Agent Odell and his machinations are the focus of the third chapter of the Book Of Occupation storyline. Bill Duke’s portrayal of this complex character is, as I have mentioned previously, one of the highlights of the season and quite honestly the show in general for me personally.
In this episode, Odell manipulates Jen, Khalil, and attempts to break Tobias for information all for the supposed betterment of Freeland.
The episode opens with Khalil, now fully Painkiller, demonstrating his mastery over twenty-three different martial arts in preparation for an upcoming mission. Meanwhile, Henderson visits Detective King, who is now being held at the meta camp. King has contracting a virus that is ravaging the camp. It is quite similar to the illness plaguing the pod kids including Maryam. King realizes she is dying and tells him to deliver some money (that she had stolen) to her husband. Following her request, she collapses in a seizure.
Elsewhere, Lynn and Jefferson are visited by Odell, who informs them of the outbreak and its severity. He requests Lynn’s help in preventing the spread of this virus, which could wipe out the meta population of Freeland. Jefferson angrily calls him out saying he only cares about having the metas as soldiers. Odell surprisingly admits this fact, but once again stresses the importance of stopping the Markovians. He then offers them a chance to see their daughters in exchange for their help with the virus. They reluctantly agree. Later, Odell gives Jefferson a watch containing a new high tech suit that materializes with a certain electric charge. He also informs him that he has intel that Dr. Jace is outside the Freeland perimeter. If Jefferson helps stop her, he gets to go home.
Odell visits Tobias, who quickly realizes that the agent murdered Issa. Whale respects it and says he would have done the same if he had that much dirt on him. Odell tries to get him to give up the location of the briefcase, but Whale refuses. Tobias is then tortured with intense UV light which begins to burn his skin. Odell leaves him to rethink his stance. Later, he returns to apologize. He needs him to help his cause.Tobias has demands: his freedom being most important. Odell offers to help him regain his territory if he tells him the location of the briefcase.
Back in Freeland, Anissa and Jen are each dealing with the current situation with Anissa acting as Blackbird and Jen giving tours at school. Anissa reconnects with Grace and accepts her and her powers.
Meanwhile, Odell visits Jen and manipulates her to join his cause by telling her the Markovians killed Khalil’s mother.
The city is not holding up well under this regime. Public service officials including Henderson are being registered and tested for meta genes/green light. Henderson and his wife have a run in with an elderly woman who is fed up with the current state of Freeland and blames the Chief.
Now that the stage is set, Odell’s plans begin to unfold with Black Lightning, Lynn, Jen, and Khalil carrying out their respective missions. Black Lightning sets out to “rescue” some captured ASA agents, who in actuality were trying to infiltrate the Markvoian camp to take out Dr. Jace. Jefferson helps them raid the camp, but Jace is not there. Meanwhile, Lynn discovers that the virus is man-made possibly by Dr. Jace herself. Jen as Lightning destroys a Markovian data farm building which then allows Painkiller to find and wipe out a house full of Markovians.
Following the success of the missions, Odell allows the Jefferson and Lynn to return home, where they are reunited with Jen and Anissa. Elsewhere, Tobias hallucinates Black Lightning taunting him. He angrily vows to escape and kill the hero and everyone he cares about.
Overall, this was yet another strong episode of Black Lightning. Finally, the Pierce family is back together and Jefferson is back in the suit. Speaking of the suit, it is a striking design. I love the unintentional or intentional parallel to Supergirl’s new suit reveal. His response “Well, damn,” was very similar to Kara’s “Pants!” I can’t wait to see how the family deals with the regime in Freeland together. However, the highlight once again is Bill Duke’s Agent Odell. Odell was the star of this episode which featured him pulling on so many strings. I love not knowing where this character truly stands. At times he seems genuinely on the right side, but then he carries out terrible deeds. If he is in fact the true villain of the season, this has been a great set-up for it. Either way, he is such a fascinating character that adds a great dynamic to the show. My only negative of the episode is the Grace storyline. I feel that her story started off great in Season 1, but trailed off last season. Now, given the way it was handled last season, I am not entirely interested in it to be honest. The character is actually interesting, but she doesn’t get enough screen time. I do hope that she becomes a meaningful part of the story this season though.
All in all, Black Lightning Season 3 is going strong! Come back next week for another recap & review here at Earth-9!