Black Lightning: Familiar Faces Return

Title: Black Lightning Season 1 Episode 10: “Sins of the Father: The Book of Redemption”
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction, Superhero
Platform: TV – CW
Director: Eric Laneuville
Writer: Pat Charles
Rating: TV-14
Release: March 27, 2018
Cast: Cress Williams, Nafessa Williams, China Anne McClain, Christine Adams
Feature image: Source


“Oh my God! Oh my God! They’re alive!” Anissa Pierce – Black Lightning

Reformed drug dealer Frank “Two-Bits” Tanner (Jason Louder) is trying to make an honest living selling CDs and other junk when he sees a student from Garfield High, Neema (Kat Logan) buying some Green Light from a corner boy. After she takes the drug, she becomes combustible and briefly is on fire. [It doesn’t hurt her.] A van pulls up and two men kidnap her and drive away. Two-Bits: “What the hell?” Anissa Pierce/Thunder (Nafessa Williams) breaks into a facility that has kids in stasis pods. Anissa: “Oh my God! Oh my God! They’re alive!” She prepares to break them out but thinks better of it and goes to get her dad. She tells him about Peter Gambi (James Remar) seeing the kids and telling her. These are the kids who were snatched 30 years ago. Jefferson: “They’re not dead?” Anissa: “No, they’re alive.”

“You can smoke it but you can’t sell it. Get your asses back on those corners man. And get creative.” Lala – Black Lightning

Unreformed [and undead] drug dealer Lala (William Catlett) is talking to his cousin Will (Dabier), another person he murdered earlier in the season. His men look at him talking to no one on the couch and think he’s nuts. Will cautions him about his men. One of his men confronts him about talking to himself and trying to run the One Hundred gang in Tobias’ absence. He asks what is Lala going to do when Tobias returns. Lala: “If Tobias come back, I’m gonna kill him.” Lala chastises the men for not doing their jobs. Lala: “You can smoke it but you can’t sell it. Get your asses back on those corners man. And get creative.” When one of the men objects because people only want Green Light, Lala pulls the man’s ear off and shoots him. After the rest of the men leave, Will asks about how his mother is taking his death. Lala didn’t tell her Will was dead, he is pretending like Will is missing. He tells Will he deserved being killed for causing trouble. Will does what Lawanda did, he becomes a mist and becomes another tattoo on Lala’s chest.

Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning (Cress Williams) and Thunder go back to the facility but it is empty. The pods were taken out. Armed men attack them. Using teamwork to enhance their powers, they easily defeat the gunmen. Anissa runs through a wall to facilitate their escape. When they get home, Jefferson tells Anissa about Gambi and the A.S.A. He tells her about the A.S.A. experiments on Freeland’s citizens. Anissa: “And they call us paranoid.” Anissa tries to convince her father that Gambi is truly sorry for the things he did and that he cares about him and their family. She tells him that Gambi is trying to make up for his mistakes. Jefferson: “Yeah, but there are somethings you can’t make right.” Jefferson won’t work with him because he doesn’t trust him. Later after Anissa has left, Two-Bits stops by to tell Jefferson about one his students being on fire after taking Green Light and being snatched off the streets. He isn’t sure that Jefferson believes him, but he doesn’t know that Jefferson has a good idea what he is talking about.

“You’re putting up your mother’s life as collateral?” Steven Connors – Black Lightning

Lala meets with Steven Connors (Joshua Mikel) to buy a large supply of coke and weed to sell to the addicts in Freeland to make up for the absence of Green Light. Connors reminds him that people only want Green Light, why would they buy any other drugs. Lala: “One thing I know is, people got to do something to get by.” Connors is suspicious, he thinks this could be a set-up since Lala was missing awhile. How can he trust him? Lala writes his mother’s address on a slip of paper and hands it to Connors. Connors: “You’re putting up your mother’s life as collateral?” [Lala nods] He sees that Lala is serious and they shake hands on the deal. After the drug supplier and his men leave; Will reappears. Will: “You really gonna put your moms up like that man?” [Lala doesn’t respond]

Jefferson tells Jennifer (China Anne McClain) to stay home from school. She wants to go because the results of the student government races will be announced. Jefferson tells her he can’t explain it now, but he needs her to stay home. Jennifer goes up the stairs complaining. He asks Anissa to watch her while he’s gone because he has to check up on something. A teen named Lisa (Taylor Polidore) stops by Gambi’s shop to ask if she can put up a poster in his shop. She is looking for her missing friend Neema. The police aren’t looking because they know she is on Green Light. Gambi lets her put it up in his shop.

