5 out of 5 Koalas
“So now I’m floating.” Jennifer Pierce – Black Lightning
A newscast shows a young black man named Issa Williams (Myles Truitt), [who is also a ‘Green Light Baby’ the people who gained powers from Green Light] dying from the police trying to restrain him with a chokehold. [Much like the chokehold death of Eric Garner.] Reverend Holt (Clifton Powell) is delivering a spirited sermon to his congregation about Issa’s death and the police using Green Light as an excuse for their actions. Rev. Holt: “The killing of Issa Williams is proof that this drug, Green Light…has left our community in grave danger. But I’m here to tell you…the police have been killing and shooting – and brutalizing and terrorizing black people long before the drug Green Light hit the streets of Freeland!”
Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning (Cress Williams) is at a school board meeting. They question him about his absence from Garfield High when Khalil (Jordan Calloway), Syonide (Charlbi Kean Kriek), and Tobias Whale (Marvin ‘Krondon’ Jones III) attacked it and his subsequent absence after the attack. Jefferson offers a lame excuse about being on a mini-vacation. The board threatens to close the school and discipline Jefferson. An ASA agent, Odell (Bill Duke) is questioning Lynn Pierce (Christine Adams) about discovering the pods that the older Green light kids were in. Lynn tells him she received an anonymous call about the pods because of her work on Green Light. Agent Odell: “Honestly lady, that dog don’t hunt so I’m gonna ask you to try again. How did you of all the people get access to these pods?” Lynn doesn’t give him a satisfactory answer. Agent Odell: “Your access to the pods is finished.” Lynn: “What did you not hear what I said. I understand Green Light and these children better than anyone.” Agent Odell: “You’re a liar. You’ve been sitting here lying to me for about an hour and a half.” He curtly dismisses her.
“Bitch, you got my hair wet.” Kara Fowdy – Black Lightning
Anissa/Thunder (Nafessa Williams) is sitting by her sister Jennifer’s (China Anne McClain) bed with a worried expression. She took a video of Jennifer glowing with electrical power and floating over her bed. Jennifer: “So now I’m floating.” Kara Fowdy (Skye P. Marshall) is busy packing. When she gets to the parking garage, Syonide steps out of the shadows. Tobias sent her to bring Kara to him about the briefcase. The two women begin shooting at each other. After running out of ammo, Syonide pops out her two sticks, while Kara takes off her high-heeled shoes that have blades in the heels. The two women now engage in hand-to-hand combat. Syonide knocks Kara to the ground, “You should have accepted my invitation.” Kara throws one of her shoes into Syonide’s neck, killing her. Kara [Pulling her shoe out of Syonide’s neck.]: “Bitch, you got my hair wet.”
Jefferson and Lynn are having a contentious discussion about Jennifer. Lynn: “This is about her state of mind, her mental health. Yes, you can train her to control her powers but if her mind is in turmoil, what good would that do?” Lynn wants her to see a therapist. Jefferson thinks it’s a bad idea; she doesn’t have the typical teen girl problems. Lynn points out she needs a therapist for her special problems. They change the subject to the school board meeting. Jefferson knows they don’t believe his vacation story, but he thinks they’ll work it out. Jefferson asks Lynn about her meeting with the ASA. She tells him that Agent Odell revoked her access to the pods. Jefferson agrees with his decision. He thinks it’s better for Lynn to work in her lab. Lynn becomes upset with Jefferson and reminds him of all the work she has done about it. They can’t seem to agree on anything.
Kara walks into Peter Gambi’s (James Remar) tailor shop. Gambi thinks she’s a customer. Kara: “Peter Esposito, the untouchable tailor.” Gambi pulls out his pistol and asks what she wants. She tells him she was the new ASA spotter and that she will get him the briefcase that Tobias has for his help in getting her out of the ASA. Gambi: “What’s in the briefcase that makes it so valuable?” Kara: “Hell.
