After a disappointing hour, I’m glad the show bounced back with an exciting episode that focused more on the Pierce’s.
Jefferson’s relationships with the women in his life have been the driving force of this show thus far, so it’s especially satisfying to see this episode address those dynamics in various ways. His heart-to-heart with Jennifer at the school gym is certainly a standout moment where China Anne McClain perfectly portrays Jen’s vulnerability without ever seeming gullible. It’s also incredibly refreshing to watch a father/daughter relationship on television that’s based more on trust and intimacy than needless drama.
The same goes for Jefferson’s interactions later with his other daughter Anissa (Thunder). While the latter defends Black Lightning’s attacks in typical badass fashion before discovering who’s behind the ugly suit, I must commend the writers for revealing his identity to her before it becomes too convoluted. It’s the rare, game-changing superhero move that only a show tremendously confident in its characters can pull off so early into its run. I don’t want to jinx this, but I can’t wait to see where this storyline goes next.
The episode does have a few flaws, particularly in the way it handles Jefferson’s intent on killing Tobias. Almost every superhero show does the “you’re a hero, not a killer” storyline with various degrees of success, and Black Lightning unfortunately falls for this trope this week. Not only is it unbelievable that Tobias doesn’t notice the huge bolt of electricity forming a few stories over his head, but also it was pretty obvious something was going to stop Jefferson from going ahead with the kill. Only when this show avoids clichéd subplots can it truly become great television.
– Anissa wanting to fight for justice and destroy the statues is incredibly powerful and timely. The water guns were admittedly a bit funny-looking, though.
– Fingers crossed the writers avoid a love triangle with Jefferson, Lynn and the vice principal.
– Not sure how I feel about Khalil and his cyberbullying subplot. Jennifer deserves way better!
– I really hated the CGI this week. Starting from Jefferson standing on a rooftop ready to take down Tobias to his big fight later with Anissa, something about the special effects seemed a bit off.
– I still cringe anytime I hear the word “metahuman”, thanks to The Flash’s horrendous second season.
– Anyone else super excited to see more interactions between Gambi and Lady Eve? The fact that they both worked together at one point frankly makes a lot of sense.
Lynn: You’re pulling me back into this mess, and I don’t like it. I hate this. I hate having to stitch you back together, living in fear of turning on the news and somebody finding your body dead in the gutter.
Jefferson: (to Anissa) Look, you are a black woman. You don’t have the luxury of being naive.
Jefferson: You know, Jen, a cultural aftershock of slavery was that sometimes when one black person gets ahead, another feels like it ruins their chances, so they lash out. It’s called “Crabs in a barrel”.
A solid episode with some more forward momentum and an exciting cliffhanger.