“You’re a strong black woman, I can tell. How did you wind up with such a weak-ass son?” Tobias Whale
Khalil Payne/Painkiller (Jordan Calloway) and Jennifer Pierce (China Anne McClain) stop in front of Club 100. Khalil tells Jennifer that since he can’t go to his place to pick up his stuff, he needs to pick up some cash for their trip. He doesn’t tell her that picking up some cash actually means robbing Club 100. He opens his car trunk to pull out his Painkiller gear. When he walks in, he tells the gang members he’s there for a pick up for Tobias. They inform him that Tobias placed a $100,000 bounty on him. This begins a shootout between Painkiller and the 100. Jennifer hears gunshots and sees the 100 shooting at Khalil. To save her boyfriend’s arse, she creates a giant electrical ball, knocking out power, and distracting the gang. She drives up in the convertible and picks up Khalil. They barely get away.
Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning (Cress Williams), Anissa/Thunder (Nafessa Williams), and Lynn (Christine Adams) are at the Black Lightning sanctum. Peter Gambi (James Remar) is monitoring transportation hubs to see where Jennifer could be. Lynn is glad to see Gambi, but Anissa is angry with him for faking his death and causing the family to mourn him. Gambi asks them some questions about Jennifer. Jefferson tells him that Perenna told Lynn and him that she might have left with a boy. They don’t know who the boy is. Anissa realizes she knows. She tells them about the text Khalil sent Jennifer. Jefferson is angry with Anissa for not telling them sooner. Jefferson sends Lynn to the police so they can file an APD on the two runaways. Deputy Chief Bill Henderson (Damon Gupton) is sympathetic and files a missing person report on Jennifer. Khalil already has an arrest warrant out on him. Jefferson goes to a rooftop as Black Lightning. He sees a male with dreadlocks in a car with a young woman; Jefferson thinks it is Khalil and Jennifer. He flies down and tears the car door off; it isn’t Jennifer and Khalil. The young couple drive away without an apology from the superhero.
Parked in front of a parking lot, and still frazzled from the shootout, Jennifer and Khalil argue. Jennifer: “What the hell, Khalil?!” Khalil: “We needed the money.” Jennifer: “You said we were making a quick stop, not walking into a damn shootout.” Khalil: “Tobias put a reward on my head. Look, I didn’t know. I’m sorry. I’m just trying to keep you from being involved.” Jennifer: “My involvement? I just had to use my powers in public. I’d say at this point I’m pretty damn involved.” They try to decide where to go for the night, eventually Khalil suggest his aunt’s house. Jennifer tells Khalil she wants to call her parents to tell them she is all right. Khalil is afraid her call will help Tobias find them. She tells him to calm down. He only gets angrier and screams, “J. I said no! I said no!”
Gambi and Anissa see video of the fireball Jennifer threw outside Club 100. A police officer reports to Henderson that they found a body that fits Jennifer’s description. Henderson apprehensively goes to the crime scene to inspect the body. To his relief it isn’t Jennifer.
Khalil’s mother, Nichelle Payne (Yolanda T. Ross) walks into her apartment. Tobias Whale (Marvin ‘Krondon’ Jones III) is waiting for her. Tobias: “Late night. Perhaps what you need is a good read? Always puts me right to sleep,” He lifts up a book. “Moby Dick. One of my favorites.” Nichelle: “I guess you’re here to put me to sleep?” Tobias laughs, “Actually, I have a strict ‘No Mama’ rule. I believe a man has to have principles.” He wants her to tell her son to keep his mouth shut. He has big plans and he doesn’t want Khalil to ruin them. Nichelle tells him she doesn’t know how to contact Khalil and even if she did, she wouldn’t help Tobias. Tobias: “You’re a strong black woman, I can tell. How did you wind up with such a weak-ass son?”
There is a knock at the door; Yvette (Tonia Jackson) [Khalil’s aunt] answers the door. It is Khalil and Jennifer. It is on the news that Khalil kidnapped Jennifer. After checking with Jennifer to make sure she is safe, Yvette allows them to stay overnight. She leaves to fix up a room for them. Khalil: “Look, I’m sorry. Okay, I shouldn’t have yelled at you before.” Jennifer: “Yeah, you should be sorry. What the hell was that?” Khalil: “I don’t know. Something just came over me, okay? Jenn, the things Tobias did to me … hitting me … burning me … I just didn’t want him to find us. I snapped.” Jennifer: “Yeah, well you snap at me like that again, then Tobias is gonna be the last person you’ll have to worry about. I will light your ass up. You need to remember that.” Khalil: “I know.” He hands her a burner phone to call her parents. Khalil agrees they have a right to know she is all right.