“So you’re their, uh…their blackspert now?” Jefferson Pierce – Black Lightning
Jefferson is in a heated conversation with an old friend from the Olympics who is on the school board, Napier Frank (Robert Townsend). Napier is getting on Jefferson for his attitude towards the school board. Jefferson doesn’t respond to his criticism well. Jefferson: “So you’re their, uh…their blackspert now?” Napier: “Watch yourself brother. I don’t like the way you said that. Too damn close to calling me a house nigger.” Jefferson: “Come on, Napier, you were born in Freeland. We come from the same place. And you know that the board has been trying to take over Garfield simply because I will not treat these kids like criminals.” Napier gets on him for not being at the school during the attack. Napier: “But we’re blessed. Who knows how much worse the situation would have been if Black Lightning and Thunder hadn’t shown up. Like them, I’m trying to save the school, not your job.” That stings Jefferson.
Rev. Holt is holding a meeting about the kids who are in the pods. He has an attorney Benjamin Crump (as himself) discuss the case. The government is keeping the kids citing it’s a public health issue. They aren’t going to let the families have them back. Benjamin Crump: “Basically their position is they own your family members.” Rev. Holt tells the people at the meeting that the church will try to provide financial assistance to the families of these kids, but legal action against the government will be expensive, they’ll need at least $500,000. Outside the church, Anissa and Jeff discuss the situation. Anissa wants to take action. Jefferson thinks they’ll have to let the system work this out. Anissa: “Oh, Dad, come on now. The System? The system is rigged. You know that better than anyone.” Jefferson can’t argue with that, but he points out there is only so much they can do. Jefferson reminds her that the attack on Garfield was to draw Black Lightning out. Jefferson: “So we need to be focused on finding them or being ready for when they find us…but our job right now is to facilitate the demise of Tobias Whale.” I don’t think Anissa plans to follow her father’s advice.
Jennifer is on the couch watching TV when Lynn walks in wanting to talk to her. She asks how Jennifer is dealing with everything that has happened lately. Jennifer: “Dealing with what? The fact that I float in my sleep? Or that Dad died…Twice? Are you dealing with the fact that you shot someone with a shotgun, or that Gambi killed a man, or that I electrocuted somebody who might be dead now? Which part do you want me to deal with Mom?” Lynn reprimands her for her tone of voice; Jennifer accidently hits her with an electric strike. When she goes to check on her mother, Lynn withdraws with a look of pure terror on her face. Jennifer runs out of the room. Lynn finds Jennifer in her favorite spot outside her bedroom window. She hugs her daughter and tries to reassure her things will be alright.
Lynn and Jefferson are in their bedroom discussing Jennifer again. Lynn is putting ointment on her burn. Jefferson still thinks it’s something they can deal with. Lynn informs him she asked Gambi to use some of his ASA connections to get back her access to the pods. Jefferson can’t believe she would willingly deal with the ASA and not tell him she was going to speak to Gambi about this first. Lynn angrily tells him she doesn’t need his permission to speak to Gambi or work with the pods. After what is happening with Jennifer, she’s more than certain she should be working with the pods. She also says if he’s so concerned about her, why he hasn’t asked her how she’s dealing with killing a man. Jeff: “This thing is tearing us apart.” Lynn: “I told you there would be consequences.” Lynn tells him she needs to take a drive and leaves.
“Just say it negro. Don’t make me rip that mask off your face. You say it!” Ben Henderson – Black Lightning
In a house where organized crime is taking place, Thunder shows up in disguise dressed in black like a ninja. She engages in a fun, energized fight with every thug in the house. They are no match for her. She takes their ill-gotten money from them. Black Lightening meets up with Deputy Chief Bill Henderson (Damon Gupton). Henderson says he wondered why Jefferson Pierce was not at Garfield when it was attacked, or there afterwards. Why Black Lightning ‘rose from the dead’ to rescue Jefferson’s daughters from the 100. He has figured it out – Jefferson is Black Lightning. Henderson: “Just say it negro. Don’t make me rip that mask off your face. You say it!” Jefferson hesitates but he takes off the mask. Henderson asks if Lynn is Thunder, but when Jefferson says no, he immediately knows Thunder is Anissa. Henderson: “After all these years, huh, man.” Jefferson: “What do we do now?” Henderson walks away without responding.
