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Can't Front on Me Recap

People are dancing at a private party, and in a back room a man and woman use coke. The woman, Kiki, goes out and dances. When another woman bumps into her, Kiki rips at her throat with his teeth. Kiki's boyfriend goes berserk as well, and the party guests hold both of them down. In the back room, a packet marked "Bushmaster" lies next to the coke.

The next day, D.W. brings his girlfriend Aisha Axton, the woman hosting the party, to the shop and tells Luke and D.W. what happened. Luke says that he's trying to shut it down but first he needs to know where it's coming from. Aisha tells him that Luke needs to handle it and leaves, and Luke points out that a while ago his name was on the coke packets. D.W. figures that the Stylers are responsible, and admits that Aisha almost got hurt. Sugar comes in and says that Mariah is working with the Chinese and probably labeled the drugs "Bushmaster" to tarnish his name and draw him out. Luke has Sugar check with some of the Chinese drivers and promises that he'll do the rest.

Mariah goes to a high-end auction house and thanks three crime lords for meeting her there in the audience. Yang is there as well, and says that he and Mariah have plans to eliminate their problems so the collective will thrive. The one woman, Rosalie Carbone, doesn't see the point of forming a new organization. Mariah says that there are bigger profits in an open exchange, and she can offer them money-laundering services and she'll let them in to Harlem under her conditions. One of Mariah's items, a DuBois book, comes up. Mariah suggests that they start bidding quickly if they want access to Harlem, and leaves. As she goes, Mariah says that she wants the book back afterward because it's just an excuse for her to be there. As they leave, Yang says that his security suspects that "he" is watching, and Mariah says that's the point.

Outside, Bushmaster watches Mariah, Yang, and Alex leave.

Shades is dozing in the interrogation room, while Misty and Ridley watch through the one-way mirror. Ridley figures that Shades wants Mariah locked up so he can take over, but Misty doesn't care as long as they can arrest Mariah and find out who killed Tom. Ridley says that she'll call the Feds to arrange a deal for Shades.

Mariah and the others drive to the river, and Yang goes over to where his men are unloading the merchandise. Bushmaster sneaks into the area and then strolls up to Yang. He orders his men to grab their guns, and a gunner prepares to fire a machine gun from the back of a van. Luke jumps down and, gives Bushmaster a car door as a shield, and blocks the bullets with his chest while Bushmaster blocks the other shooters with the door. The two men, back-to-back, enter the warehouse and take cover as stray shots hit a fuel tank. It explodes, and Luke tells Bushmaster that they'll do it his way and if Bushmaster kills anyone, he's on his own.

Hatchet men charge the two men and attack them, and they take down their apartments. Once the men go down, Bushmaster says that he has to protect his name and Luke agrees. He wonders how many people have to die, and Bushmaster says that anyone who gets in his way will die. Bushmaster takes out one of his incendiaries, and Luke refuses to let him burn the evidence or kill the unconscious men. They fight briefly, and Bushmaster leaves the incendiary in Luke's hands and runs. Luke absorbs the blast, which knocks him on his back.

Tilda goes to Cornell's grave and talks about how he gave her her first keyboard. She talks about how she now knows she was the product of rape and incest, and Cornell knew it and still accepted her as his daughter. Tilda puts a flower on his grave and says that now she knows who she is and it changes everything.

Luke enters the club and demands a meeting with Mariah. He tells her that he shut down her drug lab, and says that Bushmaster is coming for her and her men can't stop him. Luke says that he won't save her a third time, and Mariah tells him that he's still just a goofy kid with no idea what to do with his powers. She figures that he'll still save her and he's the only man that she can count on. He's a man of the people, and that's Luke's weakness. Luke says that things changes and accepts her drink, saying that he's not on duty. He tells Mariah that he'll leave her and Bushmaster to fight it out between them and walks out. Mariah calls her assistant to have her spread the word that the club is going to have a charity unity jam to pack the place.

AUSA Colin Dunbar and Shades' lawyer Patricia Wilson come in and has Shades give a statement in return for immunity. He says that he and Comanche were paid to beat Carl, and then Carl was part of a prison experiment and got bulletproof skin.

As Luke walks down the street, he hears about the unity jam, sponsored in part by Bushmaster Rum.

Tilda goes to Bushmaster and tells him that Mariah burned Anansi alive. She wants Bushmaster to dispose of her mother, for the sake of everyone. Tilda offers to get Bushmaster into the club via the secret Prohibition tunnels, and offers him a double shot of nightshade to double his strength. She warns Bushmaster that if he takes it all at once, it can destroy his mind and body. Sheldon says that it's not worth the risk, but Bushmaster figures that it's worth it for all the people that Mariah has killed.

Shades says that Tone broke the rules and shot up the shop, and he couldn't stop him in time. He explains that Luke was there and shielded Patricia's son, and afterword Cottonmouth had Tone killed. Disgusted, Patricia recuses herself and Shades doesn't care as long as his deal is still good.

