The next morning, Shades burns the evidence of his shooting Comanche and Tom, and remembers what happened.
At the station, Mariah hugs a shell-shocked Tilda. Tilda wonders how her mother can be so calm, and Mariah says that people have always come after them. She says that they'll handle things on their own, and what Bushmaster did to them will never be forgotten. Luke comes in, looks at them, and leaves, and Tilda tells her mother that they're only there because of Luke. When Tilda wants to go, Mariah reminds her that the brownstone is gone and Bushmaster now owns the club, and they have nowhere to go.
Luke complains to a patrol cop that no one has debriefed them yet on the fire. She doesn't know anything, and Luke realizes that everyone is gone. Mariah comes in and Luke tells her that he doesn't work for her even though he rescued her the previous night. Tilda is standing in the background, and Luke asks if she's okay. He tells Mariah that he knows who she is, and says that he saved her to see why Bushmaster hates her as much as he does. Mariah feigns ignorance of the man and insists that children matter, and she'll do anything to keep Tilda safe. Luke wonders if he should go after her, just as Misty, Mark, and Nandi come in. Misty wants to arrest Mariah, who insists that she's a victim. The detective backs off and tells Mariah to go, and Luke says that he'll keep an eye on Tilda.
As Luke leaves, Misty goes after him and asks if he's working for Mariah. He says that he doesn't really work for Mariah, and Misty tells him that Tom was shot dead. She figures that Mariah had him killed and says that Luke should have let Mariah burn.
Shades meets with Comanche's mother Janis, tells her that Comanche is dead, and talks about how he and Comanche grew up together. Janis remembers that Comanche always had Shades' back and realizes that Shades is lying about how Comanche died. She figures that Comanche would never snitch and asks what happened. As Shades starts to explain, Sugar calls him and tells him about the fire. Shades hangs up and tells Janis that Comanche and Romeo are gone, and Comanche would have wanted Shades to take care of Janis. He puts a roll of bills on the table, but Janis refuses to take it. Shades says that they both know she needs it, says that he's sorry, and leaves the grieving woman.
At the station, Tilda wonders why Luke isn't burned. She speculates about what could penetrate his skin, and Luke points out that she lied about who her mother was at the shop. Luke asks about Bushmaster, and Tilda says that she can't talk about it and just wants things to go back to normal. Luke warns that there is no "normal" with Mariah. He sees photos of Comanche and Tom pinned to the board and studies them carefully.
Misty is in Tom's office looking at his awards and citations. She sees her gun and badge in his drawer, and Nandi comes in and says that Tom never turned in Misty's paperwork on her resignation. She says that they had a pool for when Misty would come back begging for her job. Misty tells her that Tom should never have been out there, and Nandi says that no one knows that Misty quit and she's the highest-ranking detective until the city government sends someone else. Nandi asks if Misty is still on the job, and Misty says that she is. She promises Misty that they'll make Mariah pay, and Misty tells her that they have to follow the evidence. Mark comes in and tells Nandi that they need to talk to Comanche's mother,
Luke overhears them and comes in, and Misty remembers that Luke mentioned Comanche at Seagate. He explains that he was in the tank because Comanche and Shade beat him. Misty figures that Comanche was Tom's snitch and Shades killed him. Luke admits that Mariah didn't give him anything, and suggests that Misty question Tilda. Misty figures that her superiors are worried about a new Scarfe-type incident, and asks Luke to unofficially help her and get Tilda to link the attack to Bushmaster. Luke agrees as long as he can do things his way, but says that they have to hurry because Bushmaster will come after Mariah again when he finds out that she's alive.
At the club, Bushmaster has Mariah's office redecorated and her painting taken down. Anansi asks what his plans are for the club and Harlem, and Bushmaster says that every penny they make will go back to Jamaica. His uncle points out that his father would be proud of what Bushmaster has but not how he got it, and worries that the darkness is consuming him. Mouse comes in and reports that Mariah and Tilda are alive and at the precinct, and Luke saved them. Bushmaster rips a chair apart in fury and yells at Mouse to go, and then clutches at his hand.
Luke visits Tilda in the break room and says that he's there if she wants to tell him anything.
