While the plot thickens, Jennifer struggles with accepting her newfound powers
In this week’s Black Lightning, we find an angry Jefferson (Cress Williams) hitting a punching bag as the words of Gambi (James Remar) play through his mind. After completely detaching the punching bag from the hook, Jefferson calls Henderson (Damon Gupton) to discuss why he hasn’t captured Lady Eve’s real killer yet. The evidence is being destroyed and Jefferson is back on his warpath to get the answers he needs. The two decide to work together to take out Green Light.
Since Jennifer (China Anne McClain) revealed what happened to her to Anissa (Nafessa Williams), she’s been sulking in her bed. Anissa comes to see what’s wrong and eventually tells Jennifer that she has superpowers too. Jennifer doesn’t believe that she’s Thunder, so Anissa decides to lift up the bed to demonstrate what she can do. This causes Jennifer to freak out but instead of trying to let her adjust to that reveal, Anissa lets it slip that their dad is Black Lightning and has superpowers too. Jennifer runs downstairs to confide in her dad but she soon finds out that everything Anissa said was true. After Jennifer storms off, Lynn (Christine Adams), Jefferson, and Anissa have a discussion about how wrong it was for Anissa to reveal their secrets without discussing it with her parents first. After they table this for the moment, Anissa apologizes and her and Jefferson head to find out more information on the Green Light situation. Jennifer has a talk with both her mom and Anissa where she tells them how she feels about her powers. Anissa tells her she should embrace her feelings, but Lynn lets her voice her fears on having powers. She still doesn’t know what she wants to do about the powers but for now, she’s going to sit and watch movies with her dad.
Jefferson and Anissa find a list of accounts that have a corporation’s name that Anissa found in Alvin Pierce’s files. Meanwhile, Gambi is doing some investigating of his own to get some answers on what the ASA is doing. He eventually discovers that the children they captured 30 years ago are being harbored in the same facility that made the guns that imitate Black Lightning’s powers. We see Henderson capturing pictures some of his fellow detectives with the guns. When Anissa drops by Gambi’s shop and tells her what he found and gives her the new suit he made for her, she heads out to the facility to take down the Green Light lab. Black Lightning and Thunder successfully destroy the laboratory and even manage to capture one of the doctors working on the Green Light. We’re finding out more and more each week. Let’s see what the roundtable has to say about this great episode!
Discussing the new finds and hard times is our Black Lightning roundtable:
Caitlin (@wlwcaitlin) – Writer and fictional lady enthusiast
Makayla (@keiyswally) – Kid Flash enthusiast
Raych (@candicespattons) – lover of iris west and black female characters. tv enthusiast
Nicollz (@mspurple360) – singer, activist, lover of all things gay
Brianna (@notevenloaded) – Iris West/Candice Patton enthusiast and MCU apologist.
1. Do you think Jennifer’s initial reaction is valid when she finds out her dad and sister have powers?
Caitlin (@wlwcaitlin): I think it’s really interesting because you typically don’t see the protagonist not want to use their powers as a hero. It’s a unique perspective to DCTV which is refreshing.
Makayla (@keiyswally): Jennifer’s reaction is completely valid. To her, her entire family lied to her. Her mom and dad, especially for years. That’s definitely gotta sting. It didn’t help that Anissa waited to tell her about their powers. Jennifer was left feeling like she was crazy because of her powers. So yes, Jennifer’s reaction was reasonable.
Raych (@candicespattons): It is a 100% valid. her discovering her powers when she hasn’t really discovered herself is super scary.
Nicollz (@mspurple360): I feel like she reacted as well as anyone would in that situation. She was rightfully freaked out about it because it’s brand new and beyond her understanding so I wasn’t shocked by reaction at all.
Brianna (@notevenloaded): 100% valid. Poor girl has been through a LOT in a short amount of time.
2. Anissa dropped a lot on Jennifer with that reveal. She also had an interesting conversation about it with her parents. What do you think about her actions?
Caitlin: I think Anissa was just doing what Anissa does. She thought it was the right thing even if her parents disagreed. In the end, it was probably for the best though because Jennifer could’ve gotten herself hurt.
