The Markovians strike as the Freeland Resistance begins gather in this drama filled episode of Black Lightning.
A new chapter begins and with it came more drama and surprises. This episode can essentially be summed up with the powerful truth: “Evil triumphs when good people do nothing.” This was eloquently stated b Anissa in the episode’s opening in which she records a parting video for her family. Anissa is dire straits following her deadly encounter with the revamped Painkiller. As per Gambi’s analysis, the poison is rapidly spreading leaving her with only a week or more to live. As Gambi works on an antidote, Grace (Chantal Thuy) comforts her.
Meanwhile, the Pierce family deals with the fallout of Tavon’s death. Lynn angers Jefferson by making a comment concerning not suiting up in response to the boy’s death. Their brief spat is interrupted by Jamillah Olsen, who tries to get his response for her broadcast. Despite Lynn’s reservations, Jefferson gives the woman a quote. He simply yet powerfully states that Tavon was an inspiration to all and his death will not be in vain. He inspired us to be better.
At home, Lynn and Jefferson argue once again. Lynn is frustrated that Jefferson went out as Black Lightning again and in her eyes continues to ignore her and the bigger picture. She claims that Jefferson uses his Black Lightning persona for selfish reasons. He takes issue with this saying that he does it for the greater good and for others.
Meanwhile, Henderson meets with the other leaders of the Resistance to discuss the need for a new voice of the movement. He then proceeds to recruit Jamillah to fill the vacancy left by the now deceased Truth Teller Johnson. Later in the episode, Jamillah records her first broadcast for the movement in which she urges the people of Freeland to wake up and stand against their oppressors: the ASA.
Back in the ASA facility, Lynn visits Tobias to monitor him once more for another sample of bone marrow. Tobias taunts her about his knowledge of the secrets. He also urges her to accept him as a friend. He claims that he is straight forward, while Odell is shady. The villain even reveals that he knows about Jeff’s recent outing as Black Lightning which alarms Lynn. She demands that he reveal his knowledge about Odell and how he knows so much. Tobias, however, won’t give that up unless he receives a list of all of the metahumans in the building. Lynn complies, but leaves out two of them.
Meanwhile, Jefferson visits Anissa, whose condition is deteriorating more and more. He apologises for forcing her to bring Tavon back to Freeland and thus blames himself for his death. Anissa tells him that it wasn’t his fault. She strongly feels that it was her decision to bring him back and his death is on her. She then pushes him away. Once he leaves, she collapses. Grace finds her on the floor and helps her to the couch. Anissa lies about the severity of her condition, but Grace senses that there is more to the situation. Later, Anissa’s condition worsens and all is revealed. Gambi rushes in with a cure and luckily it works. The spy later confirms his suspicions that the poison is in fact a superior version of Painkiller’s by discovering Khalil’s grave is empty.
Elsewhere, Jennifer breaks into Brandon’s apartment and discovers that he is fixated on her mother. He comes home and the two get into a brief powers spat. He reveals to her that his powers are Earth manipulation and that he is trying to find Dr. Jace. The evil doctor killed his mother and Lynn was the last person to see her. The two also bond over their shared meta connection.
Meanwhile, Odell visits Jefferson and the two exchange threats. Odell is disappointed that Jeff broke their deal. He reminds him that if not for their deal, the entire Pierce family would be in the Pit. He then threatens to put the girls there as a result of his failure. An angry Jefferson replies, “If you touch my girls, I will barbecue your black ass.” “You don’t want to make an enemy out of me,” Odell says with a sly but stern chuckle.
Elsewhere, the teleporter from last season hijacks an ASA convoy and steals some equipment and uniforms. He also transports Colonel Mosin and several other Markovians to Freeland where they retrieve some data from a generator in Club 100. Odell is onto them and arrives with a full detail. He chastises the meta and Mosin for thinking they could stop him. The Markovians are unmoved by Odell’s display and a fire fight ensues. In a shocking development, Odell and his agents are wiped out despite Black Lightning arriving to help. With his dying breath, Odell dismisses Jefferson for not killing Mosin calling him pathetic.
Back at their base, Mosin pays the teleporter for his services then discusses the next phase of their plan with Dr. Jace. They revel in the fact that the issue with the stabilisation of the meta gene is seemingly solved. Thus, their goal of their own meta army is nearing fruition.
Back at their home, Lynn packs up her things and leaves Jefferson again having grown frustrated with his recent behaviour. However, the drugs she has been unknowingly given are clearly affecting her.
This was yet another compelling and action packed episode of Black Lightning. I was once again impressed by the writing, acting, and pacing of the episode. The central theme rang loud and clear: it is time for good people to do something. This is not only true for the world of the series, but also for our real world currently. This is where real world commentary works best when it is powerful yet understated. I also found this episode extremely shocking especially concerning the death of Odell. As I have said in each previous review this season, Bill Duke’s portrayal of the mysterious agent has been a great asset to the series having brought a class and gravitas to it each scene he appears. I hope this is not the last of him. However, if it is, he will be greatly missed. In addition, I thoroughly enjoyed the burgeoning Resistance finding its new voice in Jamillah. Henderson’s test of her merits was not only humorous, but moving. I cannot wait to see what happens next!
Come back next week for another recap & review of Black Lightning here on Earth-9!