Season 1 Episode 11 "Now You're Mine"
Luke Cage episode 11, "Now You're Mine", opens with Diamondback holding Luke, Misty, Claire, and the rest of the hostages at Harlem's Paradise. Luke and Misty are hiding away from the rest of the hostages. Diamondback is so blinded from his rage that he doesn't have a solid plan other than "Luke's a big meanie and I hate him, and also, VENGEANCE!!!!111". We find out why Diamondback hates Luke so much—because Luke was the son of a preacher, he got off while Diamondback was sent to juvenile detention. In juvie, Diamondback stabbed another inmate because he's SUPER smart and thus had to spend more time behind bars, thus missing out on being there for his mother while she died of cancer. I can think of a million people he should be angry at instead of Luke—mostly his father, but also the system—and hell, maybe HIMSELF for making everything worse by STABBING A DUDE BEHIND BARS—but he's decided to project his severe daddy issues and anger on Luke, because, you know, cool.
The half-plan he comes up with is to kill Luke and then convince everyone outside the club that Luke was the killer. Cool. Solid plan, dude. The Kingpin, this man is not. He's not even Mariah Dillard. Diamondback is straight up the most boring villain in the Netflix series—he's not smart or cunning, he doesn't have a larger agenda other than trumped-up, misplaced Daddy issues that manifest as a two-bit Cain and Abel story, he isn't interesting or sympathetic in the least. He's a career criminal and a bully who managed to get his hands on some fancy space metal. That's all.
Diamondback holds a gun to Boone's head and orders him to pretend it's Luke that has him hostage, and then issues Luke's demands—which are really Diamondback's. Then, Diamondback shoots him and delivers his body downstairs to the waiting cops outside, framing it as Luke's handiwork, after getting on the PA and threatening to kill a hostage every ten minutes until Luke shows himself. Luke knocks out a bunch of goons and frees the hostages—except Candace, who Diamondback holds onto. He makes Luke choose between running, or saving Candace. Luke chooses to save Candace and is arrested at the end of the episode.
Meanwhile, Luke gets Misty to safety, and explains who Diamondback is and why he hates Luke. Misty promises to help clear Luke's name when they get out of the club. Meanwhile, Claire Temple continues to be absolutely amazing. For someone with no superpowers, she's often the real hero across this series, and in this episode especially she comes into her own. She's smart and resourceful—she manages to talk her way into treating Candace and then uses that opportunity to lie her way into sneaking downstairs, knocks out one of the hired goons, and saves Misty's life TWICE.
Shades continues to be slimy, though I'm starting to like him a little as he basically watches Diamondback make bad decisions and is all, "dude, don't... maybe... maybe don't do the thing. Please don't do the thing. The thing is stupid... Goddammit, Diamondback, you did the thing. No, I won't testify against you, but only 'cause it'll ruin my rep if they knew how embarrassingly unprepared we were for this whole situation. C'mon dude, I'm trying to own Harlem and here you are doing dumb things cause you have misplaced Daddy issues." I'm kind of hoping Shades and Mariah end up taking Diamondback down and come into their own as the main villains of the story, because they're far more interesting.
Also, HOLY SHIT CLAIRE TEMPLE. I really love her.
Overall, solid episode, except for Diamondback. In a show filled with complex, well written characters, his 2D cartoonishness seems more and more awkward and out of place.