Heather B
Solioquy of Chaos (Episode 12)
OUTSIDE HARLEM'S PARADISE

The ESU team is shackling Luke for arrest.

COP: All right, here's the plan. Triple-cuff him. Alpha team, you take point positions in the convoy. Bravo team will bring up the rear. Remember, we're clear to engage, so if he so much as looks at you funny, light him up.

COP: Copy that. You hear that, freak? I got something special for you.

LUKE: This isn't necessary.

COP: Yeah, it is.

Misty is looking on from her ambulance. She gets up and starts walking towards Luke.

PARAMEDIC: No. You need to let us finish. Ms. Knight...Ms. Knight!

MISTY: It's Detective Knight, and I'm fine. (to the ESU guy) I need a moment with Cage.

ESU GUY: Misty, we have special orders.

MISTY: Mario, come on. I was just held hostage. I just need a minute with him.

ESU GUY: All right. We'll be right here. We got your back.

COP: Clear!

MISTY (ostentatiously): You going down. It's about damn time. Cottonmouth, Officer Albini, what just popped off in there? ...Look, your friend is in the wind. They've got public enemy number one in handcuffs for the whole world to see so they're not looking for anybody else. Every officer in your detail has those modified Judas bullets. I wouldn't try anything if I were you...before I got to the precinct.
You're not that crazy, are you?

LUKE: Always.

MISTY: Take his a** to jail.

COP: Come on.

COP: All right, let's go. We're rolling.

They load Luke into the truck and drive away. The two cops in the front seat discuss him.
COP 1: Three sets of cuffs? Isn't that overkill?

COP 2: The camera's on. We need to look like we're in control.

COP 1: It's a sh*t detail. You'd think ESU would be in the back with those guns pointed at him.

COP 2: We've got the same guns and bullets they do.

COP 1: You know, my wife says it's the end of days, people like him popping up.

COP 2: They've been saying that since Eve bit the apple. Cage? He's evolution.

COP 1: Whatever he is, it's just scary. Makes me feel small. Insignificant.

COP 2: Insecure? You know what they say. Once you go black, you never go back. At least that's what your wife keeps telling me.

COP 1: I was fast asleep when she came home. Your daughter already wore me out.

In the back of the van, Luke easily breaks his shackles.

COP 2: Just sit tight.

COP 1: God damn it. Homeless lady. Can't they move her out of the way?

COP 1 (To the woman, over megaphone): You are in the path of a police convoy. Clear the road immediately.
Luke breaks out of the van and runs.

COP 1 (over megaphone): Cage must not escape. Fire at will!

The cops chase Luke through alleys. Luke comes to a dead end and slams into a side door. He slips through the building and ocmes out on the other side. He sees a police car drive past him and relaxes, but then hears the sound of a shotgun behind him.

COP 2: Young cops always wanna chase somebody. Me? I'd rather be where they're already going. They told us these Judas bullets can kill someone like you. You don't want to die? Don't run.

LUKE: I'd rather die than go back to prison.

COP 2: Live free or die? You wanna get all New Hampshire about this sh*t? Fine with me. Cop killers don't survive these streets.

LUKE: I didn't kill a cop. My problem isn't with you or yours. It's much bigger than that.

COP 2: Some people are calling you a hero for what you did. Connie's, Pop's...

LUKE: I'm no hero. But I do need to take out the person responsible for all this.

COP 2: You don't recognize me, do you?

LUKE: I've seen you at Pop's before.

COP 2: Pop cut my hair for 12 years. He didn't think he was a hero, either. He was just trying to do some right after years of wrong....I hope I'm right about you. More people rooting for you than you think.

The cop lowers his gun.

LUKE: What are you gonna tell your people?

COP 2: The truth. I had you in my sights, but you outran me. I'm getting old...Luke? You better catch that slippery son of a b*t*h.

Luke turns and leaves.

OPENING THEME

DIAMONDBACK'S WAREHOUSE

THEMBI WALLACE (newscast): Moments after the tumultuous events at Harlem's Paradise, fugitive and alleged cop killer Luke Cage was brought out in handcuffs. And now the city's most...

TURK: Hey, I'm glad you called me, Willis. Luke Cage is on the run. They got Shades in bracelets, but they're gonna be onto you before long, brother. Best believe that. Getting ghost and liquidizing your cash, that was the right move.

STRYKER: I wouldn't touch any of that. People don't test me more than once.

TURK: I overstand. What you need me for?

STRYKER: I understand you're a man of discretion and taste with numerous connections willing to pay full price for my wares. I can still collect from the shadows.

Zip comes in, wearing a pair of sungla**es.

ZIP: Bad news, Diamondback.