“Yeah, well, we’re not a family without Jen.” Anissa Pierce
Black Lightning and Thunder go to Club 100 to get some answers on Khalil and Jennifer’s whereabouts. After tossing around some gang members, one of them smartly tells them what he knows. Jennifer calls Anissa to tell her she is okay. Anissa checks to see if Khalil is holding her hostage, but she assures Anissa she is voluntarily with him. Anissa notifies Jefferson that Jennifer is on the phone. He contacts Gambi to trace the call. Anissa tries to keep her on longer, but she just wanted them to know she was fine and hangs up. Gambi informs Jefferson she wasn’t on long enough for him to trace the call.
Anissa is with Gambi and he is trying to determine the nearest cell tower the call came from. He can only pin it down to a 40-mile radius. Anissa is still angry with Gambi, “You know I still can’t believe you’re alive. You and your secrets.” He tells her he did it to protect the family from the assassins who are after him. Gambi reminds her that she kept it a secret from Jefferson that she was robbing drug dealers to help the clinic. She says that was different. Gambi: “Well, sometimes we keep things from the people we love in order to protect them.” He tells her how important their family is to him. Anissa: “Yeah, well, we’re not a family without Jen.” Anissa softens and tells Gambi to keep looking for Jennifer. She tells him she knew that he was helping them out when they were in the woods fighting the Sange.
Lynn is back at the house having a few drinks. She goes to Jennifer’s room to see if she can find anything that will help them find her. Lynn begins to freak out and Jefferson finds her tearing up the room.
Jennifer prepares to cut off Khalil’s dreadlocks. Jennifer: “Sorry brother, these locks got to go.” While fooling with his locks she finds a lump on his head. Khalil apologizes for all the mean things he said to her after his shooting. The bullet changed his plans, he planned to use track to get to the Olympics, and get him and Jennifer out of Freeland. Jennifer: “Well you got your wish. Look at us. We’re running now.” Khalil: “Hey, the truth is, I don’t really care if we’re running, as long as I’m with you.” She begins to cut his hair.
Tobias is by himself playing chess and talking to a portrait of his sister Tori. She looks like a Queen in the painting. He says she always told him he was too stubborn. He tried to make Khalil into a killer but he doesn’t have it in him. Tobias: “You can’t trust a Negro as far as you can throw one.” He won’t keep making the same mistakes.
Jeff puts Lynn to bed. Anissa sees the damage in Jennifer’s room and asks if Jennifer did this. He tells her that Lynn did. He casually mentions that if Anissa had told them about the text they could have talked to Jennifer and prevented this. Anissa: “Are you blaming this on me?” Jefferson:” No, but if you had told us, we would have …” Anissa: “Wow! Okay, did you ever stop and think about why she was talking to Khalil in the first place? Hmmm? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that, I don’t know, you and Mom never let her out of the house, that you treated her like she was some kind of prisoner?” Jefferson: “Wait, we didn’t treat her like a prisoner. We were trying to protect her.” Anissa: “No, you were trying to control her! You act like she was some kind of freak or a monster. All your rules, your quotes, and all your focus was too much, Dad! Too damn much! You drove her away, just like you did me.” She slams the door behind her.
Nichelle stops by the Pierce’s home to talk to Lynn. She apologizes for all of the drama Khalil is putting them through. Nichelle: “He’s all caught up. Might not be too late for your daughter though.” She tells Lynn that if he were smart, he would have taken Jennifer to her sister Yvette’s house near the peach farms. She gives Lynn the address. Lynn immediately calls Jefferson. He tells Anissa and Gambi he has a location. As they prepare to leave, Gambi has something for Anissa, her own transport. It is a three-wheeler motorcycle, the Thundercycle.
“Ain’t nobody scared of your pale ass, Tobias. So you can stop right now with your bad guy act.” Giselle Cutter
An attractive black women dressed in black leather with a nose ring walks into Tobias’ office. She is Giselle Cutter (Kearran Giovanni), a highly paid killer. Cutter: “I thought you were against hiring black folks.” Tobias makes his usual detrimental statement about black people. He’s hired her to bring Khalil in alive. Since he has a tracker on him, he knows where he is. She asks why Tobias doesn’t get Khalil himself. He tells her he is an outstanding citizen again and can’t do it himself. His people already failed. He threatens her about failing. Cutter: “Okay. All right, here we go with the threats. I see you haven’t changed. Ain’t nobody scared of your pale ass, Tobias. So you can stop right now with your bad guy act.” He does and tells her he’s paying her high price because, “Sometimes it’s best to leave things to the professionals.”