Jefferson watches Angela Rye (as herself) on TV talking about the Green Light situation in Freeland. Angela Rye: “And that is the government has used poor communities, poor people as guinea pigs for all kinds of experimentation.” Lynn walks in, cooled down from their last argument. Jefferson looks at the coverage of the Green Light Babies and says to Lynn, “All this negative news on metas, Freeland is gonna start turning on folks with powers. That is the future, Lynn, for Jen and Anissa.” Lynn: “We’re going to get through this with our family intact.” He breaks the bad news that Henderson knows he’s Black Lightning. Lynn thinks that maybe this gives him someone to talk to about Black Lightning issues. Jefferson doesn’t think Henderson will ever speak to him again. Jefferson: “Anyone who knows who Black Lightning is winds up getting hurt. Physically, emotionally. Now I have him to worry about.” Lynn tells him that with all that has happened to him since he was a kid, it wouldn’t also hurt him to talk to a therapist. Playfully, Jefferson: “You think I’m crazy.” Lynn: “Well I know you’re crazy. You’re a man of a certain age and a lot of guys lose their ability to get an erection when they’re stressed, so…maybe it wasn’t the suit that caused your powers to short-circuit. Maybe it was Black Lightning’s version of erectile dysfunction.” Jefferson: “Gah, woman, ain’t nothin’ dysfunctional about me.” He and Lynn proceed to check out her theory. Anissa sneaks into the house with her loot.
Gambi is telling a shocked Jefferson about Kara Fowdy. Jefferson agrees that they should help her if she gets the briefcase. Jefferson wonders what is in it, Gambi is sure it’s worse than they had imagined. Keisha Williams (Kyanna Simone Simpson) is doing Jennifer’s hair on the porch. Khalil leaves a message for Jennifer saying she was right, that wasn’t the real him during the attack. He wants to see her. Keisha: “Dudes got no kind of shame. Ain’t he got better things to do with the police looking for him?” Jennifer half-heartedly agrees with her, she doesn’t want anything to do with him. They start discussing the Green Light Babies with these new powers. Keisha thinks it’s bad, “End of day’s girl, I’m telling you.” Jennifer looks worried. Rev. Holt is conducting bible study when Ninja Thunder walks in. Rev. Holt and several other members pull out their pistols, thinking she’s there to harm them. Anissa tells them she means them no harm and dumps the money she took from the thugs. Holt’s attitude changes immediately, “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!”
At the Black Bird Funeral Parlor, some ASA agents are taking Issa Williams body out of the funeral home in a body bag with his family protesting. Suddenly the body bag starts moving, the agents drop the bag and Issa comes out. Issa’s mom (Monique Grant) isn’t thrilled to see her resurrected son. Issa’s mom: “No, I don’t want anything to do with you.” Issa: “What are you talking about?” Issa’s mom: “Nothing. No. You can’t be my baby. My baby is dead.” She immediately apologizes about what she said, but after all the trouble he had given her over drugs, she felt relieved not to have to deal with it any longer. The agents pull out their weapons, and Issa’s family tells him to run.
“I don’t give a rat’s ass who pulled strings for you, but I guaran-damn-tee you I will find out.” Agent Odell – Black Lightning
Keisha is in Jennifer’s room and gets an alert on her phone about the incident. Keisha: “Look. Look at him. All these Green Light babies are freaks.” This causes Jennifer to have a panic attack. Jennifer runs in the bathroom beginning to glow and begs Keisha to go home. Lynn is back at the ASA with her biggest fan, Agent Odell. Agent Odell: “I don’t give a rat’s ass who pulled strings for you, but I guaran-damn-tee you I will find out. Cut those strings and you are gonna fall hard lady.” Lynn: “It’s Dr. Stewart.” Agent Odell: “Oh. Supposed to impress me?” Lynn: “Like you said, I don’t give a rat’s ass if it does or it doesn’t. Like crack, this community will have to deal with the consequences of the government experimenting on them for generations to come.” Agent Odell promises this isn’t over yet. When Jefferson gets home, Anissa and Lynn are waiting for him in Jennifer’s room; they tell him what is happening. When he walks in her bathroom, the entire room is glowing from Jennifer’s electricity, and she’s sitting in the tub in a bubble of electrical energy. Jefferson gently tells her to get out of the tub and he hugs her tightly, absorbing her energy. Lynn and Anissa join them in the bathroom as Jefferson comforts Jennifer.