STRYKER: Take those off!

ZIP: I went to your crib. The files you had are gone.

Stryker walks over to Zip and grabs his throat, choking him and pushing him to the ground. He holds him there for a moment before he starts to laugh and lets him go.

STRYKER: I had you, didn't I? I couldn't resist. I like you, Zip. You've got ambition. It'll take you far as long as you stay in your place. The first of the 48 laws of power. Never outshine the master. That was the mistake Shades made. He questioned me. He doubted me. He tried to reach too far. He was on some Icarus sh*t. Do you know who that is?

ZIP: Yeah, he had a verse with Kendrick. Right?

TURK: No Icarus was the boy who flew too close to the sun with fake wings.

ZIP: Shades is no problem. He's still in custody.

STRYKER: Not for long.

ZIP: You gonna blow the joint up?

STRYKER: No, he's going to be bailed out.

ZIP: The hell for? That don't make no sense!

STRYKER: See? The questioning. That's how it starts...I'm gonna have an opening. You gonna step up?

ZIP: I'm down to do whatever you need. No problem.

STRYKER: Good boy. So are you down?

TURK: I'm down. As long as the business is business, I'm good with it. Till then, I'm out of here, man.

ZIP: Show Turk out, Zip.

TURK: Romeo would roll over in his grave, the way you hop-skipping with these cats nowadays. He was a man on these streets. You's a boy.

ZIP: What the hell are you talking about? You're down here in his pocket, same as me.

TURK: I'm doing business with him, yes. But I ain't his boy. And I definitely ain't his b*t*h.

Turk leaves, and Zip walks back to Stryker.

ZIP: These old-a** n***as talkin' about sh*t they don't even know about. So what's in the box?

STRYKER: One of the seven deadly sins, my boy which I plan to unleash on dear old Carl.

ZIP: Which one?

STRYKER: Wrath.

COLON'S GYM

ERNESTO (in Spanish): This Diamondback needs to be dealt with.

ADVISER (in Spanish): Ernesto is right, Domingo. This is the perfect time to do it. We've got the muscle. Plus, with the Cuban, Jamaican, Dominican and Haitian leaders dead, we can control the drugs, guns, all of it and walk out like kings.

DOMINGO (in English): I was there when he took them all out. Right next door. We got the drugs. We got that money. But with the guns, we can control everything. Here, the islands, further south...We'd be unstoppable. Hmm?

ERNESTO (in Spanish) So what are you saying?

DOMINGO: We take him out. We go after what's ours. Let's go find Diamondback.

THE STATIONHOUSE

Shades is standing for his mugshot. Misty watches him through the window.

OFFICER: Turn and face the camera.

RIDLEY: You're supposed to be in the hospital. Push yourself too hard too soon and you could make it worse, you know.

MISTY: I appreciate your concern.

RIDLEY: No, you don't. I need you at 100%.

MISTY: I need to prove Luke Cage is innocent.

RIDLEY: Well, the hostages have all been consistent that Luke Cage never held them at gunpoint.

MISTY: He was set up. You know it, Priscilla. Half this damn department knows it. We need to be going after Willis Stryker.

RIDLEY: Well, then why is Luke Cage running?

MISTY: He's a black man being chased by the cops oh, with special bullets. Accused of killing a cop, and you're asking why he's running? Come on.

RIDLEY: Look at how relaxed Hernan "Shades" Alvarez is. He knows he's not going anywhere anytime soon, so he's resting up. He knows he's guilty. See this perp? Look how his foot is bouncing. Nervous. No wonder his street name is Sugar. I don't even have to say a word, and here come the waterworks. He's probably innocent or less guilty than whoever he's about to give up.

MISTY: That's a detectives' wives' tale. You can't prove guilt or innocence by that.

RIDLEY: Oh, but you can...because Luke gave you his word.

MISTY: Luke...

RIDLEY: Right now, his actions are speaking louder than his words.

MISTY: Luke Cage saved my life.

RIDLEY: I don't dispute that we should be bringing in Diamondback, but to get to the truth, we need to bring them both in.

MISTY: Okay, well, let me lead the charge. Make sure Luke is brought in safely.

RIDLEY: He threw away his chance when he jumped out that damn van. Now they will shoot him on sight with the mayor's blessing.

MISTY: You know what? At least let me take a crack at Shades. He's in deep with all the players. He doesn't scare me.

RIDLEY: Detective...

MISTY: I can handle him.

RIDLEY: You just got shot. I need you to go home, get some rest. I'll interview Shades.

