02x13 - They Reminisce Over You

Episode transcripts for the TV show "Luke Cage". Aired: September 30, 2016 – June 22, 2018.
Luke Cage had been imprisoned for a crime he did not commit and gained the powers of superhuman strength and unbreakable skin after being subjected voluntarily to an experimental procedure.
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02x13 - They Reminisce Over You

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Your Honor, the State of New York charges the defendant, Mariah Stokes Dillard, with the crime of m*rder in the first degree.

Twelve counts, with victims that include her own cousin, Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes.

Objection! Again, for the fourth time.


Donovan, need I remind you, there are no cameras in this courtroom? That's hard to believe, given the way District Attorney Tower is acting, Your Honor.

I object to the prosecution's grandstanding during what should be a simple arraignment for a first time offender.

I'm not grandstanding, Your Honor.


Stokes Dillard's hands are drenched with blood.

Besides her role in the so-called "Rum Punch m*ssacre," Ms.

Stokes Dillard faces separate federal SEC violations for financial irregularities for her role in the Atreus Plastics merger Look at her.

She's done.

We finally got her.

I mean, look at her squirming.

She's about to slither.

I'd like to remind the court that Councilwoman Stokes has been an upstanding member of her community, and, like yourself, a fellow Delta Sigma You! You m*rder my children! You m*rder! Order! Order! Order.

Bail is denied.


Stokes Dillard's passport is to be revoked, and she is to be remanded to Rikers until a trial date is set.

Your Honor, may I speak? I can't believe I'm actually entertaining this, but proceed.

Your Honor, I am not a flight risk.

I'm not a risk to the people.

I love my people.

Allow me to explain.

There is a storm wall around Harlem.

One that was built, brick by brick, by my grandfather Samuel Stokes and my grandmother Mabel.

That wall is eroding.

Global warming has taken its toll.

Y'all denied the science.

The water has gotten hotter.

What should've been a thunderstorm is now becoming a hurricane.

But no one is prepared.

Nothing has been fortified.

Resources will be overwhelmed.

The rains will come torrential, and the water will rise too fast.

Get down! People won't have time to evacuate.

If you release me I will fortify that wall around Harlem before it's too late.

I find your Katrina references offensive.

I have family from Louisiana who lost everything.

As long as you have been on the bench, as long as everyone here has been alive, there has been a Stokes patching up that wall around Harlem.

You need me out there.

You want me out there.

Because without me, God help Harlem.

God help us all.

Hell has returned to Harlem.


Violent crime has increased 75% since the arraignment of former councilwoman turned criminal godmother Mariah Dillard Stokes.

Police and emergency response times have increased to all-time highs.

- Professor Cobb.

- You can call me Jelani.

Jelani, you teach at Columbia University and are a longtime resident of Harlem.

What's your take? I'm shocked, like everybody else.

I've never seen anything quite like this.

There's sh**t on Convent Avenue.

Old ladies in Sunday hats are getting smacked around on Strivers' Row.

I read your New Yorker profile on Luke Cage.

You talk about his bulletproof skin and his forthright swagger.

Damn, bro.

"Streets is hot" takes on a whole new meaning with you.

No doubt.

It's like the Wild Wild West out there.

If the police are overwhelmed, shouldn't someone like Luke Cage be more of a factor? Here we go.

Luke's a good brother.

At his best, he's shelter from the storm.

Stand close? You might not get wet.

But not even Luke Cage can control the weather.

No one's blaming you, player.

Doesn't feel like it.

I thought things would get better with Mariah off the streets.

Not worse.


Ah, Detective Knight.

You know, I never had a chance to thank you for what you did for us.

I was just doing my job.

Are you here on the job now? Depends.

You, uh, making more tender vittles for your friend? What friend? Bushmaster is not my friend.

I didn't say Bushmaster.

But, now that you mentioned it I mean, he didn't heal himself.

And he probably did not slip inside your mother's club by himself, either.

I think you helped him.

Maybe you're Harlem's Patty Hearst.

Bushmaster tied us up b*rned my family's brownstone to the ground, and my mother's response was to m*rder an entire restaurant full of innocent people.

Now, I have to reconcile with the fact that that is where I come from.