Luke arrives at the shop and says that the jam is on him. He explains what he told her, and figures that Mariah is surrounding herself with innocents so Luke has to protect them... and her. Luke figures that it's all personal, and explains that living on edge all the time changes a person.

Shades describes how Mariah killed Cottonmouth, and Candace saw her do it. they paid her to testify that Luke killed Cottonmouth, but after Luke beat Diamondback Candace changed her testimony to the truth. Then he used Misty's phone to text Candace to lure her out, and then shot her dead. Shades says that he used the same gun that he shot Anansi with, but explains that Mariah is the one who used it on Anansi. Suddenly uncomfortable, Shades asks for some water. Misty goes out to the break room to get some water, crying. Once she gets control of herself, Misty goes back in and asks about Tom. Shades says that Comanche shot Tom after Tom talked to Mariah and gave away that he had a snitch. He admits that he shot Comanche afterward and killed him to put him out of his misery. Ridley and Janis are in the observation room, and Janis walks out in disgust.

Misty asks about the .38 revolver, and realizes that he didn't know Mariah used it to kill Pete. Shades says that Mariah was obsessed with it, and tells them that he's given them everything and they'll need a warrant to get the revolver. Ridley and Janis come in, and Janis spits on Shades. She walks out with Ridley, and Misty tells Shades that she's not done with him yet. Once he does, Misty says that she needs the gun or the deal goes away.

That night, Luke sits in the shop and reads, considering what to do.

Bushmaster looks at photos of his family and then prepares to go to the club. He tells Sheldon that he's going in alone because he can't bear to lose anyone else, but his mother wants justice and he's going to give it to her.

Luke puts on a new jacket and goes out.

Shades enters the club and makes his way through the crowd, and Misty watches him from the shadows. The guards let Shades up to Mariah's balcony seat, and Misty listens in via a wire. Mariah orders Shades to keep his sunglasses off, and he says that he wanted to apologize and suggests that they talk about it in the office. Mariah insists on staying to listen to rapper KRS-One first.

Luke comes in as KRS-One takes the stage and performs. Mariah stands up and sees Luke in the crowd, and mouths her thanks to him. Shades tells her that he's not proud of how he handled things between them, and asks who she is. Meanwhile, Luke spots Misty and approaches her. She explains that Shades gave up Mariah and Luke realizes that she has Shades wired. He tells Misty that he's working on a better idea and walks away.

Bushmaster pulls up to where Tilda is waiting and she points out the tunnel entrance down the cellar stairs. She insists that no one else gets hurt, and Bushmaster hands her an incendiary and goes into the cellar.

Once KRS-One finishes, Mariah tells Shades that she needs him in the "lair" and leads him through his office. They enter the safe room and Mariah seals the door, and Shades suggests they get back to the way things were. Mariah kisses him, draws her revolver on him, and says that they can't do that.

Bushmaster reaches the club and injects himself with the nightshade. He comes up through the floor and attacks the guards, heading for Mariah's office.

Mariah discovers the wire on Shades, and Shades sees Bushmaster on the security monitors.

Luke follows Bushmaster toward Mariah's office, and Bushmaster easily takes down the guards As Luke attacks him and Bushmaster knocks him down, Misty arrives and opens fire on Bushmaster. Bushmaster shrugs off the bullets and knocks her unconscious. Luke attacks his nemesis and Bushmaster tosses him into Mariah's office. The two men fight and Bushmaster kicks Luke out the window and down into the club, knocking him out.

Bushmaster finds the safe room and starts pounding on the door. Shades tells Mariah to give him the gun and get behind him, as Bushmaster beats through the door. She gives Shades the gun and wonders where Luke is.

Misty calls down from the window, waking Luke up. She figures that Luke can't stop him, but Luke goes after Bushmaster.

Bushmaster breaks down the door and dodges the bullet that Shades fires at him. Misty and Luke arrive and attack Bushmaster, and Bushmaster takes them both down. Shades attacks Bushmaster, who easily knocks him down. Luke recovers and attacks Bushmaster, and Shades grabs the gun and shoots at Bushmaster. Bushmaster knocks them both away, and then prepares to kill Mariah. Misty attacks him, slowing him down long enough for Luke to renew his attack and knock out Bushmaster with multiple punches. He gets Bushmaster in a chokehold, and Mariah yells at Luke to kill Bushmaster. Misty calls to Luke, and after a moment Luke gets control of himself.

Knocking Luke away, Bushmaster jumps out the window into the club. Luke goes after him, and Shades picks up the revolver and goes after them. Ridley comes in and tells Luke that there's no sign of Bushmaster. As Mariah pours herself a drink, Shades hands the revolver to Misty. Misty puts Mariah under arrest for two murders and the massacre. Mariah warns that it won't hold, saying that it's her word against Shades, and he's a gutter gangster. Ridley tells her that a court of haw will convict her and takes her away.

Misty tells Luke that they finally got a win, and Luke says that it's not over yet.

Written by Gadfly on Jul 14, 2018

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