3 out of 5 Koalas
“Whoa! You’re dating Zoe B?” Jennifer Pierce – Black Lightning
A crazed woman (Shacai O’Neal) is carted into an emergency room. Someone says she is under the influence of Green Light. She exhibits enhanced strength and she overpowers the emergency room staff. She runs outside where the police have her surrounded. She picks up a huge trash bin to throw at the cops. Black Lightning/Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) appears and hits her with a lightning strike, causing her to drop the bin. He tries to calm her down. She keeps saying she has to go home. He asks her why. She keeps repeating she has to go home. Black Lightning: “Let me help you.” He extends his hand, she takes it and he shocks her unconscious. He picks her up gently and carries her away.
Jefferson and Peter Gambi (James Remar) are looking at footage from Garfield High during the attack to spot Tobias and Syonide. They don’t appear in any of the footage. They need to find Tobias in the footage to convince the police to look for him. Gambi isn’t optimistic that the police will bother to look for him after all these years. Black Lightning: “You know your pep talks need work.” They think they might be able to find him through Khalil. Gambi tells Jefferson that he’d like to get one of Painkiller’s darts so he can develop an antidote to it. Jefferson prepares to leave, he asks if Gambi has anything else. Gambi: “Don’t let him kill you again.”
Khalil Payne/Painkiller (Jordan Calloway) is playing a videogame and listening to music, he doesn’t hear his boss Tobias Whale (Marvin ‘Krondon’ Jones III). Tobias commends Khalil for his concentration, one of Syonide’s great gifts. Tobias: “With Syonide gone, you’re going to have to do more.” He gives Khalil a list to read concerning his protection pickups. When Khalil begins reading it, Tobias sets the sheet on fire. He keeps doing this until Khalil quickly reads the entire list.
Anissa Pierce (Nafessa Williams) watches a newscast, the Rebecca Lee Crumpler Free Clinic will close in a few weeks because a real estate developer is buying all the property in the area. Anissa complains about it to Jennifer (China Anne McClain) who is looking at her phone. Jennifer: “Whoa! You’re dating Zoe B?” A picture of Anissa and Zoe B is online. Jennifer jokes about her dating a big celebrity. Anissa reminds Jennifer she was the one who told her to get out there. Jennifer doesn’t think Anissa should date her. Jennifer: “Zoe B is a bad look for you. She’s cotton candy and you need soul food.”
Lynn Pierce (Christine Adams) and Agent Odell (Bill Duke) are discussing bringing another scientist on board to assist Lynn. Odell wants her to add Dr. Helga Jace (Jennifer Riker); Lynn is strongly opposed, Dr. Jace is in prison for experiments she conducted on her subjects. Lynn: “It’s hard not seeing this as you trying to sabotage my efforts.” Odell: “If I was trying to do that, you would have failed by now.” Odell strongly suggests she bring Dr. Jace aboard.
“Ten patients lost their feet. One died.” Dr. Helga Jace
Jefferson walks into Garfield High and sees metal detectors being installed. He goes to meet his successor, Principal Lowry (P. J. Byrne). He is on the phone and ignores Jefferson when he walks in. He is very frosty to Jefferson. When Jefferson calls him Mr. Lowry he coldly reminds him its Principal Lowry. Jefferson: “The metal detectors, are they really necessary?” Lowry: “Obviously. Or you’d still have this job.”
Jennifer is taking a walk in the park, one of the few times that Jefferson and Lynn let her out of the house. A strange woman stares at her as she walks by. When she asks the woman, Perenna (Erika Alexander) can she help her, she calls her Jennifer and says she is there to meet her. Jennifer is confused, she becomes more confused when Perenna touches her and she’s in another plane of existence.
Jennifer screams she wants to go. When she gets home she screams at her parents about them setting up a meeting with a therapist without telling her. Jennifer: “You don’t understand, I’m way past sandbagged.” They tell her Perenna is someone with special skills who can help her. Lynn is worried about Jennifer hurting herself or hurting others. Jennifer: “You think I’m a monster!” When she tries to run up the stairs, Jefferson stops her. Jefferson: “It’s my fault. Okay, all of it is my fault. If I could take it away I would. [Hugs her] I’m sorry. This isn’t the life I wanted for you.”