And I wanted to help her, but I can't.

She is evil.

And Detective, all I wanna do is move on with Do you know where Bushmaster is? No.

Detective, you wanna walk around and snoop around my shop, you're gonna need a warrant for that.

I know my rights.

You see, now, right there you sounded just like your mama.

Whatever you think you're doing, stop.

She's gone.

But not for long.

She's not stupid.

Do you have it? Is it ready now? It might not work.

It has to.


His fever is breaking.

Whatever you gave him is working, but he's weak.

This root will help with his memory.

But he needs therapy, which includes rest and diluted doses of nightshade, which you can only find in Nine Mile.

I understand.

Johnny? Mmm-hmm.


Evil won't die on its own.

You know? It only festers.

Is she d*ad? No.

Mariah must burn.

It's the only way.

Hey, John, come.

John, come, come.

Come on, man, easy.

Easy, now.

Go easy.


Harlem's getting carved up like a birthday cake.

Who sent out the invites? Well, it wasn't Eric Hong of the Koreans.

He's d*ad.

The Dominicans never recovered from losing Arturo Rey.

Ain't them neither.

That leaves the Puerto Ricans and the Stylers.

And I haven't seen a single Jamaican since the surge began.

As usual, Carl, you don't know shit.

Think about it.

Who has history with each other in East Harlem? Who has always wanted to expand west? The Boricuas and the Italians.

Anibal Izqueda is making moves on real estate and g*n, yes, but only because the Italians backed them against the Koreans.

And they got the juice downtown to keep the Yangsi Gonshi out of it.

I can't trust a damn word you're saying.

You're feeding on the chaos.

Now that Mariah's out of the way, you wanna take over.

I can't even if I wanted to.

Whole world knows that I'm a snitch.

I'm out.

But that doesn't mean I can't help you win.

Help me win? Help me win what? When I was a kid my mother worked the counter at Cuchifritos on 116th.

Hector's been the manager there forever.

The Fania All Stars used to come in there and eat before going across the street to sign autographs at Casa Latina.

Three punks robbed that place the other day.

Smacked old Hector across the head.

He died of an aneurysm this morning.

The old rules are being broken.

Everything is changing for the worse.

You started that when you and Tone sh*t this place up and k*lled Pop.

That was Tone.

That wasn't me.

You had a g*n in your hand.

You're just as guilty.

Rosalie Carbone wants to take over Harlem.

The same way her father did back in the day when he tried to push the Stokes out of Harlem's Paradise.

She's been waiting for an opening like this, and now she has one.

I don't like you, Carl.

I never have, I never will.

But you are the only person that can make this right.

Hey, who told you you could touch the board? He came back for his birthright.

He will always be a thr*at from the shadows.

We just talked about her.

There needs to be a third candidate.

Someone who loves Harlem.

Someone who wants to shake things up.

Someone who wants to flip the system on its head.

Who's that? Fastest way to stop the flow is to put your hand on the faucet.

That's all I'm saying to you.

You're right, Shades.

You are done on the streets.

And you're done here, too.

If you show up again without an invite and I'm here I'll k*ll you on sight.

You hear me? See? You're not polite anymore.

That's how it starts.

Little Italy? I don't know.

Let me ask my man.

You're like Uber for thugs.

If you wanna know anything about anybody, ask a driver.

Wagwan? Shit! Shit! Shit! Rosalie Carbone says, "Goodbye, moolie.

" Wop bitch! Do it! Do it quick! You don't remember me, do you, May May? Sunflower? I go by my given name now, baby.


Well, you've grown.

Mabel sure would be proud.

It's a shame you in here, though.


Yeah, well Thanks for keeping my back.

Don't thank me yet, bitch.

Mabel didn't do right by me.

That's my fault? We'll protect you, but you're gonna have to pay us.

You know I'm good.

I am good for it.

Just one condition.

I wanna carve my name in that Jamaican bitch that threw kerosene up in my hair.

Let me hold something.

One of Pete's nasty-ass gals.

Look in my eyes! I am the head n*gga in charge.

I'll pay you 150 large a year.

Twenty tonight, each.

I'll pay your people on the outside.

Ask around about Mariah Stokes.

I'm the real for real.

You with me? A'ight.