In the interrogation room, Mariah tells Mariah that the whole thing was a home invasion. She claims there were two intruders and they had masks, and Misty points out Tilda said there were three intruders.
Tilda tells Luke the truth about what happened and how the bullets hit Bushmaster but had no effect. She describes how Bushmaster said that the Stokes family killed his parents over some Bushmaster rum.
Misty wonders why they didn't just kill Mariah directly. She says that Bushmaster has all of Mariah's money, and advises her to talk before Bushmaster kills her. Mariah demands to see Tom, figuring that he's behind the one-way mirror. Misty explains that Tom was shot and killed, and Mariah is shocked by the photos. She quickly recovers and says that she barely knew Comanche, and Misty asks her if Shades knew that Comanche was a snitch or he's a snitch as well. Mariah considers talking, but Ben comes in and advises her not to say anything further. Shades is with the lawyer, and Misty tells Ben that Mariah is withholding evidence. Misty admits that she isn't charging Mariah, but tells Shades that they ran his plates and discovered he was near the shooting, making him a suspect. Nandi takes him away , and Misty suggests that Mariah is preying on him.
Tilda tells Luke that Bushmaster came to her shop for some special herbs. Before she can describe them, Tilda comes in and asks Luke where Claire is. Luke takes offense and tells her to leave, and Mariah says that they're waiting for Shades. When Luke asks where she's going to go, Mariah says wherever she pleases.
Misty questions Shades and works out what happened at the shooting. She figures that Tom was killed almost immediately and couldn't have accurately shot Comanche. As for the second shot, it was a finishing shot from above by someone who was emotional and didn't think things through. Misty asks what Comanche's last words were, and Ben applauds and says her theory is full of hearsay. He points out that Shades isn't on the traffic cams even if his car is, and tells Misty that she has nothing. Ben takes a call outside, telling Shades not to say anything. After a moment he comes back and says that he's no longer representing Shades. Once he leaves, Misty tells Shades that Mariah isn't going down for a cop killing and Shades will go to prison forever with his record.
Bushmaster tells Anansi that the nightshade made him strong, and Anansi warns that his nephew's body can't handle too much of it. The crime lord wants more so that he can kill Mariah, and Anansi warns that his crusade is killing him. Bushmaster calls in Sheldon and the other Stylers, and says that he's going to take something Luke loves and squeeze.
Mariah meets with Ben and says that he doesn't get to quit. He knows that she no longer has any money and says that it's just business, and leaves. Luke and Tilda are watching, and Luke says that she still needs him. Luke agrees to keep her alive until Harlem is safe from Bushmaster, and then she's on her own. Disgusted, Mariah agrees and walks out with Tilda and Luke. Sugar is waiting and Mariah tells him that they're not waiting for Shades. Two Stylers drive up, guns ready, and Luke spots them. He kicks their car into one shooter while Sugar drives off with Mariah and Tilda. Luke questions the shooter, who says that Bushmaster is offering $1 million each for Tilda and Mariah, as well as Luke and anyone close to hm. Luke knocks the man out, just as Nandi and the officers come out. He tells Nandi what happened, and Nandi figures that no one is safe if they are shooting in front of a police station. Luke tells her that he's going to look after his own family first and leaves.
Shades talks to Misty about how he stole his first pair of sunglasses and Comanche ran interference for him. He says that he lost his brother, and explains that he and Comanche were all one crew. Misty points out the other deaths and says that usually a friend is responsible. When Shades says that Scarfe was the same, Misty insists that Scare was emotional and losing his son led him down a dark path. She shows Shades the photos of the dead Comanche and asks him what led him to kill his friend, and Shades denies it. Misty advises him to turn against Mariah and save himself, and Shades refuses to say anything until he has another loyal. She agrees and figures that Comanche meant nothing to Shades, and Shades says that she doesn't know anything. Nandi calls Misty out and Shades looks at the photos of Comanche's corpse.
In the observation room, Nandi tells Misty that a Jamaican shooter tried to kill Mariah in front of the precinct. Mark comes in and reports that the tests on Shades' hands show that he didn't fire a weapon. Tom deliberately picked a spot with no camera surveillance so they have no video evidence. Misty goes back into the interrogation room and tells Shades that he's free to go. She asks him why Mariah would abandon him, and suggests that Mariah told Ben to withdraw. Shades walks out without a word.