Makayla: I think Anissa could have gone about it differently. I know she was just trying to help Jennifer, but her method was a little off. She could have eased Jennifer into it, instead of just showing her powers and blurting out that Jefferson was Black Lightning. When Anissa talked to Jefferson and Lynn afterward, she mentioned that she felt she owed to Jennifer to explain what was going on. Lynn got defensive about not being the one to tell Jennifer, but I think Anissa just felt that as her sister she had to be the one to tell her.
Raych: I’m happy she did it but maybe she could’ve eased into it because it’s all so new and scary to Jen. Her actions are all valid. This is all new and scary.
Nicollz: I know Anissa meant well but she should’ve used a better approach. She and Jennifer handle things differently–for one she’s older and can handle news like that a bit better due to maturity and experience. Whereas Jennifer, being a bit younger and going through her own issues with high school, that news can be jarring and scary. That aside, Anissa was just trying to help and she expressed as much to her parents, even when they’d rather she play it safe. She wants to be part of the action in any way she can help.
Brianna: I understand why she told Jennifer but I agree with Lynn and Jefferson – they’re all in a lot of danger and it seems like Anissa isn’t thinking rationally.
3. The A.S.A. has been harboring the bodies of the children they captured 30 years ago. What do you think they haven’t released any of those people yet?
Caitlin: Well, for one, it’s evidence of their crimes. If they keep the bodies, people are less likely to learn about the experiments to begin with.
Makayla: Well, considering those children have powers, the A.S.A could be holding them to use. I think they’re just waiting for the right time to ‘wake them up’. I wonder if they’re going to use the kids to maybe distribute greenlight or use them to cause havoc in the city.
Raych: They’re probably planning something big and maybe have a much deeper and darker plan.
Nicollz: Probably want to create some super army or gang and wanted all of the people with special abilities altogether before completing their endgame.
Brianna: They must be waiting for something big. Couldn’t tell you what.
4. Gambi’s is trying hard to fix his sins of the past. Do you think he’s on the right track to earning Jefferson’s trust back?
Caitlin: Possibly, but I still don’t trust him. There’s nothing to say he isn’t lying about other things and that he won’t lie again in the future.
Makayla: I have mixed feelings about Gambi, but I do think he cares about the Pierce family and wants to protect them. Hopefully, Jefferson can come to forgive him soon because I think they need his help to stop what the ASA is doing. Gambi giving Anissa her suit is definitely a good start to getting forgiveness, I think.
Raych: Honestly I’m not sure I guess I have to see what he does in the next episode before I can judge.
Nicollz: The way he’s going about it isn’t necessarily the smartest. I believe he’ll eventually gain Jefferson’s trust back. It won’t be as it was before he knew the truth but l believe they need each other, and Gambi has grown to care for not only Jeff but his family as well so they’ll work it out.
Brianna: I don’t think Gambi is going to stop until he has Jefferson’s trust and respect back, so, yeah I guess so. He seems to be atoning and wants to protect the Pierce family.
5. Henderson and Black Lightning have an interesting partnership. Do you think Jefferson will ever reveal his superhero identity to him?
Caitlin: I think he might eventually. Whether it’s accidentally or not, I don’t know. Still, it would be good to have one cop that Jefferson knows is on his side for sure.
Makayla: Honestly, I think Jefferson will eventually tell Henderson that he’s Black Lightning but I also think Henderson already knows or has an idea. There have been a few scenes that hint that he knows Jefferson’s secret. If anything, I think Jefferson telling him will make Henderson want to help more.
Raych: Maybe some seasons down the line but definitely not this season.
Nicollz: I think there will come a time where he may have to reveal his identity for safety reasons maybe Henderson gets too close to a case in the future.
Brianna: I’m not sure that would be the best thing just safety wise, but it would make sense when it comes to stuff like BL being blamed and framed. The phone call towards the beginning of the episode between the two was great – Henderson wanting BL to let his family know he wasn’t dirty if something happened to him was really powerful.
6. Jennifer has a lot of fears when it comes to her embracing her powers and using them the way her father and sister does. What do you think of the sisters’ different perspectives on having powers?
Caitlin: It’s a good thing, story-wise. It wouldn’t be as interesting if they were both willing to go and fight crime right away. Jennifer deserves to have her own unique story despite going through the same things Anissa did.
