On a quest for revenge, Black Lightning is coming into some unexpected snags in his plan
Starting right where we left off last time on Black Lightning, Jefferson (Cress Williams) is just waking up from his fight with Joey Toledo (Antonio Fargas) and the police are on the way to pick him up. Before the police can capture him, Gambi (James Remar) rushes in and takes him back to his shop. Gambi calls in Lynn (Christine Adams) to come patch Jefferson up and while doing so, she voices her reasons for not wanting to be dragged back into the world of Black Lightning. When Lynn shows Jefferson his brain scans, she says that whatever major damage was done is fine now, because he still heals twice as fast as normal. While working in her lab, Lynn’s assistant brings in brain scans of Green Light addicts, showing similar pictures to that of Jefferson’s.
Days later, Anissa (Nafessa Williams) is taking on a new social justice project and tackling oppressive statues. She and a group of students vandalize the statue with red paint, which leads to her ending up in jail again. However, Anissa doesn’t let the arrest set her back. She’s still doing research about her grandfather and looking into genetic superpowers. She goes to her mother to get a professional opinion regarding the vial she found in the box full of her grandfather’s research. Her mother suspects something more is going on but Lynn just advises Anissa to confide in her when she feels the need to. After white nationalists kill one of her classmates during a protest over the statue, Anissa decides to use her superpowers to demolish it. This is the moment Anissa realizes she’s ready to speak to someone about her powers and calls her mom so that she can meet her to divulge her worries.
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While Jefferson is on the warpath to kill Tobias (Marvin ‘Krondon’ Jones III), Gambi tries to stop the situation by going to Lynn and begging for help. It doesn’t work at first but while Lynn is trying to talk Jefferson off a ledge, she hears an intruder in her lab and Jefferson flies off to go check out the problem. However, when he arrives, Anissa – clad in her costume – has already apprehended the men who have tied Lynn up. Unbeknownst to Jefferson that his daughter is the one in the suit, he immediately begins to fight her. We then see a big showdown between Anissa and Black Lightning that ends with Anissa getting hurt and Jefferson realizing it’s his daughter that he has been fighting. They get her back to the house without complications and when she wakes up, she discovers who’s behind Black Lightning’s mask.
What a way to end an episode! The Pierce family is about to make a lot of changes to their lifestyle once again. There are a few things that needed further discussing so let’s see what our roundtable had to say!
Bringing in the Thunder for our Black Lightning roundtable is:
Caitlin (@wlwcaitlin) – Writer and fictional lady enthusiast
Makayla (@keiyswally) – Kid Flash enthusiast
Nicollz (@mspurple360) – 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. The episode touched on a lot of good topics from Jennifer’s bullying and relationship problems to Anissa protesting to take down the statue. Which issue did you enjoy seeing discussed?
Caitlin (@wlwcaitlin): We’ve seen a lot of Anissa protesting so it was nice to see more of Jennifer’s personal life, especially the more complicated aspects of it.
Makayla (@keiyswally): With everything going on in this episode, my favorite scene was after Anissa got arrested for protesting the statue, and Jefferson was bailing her out (again). When they go to leave, Jefferson sort of gives her this talk about what she is doing and how it’s dangerous for her. He then goes on to mention her using the water guns and tells her, “All it takes is for one cop, one cop, to see your color instead of your humanity and decide better dead than sorry. Look you are a black woman. You don’t have the luxury of being naïve”. That entire scene gave me chills because it brings up such an important topic and not many other shows do that so blatantly. It was such a great scene because it really portrays Jefferson’s concern for Anissa, and under that lies what real African American parents worry about daily.
Nicollz (@mspurple360): I can’t exactly choose a favorite. I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion of both, especially as a black woman myself. Both issues hit close to home and the real-life elements of the show are what make it so great and relatable.
Raych (@candicespattons): I loved that they touched on bullying and protesting. I love that Jefferson brought up the fact that being a black woman makes Anissa a target and that black people compete against each other and how there isn’t one way to define black.
Brianna (@notevenloaded): I really enjoyed the Jennifer storyline because we got to see more of Jennifer and Jefferson having a one-on-one talk. I love seeing Jennifer and Jefferson’s relationship and Jefferson has some of his best lines in the episode. I also love seeing Lynn at work and Anissa with the statues – I really enjoy how they tie the show into reality and ground it using real-life events.
2. Since Lady Eve is one of the big bosses in Freeland, where do you think she fits into the pasts of Gambi, Tobias, and Jefferson’s father?
