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Black Lightning: It's a Family Affair

Black Lightning: It's a Family Affair

By Regular Et Cetera Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

The #DCTV Couch Club is a team of DC fans dedicated to exploring the universe of The CW’s Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, Black Lightning and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Look for new Couch Club posts here on DCComics.com after every new episode!

Greetings, beautiful fanpersons, and welcome to week six of Black Lightning (and week six of me writing about the show)! We took a little break last week, which was rough because the previous episode came through with the KILLER cliffhanger. To no surprise, this week’s episode definitely kept the party going! As usual, I’ll try not to spoil everything in the review, but don’t worry, you’ll still get a basic rundown of what happened along with my takes on the latest in Freeland.

The Story

The show opens on the major “L” Black Lightning took last week at the hands of Tobias Whale’s right-hand man, Joey Toledo. Jefferson’s bleeding, bruised, unable to move, and the cops are on their way. Luckily for Black Lightning, Gambi shows up just in time to sneak him away before the police notice his bloody body on the pavement. He wakes up in Gambi’s basement and his ex-wife Lynn is there. Gambi called her to help him patch up Black Lightning. She is not happy about it, but she gets him back into fighting shape anyway.

Meanwhile back in downtown Freeland, Anissa and a few of Freeland’s most revolutionary are protesting about the presence of a confederate statue in Freeland. Of course, Anissa gets arrested and Jefferson has to bail her out (again), prompting him to give her “the talk” about how to deal with police and how police will deal with her.

After a little private eye work, Black Lightning discovers the identity of Tobias’ doctor and proceeds to make plans to finally finish what should have been done (according to Black Lightning) years ago. He’s going to kill Tobias Whale.

Back at school, we see that Jennifer is now getting bullied on social media by the same girls she wrecked at the skate party last week. Apparently, this catches on, and a lot of the other kids at school decide to get in on the act. Even kids outside of school get into it, as we see Khalil and Jennifer’s relationship take a sour turn when he joins the band of social media folks picking on her for being the principal’s daughter.

The episode ends with Lynn talking Black Lightning down from going to kill Tobias over the phone. Someone breaks into her office at the end of their conversation and Black Lightning flies out to the scene. He gets into a fight with the first person he sees, but unknown to him, that person is his daughter, Anissa (wearing the costume she put together in the last episode). She tries to put up a fight against Black Lightning, but her inexperience really shows through, and she is quickly taken down by her father, the more experienced hero. After he knocks her out, he realizes that it’s not some random criminal, but his daughter that he’s been wrestling this whole time. A point even further hammered home as Lynn somberly remarks to Black Lightning, “She’s got powers, Jeff.”

The Highs

This week’s episode gave us our first look at how a fight between two superpowered individuals looks on the show and it did not disappoint in the least. Anissa Pierce vs. Black Lightning was EPIC! She showed up at Lynn’s lab ready to get work done! And did!

I loved that she and her dad (Black Lightning) did the classic comic book confrontation, which, for the uninitiated, goes pretty much like this: Hero A runs into Hero B while they’re looking for the bad guys, mistakes them for a villain, and fisticuffs ensue. And man did it ever! That fight had everything! Old versus Young. Rookie versus Vet. Parent versus Child. And the best thing about it is how it was all wrapped up into that intense little hallway brawl.

The Lows

Wow. So Khalil and Jennifer are on the outs? That was NOT what I was expecting to happen. AT. ALL. Their little high school romance continues to be one of the most random, interesting, and consistently surprising relationships on this show. I just wish these two crazy kids could find joy instead of having to constantly wade through so much sorrow.

Gambi and Lady Eve are in cahoots?!!! Man, I should have known we couldn’t trust Gambi! Now that we know he’s the one that got Tobias out of the way (and protected the Pierces) through his relationship with Lady Eve, I’m wondering what’s the next shoe to drop. Just how crooked is this man?

The Honorable Mentions

  • I love how Anissa’s abilities activate with deep breathing!
  • Tobias just cannot stop himself from making bible references
  • Seeing Anissa give Jennifer advice about dating was really nice
  • There are confederate statues in Freeland? Jeez, they put those things up everywhere!

One Last Thing

After Anissa got bailed out by her dad (for the second time in six weeks), he had a talk with her about moving through society as a black woman. He talked about what that means to the people who don’t look like her and what that means to the people that do. In that moment, I was floored that this type of thing has kind of become a TV trope—a sort of “the birds and the bees” talk for black folks and their children on TV.

Now don’t get me wrong, having this kind of talk is a reality that a lot of black folks in this country face. But honestly, it’s exhausting emotionally, spiritually, and even physically. Especially when it seems to find its way into so many of our stories. All that said, it was still a really nice authentic moment between a father and daughter.

Signing Off

That’s all I have for this week’s episode of Black Lightning! Feel free to let me know how you felt about tonight’s episode in the comments below. And, remember, for more from me on all things Black Lightning, just follow me on Twitter at @RegularEtCetera. Peace!
 

Regular Et Cetera covers Black Lightning as a part of the #DCTV Couch Club. Look for him on Twitter at @RegularEtCetera. Black Lightning airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. (8 p.m. CST) on The CW.