Previously on Black Lightning, “Lawanda: The Book of Burial”
This episode was a lot. Best to break it down in sections.
By Any Means Necessary
The danger of The 100 continues to find its way into Garfield High when a student has a violent reaction to a drug they’ve been peddling. It takes two blasts of electricity from Jeff before the student can be contained. Jeff goes to bat for the student — a first-time offender on his way to college — with the board. He saves the boy from expulsion, but it costs him his final say in matters of discipline going forward.
Jeff and Gambi try to get to the source of the new drug, Green Light, but hit a dead end when Jeff fails to track a shipment in favor of investigating an explosion nearby. Which brings us to…
Who’s the Bitch Now?
Anissa’s first night out as a super-powered vigilante taught her a quick and valuable lesson about knowing your strength and consequences. She knocks out two 100 drug dealers she caught selling drugs to her students, but ends up calling 9-1-1 when it appears she may have injured them more than she intended.
Anissa has no choice but to use her powers after a group of men attack her and Grace outside of Grace’s bar. This beatdown is the cause of the noise that distracted Black Lightning. Gambi hacks into the nearby security cameras and sees a woman stomping holes into the ground, but lies to Jeff about what he saw. Either way, Anissa’s secret remains safe — for now — as Gambi didn’t appear to recognize her on the video and Grace was unconscious during the fight.
Lying on Your Resume
Lady Eve increases the pressure on Tobias Whale by giving him a dressing down about the reappearance of Black Lightning. His entire criminal career was legitimized by his killing of the hero, plus shooting a reverend and crippling a young athlete isn’t a good look.
To keep Eve and her partners off his ass, Tobias calls in his sister Tori (Edwina Findley Dickerson), who suggests a more subtle approach. Since Tobias can’t be seen out and about, why not turn the community against Black Lightning? They’ve already rallied behind Khalil; if they can convince Khalil the shooting was Black Lightning’s fault, the community will side with the injured boy.
Their plan is made easier to accomplish once Khalil is brought even lower by the news his spinal cord has been completely severed and he’ll never walk again. Tobias swoops in with gifts, financial assistance, and an offer to help Khalil ease his pain.
Each week, this series peels back the layers to the different powers at play in Freeland. This is way more effective than what’s going on with The Flash. There, we were introduced to the big threat early in the season and now we’re just twiddling our thumbs as they pop up every three episodes to vaguely discuss their master plan. It’s clear there’s a bigger force pulling the strings on Black Lightning; a force we’ve not yet met. Latavius, Tobias, and Lady Eve are just scratching the surface, yet they each manage to be compelling villains as we make our way towards the end game.
We had a fun debate in our Facebook group about our thoughts on Lynn and her disapproval of Jeff returning to Black Lightning. This week had hints of Lynn keeping secrets of her own – the way she rushed Jeff off the phone when he called to talk about Khalil. She and Gambi are both hiding something and each seem to be doing so for Jeff’s own good.
Still not interested in anything going on with Jennifer.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Leave your brief thoughts below, on our Facebook post for this review, or to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll read them on tonight’s podcast.
Black Lightning S1E4 Review Score
Starring: Cress Williams, China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Christine Adams, Marvin ‘Krondon’ Jones III, Damon Gupton, James Remar, William Catlett, Gregg Henry, Jill Scott, Chantal Thuy, Skye P. Marshall | Director: Michael Schultz