With an old foe back in town, Jefferson’s power pains couldn’t have picked a worse time to act up!
Immediately flying into this week’s adventures, Black Lightning opens with Jefferson (Cress Williams) on top of a roof trying out a new installment on his suit. He can fly now! He sees a young black man freaking out in front of the police and before they can shoot him, Black Lightning throws up his hand to stop the bullet. After zapping him unconscious, he tells them that the young man is clearly high on Green Light. After having two glitchy moments with his powers and getting worked up after learning that Joey Toledo is back in town – Tobias’ right-hand man – Jefferson passes out in Gambi’s cave. Gambi calls in Lynn to figure out what’s wrong with him and we learn that Jefferson has been having headaches and experiencing aggressive behavior that is unexplainable. Gambi says he may have found the root to the problems but Jefferson doesn’t want to hear of it. After threatening to “Black Lightning” Gambi, Jefferson takes the gadget and pursues Toledo. Jefferson and Toledo fight at the club, which ends with Jefferson in pain on the ground and a limping Toledo to report back to Tobias.
While Jefferson continues to patrol, Gambi (James Remar) gets a visit at the shop from Tobias (Marvin ‘Krondon’ Jones III). We learn here, that Tobias made a deal with Gambi to stay away from Freeland and that he has a serum “pumping through his veins” that impedes him from aging. Tobias tells his sister, Tori (Edwina Findley Dickerson), what he did and she tells him that he needs to get smarter. She gets to the root of his problems and says he can’t handle this problem because he never handled his first enemy– their father. The two go to his house to pay him an unpleasant visit. With a punch to the face as a greeting, the two enter their father’s home where Tobias offers a hug as if to say that everything wrong is forgiven but quickly cracks his father’s spine– leaving him on the floor to slowly die.
While Tobias handles his own family issues, Anissa (Nafessa Williams) looks into her grandfather’s history. Searching the internet for “enhanced abilities and unexplained strength”. Anissa conveniently comes across a video discussing an experiment gone wrong that’s similar to the Tuskegee Airmen experiments and the Flint water crisis. Nine children disappeared in 1987 and Alvin Pierce was conducting a series of articles about the serum to be released before he was murdered. She goes to the Freeland Gazette to ask David Poe (Antonio Fargas) about her grandfather’s research, but he is quick to dismiss her advances. But with Anissa’s persistence, she returns to the newspaper where David Poe eventually gives her a box of the information her grandfather was researching. He warns her that “They’re watching”. After looking through the box and finding a key to a storage unit, Anissa decides it’s time for her to get a costume to fight in. Strutting through the storage units in her new flashy and stretchy suit, Anissa rips one open and finds boxes filled with her grandfather’s belongings and a safe, where she finds a vial of some unknown substance.
This week’s episode was jam-packed with information, so let’s try to figure some things out!
Discussing our information and an action-filled episode is our Black Lightning roundtable:
Caitlin (@wlwcaitlin) – Writer and fictional lady enthusiast
Makayla (@keiysjeremy) – Kid Flash enthusiast
Laya (@LGBTQMAREE) – singer, activist, lover of all things gay
Raych (@candicespattons) – lover of iris west and black female characters. tv enthusiast
Brianna (@notevenloaded) – Iris West/Candice Patton enthusiast and MCU apologist.
1. We’re learning some of what Gambi has been hiding. What do you think the ASA is and why do you think Gambi needed to make that deal with Tobias?
Caitlin (@wlwcaitlin): I knew Gambi was suspicious, so this revelation makes a lot of sense. I know the ASA is a comic reference to a government agency, so that would be an interesting element to add to the show.
Makayla (@keiysjeremy): I still don’t trust Gambi completely, which now is understandable. As for the ASA, if the show stays true to the comics then the ASA could be the American Security Agency. That could also mean that Gambi works for them, and Tobias knows that and tries to use it to his advantage.