“No, you have a responsibility to save people. I don’t have a responsibility to do anything.” Jennifer Pierce – Black Lightning

Anissa and Jennifer argue over Jennifer not using her powers to help others. Anissa: “That’s what you do when things get tough, you walk away. People are out there dying and we have powers…and we have a responsibility to save people.”  Jennifer: “No, you have a responsibility to save people. I don’t have a responsibility to do anything.” Anissa tells her sister she is a quitter, she quit track, she even quit on Khalil. Jennifer gets so mad that she turns into pure energy. Anissa: “Oh my God, you’re just like dad!”

“Are you undressing me with your eyes Jefferson Pierce?” Lynn Pierce – Black Lightning

Jefferson is at Lynn’s (Christine Adams) lab filling her in on what is going on. She advises him to get Gambi’s help, but he refuses. He tells her he is going to find out what Two-Bits knows about large objects being moved in town. He is also going to use his electric vision to see if he can follow the stasis pods energy signature. This peaks Lynn’s interest. Lynn: “Can you see through people’s clothes?” [Jefferson gives her a flirty look] “Are you undressing me with your eyes Jefferson Pierce?” After enjoying a laugh, Jefferson heads to the door but keeps checking Lynn out. Lynn: “Will you stop it. I can see you.” Jefferson [naughtily]: “I can see you too.”

“Hmm. A small part of me was hoping you’d let him start shooting.” Martin Proctor – Black Lightning

Gambi is in his shop when Martin Proctor (Gregg Henry) and his A.S.A. goons walk in. Proctor wants Gambi to leave with them. Gambi pulls two pistols on them and tells them he isn’t going. Proctor points out one of his men outside and tells Gambi that if he doesn’t come with them, he’ll give the order for that man to start shooting people in the streets. Gambi tries to bluff and tells him he doesn’t care. Proctor calls Gambi’s bluff and tells him he believes he cares for the citizens of Freeland. Gambi knows Proctor will do it so he puts down his pistols. Proctor: “Hmm. A small part of me was hoping you’d let him start shooting.”

Jefferson checks in with Jennifer. He knows what happened. She tells him she didn’t ask for these powers, he understands. He promises her she can live the life she wants and she doesn’t have to do what he, Lynn, or Anissa want her to do. He understands that having the powers is tough, but she has to learn to control them. He gives her a hug and she ask him a question. Jennifer: “Dad.” Jefferson: “Yeah.” Jennifer: “How do you use the bathroom in your suit?”

Black Lightning pays Two-Bit a visit in an alley. Two-Bit is trying to enjoy a tote but Black Lightning shocks it out of his hand. Two-Bits: “It’s legal man. I got a card.” Black Lightning: “Uh-uh, you ain’t got no card from me.” Two-Bits: “I hate you.” Black Lightning: “No you don’t.” Black Lightning plans on making Two-Bit a better man and Two-Bits doesn’t like it one bit. Black Lightning asks him about any large objects being transported, Two-Bits tells him about some military vehicles moving some objects and he thinks that they didn’t leave town. A woman in an apartment above them tries to drop several household appliances on Black Lightning to collect the reward on him for killing Lady Eve. Two-Bits thought about collecting it on him if he thought he could. Black Lightning tells him he didn’t kill Lady Eve. That doesn’t stop the woman from dropping objects on him to get the reward. Two-Bits tells him maybe he is too high profile, but Black Lightning tells him he doesn’t do low profile. That is obvious to Two-Bits. Black Lightning goes on a rooftop to try use his electric vision, but it isn’t working. He does spot Malik (Caleb Thomas) selling drugs. He goes down to the street as Jefferson Pierce and talks to the young man. He tries to convince him to stop selling drugs, but Malik needs the money to keep his grandmother and him from being homeless. Jefferson offers him another solution, come to a mentorship program he runs tomorrow at 10 a.m. If he attends, he’ll do all he can to help Malik and his grandmother. Malik doesn’t give him an answer.