Deputy Chief Bill Henderson (Damon Gupton) arrives at the crime scene. Forensics has determined that the burned out car is Det. Summers’. [The dirty cop Tobias killed in the last episode] Henderson asks a rookie cop Roman Hicks (Derek Evans) if this is something they covered at the academy. He tells Hicks that this looks like a top notch arson job. Henderson: “Which means this is a next level kind of criminal, and Detective Summers was probably doing bad things.”
Dr. Jace walks into her job interview in chains. Odell is outside watching through a one-way mirror. Lynn mentions that Jace did an unauthorized experiment that caused her patients to lose their feet. Lynn tells her they want her to work with the kids in the pods. Jace is familiar with the ‘pod kids’. Lynn thinks Jace should be happy to be working on science again. Jace tells her that even though she doesn’t have a lab, she works on it in her head. She asks what’s in this for her. Lynn answers that she hasn’t been allowed to see her child since she’s been in prison, they’ll help her see him. Jace agrees to assist her. Dr. Jace: “Ten.” Lynn: “Excuse me?” Dr. Jace: “Ten patients lost their feet. One died.”
“Grace, I take my work, really, really seriously, but my sister pointed out that I can take other things seriously too. I’d like to try.” Anissa Pierce – Black Lightning
Rev. Jeremiah Holt (Clifton Powell) is alone in his office when he hears a noise. It’s Anissa in her black getup delivering him more money. Rev. Holt: “Ah Robin Hood.” Anissa tells him he should use some of the money for the clinic. Rev. Holt tells her they have distributed the money she previously gave them to the attorneys to help the families fight the government about their kids, they will need at least $300,000 to buy the clinic building to save the clinic. Anissa tells him she’ll get the money. He says a prayer for her.
Tobias is getting a manicure when Khalil walks in with the protection money. Tobias asks did he have any trouble. One of Tobias’ men was late with his pickup because he was chilling with his girl. Tobias turns to his manicurist and says, “That’s what happens with these Negroes who grow up without their daddies. All they want to do is lay up between a woman’s legs and have another baby they’re not going to take care of.” He mentions that Khalil’s father was not around for Khalil. Before Khalil can say anything, he tells him to collect the rest of his money.
Jefferson sadly cleans out his office, looking at pictures of his family. One of his family members, a stylishly dressed Anissa is at the Red Lipstick to see Grace Choi (Chantal Thuy). Grace is trying to bartend while Anissa apologizes for Grace seeing her with Zoe B. Anissa points out there was nothing wrong with her being with Zoe B since she and Grace weren’t dating, but she is sorry she disappeared from Grace’s life without saying anything. Grace keeps pouring drinks pretending she isn’t paying Anissa any attention. Anissa: “Grace, I take my work, really, really seriously, but my sister pointed out that I can take other things seriously too. I’d like to try.” This gets Grace’s attention.
“First of all, I ain’t nobody’s bitch. And second, the name’s Painkiller.” Khalil Payne – Black Lightning
Henderson drops by the Pierce’s household to see Jefferson. He needs Black Lightning to talk to an arsonist who won’t talk to the police. He thinks the arsonist is the one who torched Summer’s car. Jefferson tells him he’s the former principal of Garfield because he wasn’t there when it was attacked, even though he was actually there as Black Lightning. Henderson is sorry he lost his job. He gets ready to leave. Jefferson: “Bill…at some point we need to talk this thing out man.” Henderson: “Yeah, at some point.”
Khalil is in the One Hundred’s club looking for Rion, the delinquent payer. One of the gang members, Romel (Reginald Robinson) mocks Khalil, pretending he doesn’t know his name and calling him Tobias’s bitch. Khalil lifts up Romel by his throat, choking him and says, “First of all, I ain’t nobody’s bitch. And second, the name’s Painkiller.” Rion walks in and tries to avoid Khalil. Khalil tells him he’s there for Tobias’ money. Rion is up the staircase and says he doesn’t have it. Khalil tells him he’s tired of chasing him and shoots him with a dart. Rion falls from the staircase to his death. Khalil is disturbed by what happened but walks out of the club like he doesn’t care.