Laya (@LGBTQMAREE): Honestly, I don’t know but it’s clearly got to be something serious if it has to be this huge lowkey thing.
Raych (@candicespattons): I think the ASA might be some sort of scientific organization and Gambi made to deal to protect Jefferson or he has some hidden agenda that will find out later in the season.
Brianna (@notevenloaded): I’m not sure but Gambi is shadier than I originally thought. I wish I had a more thoughtful answer (for most of these questions) but I just do not know.
2. We learned a lot of background on Tobias this week. What did you think about it and does it change how you view Tobias?
Caitlin: I’ll always sympathize with abuse victims, but it doesn’t really change the way I feel about Tobias. Having a bad childhood still doesn’t really give him the right to go around killing people.
Makayla: Tobias is definitely a villain, there is no doubt about that. It was interesting to see his background though. Seeing his father be abusive and racist towards his own kids was a start to understanding why they turned out to be the people they are. Clearly, a lot of Tobias’ anger stems from the hatred of his father. I think a lot of people will start to sympathize with Tobias regardless of him being evil.
Laya: It has most definitely changed the way I view him. You always think you know these characters but when the past is dug up and you see them in the actual light your mindset changes. Everyone is going through their own stuff and the way people are is definitely because of their past.
Raych: It doesn’t change how I view him. I’m still scared of him, but I understand his motivations more now.
Brianna: It did and it didn’t. I feel bad for young Tobias but a lot of people have a childhood trauma that doesn’t cause them to become murdering gang leaders so…ya know.
3. We learned that Tobias has been taking a serum that’s keeping him from aging. What other enhancements could Tobias be getting from it?
Caitlin: He could have powers of his own because it seems unlikely that Tobias is just a regular human going up against a superpowered Jefferson.
Makayla: I think the serum that keeps him from aging could also be giving him extra strength, we saw later in the episode that he picked his father up and broke his back. Seeing that, definitely hints that he could be stronger than average.
Laya: It might make him stronger. It’ll be interesting to see what else it does.
Raych: I think maybe super strength and something that make him vulnerable.
Brianna: Super strength? Between Lala and his father…
4. Jefferson’s father investigated the serum that runs through Tobias’ veins. What reason aside, from being a good reporter, do you think he had for wanting to investigate the serum?
Caitlin: Well if the serum has anything to do with Jefferson, then it would make sense why his father would investigate it. Especially, if the serum is the reason why he gets so aggressive and out of control.
Makayla: When they spoke about Jefferson’s father, they made it sound like maybe he was more than a reporter. Yes, a reporter obviously cares about getting the truth out, but it sounded like he was slightly obsessed with finding out more about the serum.
Laya: Maybe, he saw that it did more harm than help and dealt with a person like Tobias on the streets. You can’t help but want to see the bigger deeper picture.
Raych: I think he had superpowers too and was trying to take down Tobias. I also think he was trying to keep Freeland safe like Jefferson.
Brianna: Maybe that’s how Jefferson has his powers and his dad was concerned. I’m trying to remember if we know how Jeff has his powers or not. Ha.
5. Jefferson’s powers are causing him to have headaches and exhibiting aggressive behavior. Do you think Jefferson’s issues could be connected to the serum?
Caitlin: I feel like it would have to all link up at some point. We’d need a deeper investigation into Jefferson’s father and his research to know for sure.
Makayla: Seeing Jefferson overcome by his powers makes me wonder if he could either be one of the kids from 30 years ago or if his powers come from the serum. It seems like he also needs that medication to maybe keep control of his powers.
Laya: Definitely not. I think it’s all about the suit. Something isn’t completely right with his suit and he really needs to get that figured out before he tries to get out there again and fight.
Raych: It’s possible that maybe the serum has something to do with it and maybe Gambi is connected to it.
6. Anissa’s investigating her grandfather’s work and she’s finding out a lot! Do you think her efforts are going to lead her to get a target put on her back by Lady Eve and her partners?
