Claire throws out the science, Luke is his brother’s keeper, and #thisstopsnow
Despite complications and relying on a lot of unknown variables, Claire and Dr. Burstein manage to break through Luke’s skin and remove the shrapnel, allowing his supercells to do the rest of the healing on their own. Back on his feet, Luke and Claire take the opportunity to look through Reva’s encrypted files, discovering her involvement in the prison fights and experiments, forcing Luke to question what else she lied to him about. After destroying what they can of Burstein’s experiment so he can never do it again, Luke visits his father’s church seeking answers on Diamondback’s motives against him. After a few moments of memory, Luke realizes he’s his brother.
To instill fear into the people of Harlem so they buy his superhero killing guns, Diamondback uses his own technology to replicate Luke’s strength and kills a cop, screaming that his name is Luke Cage. With one of their own murdered, the Harlem PD go on a witch hunt, targeting suspects of color looking for any information about Luke’s whereabouts. They’re finally pointed to Lonnie, the young boy who would visit Pop’s shop with his mother, Patricia, and rough him up looking for answers. The footage of his abuse quickly goes viral and Mariah Dillard uses it to incite protests, not only against police brutality, but against Luke and his fellow superfreaks.
While the police hunt for Luke, Misty searches for her attacker, the man she suspects is framing Luke for the cop’s murder. She has to dig deep, but manages to find connections to Luke and Cottonmouth, eventually uncovering the name Willis Stryker, and Luke’s true identity as Carl Lucas. With a tip from Domingo, Misty investigates Harlem’s Paradise and its new management as Mariah Dillard holds a peaceful protest in the ballroom. But Misty’s confrontation with Diamondback quickly turns that peace into violence.
Many of the scenes in “Take it Personal” remind me of so many recent news stories of police attacking citizens out of fear and anger. Both Daredevil and Jessica Jones spend much of their episodes focusing on real world issues, not just the supernatural or science fiction, and this reality has been a theme in Luke Cage from the beginning. While Luke and Diamondback have their super feud, reality is unfolding on screen of another fight; cops vs citizens, white vs black, the struggles of minorities. These are fights that can’t be fixed by a superhero, but only by the very citizens who have been affected.
This episode also shows a weak point in Luke Cage’s story telling. Apparently, Luke was the only person in Savannah who didn’t realize Diamondback was his brother? This naivete could be attributed to a sheltered upbringing, or if it were actually a secret, but according to Luke himself, it wasn’t a very well kept one, but Luke just never put two and two together. It’s been shown and stated that Luke is a thoughtful and intelligent man, who was not only a police officer, but also a soldier. This revelation should have happened a long time ago for Luke, especially this being Diamondback’s biggest motivation, getting out of Luke’s shadow.