Jefferson is with Napier and he informs Jefferson that the board voted to close down Garfield. To prevent that from happening Jefferson offers his resignation. He hopes the board will see that as a victory. Jefferson: “You said it best Napie. Like Black Lightning and Thunder. I’m trying to save Garfield…not my job.” Now we get a montage, Issa is sitting by himself on the dock. Lynn is in the lab with the pods. Anissa is happily counting her loot. [She must have raided another drug den.] Jennifer is asleep over her bed glowing and floating. Kara enters Tobias’ office wearing a night vision device. He is waiting for her. Tobias: “Syonide was the only thing left in this world I gave a damn about.” Kara: “Then you should have taken better care of her.” Tobias: “No more words. Time to die.” Kara: “If you must.” He shoots her with his harpoon, but an injured Kara is able to jump out the window to escape.
The Green Light problem has grown in Freeland. The police use a chokehold to kill a young man who is a so-called Green Light Baby. The community is upset; it’s another case of the police brutalizing the black community under the pretense of dealing with the Green Light problem. The school board is upset with Jefferson for not being at the school during its attack, and threatens to discipline him and even close Garfield. A hostile ASA agent questions Lynn about her involvement with the stasis pods. Jennifer is glowing and floating in her sleep. Henderson figures out that Jefferson is Black Lightning, and he feels betrayed by Jefferson’s deception. Kara Fowdy kills Syonide in a parking garage brawl and goes to Gambi for help in getting out of the ASA if she brings him the briefcase Tobias possesses. The government is keeping the kids in the pods away from the community, and the families will need a huge amount of money to fight the government in court. Anissa tries to help by playing Robin Hood and stealing from drug dealers and giving their money to the affected families. Things worsen; Jennifer’s friend Keisha’s negativity towards the Green Light Babies causes Jennifer to have a panic attack and end up in an energy-enclosed bubble. The school board votes to close down Garfield, to prevent it, Jefferson submits his resignation. Tobias harpoons Kara for killing Syonide, [well maybe she had that coming for being a spotter for the ASA that just might be karma.]
The first three episode titles in Season 2 begin with The Book of Consequences. Everyone is paying for their actions from last season, or will begin paying soon. Freeland is paying for the government running experiments on their children. The Pierce family is paying for Jefferson being Black Lightning and for having superpowers. Kara Fowdy is paying for portraying her people and working for an ASA rogue program, spotting kids in her school who are using Green Light. Jefferson’s double identity forces him to resign since he can’t explain why he wasn’t at Garfield during the attack. His friend, Napier Frank, is losing respect for Jefferson because of it. His other friend Bill Henderson is hurt to figure out his friend has been lying to him all these years. Anissa is feeling good about playing Robin Hood, but this episode proves there are consequences for our actions.
The episode picked up from last season, and I’m happy to report, it maintained the same quality. There were two major action set pieces, the fight in the garage between Kara and Syonide and Thunder’s raid of the drug den. The choreography for both fights were excellent. The garage fight was fun and the background music of Lyn Collins gave it a Blaxploitation movie feel. Thunder’s raid was badass, and her fight moves along with her power were on point.
When the music on this show isn’t good, that will be a headline. Some weeks are better than others are, but at least it’s always good. This week it was excellent. The episode kicked off with Redemption Song by Bob Marley and the Wailers during the footage of the police killing Issa Williams.
As I mentioned earlier Think (About It) by Lyn Collins played during Kara and Syonide’s fight.
This Little Light by Extreme Music began Thunder’s raid, but Flashlight by Parliament kicked in as the fighting began. It led to Black Lightning and Henderson’s confrontation.
But Flashlight by Parliament kicked in as the fighting began. It led to Black Lightning and Henderson’s confrontation.
Hill Valley by Cameron Dietz played during Jennifer’s panic attack. [Shut up Keisha!]
Finally, Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) by Marvin Gaye played during the final montage. The CW must have increased the music budget over the summer break.
This was a great episode, even though it covered many stories, all of them should play out during the season. The writers and cast didn’t forget what made the first season so exceptional. Here’s the teaser for next week’s episode.