Cottonmouth charges the Luke Cage Stupidity tax, Claire Temple comes home, and Luke takes the Dapper approach.
After leaving Metro-General Hospital in protest of their covering up an attack and murder on one their nurses and her friend, Claire Temple moves from Hell’s Kitchen to back home in Harlem. While her mother is glad to see her, she worries that Claire is now without direction. Claire has been witness to impossible things; a blind man who can see with his other heightened sense, a man who was shot in the head and recovered overnight. She’s met these people and helped them, and has the idea that that’s what she wants to do, help people with abilities. And she quickly discovers Luke Cage’s presence in Harlem.
As the community prepares for Pop’s funeral, Cottonmouth holds his own State of the Union to determine where they stand after losing a majority of his finances from Crispus Attucks. In an effort to replenish his accounts and show that he is not someone to be messed with, Cottonmouth sends his people into the neighborhood to ransack every business and citizen they can, and to make sure everyone knows they do this because of Luke Cage. Finding this out, Luke takes out thugs one by one until he’s returned what he can to the community before confronting Cottonmouth directly at Harlem’s Paradise. This draws the line between these two foes, and gives Shades a better look at Luke, recognizing him as Carl Lucas. Shades takes Cottonmouth aside to tell him about their time at Seagate, and introduces him to a specially designed bullet that should be able to take out Luke Cage. A new Hammer Tech. design, created by materials salvaged from the Incident, and sold by his benefactor, the mysterious Diamondback.
Harlem fills the church to mourn Henry “Pop” Hunter, including Det. Misty Knight, Cottonmouth, and Luke Cage. Misty watches as the funeral becomes a battleground of words as Cottonmouth gives a stirring eulogy about what who Pop was growing up, a thug, and what Harlem is, and how strangers should leave it alone, directing his words towards Luke. Responding in kind, Luke speaks about who Pop became, and what he saw in Harlem, a place for people to grow and make the world around them better, and to stand up to bullies who disguise themselves as friends. The audience easily sees through Luke and Cottonmouth’s words of the events surrounding Harlem and the war brewing between these two, as pointed out by Misty afterwards, warning him that if he doesn’t help her bring down Cottonmouth through the system, he should leave, before Harlem suffers any more bloodshed.
“Just to Get a Rep” displays a bit of showboating between the hero and villain of the series. Both flexing their muscles, not to each other, but to the people around them as they draw a line in the sand. As Misty describes it, World War III was started in that funeral, and her fear is that it will drag more people into it and get them hurt. Ultimately, what this episode does it raise the stakes. Unlike Daredevil who mostly sticks to the shadows as he fights his enemies, Luke Cage stands in the spotlight, loudly calling out his opponents and what he is fighting for.