Luke Cage - We finished this series last night and I really loved it. As many have noted, it seemed to take the approach of Daredevil: Season 2 and split the season in the middle. This really helped them avoid some of the padding that was one of the pitfalls of Jessica Jones. I really enjoyed the episodes where they kinda hit pause and went into some of the backstory for the characters. The one for Cottonmouth and Maria was particularly good especially in how it set up the resolution to the first half of the season.
The music was stellar. I really love how the background music struck this cord between the soundtrack to a blaxploitation film and an Ennio Morricone score. It really felt like a Quentin Tarantino film in that way. I've put the vinyl for it on my Christmas list. The musical guest idea was also pretty cool. It really integrated Harlem's Paradise and it's connection to the story very well.
I used to really hate the way that everything in Marvel comics seemed to happen only in New York City. I think the Marvel Netflix shows have used this to their advantage. The one odd wrinkle is that it almost seemed like Georgia was closer than Hell's Kitchen as far as Luke and Claire separating themselves from events in Jessica Jones and Daredevil.
I really enjoyed the characters. To me, Luke was this unshakable force of a character that just moved forward and really represented how to be a superhero where he was. I thought Cottonmouth was a great and incredibly nuanced villain. I did not see his death and Moira's rise to replace him coming but thought that was perfectly handled. Some of the more minor characters impressed me too. I initially thought Shades was going to be a kind of one note lackey but he ended up being pretty great. I also really liked the Method Man cameo and how they really used that as part of the show.
The ending really thew me for a loop. Just when you think the bad guys have lost and the good guys have won, they pull some Empire Strikes Back bullshit and everything goes south. It's not what I expected but it really has me hungry for more.