Caitlin: I think she’ll definitely end up with a target on her back. She’s not exactly being careful, and we already know that Gambi is on her trail. Now, after this week, we know if Gambi knows something then Tobias could know too.
Makayla: Anissa seems to be looking into dangerous territory. I definitely think by her investigating everything she is, and using her powers she is very obviously putting a target on her back by many people.
Laya: Of course it is. This is information that the basic public hasn’t received, this is information that her grandfather knew also and is probably the reason he got murdered. She’ll definitely have a target on her back, but little do they know even with a target on her she still brings the “thunder”.
Raych: That’s part of why I’m worried about her. This will definitely put a target on her back and Lady Eve will probably target her loved ones as well.
Brianna: Oh for sure, which is probably why Jefferson and Grandpa Pierce’s old editor didn’t really want to tell her anything.
7. There were nine children mentioned to have been affected by the serum 30 years ago. Do you think some of those people are in cahoots with Lady Eve? What are your thoughts on their whereabouts?
Caitlin: I think it would make sense for them to show up at some point. Having some enhanced and/or powered humans in the mix would raise the stakes for Jefferson.
Makayla: Considering Tobias is affected by the serum, it would make sense that there are others affected that are working with Lady Eve. As for their whereabouts, I think she may be keeping them in hiding for future use.
Laya: I honestly don’t think they are in touch with Lady Eve. But I’m sure they are still residing in the same place.
Raych: I think they’re definitely connected to Lady Eve and I think she’s keeping them hidden to use a secret weapon one day.
Brianna: Possibly… Or maybe they wouldn’t do her bidding and she off’d them?
Anissa’s new superhero costume and an evil brother, sister duo delivered a detail-heavy episode!
“The Book of Green Light” was packed with a lot of new clues on our characters. We received a lot of information that is moving our plot along in the best ways. We learned more on Tobias’ backstory and this time we dug into his childhood. His father was cruel to him and his sister, which caused Tobias to resent him. In his age now, Tobias is still harboring those feelings which are holding him back from thinking straight on his current mission to kill Black Lightning. Marvin “Krondon” Jones and Edwina Findley are exceptional together. They play the evil siblings brilliantly. Although Tobias feels negatively towards black people because of his father, it’s interesting to see that he still has such a close and protective bond with his sister. We can already foresee these two working on more sinister plans together.
Anissa was excellent in this episode with her investigative skills getting her the answers she didn’t even know she needed. She’s trying to learn more about herself but she finds herself delving deeper into her grandfather’s history. Anissa spent most of the episode away from the other main characters and it’s something that has become common with her character. Nafessa Williams is doing a considerable job keeping the audience interested in the story her character has to tell. She carried her side of the investigation into her grandfather’s background well, and it brought out Anissa’s curious side more. Even though she’s still doing a lot out in the open, we see in this episode that she knows how to go about finding out information. Also, we cannot forget to mention the new costume – similar to one she’s worn in the comics! Anissa is ready to bring the thunder and as quickly as her character is gathering this information, she’s going to need something unrecognizable to get her through the nights.
Something that has come to focus is the events Jennifer (China Anne McClain) has been going through week after week. She’s been through a lot in just four episodes and it hasn’t really caused her behaviors to get better or worse. Every time something happens with Jennifer, her parents either discuss it with her once or ground her immediately. It seems like she has a lot of underlying suffering going on and with her fighting this week, we could definitely see this turning into a revelation for her. She’s just like her sister and father – getting a mini power trip after winning a fight. It will be interesting to see how all of these events end up contributing to her character as a whole in the future.
There were so many aspects to discuss and speculate this week and it just made us want to come back for more. In the next episode, Anissa uses her powers after a protest and Jefferson pursues his father’s killer. Gambi will seek out Lynn for help and Jennifer will grapple with some tough choices. We’re already missing Black Lightning because of the break but we can’t wait to see what the Pierce family will be up to in two weeks!