Then clean all this shit up.

Ben you need to get here.

Right now.

Bring 40.

I don't care if you shove it up your ass.

Just do it.


People always want to see if the myth is true.

I see it's not a myth in your case.

You realize I have more guys.

Doesn't matter.

I'll never stop.

I can't speak for Yangsi Gonshi, but Anibal Izqueda wouldn't have the wit to pierce Mariah's wall if you didn't back them up.

Sounds like you're about to tell me what to do.

You're right.

Stay your ass out of Harlem.

I was born and raised on Pleasant Avenue.

Harlem is my home.

I'm not going anywhere.

What part don't you understand? What are you gonna do if I don't leave? You gonna k*ll me? So smooth.

You could k*ll me.

That would be easy for you.

But my Russian friends from Brighton Beach would have no qualms sh**ting up school yards and taking out whole families, Moscow style, if you did that.

We make too much money together.

I will destroy your trucks.

I will raid every single warehouse.

I will disrupt the profits of your partners so much that they will hand you over to the feds.

I will make your life a living hell.

Or? Tell everyone to back off.

No action above 114th or below 150th.

From Harlem River Drive to the West Side Highway.

Retribution on anyone who acts a fool on Lenox Avenue, Strivers' Row, Rucker Park or any of the parks.

A lockbox around Harlem.

How much would it cost to get a key made? I can't be bought.

You can't answer that truthfully yet, sweetheart.

You don't know your price yet.



Next time, let's do this over coffee.

You ever been to Caffe Reggio? I don't like espresso.

No one's made you a proper cup.

Is Anansi's body in there? The coffin's already on the ship, waiting for them.

In Delaware.

New York feels too hot.

Johnny finally got to top of the hill.

Now, he can't even enjoy the view.

It always seems like it's worth it, but it's not.

I'm glad I didn't k*ll you, you know.

You're a good woman.

If I can give him just a little bit of peace, I will have done something.

The things that the Stokes did to him can't ever be repaid.

But I am no longer paying for my mother's sins.

Not anymore.

Can we be candid in here? Yes.

It's the attorney-client room.

It would be illegal for anyone to listen in, and anything that they heard would be inadmissible.

Besides, I bought the head CO a Porsche.

The monitors are off.

Did you bring the money? I gave it to their people.

They'll put it on their books.

Nothing will trace to you.

What about the snitch? He's untouchable.

Even if we eliminated our problem, he's already gone on the record.

There's physical evidence, and his death would force them to corroborate other things.

Maybe not.

What do you mean? There's still a jury to contend with.

A jury might buy how a rich but lonely widow could be seduced by an aggressive, emotionally manipulative man who uses sex and physical intimidation to inveigle an otherwise upstanding woman into a life of crime.


He has numerous m*rder that he's admitted to.

Even the g*n that was used on poor Candace Miller was a family heirloom that he stole.

- Without my permission.

- Exactly.

He also, by his own admission, tampered with Cornell's crime scene.

- Correct? - Mmm-hmm.

So in a court of law, it's reasonable to assume There's reasonable doubt about my guilt in any of this.


Alvarez is no Sammy the Bull.

More like Shades the Bullshitter.

Revoke his pass.

It's dangerous.

It's risky.

But it's worth it.

Anybody else roll? No.

Can't give them the chance to.

Everyone? Everyone who is not protected by blood or attorney-client privilege.

I appreciate that.

I thought you would.

And Sugar.

Why Sugar? His wife gave me clothes.

I'll never forget that.



Victims six and seven tonight.

These two were identified by Shades as part of the Rum Punch m*ssacre.

And the others were gonna be named in an indictment that was going out tonight.

Mariah is cleaning house.

Calling Mr.

Alvarez? Straight to voice mail.

- You don't think it's him doing this? - No.

I'm worried he's already d*ad.

Hey! Hey! How the hell did you get in here? You need to help me.

Tell your mother I'd never rat.

I'd never roll over.

What's going on? Just about anybody that's ever worked at Harlem's Paradise is d*ad.

Damn it, Alex! You knew who she was better than anyone.

You should've walked when you had the chance.

I wanted to.

I just couldn't.

She She has a way.

But she does love you.

