Bienvenidos, Black Lightning fans, and welcome back to another Regular review of what some have been calling the blackest show in television history—Black Lightning! Don’t worry, I promise not to hit you with too many spoilers, but like usual, I will walk you through the ins and outs of tonight’s electrifying episode and let you know how I felt about it. So, what happened?
A new drug, Green Light, has hit the streets around Garfield High, and it’s hitting the students so hard, they are literally ripping urinals out of the bathroom wall. This sends Jefferson (and later Anissa) into the streets to try and stop Green Light from flooding Freeland. Jefferson tries to talk the local dealer, Two Bits, out of selling anymore Green Light, but it doesn’t work out. So, he comes back as Black Lightning to have the conversation, and (not surprisingly) he’s a lot more convincing.
Later that evening, Anissa, inspired by the conversation she had at dinner with Inspector Henderson, tests out her new powers on the guys who were selling Green Light to her students and passes with flying colors (she literally sends the guys flying through the parking lot).
We also learn that Lady Eve is quite disappointed with Tobias for the debacle that he spearheaded at the Freedom March. She encourages him to find a way to put a lid on said pot before it boils over, and hints that if it does boil over—it’s over for him. So, Tobias teams up with his sister to find a new ally, someone who would be sympathetic to a cause that’s all about getting revenge on Black Lightning. And it turns out he thinks (GUESS WHO) would be perfect for the job.
Tonight’s episode mostly revolved around Jefferson Pierce being humbled. As a hero. As a principal. And, as a father. The man works so hard at Garfield High, but that doesn’t protect his students from the violence at the hands of the 100, or from the perils of drug abuse. His ultra-powerful alter-ego, Black Lightning, can’t save Lawanda from getting killed or stop the 100 from hurting people at the Freedom March. And even when he’s just trying to talk to his daughter Jennifer about how to deal with Khalil, he has to get bailed out by Lynn. Watching Jefferson deal with these hiccups as part of his return to the hero’s journey continues to be one of the most entertaining parts of the show.
The two confrontations Black Lightning had around the Green Light drug were must-see. I loved it when he told that police officer to try using a taser first, but it all came together when Black Lightning was interrogating Two Bits about Green Light distribution. He didn’t want to see Two Bits get put away for 30 years. While they played the scene for comedy more than anything, I really liked that they gave a subtle nod to some of the injustices of mass incarceration (like getting more time for drugs than murder). And because Black Lightning really is trying his best to do what’s right for his community, watching him take into consideration the way the justice system would treat Two Bits, someone who, like him, grew up in Freeland, really hit home.
I also loved watching Anissa go off on Lynn and the Hendersons about who’s doing what for whom in the Freeland community. I agree with her, maybe marching has become less impactful. Maybe seeing people standing together saying they’re against injustice isn’t enough. And maybe we really do need more people to be acting together instead of just standing. I really appreciate that they showed how certain perspectives on society can be shaped generationally (as you could see that Lynn and the Hendersons felt very similarly), and how culture and career can also have defining effects on one’s views—as Jefferson and Anissa work directly with young people, so the way they think about solving these problems is clearly different than someone with an upper class background and perspective like Lynn, or a law enforcement point of view like the Hendersons.
The shoes just keep dropping with Lady Eve. First, we find out that she’s one of the most powerful crime bosses in Freeland, and now we learn she has partners that will no longer tolerate Tobias stepping out of line? Who are these partners? Also, what the what?!!! Tobias Whale has a sister?!!! Get out of here!
- Two Bits trying to get a quick pic for the ‘gram
- Lady Eve embalming a dead man while threatening a live one
- Lady Eve’s twin bodyguards at the mortuary—that hairstyle is so fresh
- Pretty sure that Green Light rap song is supposed to be an analog for xan/lean music
- Another sweet power upgrade from Gambi
- Tobias feeding the fish (reminded me of Eddie Arcadian from The Last Dragon)
One Last Thing
That last scene between Khalil and Jennifer where she’s his “Ride or Die” partner. While it was dope, it did remind me of how rarely that type of partnership is asked for—when the relationship is in the “riding” phase? Yea. It’s pretty much exclusive territory for the dying part. Yikes. These two-episode relationship crash and burns have been brutal on the Pierce daughters.
So that’s all I’ve got for tonight’s fourth episode of Black Lightning, “Black Jesus.” Let me know how you rated it in the comments section below. Also, if you haven't yet, be sure to check out this week's #DCTV episode of DC All Access. Yours truly makes a special appearance. Peace!