THE RUINED HARLEM'S PARADISE

MARIAH: My grandmother loved Harlem's Paradise. She took care of all the small details. She loved it. From the murals the gla**work, all the way down to the table linens. No fine point was overlooked. This was her legacy. My family's in tatters, and it's all because of Diamondback. Sh*t! Uh, I know, I know I need to get out in front of this. Release a statement about Damon Boone and how much I respected him.

ALEX: That is not what I was gonna say.

MARIAH: Well, yeah, just Please, no lectures.

ALEX: This is just a thing. Things can be rebuilt, and when you do, you rebuild it as your legacy. Not just the clubs. I want to be a part of that...Here's what I think. Controlling the narrative is everything. We can't have any loose threads. So anyone who might have overheard anything you said to Diamondback or Shades in here is a threat.

MARIAH: You're absolutely correct.

ALEX: How may I be of service?

MARIAH: I wouldn't want you to do anything untoward.

ALEX: Never.

MARIAH: Okay.

THE STREETS OF HARLEM

Luke is skulking around in daylight, in his bullet-riddled hoodie.He hides from a police car, then sees two men pull on balaclavas and enter a bodega.

LUKE: I don't have time for this.

Inside the bodega, one robber is holding a gun on the owner and Method Man while the other empties the register.

ROBBER 1: Don't move. He'll blow your head off. He's crazy like that. Don't try no sh*t.

The robber suddenly recognizes Method Man. He pulls up his mask

ROBBER 1: My bad, Meth. I grew up on that Wu-Tang sh*t. But you know how it is.

METHOD MAN: Are you serious? Are you really trying to have a conversation right now?

ROBBER 1: I'm just tryin'...I'm just sayin'...You're the man, yo.

ROBBER 2: Pull your mask down! You supposed to be watchin' the damn door, Bryce!

BRYCE: What I say about using my government name, Michael?

Luke walks in

BRYCE: Damn, homie. You look like you went through a cheese grater. Oh, snap, you Luke...

Luke smacks Bryce hard enough to knock him into a display. Michael panics and shoots at Luke several times.

MICHAEL: I ain't mean that.

LUKE: Give me your phone. The phone, fool.

MICHAEL: Yo, my bad, man. You know, I just got a little nervous and sh*t when you threw my mans across the...

Luke flicks Michael in the head and knocks him out.

METHOD MAN: It's you. Yeah, it's you.

LUKE: No, man, it's you. Yo, man, "P.L.O. Style" was my joint back in the day. Sweet Christmas. Yeah, man, one second.

Luke makes a phone call.

LUKE: Hey, it's me...Yeah, they'll be looking for me. I'll lay in the cut. I'll see you in a few.

Luke puts the phone away, looks to Method Man.

LUKE: You a double XL?

METHOD MAN: Way ahead of you, homie.

They trade hoodies. Luke takes a minute to destroy the robbers' gun.

LUKE: Call the cops.

BODEGA OWNER: I know a lot of people who would pay you for this kind of protection.

LUKE: They can keep their money.

METHOD MAN: Salute...You ever see anything like that before?

BODEGA OWNER: Harlem, baby. Harlem.

THE STATIONHOUSE

Misty is walking down the hall. Her phone rings.

MISTY: Hello?

CANDACE: Detective Knight?

MISTY: Candace?

CANDACE: Yeah.

MISTY: What number are you calling me from?

CANDACE: A prepaid phone I picked up from CVS. I need to see you.

MISTY: Come into the precinct.

CANDACE: No. No. You saw how quickly Mariah sent that lawyer and got me out of there.

MISTY: You didn't wanna talk to me before. What makes you trust me now?

CANDACE: Because Luke Cage does. He saved my life. And you saw right through me. You want the truth, right?

MISTY: Where are you?

CANDACE: Look, if you can't help...

MISTY: Candace.

CANDACE: Tell me a place, and I will be there.

INTERROGATION ROOM

RIDLEY: You should be at Rikers right now, but I held you because I think you have something to say.

SHADES: Lawyer.

RIDLEY: I know your record, Mr. Alvarez. Came up in Harlem, rolled around with Cottonmouth in the late '90s, spent some time at Spofford, Sing Sing, then you made it to the big time, went to Seagate.

SHADES: Lawyer.

RIDLEY: Cornell Stokes is dead, but you're still alive. And I've never seen an arraignment happen so quickly. Two million dollar bail and someone paid it in cash. Who's your new sponsor? Is it Willis Stryker?

SHADES: Law...yer.

RIDLEY: You were part of a hostage situation, Hernan. Even if your lawyer does get you out you won't be walking away from that. That's multiple kidnapping and weapons charges. How does 25 years to life sound to you? Minimum.

SHADES: Are you serious?

RIDLEY: Yep.