I know that much.

I can't help you.

Please, leave.

Before I call the police.

Look, she's dangerous.

Even if she doesn't mean to be.

She can't help it.

She's a Stokes.


You meditating? Not my style.

My phone has been blowing up.

Everyone I know that's ever worked for her is now gone.

d*ad people can't testify.

I gotta see Mariah.

Before she reopens the hole in the wall I just patched up.

I agree.

You've got no other choice.

- She coming at your people? - No.

And she won't.

I don't know why, but I like you, Sugar.

Why did you ever start working for the Stokes? I came up in St.

Nick Projects, three doors down from Teddy Riley.

Word? I couldn't sing, but I could knock the snot out of a quarterback.

Every school came to see me.

Girls screaming my name That's why they call me Sugar.

I was the man till I twisted my knee.

That was my sh*t.

I thought I was done.

Then this councilwoman, Mariah Dillard, paid for my tuition at Grambling, even though I couldn't play.

And even after I dropped out, Cottonmouth gave me a job and kept food on my table.

How could I say no to that? That's the thing about power.

People don't care how you get it.

It's all about how you use it.


Just trying to wrap my head around this thing, that's all.

I'm trying to broker a peace, if there is such a thing.

Ain't no different than being a diplomat, right? Kick-ass Kissinger.

I'm with it.

Believe it or not Mariah really does love Harlem.

So do I.

So do I.

Give me your phone.

Now! Nice try.

Put me on the list under a different name, and I speak to her alone.

My baby! No! My Alex! Please, no! Why? Alex! Let go of me! No! Alex! There's nothing you can do to me.

But there is so much that I can do to you.

I ain't gonna front.

I was hurt when you snitched.

Did you ever love me? I still love you.

Harder than Che? See? That's what you never understood.

When you're away at college, this feels real.

But when you graduate, it's different.

I was committed to you.


He would've figured that out eventually.

Me and you could've ruled Harlem together.


Mmm, don't.


No, 'cause you need to hear this.

You talked to me about the light.

About being Hernan and putting Shades away.

But you were the one who sold your soul.

And for what? The legacy of some some last name that you hate? All you had to do was give me the club, like I asked you.

Or sell that that g*dd*mn painting.

And none of this would have happened.

We would have been out there, doing our thing.

I really am done with all this shit, and I have you to thank for that.

Don't leave.

I already had to off somebody in here.

I'm gonna have to do it again.

Let me give you some advice.

Gangster to gangster.

This is your life now.

Your head on a swivel.

No one you can ever trust.

Don't worry.

You're a natural.


Bye, baby.

Tilda just called.

She's ready to see you.


Let's get it over with.


I thought she liked that kid.

Mariah has no like in her.

Have you seen Sugar? Nah.

I need to see her.

What for? Closure.

Look, can you get me on the list? And jeopardize my case? Hell, no.

Look, that bitch is in jail, and she is still m*rder people.

Even if I can't prove it.

All the more reason for somebody to talk some sense into her.

What? You don't trust me? Oh, I trust you implicitly, but you're not the right person for this, Luke.

I'm sorry.



Cockroach's lawyer I need a number.

A cell number.

Not the office.

It's good to see you.

I said some harsh things the last time we talked.

You think? Have you ever been r*ped? When you're r*ped, there's a part of you that just dies.

It's the only way to cope.

But then you're left with a piece of you that doesn't feel.

Can't feel.

I know I'm supposed to love you.

I just don't know how.

I don't know how to say it.

Try saying nothing at all.

You're just evil.


I'm necessary.

Necessary? All those people d*ad.

Necessary? Even Alex? For what? Hmm? You think that's gonna work? Do you Do you really think that you're gonna get out of here? If there is a single person from Harlem on my jury, I walk.

Because there will be no one to contradict what they see.

That's the thing about black excellence, baby.

It shields you.

And when I get out, you and I, we will start over again from scratch.

Now, you need to forgive me.

My time here already, I I have changed in ways that I never anticipated.

Your life is a waste.

Every person who's ever loved you, who you didn't k*ll, you pushed away.

Even your precious Harlem.

I almost feel sorry for you.

I pushed you away.


Just like Mama Mabel did me.

And you're better for it.

