For Mariah, Shades is like a devil, something that seduces her down to the person she didn’t want to be, that she claimed she wasn’t all along. Cornell tried to force her using ‘Family First’ motto and tried to keep her with him. But Shades just sidled up and promised her what she wanted and complimented her and helped her and then they were entwined. It’s not what she wanted but with Shades (and Alex) she didn’t even just keep her head afloat, she came out stronger, both emotionally and in her place as the boss.
BUT FOR SHADES Mariah is like…the holy grail. The entire time we see Shades he is in a follower position. Even the times he takes charge and pushes to the leadership position he was doing it for someone. And he is so unbelievably loyal to the person he follows. Even when he saw firsthand how out of control Diamondback was, how nothing and no one was more important that Luke Cage’s anguish, even when he was the only one suffering the consequences he remained steadfast (First name Law. Last name Yer). Even when confronted with Diamondback’s betrayal he didn’t choose to see it until it was spelled out for him. By that point he was already loyal to Mariah, saw how strong and brave and perfect she was, and when Diamondback fell out of Shades’ first place spot it was easy for Mariah to slot in. It was more than easy. It was a perfect fit.
THEY’RE THE PERFECT EVIL DUO AND I CANNOT HANDLE IT