SHADES: Okay. Okay. I I was in the club. I saw what happened. I know who did it.

RIDLEY: Okay. We can protect you, but I need a name to verify. Who was it? Was it Stryker?

SHADES: He goes by...lawyer. You need me to spell it?

Shades laughs Ridley out the door.

THE WATERSIDE

CANDACE: You call this safe?

MISTY: We're hiding in plain sight. I've got you...For now. Lie to me again, Candace, I walk away from here, and you are on your own.

CANDACE: It's not bullsh*t.

MISTY: We'll see. How did you even get out of Harlem's Paradise without being stopped?

CANDACE: They were so busy trying to arrest Luke, I just walked away.

MISTY: So what is it? What do you need to tell me that's so important?

CANDACE: I was at the club the night Cottonmouth died.

MISTY: I already know that.

CANDACE: I mean right after.

Misty deliberately takes out her phone and holds it up so Candace can see her touch the "record" b***on.

CANDACE: Mariah killed him.

Misty pictures herself in Harlem's Paradise as Shades and Mariah cover up the crime.

SHADES (flashback):The trash bag is for the clothes you're wearing now. Every st**ch goes in. Jewelry, too. Someone from Spurlock's will incinerate them....The secret to any good lie is it has to run parallel to the truth....

MISTY: How do you know this?

CANDACE: I heard them talking about it.

SHADES (flashback): ...do what I say...

CANDACE: The guy who always wears sungla**es, he was there. It was his idea to say Luke Cage killed Cottonmouth. I was so scared. I snuck out of there, back to the lockers.
And, um, I was trying to calm myself down. When I went upstairs, the guy with the gla**es offered me $50,000 to tell a story. So I told one.

MISTY: Why are you coming clean now?

CANDACE: 'Cause I can't live with this. Especially after Luke saving my life. If you can guarantee my safety, I will testify about everything I just told you.

Misty stops recording and puts her phone away.

Mariah scares me more than Cottonmouth. I asked her if she thought Luke did it, mostly to see if I could trust her. To see if she would tell me the truth. She looked me right in my eye and said "You never know what anyone is capable of." It was the way she said it. She...she would kill me if she knew I was speaking to you, I truly believe that. Thank you for helping me.

MISTY: I'm gonna nail Mariah Dillard's a** to the wall. Who else knows that you're here?

CANDACE: Just my friend Leslie.

MISTY: Don't call anyone else, not even Leslie. As a matter of fact, give me your phone. Come on.

CANDACE: Okay.

Misty hands her a new burner.

MISTY: Now, I picked this up on the way, just in case. It's already got my number programed in there, so if I call or text, you know it's me.

CANDACE: Is your arm okay?

MISTY: My trigger finger is just fine.
Come on, let's go.

CANDACE: Where?

MISTY: Soledad's. Her daughter Claire is the one who treated your ankle at Harlem's Paradise. She'll be there, too. I'm gonna take you there myself.

Nearby, Alex watches them from a car.

SWAY'S STUDIO

METHOD MAN: No lie. Bullets was flying everywhere and sh*t.

HEATHER B:You trying to tell me that those are bullet holes? Man, Meth, I love you, but get out of here. I don't believe that.

METHOD MAN: HB, I thought the same thing until shorty pulled the biscuit and let two off on Cage and they bounced off. Bullets ricochetin' and sh*t. Look, I'm telling y'all the truth. I see y'all over there, y'all don't believe it.
Trust me, it's the truth. And after he smacked fire out these dudes, he left the hoodie, told me and Gomez to call the police...You know I ain't calling no po-po...Then he bounced.

SWAY: Say word.

METHOD MAN: Word, Sway. I'm telling you. He even balled the dude's gun up like some old homework.

HEATHER B: But my thing is, though, if he innocent, so what he running for?

METHOD MAN: Bulletproof always gonna come second to being black. HB, you should know that. You from Jers. Jers!

SWAY: Wow! Sound like he stunted on you right there.

HEATHER B: He did stunt. It was a stunt. It was a stunt. Why you gotta stunt on me?

METHOD MAN: No, I mean, seriously. Seriously, though, what I'm just saying, like, if that was me, and I was on the run...Why even get involved? But he did. And those dudes was nervous, so anything could've happened. As far as I'm concerned, Luke Cage saved my life, man.

SWAY: That's what's up, man. You know what, that don't sound like no cop killer to me.

METHOD MAN: For real, for real. You know, there's somethin' powerful about seeing a black man that's bulletproof and unafraid. Come on, y'all. You know? Streets got mad love for Cage. I got mad love for Cage, man, and and he one of ours.

SWAY: But you know what? We got mad love for you, too.