No one will ever hurt you, because you'll never be hurt worse.

And that's a blessing? You're prepared.

Nobody will ever betray you, 'cause you'll never let 'em close enough.

You're welcome.

Look, I need you to look in on the Paradise for me.

And why the hell would I do that? Because it's home.

The music lives inside of you, Tilda.

Whether or not you surrender to the rhythm is up to you.

But before you walk away from it, from me, from our legacy You stand inside of it.

You tell me I'm wrong.

Hey I no longer see Pete's face when I look at you.

I see mine.

Oh, sweetie.

I love you, Mother.

I hope you find peace.

Even though you don't deserve it.

You're never gonna guess who just called me.

She called me "Mother.

" Not "Mommy.

" Tilda didn't mean a damn thing she said.

I need you to do something.

And it needs to be official.

Who? Who called? Your spell is broken The truth wide open You're done taking All I've got to give You done hurt me, Mama Now no more drama Clipped my wings And now it's time to live 'Cause I'm so tired of trying So damn tired of hiding From these truths Been crying with these lies subsiding And the price I'll have to pay For your sin Is a price worth paying 'Cause everything must come to an end Time to walk my own path Ain't no looking back It's time to fight For what I know is right No more shady business And God's my witness What was dark Is about to come to light There ain't no "family first" What you meant was you, you thirst In the end, everyone else gets hurt Because this legacy's cursed And the price I'll have to pay For this sin Is a price worth paying 'Cause everything has come to an end Everything has come to an end Everything has come to an end Hoo This is highly unusual and admittedly awkward.

So leave.

This is a first.

You want to see me, and I want to see you.

I met with Rosalie Carbone.

I heard.

I repaired the wall.

There's a new gangster in town.

I prefer "sheriff.

" "Diplomat," maybe.

How about "warden," jailbird? Hey, you're the one wearing the jumpsuit.

Look Shades is done.

The Stylers are done.

Don't undercut the peace that I have brokered by k*lling anyone else.

I simply don't have that kind of juice anymore, babe.

You think too much of me, kid.

I think very little of you.

And soon not at all.

Everybody else I called here in some way.

But you came on your own.

You really care about me, don't you? You really are delusional.

You were the catalyst, man.

You made me find who I really am.

In a strange way, we're responsible for each other.

Bitch, please.

Uh, no offense.

None taken, n*gga.

The preacher's son.

Even when you're ugly, you are regal.

Harlem's gonna need a king.

I'm glad it's you.

And I'm glad that you're never going to get out of here.

Everyone has walked away from you.

And I'm gonna be the last one.

Don't be too sure Shit.

Mariah? Tilda! Shit! Beso de la Araña.

No one's coming.

You can't save me? Nah.

I've done all the saving I can do.

But I will keep you company.

Thank you.

It burns.


We ain't done yet, Luke.

Hernan Alvarez.

You are under arrest for the m*rder of Candace Miller and Darius "Comanche" Jones.

- Bullshit.

I have a deal.

- Mmm.

Now, you see, you alienated your lawyer before she could explain the fine print.

Your proffer was contingent upon the successful conviction of Mariah Dillard.

And when she died, your deal died with her.


And we also received an anonymous ledger with your Atreus dealings and a code that I bet will match up with g*n sales.

She thought of everything, didn't she? What a crazy bitch.


That's something we finally agree on.

I've known your family for years.

I've done them all.

Do you want the usual bells and whistles? Mahogany and gold? Just cremate her.

I don't care about her ashes.

Uh, as you wish, Ms.


The last Stokes just died.

It's Johnson.

Tilda Johnson.

Sorry, May May.

She really died in your arms? And she thanked me.

I'm not sure how I feel about that.

I was around that lady my whole life.

I know she was evil, but I can't front.

I'm gonna miss her.

Personally I haven't felt this weird since November 9th.

Know what I'm saying? Easy, bredren.

I heard the news.

Harlem is in the right hands now.

Walk good, man.

You really are Luke Corleone, aren't you? It's not like that, D-Dub.

The streets not hot no more.

The dealers left the park.

What did you do? I had a few conversations.

Uh, put some people on notice.

I made things right.