Caitlin: Gambi has been a red flag for me since the beginning. For some reason, I just don’t trust him. It wouldn’t surprise me if he was further tangled in this than we think. There’s still more to discover about Jefferson’s father and the powers he was studying, so it probably has something to do with that.
Makayla: Lady Eve definitely is connected to everyone. She seems to have a history and secrets with Gambi. It would not be surprising that she is the one who had Tobias kill Jefferson’s father. Especially knowing about the Green Light and how the addicts’ brains look similar to Jefferson’s, it makes you wonder what she had to with him turning into Black Lightning.
Nicollz: She stated that she and Gambi worked with the same agency so I’m guessing she could have been an acquaintance of some sort.
Raych: I feel like she has something to do with Jefferson’s father’s powers and she was a mentor for Tobias and more like a partner for Gambi.
Brianna: Well I think Gambi is using Jefferson to ultimately take down Lady Eve. Not sure where exactly all their paths collide but I feel like it has to do with the serum Tobias has and the Green Light and possible experimentation on children. It’s a comic book show and we could be going anywhere with this, let’s be real.
3. We got to see Lynn at work and learned more about her point of view. What are your thoughts on how she responded to Gambi wanting help when he showed up in her lab?
Caitlin: I can understand Lynn’s animosity towards him, especially when she attributes him to the creation of Black Lightning. Plus she’s clearly trying to protect herself from getting caught in the web again.
Makayla: Lynn truly despises Gambi encouraging Jefferson to become Black Lightning again just as much as she despises Jefferson for actually doing it. I think she’s hurt and afraid. She already had to go through this once and she couldn’t handle it, so for them to ask her to do it all over again must be hard on her. Her reasoning is understandable, she cares about Jefferson and hates seeing him hurt, so why should she encourage him to continue as well? She is definitely in a tough spot, but I know she’ll end up being there for him anyways.
Nicollz: I completely understand where she’s coming from having been there the first time it’s hard to watch especially when you feel you have no control over it. I can’t fault her for not wanting to be sucked in again.
Raych: I understood where she was coming from. She just can’t handle losing her family and she thinks if she helps Gambi it will drive her family into a path of danger.
Brianna: I love Lynn, I honestly think she just wants what’s best for her family even if that makes her seem selfish. Right now she can do no wrong in my book!
4. Lynn said that Jefferson was formed on the streets of Freeland and no amount of education or Olympics could get that out of him. Do you think he will follow through and actually kill Tobias?
Caitlin: I think someone will have to if they truly want him gone for good. I don’t think the justice system will take care of him properly and if he goes to jail, there’s a good chance he’ll just end up bailed out somehow.
Makayla: I think Lynn saying that she was implying that Jefferson was complicated and that he had that side of him that could easily kill Tobias with no remorse, but that there was also the side of him that couldn’t do it. Although, Jefferson came extremely close to actually killing Tobias, and I think he may have actually gone through with it had he not heard Lynn was in danger. In a way it’s understandable. We knew that Jefferson saw Tobias kill his father, but seeing the actual flashback made it more real. It’s hard not to feel sympathetic and kind of agree with Jefferson about killing Tobias.
Nicollz: In the end, I don’t think he will actually result in killing him especially now that he knows Anissa has powers and presumably find out Jennifer does too. There was a moment after his talk in the hallway with Jennifer and Anissa where he looked at himself in the mirror almost like a realization that he wasn’t following his own words but knowing his children now have something will be an eye-opener and change his mind.
Raych: Honestly I don’t think so because what makes Jefferson, Jefferson is his heart and he doesn’t have the heart to kill anyone.
Brianna: Honestly, I don’t think so.
5. Tobias is about to introduce Khalil to the underworld of Freeland. How do you think this will affect Khalil’s interactions with Jennifer in the future?
Caitlin: With Tobias taking Khalil under his wing, it’ll probably change his mindset a lot. I think Jennifer and Khalil will only continue to drift further apart because of it.
Makayla: Tobias’ influence on Khalil is already starting. Just after one visit from Tobias, Khalil is already showing aggression towards Jennifer. I think the more time Khalil spends with him, the more he’s going to resent Jennifer and blame her for everything that happened. Already in the last episode, he told Jennifer that if it wasn’t for her, he wouldn’t have been at the march and therefore would still be able to walk. I think the reason that he’s acting out like this is that he’s scared. Not only did he lose his ability to walk, but he also has Tobias keeping tabs on him. It’s really no surprise he’s lashing out.