HEATHER B: No doubt.

SWAY: You one of ours, man. You know, the show's almost over, man. You gonna spit for us?

METHOD MAN: Of course.

SWAY: Oh, man! He 'bout to spit! Citizens, you are in for a treat. One of the best to pick up the mic, the one and only Method Man!

METHOD MAN: Hey, yo, Sway. You all ready? I'mma dedicate this one to the hardest individual on the street right now. Luke Cage, you already know. "Bulletproof Love" your way, brother.

During this song we see a montage of cops trying to track down Luke Cage, stopping black men with bullet-riddled hoodies. However, the whole of Harlem has started to wear them. Gomez the bodega owner is selling them to a huge crowd.

Let's get it.
Listen.
Man, it is what it is
Can't understand a man if you ain't lived what he lived
Roaches in the crib, ain't got no food up in the fridge
Plus the crime running rampant and it's screwing up the kids
Sway, admit, what kind of paradise is this?
I just want my 40 acres and some carats on the wrist
But these snakes is trying to gather in the pit
When you get a cottonmouth, plucking ashes off the clip
Off the rip, now a challenger exists
And he bulletproof, shoot, what kind of caliber is this?
Got thugs in the store with the barrel on your lips
Saying, "empty out the drawer" before he pound you with the grip
Lord, who to call when no one obeys the law
And there ain't no Iron Man that can come and save us all?
Power to the people and Luke Cage the cause
And the cops got it wrong, we don't think Cage involved
Look, dog, a hero, never had one
Already took Malcolm and Martin, this is the last one
I beg your pardon, somebody pulling a fast one
Now we got a hero for hire and he a black one
And bullet-hole hoodies is the fashion
We in Harlem's Paradise, tell the Captain
That I'm about to trade the mic for a Magnum
Give up my life for Trayvon to have one

[Hook: Method Man]
Yeah, 'cause this is bulletproof love
And you already know what a bulletproof does
So you can take it from a bulletproof thug
The hood got his back, dog, bulletproof love
The blood thicker than mud
And who am I to judge if you get a gun in the club?
'Cause you already know what a bulletproof does
When the hood got your back, dog, bulletproof love

[Outro: Method Man]
Yeah, shoutout to Pop. RIP, my brother. The streets is crazy nowadays. People say we don't need another hero, but now we got one whether you like it or not. Luke Cage, please believe it, sir. The streets got your back. You already bulletproof love, baby
The streets is crazy right now, you know what I'm sayin'? People say we don't need another hero, but now we got one. Whether you like it or not, Luke Cage, please believe it, sir, the streets got your back. You're already bulletproof love, baby!

SWAY: Yeah! That was dope. You got it right here on Sway's Universe. The homie, Method Man, HB, and the bulletproof thug, Luke Cage.
Law enforcement is in a frenzy looking for Luke Cage.

THE BARBERSHOP

THEMBI WALLACE NEWSCAST: There have been numerous false sightings, with some people wearing hoodies with holes as a sign of solidarity with an outlaw some people still perceive to be a hero.

SWAY: Sway in the Morning. What's on your mind, citizen?

CALLER: Yo, I remember when Larry Davis was on the run back in the day. Cops came at him 'cause they were just as corrupt, dangerous and jacked up as he was. I don't think we're getting the full story on Luke Cage yet, for real.

Fish is listening to Sway and watching Thembi on the news at the Barbershop.

SWAY: I wouldn't put it past the government, man. Um, you know, we're gonna be searching for the answers for you, and once we get the facts, we're gonna put it right here on Sway's Universe, all right? Thanks for your call, citizen. We got another person on the line...

Fish changes the station to jazz. Plainclothes officers rush in to raid the shop.

OFFICERS: Now! Come on! All right.

FISH: Oh, come on, man. You know he's not here.

Smith walks over to Fish's chessboard.

SMITH: I understand playing against the computer, but, um, how do you beat yourself?

FISH: Chess is a game of anticipation. If you know every single possible move, you can anticipate your adversary's next move before he does.

SMITH: Oh. That's deep. If we find out you've been hiding him, there'll be hell to pay.

FISH: Yeah, well, just don't break the hinges on that door on your way out. I just got it fixed.

The cops drive away. Luke watches them go and comes into the shop.

FISH: That was a close shave.

LUKE: Bad pun.

FISH: What the hell did you even come back for, man?

LUKE: I had to. For Harlem. Take care of Diamondback before he made it bad for everybody.

FISH: Well, forget Harlem. Forget your brother! You're on the road in a brand new car and a woman that fine? And you're bulletproof. You'd have never seen my black a** again. I'd rob the occasional bank and never look back. You got every cop in the city looking for you, brother. Negroes writing Luke Cage ballads and sh*t. So what's the plan?