Wait, wait, the crime faucet your mans was talking about That's why you went to see Mariah on that Hyman Roth shit.

Look I'm bulletproof.

Okay? You can't burn me.

You can't blast me.

And you can't break me.

And most importantly you can't buy me.

I'm the only person that can make Harlem great again, D-Dub.

Luke Trump.

Listen, I'm sorry to say this, man, but if you're gonna be the boss of crime, then you're a crime boss.

Ain't no two other ways about it.

You and Sug got to bounce.

- What? - Yeah.

Yeah, you heard me.

'Cause I'mma tell you what I'm finna do.

When Ms.

Hopson comes here, I'm giving her all the money I made selling this merchandise, and I'm taking over the lease of the barbershop.

Because if this is the route that you're gonna go, you can come here and get your hair cut, but that's it.

Can't talk shop around here.

'Cause this place is Switzerland.

It has to be, and you know it.

All right.

All right.

I respect that.



We need to talk.

Not here.

- Coming, big man? - No doubt.

I thought you weren't a king.

I'm not.

I'm a rook.

Luke, wait.

Don't do this, man.

You don't have to do it like this.

Somebody has to.


Stokes' handwritten will is as follows.

The Basquiat will be donated to the Studio Museum of Harlem.

Her leftover millions will transform the Family First Initiative into the Family First Foundation.

Tilda she left you Cornell's keyboard.

And I quote "To Carl Lucas, known on the streets of Harlem as Luke Cage, I give Harlem's Paradise.

The club, the deed, the name.

" Why? Because Tilda just lied to you? No.

Harlem's Paradise is the crown jewel of Harlem.

It should go to someone who loves Harlem as much as I do.

You know the story of the Sirens? The beauty of their voices compelled men off course to crash against the rocks.

This club will be his siren.

He'll be lulled by its song, lulled by so-called greatness.

She really said that? "You can't rule no kingdom from a barbershop," is what she said to me.

The preacher's son will think he can use the roost to change things, to control it.

But in the end it will change him.

Do you want it? Nah.

You should burn it.

Burn it down to the ground.

You know, just because she gave it to you didn't mean you had to take it.

Everything flows through here, right? I can watch from above.

Like a hawk.

Or a dictator.

This is the right move, Misty, trust me.

Things are quiet again.

I did that.

Not all crime is gone, but people are thinking twice now.

They know there's a new sheriff in town.

We can finally protect Harlem again.

I'll enforce the unwritten rules while you enforce the written ones.

And what about the law, Luke? But when has the law ever really protected us? Don't think that I will hesitate to take you down if you start acting a fool.

I'm counting on it.

Rosalie Carbone needs to talk.

Anibal Izqueda is here, too.

What do you want me to do? Put them in VIP downstairs.

Anything else? Welcome to Harlem The home of innovating Legacies, stories of gods k*lling Satan Where they honor Harlem's father Philip Peyton The Renaissance in the making Ellington, Garvey Joe Louis, Lena Horne Malcolm, Miles, Louis Armstrong But now crime is the new crave So it's a new crusade So salute to Luke Cage Fight for the cause All the way to the top Rivalry wars Life could be lost No time for remorse Forward, always for Pop Until the crown is rightfully yours But success brings sacrifice And knowing what's at stake The pressure could crack a pipe But everything has a price But you pay with your life In the king's paradise This story gets complicated He got framed for a crime And incarcerated Locked up His alter ego builds Experimented on Left him with superhero skills Now every day he gets twice as strong Bulletproof skin, but his life is torn The only lady he ever loved In his life is gone Escaped prison Got to fight to right his wrong No question He gonna take on the whole hood In a hoodie No w*apon and no cape on One by one and knock 'em out Until Cottonmouth is forgot about But success brings sacrifice And if you thinking it's a piece of cake You can have a slice It's like gambling with a pair of dice But you pay with your life In the king's paradise She's here.

What do you want me to tell her? Tell Claire to go home.

Your strength is from God, Carl.

I have no doubt in my mind about that.

But with that kind of power comes its share of pain.

I know, Dad.

Science? Magic? God? That power flows from within.

From inside.

What comes out when that pressure is heaviest? That's the real magic.

That's what defines being a man.

That's what defines being a hero.
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