Best Luke Cage Episodes Ranked

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Well, this is a nice trend isn’t it? With Daredevil and Jessica Jones ranked, why not take on the bulletproof man: Luke Cage? Luke Cage released third, mostly due to his involvement in Jessica Jones, out of the Marvel Netflix Universe and was very striking. Imagine if Spike Lee directed a superhero series. That is Luke Cage in a nutshell. So, before I get into the list, here is some history about the TV show.


Luke Cage first aired on Netflix in September 2016 and ran for 2 seasons until 2018. Both seasons consisted of 13 episodes. The show follows the titular bulletproof hero and picks up just after the events of Jessica Jones Season 1. Luke Cage features run-ins with iconic villains Cottonmouth, Bushmaster and of course Diamondback as he tries to balance his civilian life and a burgeoning career as a hero. Despite only running for two seasons, Luke Cage is a great watch for Marvel fans prior to his inevitable (re?) introduction into the MCU. So, without further ado, here are the best Luke Cage Episodes.

Luke Cage

10. Can’t Front on Me (S2, E12)

Kicking off the list of the best Luke Cage episodes is Can’t Front on Me. However, whilst most season two’s drop off in terms of quality, Luke Cage bucks the trend. Just don’t mention the pacing. So what happens? Well, Luke continues his preparations for his fight against Bushmaster by teaming up with him to take out Harlem’s heroin supply? Wow, I did not see that coming… Anyway, this episode also sees Misty and Luke taking on Bushmaster but he escapes after Cage can’t bring himself to kill him. Overall, a decent episode.

9. Just to Get a Rep (S1, E5)

Surely Luke Cage doesn’t lift.. I’m sorry for that. Anyway, this episode sees the classic villain turning the public against the hero. In this case, Cottonmouth extorts Harlem to pay his debts. In doing this, he blames it on Luke Cage. So, how does that work out for Cottonmouth? Well, he gets a weapon capable of killing Cage out of it so maybe it works out well for him. Also, this felt like the first episode to properly up the stakes for Luke and the series.

8. Soliloquy of Chaos (S1, E12)

Clearly, Luke Cage continued Jessica Jones’s trend of fantastic episode titles. So, what happens in Soliloquy of Chaos? Well, Luke Cage is a free man and he’s built up a cult following amongst Harlem. But clearly, that isn’t going to sit well with the police and obviously Diamondback. This episode sets up the fight between Diamondback and Cage for the next episode but also does something more important. What is that? Begins to tackle the subject of Black Lives versus the Police. Overall, a very decent episode.

7. Blowin’ Up the Spot (S1, E8)

What does Blowin’ Up the Spot bring to the show? Well, two things. The first is some amazing fights for the viewers. And the second? The stakes keep getting higher and higher for Mr Cage. About the amazing fights, this is the first episode where Luke fights Diamondback, aka Willis Stryker. And you’ll never guess what… Diamondback is Luke’s brother. I know that’s a shocking revelation if you’ve never seen a superhero TV show before….. And if the stakes weren’t already high, then the fact that Diamondback is trying to kill his own brother is high enough stakes. Damn, Luke Cage is a good series.

6. Now You’re Mine (S1, E11)

I don’t remember Luke Cage being put under a spell… Again, I’m sorry for that joke. So, what happens in Now You’re Mine? To put it bluntly, Diamondback is using hostages to frame Luke for kidnapping them. So, how do you think his plan works out? Anyway, as well as worrying about hostages, Cage has to also worry about Misty and Claire. And, on top of all of that he has to worry about the police trying to kill him. Don’t let anyone tell you the show doesn’t have high stakes?

5. Code of the Streets (S1, E2)

At the halfway point of the best Luke Cage episodes is Code of Secrets. Despite this being the second ever episode, it isn’t afraid to throw the audience in the deep end. How does it do that? Well, Luke just starts out wanting to do a favour for a friend. Yet by the end, he slowly realises how much his city has fallen into crime. If the first few episodes are supposed to get you hooked in, then Code of Secrets does that and then some.

4. Who’s Gonna Take The Weight? (S1, E3)

Speaking of the first few episodes, Who’s Gonna Take The Weight? Not me. Man, my humour’s terrible… So, this is the first episode where Luke properly takes the fight to Cottonmouth. How? He hits him where it hurts. In his wallet obviously. I can’t think of anywhere else it might hurt to be hit… So, Luke takes a ton of money from Cottonmouth and in turn this sets up the events of Just to Get a Rep. An excellent episode that continues Luke’s journey towards the protector of Harlem.

3. The Main Ingredient (S2, E10)

Sneaking into the top three best Luke Cage episodes is The Main Ingredient. Why is that? Well, it sees Luke Cage team up with… Iron Fist! Ok, so you might not like him but the Defenders showed Cage and Rand having great chemistry. So, Iron Fist and Luke team up to track down Bushmaster after being convinced by Claire Temple. Damn, Claire really is everywhere. The Main Ingredient is a nice little teamup episode. Also, it acts as a nice preview for Luke Cage in the MCU.

2. Manifest (S1, E7)

Just missing out on the top spot is Manifest. The main reason it ranks so highly? It changes the game for Luke and the rest of the characters. So, let’s start with Cottonmouth and his cousin: Mariah. So, who would have guessed that Mariah’s associations with Cottonmouth’s criminal enterprises would reflect badly on her? Also, Luke is having to fight to keep his past prison life under wraps from outside forces. So, all in all, a very good episode.

1. Step in the Arena (S1, E4)

And break the walls down! Sorry I couldn’t resist. Anyway, the best Luke Cage episode is Step in The Arena. Every superhero needs an origin story and Luke Cage is no different. Step in the Arena shows how Luke endured prison and gained his superhuman invulnerability. Not only does this provide great emotional depth for Cage but also pays off the backstory set up in Jessica Jones. That backstory concerns his then wife, Reva. On top of all that, this episode draws ties between Cage and Cottonmouth. Damn, what an episode.

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What are your thoughts about the best Luke Cage episodes? Let me know in the comments below!