LUKE: To box in all the players.

FISH: Well, Shades is in jail. Mariah's out, but she ain't exactly on your side. Now you could tail both of 'em, but no telling how long that'll take for them to lead you to your prey. What about Misty?

LUKE: No, she's got her hands full already. She's trying to clear my name inside the precinct and bring me in at the same time. We gotta be careful with her.

FISH: That leaves you one other option. Someone else to find Diamondback. Here. Turk.

Fish gets up and goes to the wall phone.

LUKE: Turk may be a pawn, but he's not dumb. If he thinks he's being set up, he'll disappear.

FISH: You let me worry about that. Hey, Turk, it's Bobby. Listen, I might be able to get my hands on about 30 pairs of Jordans. They're the vintage Air Jordan 5s.
Let's just say they fell off the back of a truck...Okay, when?

INTERROGATION ROOM

Ridley walks in with an unfamiliar woman.

SHADES: Who's this?

RIDLEY: First name "Law," last name "Yer." Must be pretty damn connected to get a lawyer and not even know who she is.

SHADES: Membership has its privileges.

In the hall, Misty bumps into Shades on his way out.

MISTY: He sprung you? You think this is funny, don't you? You got this all figured out, huh?

SHADES: No. Actually, I don't.

UNDER A BRIDGE

Zip, Shades, and some minions get out of a car.

SHADES: When did Diamondback bring in new hires?

ZIP: Well, after the club, he had to change things up. Recruit some new faces.

They all walk into an abandoned factory.

ZIP: I bet while you were inside, cops tried to do some recruiting of their own.

SHADES: Don't ever question my loyalty.

They all step into a old service elevator.

SHADES: The man upstairs?

ZIP: You are just full of questions. Matter of fact...

Zip wraps a cord around Shades' neck to strangle him. The other minions wait impa**ively. Shades struggles until he grabs a minion's gun and starts shooting, taking out the minions before even breaking free from Zip. He turns on Zip last, holding the gun on him.

SHADES: Let's go to the penthouse.

THE ROOF

ZIP: I was just following orders!

SHADES: You're a goddamn puppet. Who gave you the order? Who?

ZIP: Diamondback! You stopped playing your position. Asked too many questions. Diamondback said you needed to be dealt with.

SHADES: Romeo would be ashamed of you. You're such a disappointment.

ZIP: You're the second person who told me that today. I'm my own man, Shades.

SHADES: Tell him yourself.

Shades shoots Zip in the head. He finds the sungla**es in Zip's pocket.

SHADES: Nice...Sorry, Romeo He had to go.

MARIAH'S BROWNSTONE

MARIAH: It's a good thing her friend Leslie knew where she was. I'm glad you found the park. So where is she now?

ALEX: She left with Detective Knight. Traffic got thick and I lost them. I'm sorry. I'm not used to doing anything like this.

MARIAH: We'll find her again. Just knowing that she can't be trusted is helpful. You did a good job, Alex. Hey, you're my rock! Later.

Mariah's phone rings. She puts in an earbud before she answers to speak on her headset.

MARIAH: What do you want?

STRYKER (over the phone): That's no way to speak to a business partner.

MARIAH: After what you did to my club, do you really think I'm gonna shuck and jive with you?

STRYKER (over the phone): You might wanna check your att**ude. If you're not of any use to me, then you're not useful to anyone. Shades would tell you, if he was still alive.

MARIAH: What the hell are you talking about?

STRYKER (over the phone): I had to let him go.
So now, I'm giving you the chance to tell me where you stand. I've taken Shades and Damon Boone off the table so you can grow. I'd hate for us to part, too.

MARIAH: I wasn't particularly fond of Shades and the death of Damon Boone, although unnecessary, was appreciated. But you need to know this. I'm out of the political game. I'm focusing on Harlem's Paradise. Using it for a a power base for community relations.

Instead of answering over the phone, Styker comes into the room.

STRYKER: That's a smart move. But you've made some dumb ones also. You should never talk about murder on an open line.

He drops a duffel bag in front of her.

STRYKER: Open it. Seed money for your New Harlem Renaissance project and refurbishing the club. My apologies.

MARIAH: It's a very generous donation but nothing in this world is free.

STRYKER: You're right. My only condition is loyalty. Stick with me and Harlem will be remade in your own image. We'll be doing this for years to come.

MARIAH: Harlem is already in my image. You staying?

STRYKER: Once I'm finished with Carl, I'll evaporate. But don't worry. You'll still feel the occasional cool breeze. Sweet dreams, Mariah.