Jennifer meets Perenna in the park. After talking to her parents she is ready to try Perenna’s therapy. Perenna holds Jennifer’s hand and she finds herself in a beauty salon. She asks why a beauty salon. Perenna: “Where is there any safer space than this? Although some would argue that this is a place that actually strips black women of who they naturally are. We turned it into something completely different. For generations black women have come here to talk, to share, to laugh, to cry, to be safe from the world.” She tells Jennifer about the contributions black beauticians made to the movement, helping to pay for the march on Washington. Jennifer tells her this reminds her of Anissa. Perenna: “We are going to build a box to put your feelings in.” She shows different versions and Jennifer picks a gold box. They begin their session. Jennifer arrives home later, Jefferson asks what they did and she tells him they went to a beauty salon and build a box.
Lynn is showing Dr. Jace around the lab. She walks over a red line, an alarm goes off and she falls down. Lynn helps her up. Lynn: “If you go outside the prescribed areas, that implant in your ankle will disable you. If you try to remove the implant it will disable you, and if you somehow manage to get it out and remain alert the implant will sound an alarm and the guards will shoot you.” Dr. Jace: “I’m pretty sure allowing guards to shoot me isn’t part of the Hippocratic Oath. Or don’t you care about that anymore?” Lynn: “Let me be clear. You stay out of prison as long as I say you stay out of prison. The minute I think you’re a danger to me or anyone who works here or these children, I will have you thrown into such a dark place, you’ll wonder if the sun still shines. Do you understand me?” Dr. Jace: “Yes, I understand, we’re not going to be friends.”
“Well, surprisingly between the long fall and the general lack of life, he wasn’t very chatty.” Bill Henderson – Black Lightning
Anissa is with Gambi trying to figure out where the real estate developer, Zlovac is getting his money. She’s trying to find a way to save the clinic. Gambi thinks Zlovac’s operation looks like money laundering for big time criminal enterprises. Anissa tries to figure out when the next money drop is. Gambi asks her what she is up to. She won’t tell him because he’ll tell Jefferson. Gambi says he won’t unless he needs to. She won’t tell him for now.
Black Lightning enters the workshop of the arsonist who torched Det. Summer’s car. The arsonist attacks Black Lightning with a flamethrower. Black Lightning uses his electricity to shield him from the fire, he picks up a canister that makes the arsonist put down his flamethrower. Black Lightning threatens to set the workshop on fire unless he tells him who hired him. He describes the guy who threatened and paid him to do the job, it was Painkiller. Jefferson meets with Henderson later, still wearing his Black Lightning outfit. He tells him Tobias is behind this since he sent his right-hand man Painkiller to hire the man. Henderson tells him about Rion falling off the staircase because Painkiller shot him with a dart. Jefferson: “Okay, were you able to get anything from him that would lead us to Painkiller or Tobias?” Henderson: “Well, surprisingly between the long fall and the general lack of life, he wasn’t very chatty.”
Mrs. Payne (Yolanda T. Ross) is outside her apartment when Black Lightning appears, asking her to get in contact with Khalil. Black Lightning: “If you want him to live, you need to call him and have him meet with me.” Tobias is putting a briefcase in his vault. He looks at his reflection and asks Khalil how he looks. Khalil says good and then he receives a phone call from his mother. He meets Black Lightning in an abandoned building and warns him not to bother his mother again. Black Lightning asks him to lead him to Tobias, he is in danger working for Tobias. Khalil tells him he can’t beat Tobias, if it wasn’t for Thunder, Tobias would have killed him. Black Lightning reminds Khalil he has people who love him, and tells him he was better off in the wheelchair than being involved in this. This sets Painkiller off. Painkiller: “You stay away. Or I’ll make it my life’s mission to track down all the people you love and kill them just like I killed you.” This sets off Black Lightning and he lifts up Painkiller in a rope of lightning. Painkiller tries to shoot him with a dart but Black Lightning catches it. He has the dart Gambi was asking for.
