Fans were thrown for a loop about midway through the debut season of Marvel's Luke Cage series, and star Mike Colter recently explained the thought process behind the surprising decision.
Spoilers for Luke Cage incoming, so if you haven't finished the series yet you have been warned.
Colter recently appeared on ESPN's First Take, where Stephen A Smith asked (quite emphatically you might say) why the decision was made to kill Mahershala Ali's character Cornell Stokes midway through the season. Stokes was brutally killed by his cousin Mariah Stokes, played by Alfre Woodard.
Colter said -
"The decision to do that was done way before we started production. It's a lot of people that's involved in this. When you do it on paper, here's what it is. It's like running a play in football. You do it in practice. It works. Looks good. In the game, it doesn't work, and all of the sudden in retrospect, it seems stupid. Because what you have is all the series have a bad guy, and usually by the end of the season people are going "well, we're tired of this bad guy and we think the bad guy should've been, we should've been able to resolve this in 10 episodes, in 8, so in theory you're going, wow, you bring another baddie in, if the baddie is good and people are enthralled by this guy, now you've reset the series in a sense, and now people are in another direction, and they don't know what's going to happen. You basically knock them on their heels. It's like running a trick play on an onside kick to start the second half. These things work, but when they don't work people go "aww, that was ridiculous."
Ali played an amazing villain and the shock of his death definitely had an impact in the short term, but viewers were a bit divisive on if the other villains stacked up to his phenomenal performance.
You can watch the full interview above.
Daredevil seasons 1 and 2, Jessica Jones season 1, and Luke Cage season 1 are all available on Netflix. Iron Fist will premiere on March 17, 2017. The Defenders expected later in the year. The Punisher does not have a release date yet.