THE STREETS OF HARLEM

Turk is walking down the street. Luke grabs him and pulls him into an alley.

LUKE: You ratted out Chico. You got Pop killed.

TURK: Man, the writing was on the wall. Somebody would have seen him. Might as well be me. How was I supposed to know Tone was gonna shoot up the shop? Whole damn world know Pop's was Switzerland. Forever.

LUKE: I should crush you.

TURK: You won't, though. You need me.

LUKE: Where's Diamondback?

TURK: I don't know.

Luke picks Turk up and holds him high in the air, then throws him into a dumpster and starts to crush it around Turk's body.

LUKE: You still stalling?

TURK: All right! All right! He's at a warehouse by the Harlem River. Near 145th, all right? I gave you what you wanted! Now let me out!

LUKE: Sit tight, Mr. Barrett. Trash pickup is tomorrow. You can breathe just fine. There's food in there, too.

TURK: You can't leave me in here! There's baby diapers in here, man! Hey! Come on!

DIAMONDBACK'S WAREHOUSE

Domingo and his minions are walking through the abandoned warehouse.

DOMINGO: Looks like you downgraded. I liked the club better.

STRYKER: I'm a man who needs his space.

DOMINGO: Space is a good thing. Especially when you come to kill a man.

STRYKER: Whoa, whoa.

Domingo and his guys pull their guns on the seemingly lone Stryker. Stryker's men emerge from the shadows, equally armed.

DOMINGO: Someone did your boy Zip and his two homies. That's not Cage's style so I'm guessing Shades didn't appreciate you bailing him out.

STRYKER: You know when a rattlesnake is at its most dangerous, Domingo? When it's cornered.

Stryker pulls out his guns and starts shooting. There is a long shootout.

DOMINGO: I'm gonna rip your head off!

Eventually Stryker escapes the melee and goes into another room. He opens a crate and a red glow illuminates his face.

STRYKER: "And behold a pale horse and he that sat upon him, his name was Death."

MARIAH'S BROWNSTONE

Mariah is counting Stryker's cash and drinking. She gets up and opens a gold box in her living room that has the pearl-handled gun that Cottonmouth used to kill Uncle Pete. Shades comes into the room.

SHADES: You really need a security system. You waiting for me?

MARIAH: No.

SHADES: I bet he told you I was dead. Diamondback got to you, didn't he?

MARIAH: No, he didn't.

SHADES: What are you doing with a gun? It's not you.

MARIAH: Shut up.

SHADES: I have something for you. Figured you'd want this.

He holds out the bottle she used to hit Cottonmouth over the head when she killed him.

SHADES: Your prints, Cornell's blood.

MARIAH: Then you'll have nothing to blackmail me with.

SHADES: I don't need it. We're in this together now.

MARIAH: You and I have come a long way. You know, sometimes you have to reach across the aisle to get things done.

SHADES: You're talking about Luke Cage? It's incredible how much you and I think alike. We're at war. And right now, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

MARIAH: Maybe. But it might not take. You did beat his a** and give him his powers. And Cornell's flunky killed Pop. You think he really is gonna jump? Just jump on our bandwagon?

SHADES: Absolutely. 'Cause we have something that he wants more than anything.

He pulls an official looking manila envelope out of his bag.

His old life. A chance to clear his name. Right here.

MARIAH: If we send Luke after Diamondback and they kill each other all of our problems are swept away. No matter who wins.

SHADES: Even better.

DIAMONDBACK'S WAREHOUSE

Luke breaks the metal door down and sees the results of the firefight. The warehouse is filled with dead bodies. He finds Domingo Colon, who isn't quite dead yet.

DOMINGO: I should've known you'd turn up.

LUKE: What the hell happened here?

DOMINGO: Diamondback.

Luke hears beeping. He follows it to that side room and finds Stryker's crate. It has a bomb inside with a countdown at 45 seconds.

LUKE: Sweet sister.

Cut to Luke running out of the warehouse carrying Domingo.

LUKE: Slow. Take it easy. What did he use? How did Diamondback do that?

DOMINGO: Something I've never seen before. Even you can't stop him.

Domingo dies.

THE STATIONHOUSE

The shot of Domingo's death becomes a crime scene photo on Misty's wall.

MISTY: These just came in.

BAILEY: Elephant punches all over again.

MISTY: Mmm-hmm.

BAILEY:That's gotta be Cage, right?

Misty's cell phone rings.

MISTY: Hello?

LUKE (over the phone): Hey, it's me. You guys find Domingo?

MISTY: Yeah.

LUKE: Meet me.

MISTY: Where?

She quickly gathers her things and leaves.