Makayla: I had a feeling that Jennifer would be scared and try to deny her powers. Her personality is so different from Anissa’s that it wasn’t hard to guess she wouldn’t react the same. It seems that Jennifer just wants to have a normal life, and now that she knows about her family and herself, she feels like she won’t be able to have one. I hope that she’ll look into discovering more about her powers. Even if she doesn’t do the whole ‘hero’ thing, it’ll be good for her to find out more so she’s not as scared.
Raych: Honestly, I love that they differ because not everyone reacts to having powers the same way and their different views make sense for the stage of life that they’re in. It makes sense because Jennifer is unsure of who she is and that shows even more with her powers and Anissa knows what she wants out of her life. She wants to help people and she uses her powers as a means to do that.
Nicollz: They are both trying to adapt to this huge change in their lives and as Anissa said, “You can see it as a gift or as a burden.” She has been an activist so having these powers for her has cemented her stance on fighting for what’s right even more than before. Jennifer is still processing everything, so she’s looking for a sense of normalcy and right now her concerns are valid. There’s so much unknown and you get a feeling like you don’t have a choice in the matter because your body has already chosen you, like it or not. I feel once she truly finds her footing and gets used to them, her mind will be at ease.
Brianna: I love Jennifer so so much. I think it makes so much sense that her and Anissa’s perspectives are wildly different because of how different they are as people. Jennifer will come around to her powers eventually but I love her uncertainty and she’s still so young. “I’m not Anissa, I don’t want to save the world.” Major kudos to China and her acting in this episode, especially in the scene between Lynn and Jennifer. Episode MVP in my opinion.
7. Black Lightning and Thunder went out fully suited up! What do you think about Anissa’s new suit?
Caitlin: I’m glad she finally has her new suit! I’m interested to see how the two of them go standing up to the bigger threats like Tobias.
Makayla: I loved seeing Jefferson and Anissa go out on the streets together and now that Anissa has a suit, it’s so much better. Her suit is totally badass and definitely suits her (pun totally intended). I think her having this suit will help her maybe feel more like Thunder. I’m excited to see her using it more.
Raych: I love it! It’s amazing and it’s suitable for her fighting crime which I love. I also love that Thunder has her own theme music.
Nicollz: Her suit! She looked great and I loved the reveal of it. It felt like a powerful moment having the lyrics black girl magic playing in the background while she walked in slow motion.
Brianna: I like it, it looks bad ass! I also like the “Uncle Gambi gave it to me”!
We don’t all want superpowers, especially when we’re still trying to reach normalcy
We finally got the answers to what happened to those missing children from 30 years ago. The A.S.A. has been harvesting them in huge tubes. We don’t know exactly what they plan to do with these people – possibly, creating an army of Green Light soldiers. We can’t wait to see how Black Lightning handles this information and the efforts they take to shut down the Green Light on the streets of Freeland. They destroyed one lab so that was definitely a good start. This small but major piece of discovery moved the plot along and we’re glad things are beginning to unfold. Anissa is still being a little reckless in the way that she goes about things. It was a bit unfair to her parents and Jennifer for her to reveal something so huge the way she did. We wish she would have learned to not be so impulsive by now, but hopefully, it’s a trait that will change soon. We’re still loving the father-daughter duo of Jefferson and Anissa, but we hope that we will get to see more of Anissa’s life outside of her superpowered duties too. It was nice to see some of that at the beginning of this season.
Even though there were moments that moved the plot along, the best parts of “The Book of Little Black Lies” came from the family drama. In this week’s episode, Jennifer finally found out the family secret and she was not at all happy about it. It was so nice to see a different reaction to someone getting superpowers. The contrast between Jennifer and Anissa’s reactions to having powers is similar to that of Lynn and Jefferson. While Jennifer is afraid that having powers will prevent her from having a normal life and cause her to be a freak, Anissa sees her powers as a gift from God and has no problem using them. Even though Lynn doesn’t have powers, she expressed the need for a normal life for her family and would rather her family not use their powers. Jefferson, like Anissa, is wanting everybody to see the good he can do with having these abilities. We really liked how they gave Jennifer her own point of view on the subject and also, how they showed the two different perspectives so well. China Anne McClain’s performance this week was outstanding, especially in the beautiful scene where we got to see Jennifer emotionally express her fears to her mother.
In the next installment, Black Lightning will attempt to rescue the missing children and Gambi struggles to stay strong in a compromising situation. Come back next week to find out what happens next!