|"Step in the Arena"|
|Original airdate:||September 30, 2015|
|Previous Episode:||"Who's Gonna Take the Weight?"|
|Next Episode:||"Just to Get a Rep"|
"Step in the Arena" is the fourth episode of season one of Luke Cage.
As he rescues a victim of Cottonmouth's vengeance, Luke remembers his earlier life and the conspiracy that led to his superhuman strength.
- Mike Colter as Carl Lucas/Luke Cage
- Clifton Cutrary as Teenage Carl Lucas
- Simone Missick as Misty Knight
- Theo Rossi as Hernan Alvarez/Shades
- Frank Whaley as Rafael Scarfe
- Parisa Fitz-Henley as Reva Connors
- Chance Kelly as Albert Rackham
- Michael Kostroff as Noah Burstein
- Thomas Q. Jones as Comanche
- Craig Mums Grant as Reggie/Squabbles
- Jade Wu as Connie Lin
- Clem Cheung as Jin Lin
- Manny Perez as Perez
- David Marston Fobbs as Keely
- Jared Kemp as Teenage Willis Stryker
- Harry Sutton Jr. as Guard #1
- Isaac Esau Gay as Guard #2
- Miles Mussenden as Inmate
- Michael Chmiel as Cameraman
- Andy Schneeflock as Video Tech
- Bill Riccardulli as Firefighter #1
- Robert Keiley as Firefighter #2
- Amy Halldin as Newscaster #1
- Malika Nzinga as Newscaster #2
- Joe Harrell as Drill Sergeant
Continuity and References to the Marvel Cinematic Universe
- Seagate Prison is shown in flashback.
- Noah Burstein is introduced.
- Albert Rackham is introduced.
- Comanche is introduced.
- Justin Hammer is mentioned.
- The USB from Jessica Jones appears.
- Step in the Arena is a song from the album with the same name of the hip-pop duo Gang Starr.
- Cage spots metal headgear and bracelets after getting his powers, a yellow shirt and blue jeans that he wore in the comics as Power Man.
- When used in the wreckage of the restaurant, Cage's phone shows Thursday, November 5, which fell on that day of the week in 2015.
- Luke Cage mentions Zoë Kravitz to Squabbles. Kravitz portrayed Angel Salvadore in the 20th Century Fox production X-Men: First Class. Kravitz reacted to the reference on Instagram on October 5, 2016, and while flattered she disputed the claim that she was more attractive than her mother.
- Luke Cage was imprisoned at Seagatee. This is the same prison that Trevor Slattery was sent to after the events of Iron Man 3. Slattery and Justin Hammer are both seen there in the Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King which can be found on the bonus features of the Blu-ray or DVD version of Thor: The Dark World.
- In therapy, Reva mentions a "millionaire trapped in a dungeon". This is a most likely a reference to Justin Hammer, after his actions in Iron Man 2. The one shot "all hail the king" shows Hammer is holed up in Seagate prison, along with Trevor Slattery.
- Contains a tongue in cheek reference to Luke Cage's original costume.
To be added