At the church, Luke tells James that he's worried about him. He says that if Luke is going to protect him, he'll have to do it at the church and gives him some programs to pass out.
Mariah goes back to the burned-out brownstone and Sugar offers to get her some of his wife's clothing. He goes outside to give her some time alone, and Mariah breaks into tears and digs through the rubble. Shades comes in and Mariah says that the destruction is because of Shades bringing the snitch into their life. He insists that he took care of, and Mariah accuses him of being the snitch. Furious, Shades says that she pulled Ben and abandoned him, and Mariah tells him that Ben quit because they can't pay him. He tells her that they're standing in ruins because of her, and he reminds her that he told her not to sell the guns to Bushmaster. Mariah tries to slap him, and Shades grabs her hands and asks if she's scared. She admits that she is because it's over, and Shades tells her that she's a gangster and they adapt and bogey. He says that Bushmaster thinks that he's won and will let his guard down, and that's when they go at what he loves. Shades tells Mariah that they can do it--together--and she is a queen. He kisses her and after a moment, Mariah hugs him and then walks out.
Misty and Nandi take officers to the club, and Sheldon tells them that Bushmaster has been waiting for them. They go into his office and Misty shows him a search warrant. Misty says that he put a contract out on Mariah, and Ben comes in. Bushmaster insists that the club is his birthright and shows them a newspaper clipping of his father. Nandi tells him that they have two Stylers in custody saying that there's a million-dollar bounty on Mariah, and Bushmaster feigns ignorance. Misty asks if the brownstone belonged to Bushmaster's father, and Bushmaster tells her that the fire had nothing to do with him. He says that without evidence, they have nothing, and invites them to search the club. Ben tells the detectives to stop harassing his client, and Chang comes in and signals to Misty that they found nothing. She and Nandi leave, and Bushmaster wavers. Ben asks if he's okay, and Bushmaster dismisses him. Gasping, Bushmaster sits down at his desk.
At Tilda's shop, Mariah comes in and finds Tilda packing. Tilda says that she should have left, and Mariah admits that she has nothing left except for Tilda. Her daughter says that she needs to start fresh and says that Mariah doesn't have her and never did. She tells Mariah that she tossed her away on the door that she was born, and Mariah insists that she went through 22 hours of hard labor. Then she held Tilda for a moment and Mabel snatched her away. Mariah explains that she thought she was going to lose Tilda again, and explains that Mabel sent Tilda to her cousins the Johnsons who had just lost a baby. Tilda says that her new mother made her keep a picture of Mariah and reminded her constantly who her real mother was. Mariah tells her that she was always in her heart and she loves her. Crying, Tilda says that there's something she has to show her.
Bushmaster tells Anansi that he needs more drugs to take on Luke even if Mariah is dead. Anansi warns that his nephew can't replicate the conditions of Jamaica and says that the corrupted drug will poison Bushmaster's mind and spirit. Bushmaster asks him to stay, but Anansi refuses. He walks out of the club and down the street, and Shades follows him.
At the church, James talks about a young man in the congregation.
Bushmaster mixes his drugs.
James brings the young man up for his baptism and reads from the Bible. Luke watches from a back pew, and three Stylers come in. As James performs the baptism, the Stylers open fire and Luke blocks the bullets with his body, and then knocks out two of the men. The last one runs into the back, and James chases after him and punches him unconscious. Luke arrives and assures his father that he's okay, but James doesn't care.
Tilda tells Mariah what herb she gave to Bushmaster, and figures that if she knows the other herbs that he uses then she can create a counteragent. Misty and Nandi come in and tell them to get down, and the Stylers come in a few seconds later and open fire. The two detectives return fire, and one gets close enough for Misty to knock out. Luke arrives and takes out a second Styler, and Nandi shoots the last one in the leg.
As the detectives take Mariah and Tilda out, Misty says that they have to get to the precinct. James arrives and confirms that Luke is all right, and Luke tells Misty to call Danny and ask for a favor.
Written by Gadfly on Jul 7, 2018