Tobias is at a crypt, either visiting his sister or Syonide when Henderson and the SWAT team show up. Henderson tells him he received a tip. He places Tobias under arrest. Gambi is with Anissa at the money dropoff. He covers Anissa with a rifle while she beats up the criminals and takes their money. Gambi shoots one of them, but Anissa takes care of the rest.
She drops off the money to Rev. Holt. When Gambi gets home he finds a wounded women, it’s Kara Fowdy (Skye P. Marshall) looking worse for wear. Jennifer meets with Perenna for another session. She is ready to stuff her feelings in the box. Perenna: “Before you can stuff your feelings in anything, we have to know what those feelings are.” When they try to do that, Jennifer catches on fire. [In the mental plane] Henderson stops by Jefferson’s house to tell him they have captured Tobias. Jefferson looks conflicted. It will be harder to kill him if he’s in prison.
Jefferson stops a young woman under the influence of Green Light. He meets his successor, Principal Lowry, who acts like a prick. Deputy Chief Henderson asks Jefferson as Black Lightning to talk to an arsonist who he believes torched Detective Summers car. The arsonist tries to use a flamethrower on Black Lightning, he fails. Black Lightning finds out Khalil paid him to torch the car. Black Lightning gets Khalil’s mother to call him. They meet, Black Lightning asks him to help him get Tobias, Painkiller tells him he can’t beat Tobias. Their meeting quickly becomes contentious and the two fight. Henderson informs him that he’s captured Tobias. Agent Odell forces Lynn to hire a mad scientist to help her with the pod kids. Dr. Jace was a renowned scientist who conducted an unauthorized experiment on her patients, killing one and the other 10 losing their feet. Dr. Jace is the last person Lynn wants to work with. The way Lynn talks to her suggests she is being influenced working with the ASA. Anissa is still stealing from the crooks and giving to the poor. She moves up and robs gangsters who are laundering money through a real estate developer. It’s probably enough to save a clinic. It also looks like Anissa and Grace could get back together after she goes to the Red Lipstick to see Grace. Jennifer’s parents arrange for her to meet a metahuman therapist, without telling her. The therapist takes Jennifer to a mental plane to work on her issues. Perenna, the therapist takes her to a mental projection of a beauty salon. I don’t know how well it’s going since Jennifer catches on fire. Tobias tells Khalil he will have to pick up Syonide’s old duties. He is collecting protection payments. One of the guys is late so he has to talk to him. He shoots the guy with a dart, causing him to die falling off a staircase. He didn’t mean it, but could this lead him further down the path he is falling?
The episode tried to stuff five pounds of story in a three pound bag. Every storyline was interesting, but they didn’t have enough time to explore any of them. I assume they will do that as the season goes on. It wasn’t a bad episode Anissa’s fight scene was a highlight, along with her sweet talking Grace. Of course, Anissa is always a highlight. I think the episode set up most of the storylines for the rest of the season, but they didn’t have to have these many. I don’t know why the episode is called Master Lowry, he was in one small scene. They introduced two new characters, Perenna, [Pam from Girlfriends] and Dr. Jace. They also might have introduced the new villainous group to replace the ASA as antagonist. That would be the money laundering group.
I’m Afraid of Americans by David Bowie played over the cool new chapter titles and when Black Lightning stopped the women on Green Light.
Khalil was listening to Pack Told Me by R-Mean while he was playing videogames.
Jennifer was listening to Smiling Faces Sometimes by the Undisputed Truth when she met Perenna in the park.
Away by JF played in the Red Lipstick when Anissa went to see Grace.
Eleven by Dumbfoundead played when Khalil was looking for Rion to collect.
No Time by JimiJames played after Jennifer got home from her beauty shop session.
Anissa beat up the thugs to Hit It and Quit It by Funkadelic.
Here is the promo trailer for next week’s episode, Translucent Funk.