THE STREETS OF HARLEM

Misty stops in front of the grated window of an abandoned building. Luke is inside, talking to her through the window.

MISTY: Should I thank you for this?

LUKE: All credit goes to Diamondback.

MISTY: I don't suppose we'll find his body. We found Zip's, though, and two other thugs in an old building. Shot up. Right after they picked up your other boy.

LUKE: Shades. Don't you ever get tired of people getting out?

MISTY: Yes. Look, it's not safe for you to be here. If you don't find Diamondback...

LUKE: Then he wins, and my life is forever a living hell.

MISTY: Is there anything I can do?

LUKE: See what else Turk knows. He's in a Dumpster in an alley on 123rd. Near Mount Olivet and the shop.

MISTY: A dumpster?

OUTSIDE MOUNT OLIVET CHURCH

Mariah and Shades are sitting in a car.

MARIAH: Even if we handle Diamondback he's not gonna forgive us for framing him for Cornell's death.

SHADES: We could hurdle that easy. The only people who know what really happened in the club are you and me.

MARIAH: I'll regret that night for the rest of my life.

SHADES: You did what you had to do. You shouldn't regret that.

MARIAH: What were you even doing at the club that night?

SHADES: I was going there to kill him. You beat me to it.

MARIAH: Cornell never needed my political money. And he was never going to pay it back. He just wanted me in all the way.

SHADES: So what are you saying?

MARIAH: He saw things in me that I avoided my whole life. Now I am becoming that person he always saw and I always denied.

SHADES: You ready?

MARIAH: I stay ready, baby.

They climb out of the car and walk into

THE BARBERSHOP

FISH: I should've kept my coat on. Hell just froze over.

MARIAH: Where's Luke Cage?

LUKE: I'm right here.

SHADES:We have a problem.

LUKE: So do I. I can't decide which one of you I'm gonna knock out first. Where's Diamondback?

SHADES: I don't know. The parley between the three of us is more important.

LUKE: You have the nerve to use that term? Right here? Where Pop died? Cough up Diamondback's location, or I'll stomp you like we were back at Seagate.

FISH: Luke, be cool, brother.

MARIAH: Whoa, whoa. No one needs to stomp anyone. Pops made this place Switzerland for a reason. Cage, we have a mutual enemy, and the only way to bring him down is for us all to come together.

LUKE: There's no way I'm helping you.

MARIAH: We came to offer you a truce. In exchange for helping you find Diamondback, you drop your beef with us.

LUKE: You both framed me for murder. There's nothing you can offer me that's going to make me let that go.

SHADES: How about your freedom? Right here is everything you need to prove that Diamondback framed Carl Lucas.

LUKE: Even if Carl Lucas is exonerated Luke Cage is now wanted for the murder of Cottonmouth.

MARIAH: I'll tell them the truth. Diamondback killed Cornell and Damon Boone. You'll go free.

Misty emerges from the back room.

SHADES:What the hell is this?

MISTY: Mariah Dillard, you're under arrest for the murder of Cornell Stokes.

LUKE: I thought you said you were going after Turk?

MISTY: I've been tracking you since you called. I wasn't going to let you just ghost me again.

LUKE: Hey, hey. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Shades, back off! Misty, stand down. We're working this out.

MISTY: Oh, so you workin' with them now?

LUKE: He knows where Diamondback is.

SHADES: I didn't say that.

MISTY: Well, whatever you know, Hernan, you should share it with the whole cla**.

SHADES: I ain't telling you sh*t.

Something drops to the ground right outside the shop.

LUKE: Grenade!

Everyone drops to the ground (with Luke between them and the door) to cover their heads. The grenade goes off, blowing out all the windows of the shop. In the chaos Misty drops her phone and Shades picks it up. Stryker comes in wearing a green suit and helmet.

FISH: What the hell? What type of Jean Paul Gaultier sh*t is this? What are you, a pimp stormtrooper?

STRYKER: No, I'm the angel of death.

SHADES (aside to Mariah): You told him to meet us here?

MARIAH: No.

STRYKER: Damn! Look at Hernan the c*ckroach. Your mama should have named you Pedro.

Shades lifts his gun and fires at Stryker. The bullets ricochet off of his suit.

MARIAH: Shades!

FISH: God damn it! I just fixed this place up all perfect and sh*t! Y'all can't take this outside?

LUKE & STRYKER: No.

FISH: All right, just just sayin'.

LUKE (to Misty): Don't let Mariah get away.

MISTY: I won't. Kick his a**, Luke.

STRYKER: You know I'm gonna kill 'em all later, right?

LUKE: You have to get past me first.

STRYKER: Oh, I don't go past. I go through.

They both yell and charge each other before the screen goes black.