Cutter shows up at Yvette’s house pretending to be a detective. Yvette takes one look at her and knows she isn’t the police. Cutter agrees with her assessment and stops the pretense; she takes out a knife and charges. Khalil comes out of hiding and he and Cutter engage in combat, him throwing darts and she throwing knives. One of his darts hits his aunt. Cutter is a more skilled fighter and soon pins Khalil to the kitchen table and Jennifer to the door with her knives. She cuts Khalil on his side. She hasn’t quite won the day yet because Black Lightning and Thunder join the fray. Black Lightning shoots lightning at her and uses it as a shield, but she holds her own against the two metas. While they fight, Jennifer frees herself, and rescues Khalil. They slip out of the house while the fighting is going on. Cutter jumps through a window and escapes. Gambi is in the van and sees Jennifer and Khalil. He sends a drone after them, Jennifer screams at the drone, “Leave us alone!” She blows the drone out of the sky. When Jefferson and Anissa join him, Gambi tells them the kids escaped.
While catching their breaths in the woods, Jennifer exclaims, “Khalil. This lump on the back of your head. What if Tobias put it there?” They realize he could have put a tracking device in Khalil. They have to get it out, Jennifer reaches for a knife; Khalil is against it. He suggests she uses her power to short it. Jennifer isn’t sure she can do it without hurting him. Khalil has faith she can do it. After determining how much power to use, she begins saying what Perenna taught her to say to control her powers, “You are the storm, so you can control the storm.” She touches Khalil and shorts the tracking device. Khalil: “Did it work?” Jennifer [Kisses him]: “It must have. No electricity.” Khalil: “The hell there ain’t.”
Jefferson looks for Jennifer but can’t see her because she and Khalil are hiding under some bushes. When he walks away, they take off. Cutter calls Tobias and tells him they got away. He notices that his tracker is offline. He blames Cutter but she tells him she cut Khalil so he won’t get far. She tells him she should be the one mad since she had to fight two metas, Black Lightning and Thunder. Tobias is shocked to hear this, but it gets him thinking, “What the hell does Black Lightning want with Khalil? Or is it the Pierce girl? Hmm. Pierce girl again. Like at Club 100 and the Seahorse. Hmm.”
The chase is on. Jennifer and Khalil are on the run and the Pierce’s, Tobias, and the police are looking for the runaways. Khalil robs Club 100 for traveling expenses. He nearly dies for his troubles; luckily Jennifer saves him. The two argue over their lack of planning. They go to Khalil’s aunt for the night to hide out. The Pierce’s with help from Gambi and the police are looking for Jennifer. They aren’t handling her disappearance well. Lynn is falling apart and Jefferson and Anissa blame the other for her leaving. Anissa for not telling them about Khalil, and Jefferson and Lynn for treating Jennifer like a prisoner. They get though it and work together to find her. They nearly do but get into a fight with a skilled professional that Tobias sent to capture Khalil. I don’t think she’s a meta, but she is extremely skilled with knives. She cuts Khalil on purpose, so I’m guessing it might be a poison to slow him down. He wasn’t looking that good by the end of the episode. After the adults best efforts, the kids are still on the loose.
It was an exciting episode, with two stand out action scenes, and the tenseness of a chase scene. Jennifer and Khalil might have powers, but they still think and act like the teens they are. They are bumbling through this. The reality of their situation is hitting them. If it wasn’t for Jennifer, Khalil would probably be dead, but she isn’t exactly a mastermind either. It’s rarely a good idea when teenagers run away. The Pierce family feels the strain, and we get an excellent scene when Anissa lets Jefferson have it after he tries to blame her for this happening. I can understand why Jefferson and Lynn have done what they have with Jennifer, but it was clear this was eventually going to explode in their faces. Tobias is his usual loathsome self. Cutter is someone he’s worked with before, and it’s clear, he is like this with everyone. With his attitude towards black people, he and Rep. Steve King would be buddies. The most interesting thing to come out of the episode, it appears Tobias is finally piecing together Black Lightning’s connection to Jennifer. The big Jefferson and Tobias showdown is coming. Cannot wait!
The musical breakdown. “Keep on Running” by Gabriel Garzon-Montano plays over the opening titles.
When Khalil goes into Club 100 and gets into the shootout with the 100,”T Whale” from Godholly plays.
Godholly returns with “Survival Mode”, the song blast on the car radio when Black Lightning mistakes a couple for Jennifer and Khalil.
“Fumes” by Nico plays in the scene where Jennifer cuts Khalil’s hair.