight. If Bushmaster wins then he gets Piranha. If he loses then he gets Harlem. Bushmaster agrees to meet him at high noon on the bridge at the park.

Later at the bridge, the two men face each other. Bushmaster says that he wants revenge and they could join forces and go after Mariah. Luke tells Bushmaster that he's a homicidal criminal while Luke is Harlem's hero. The two men fight, evenly matched at first. Luke manages to tag Bushmaster, and Bushmaster blows dust in his face, paralyzing him. Bushmaster says that under different circumstances they could have been friends, and kicks Luke off the bridge into the water below.

Written by Gadfly on Jul 1, 2018

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