Nicollz: It will be more of the same distance and resistance we saw tonight until it dwindles off to nothing I’m disappointed because Khalil was such a breath of fresh air and now this accident has sent him down the path of destruction.
Raych: I think the path Khalil is going down is just going to drive him further away from Jennifer and just cause her pain so I hope he stays away.
Brianna: Well Khalil is already acting out towards Jennifer and I feel like when Khalil becomes entrenched in the underworld that we’ll have to see Jennifer as Lightning fighting him at some point.
6. Anissa took on Black Lightning and it was glorious! What are your thoughts on that scene?
Caitlin: It was interesting to see just how strong Anissa is because there were moments where she was really kicking Jefferson’s ass. It was also pretty cool to see a lesbian stop a bullet.
Makayla: The entire scene was insane from start to finish. I was pleasantly surprised to see Anissa really kick some ass, Jefferson as well. I think it was more entertaining at the fact that neither of them knew who the other was, so they were both full force. My absolute favorite part of that scene was when Anissa blocked Jefferson’s lightning with her hands. It happened not once, but twice. Anissa definitely puts up a good fight, and her potential really shined. She is certainly going to give Jefferson a run for his money, and I can’t wait to see them fight together.
Nicollz: I couldn’t form words when watching it because I thought Black Lightning would notice she wasn’t trying to hurt Lynn, but also pick up on the resemblance to Anissa sooner – but that was not the case. It was a badass scene though, and it was also great to see Anissa hold her own even with the powers being so new to her.
Raych: I loved it and I loved that’s how they figured each other’s powers.
Brianna: Such a good way to reveal her powers to her parents! I loved that entire sequence.
7. Now that Lynn, Anissa, and Jefferson are all in on each other’s secrets, do you think it will affect Jennifer in any way?
Caitlin: I’d say she’ll feel left out until her own powers start to come through. I think the rest of the family will want to protect her as much as possible.
Makayla: When Jennifer finds out that she was the only one not in on the secret, I believe she will be hurt at first but I don’t think she’ll stay mad for long. She loves her family, especially her sister, and I think she’ll be excited. Especially since she should be getting her powers soon, even if she doesn’t know that.
Nicollz: I’m hoping they’ll let her in on the secret as well because continuing to hide it may have a negative impact on her.
Raych: It will definitely affect her especially if they don’t tell her right away. It will make her feel excluded, so I hope they tell her within the next two episodes.
Brianna: Absolutely. If they tiptoe around it and keep it “hush hush” then Jennifer is gonna feel left out. Maybe something is going to happen to trigger her powers?
When Thunder met Black Lightning…
We are so here for that fight scene between Black Lightning and Anissa – soon to be Thunder! She is really embracing these powers and using them to her advantage. We’ve seen her use them in various ways over the past couple episodes but this particular episode brought out the fire inside of her. She easily manipulated her body to stop the bullets from penetrating her skin. It was both shocking and exhilarating to watch her do it so easily. She also held her own pretty well when it came to fighting a seasoned superhero. We cannot wait to see what happens now that these two know about each other’s powers!
This episode really showcased just how many people Lady Eve and her counterparts have under their control. There were two instances where we could point out people being in contact with them: when the head police officer gets a call from “JT” and when Lynn’s assistant is seen standing in the hallway on the phone right after he asked about the scans. It’s interesting to see just how many people are conspiring together. We now know that Gambi used to work with Lady Eve (Jill Scott) before he started up his shop. He also has so many secrets that we can’t keep up with and we only see it ending badly for him when his truth finally comes to the light.
The students at Garfield high are no longer just teasing Jennifer (China Anne McClain), but they have now turned to cyberbullying. It’s even causing Khalil to take some shots at her via social media. The talk that Jennifer has with her father is one that deserves to give the writers recognition. They made a lot of powerful points with their words in this episode. The “No one is an expert on what is and is not black because black is everything under the sun.” line was beautifully stated. Jefferson really has a way of talking to his girls and showing black parents inner battles. The conversations around Khalil’s condition and Jennifer’s turmoil were great ways to show how many people think their ways through these situations all the time. So far, her story has been a lot about her battling issues on her own. She’s just a teenager so we’re not holding her choices completely against her, but she has a lot to learn about how to handle and deal with her problems. We think she’ll pull through.
In next week’s episode, we will find Anissa still trying to adjust to her new normal and Jefferson continuing his quest to take down Tobias. We’re about halfway through the season, so things are about to start heating up!