Luke fights to protect his old enemy Mariah Dillard in the final trailer for Luke Cage season 2. Mariah (Alfre Woodard) and her right-hand man Hernan "Shades" Alvarez (Theo Rossi) were still at large at the end of season 1, but went off the radar during last summer's The Defenders miniseries. They've remained in the shadows for Luke Cage season 2's marketing up to this point, leaving it to villainous Bushmaster (Mustafa Shakir) to take the spotlight in their place. It's a smart way to pique fan interest for season 2, given the air of mystery around Luke's new bullet-proof foe and what he's after.
Now, however, Mariah is back and ready to collect her crown as the queen of Harlem in the absence of her late cousin, Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes. The final trailer for Luke Cage season 2 even shows Mariah gazing at the large photo of The Notorious B.I.G. in Cornell's former office, in turn referencing one of the most iconic shots from the show's freshman season. You can watch the new trailer in the space above.
Previous trailers for Luke Cage season 2 have focused on Bushmaster and Luke (Mike Colter) becoming a celebrity in his own right, leaving it up in the air as to how Mariah would fit into the story this season. In addition to the final trailer, Marvel and Netflix have also released a fresh synopsis that sheds light on Mariah's plot thread in season 2 and how she gains a (sorta) unexpected ally in the form of her "dark chocolate boy scout", as she puts it. You can read that logline below:
In the final trailer for the new season of Marvel’s Luke Cage, which premieres globally on Netflix June 22, Mariah Dillard is faced with an imminent and formidable threat to her hold over Harlem - the unstoppable Bushmaster. Armed with Mariah’s deepest secrets, Bushmaster endangers everything that she holds most dear. Meanwhile, Luke Cage wrestles with the idea of intervening and protecting Mariah for the good of Harlem.
This new trailer further calls attention to how Luke Cage season 2 is attempting to be more unapologetically feminist in its approach, in more ways than one. Not only will this season dive deeper into Mariah's history and struggle than season 1, it will also beef up Misty Knight's (Simone Missick) role and feature more female characters overall, including Misty's would-be Daughters of the Dragon partner, Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick). Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the camera, women will be directing half of season 2's episodes, starting with Lucy Liu's efforts on the season premiere.
As well received as Luke Cage's first season was, there's certainly room for the Marvel series to improve in season 2, especially compared to season 1's lackluster second half. With Luke, Mariah, and Bushmaster locked in a (literally) fiery battle for the fate of Harlem, it seems that season 2 may yet succeed in upping the stakes and quality from season 1 - while also setting the stage for bigger and possibly even better things to come in the TV show's future.
Marvel's Luke Cage season 2 begins streaming Friday, June 22 on Netflix.