Gambi is being tortured by A.S.A. goons. Proctor tells him that he knows Gambi found his pods and later Black Lightning appeared. That leads him to believe that Gambi knows how to contact him. He asks Gambi who Black Lightning is. Gambi says he doesn’t know. Proctor: “Why don’t I believe that.” Gambi: “Because you’re an ass.”  The A.S.A. thugs begin to waterboard Gambi. Proctor is impressed by Gambi’s toughness. Even though Gambi left the A.S.A. because he didn’t agree with what they were doing, he still stayed in Freeland and helped raise Alvin Pierce’s son. Proctor: “I wonder if Gambi’s surrogate son is as tough as he is. Invite Mr. Pierce to join us.”

Jennifer is at Lynn’s lab taking a MRI. Her sister is with her. Anissa: “Hey Jenn look. I apologize for earlier. You know I didn’t mean what I said.” Jennifer: “Yes you did Harriet. But it’s cool, I can take it.” The MRI appears to be malfunctioning so Lynn has Anissa get in it. Anissa’s scans are normal. Lynn has Jennifer get back in. She looks at the scan and realizes what she saw is real. She explains to Anissa what is going on. Lynn: “Jefferson’s like a battery. He takes electricity from the source and channels it through his body. According to this MRI, Jennifer’s a generator.” Anissa: “What are you saying?” Lynn: “Her cells are creating pure energy.”

“Whatever you say or do can become your reality.” Jefferson Pierce – Black Lightning

Jefferson is at Garfield waiting on Malik to show up. To his pleasant surprise, the young man appears. There isn’t anyone else there, Jefferson set this up to help Malik. They read an inspirational mantra off the bulletin board. Malik likes it, but he wonders how it applies to him. Jefferson: “Whatever you say or do can become your reality.” Malik apologizes for squirting Jennifer with the fake blood earlier in the season. Jefferson knows he is. Of course, the A.S.A. has to interrupt the positivity in the room. They tell Jefferson he has to come with them if he ever wants to see Gambi alive again. Jefferson assigns some Langston Hughes poems to Malik until their next session and leaves with the agents.

Gambi is alone in the room when the agents show up with Jefferson. Gambi is pretty beat up and they tell Jefferson that Gambi won’t talk. Jefferson looks surprised that Gambi didn’t give him up. Black ASA Agent (Mark Hicks) speaks to Gambi, “This man is like a son to you. Do you want to tell us who Black Lightning is now? [Points gun at Jefferson’s head and cocks it] Or do we blow his head clear off?” Gambi and Jefferson exchange a look and Jefferson causes the lights to go out; this allows Gambi to jump one of the agents to get his gun and he kills both of them. He collapses in Jefferson’s arms.

“You got to find the spotter.” Peter Gambi – Black Lightning

Jefferson takes Gambi back their headquarters. Gambi assures him that only Jefferson and his family know about it. Gambi tells him he is sorry about everything and Jefferson tells him he knows. He tells Jefferson he has to get Lynn and the girls to safety. Jefferson knows, and he has a place to hide them. Gambi: “You got to find the spotter.” Jefferson: “The spotter?” Gambi: “Someone like I used to be. There must be someone embedded in the community who identifies the kids who acquired abilities from Green Light.” Gambi tries to get up but Jefferson tells him to rest.

Lala orders his gang members to sell the drugs he bought. One of them goes against him and tries to shoot him. The gun jams and Lala exiles him from Freeland. The rest of the gang members follow orders and leave with the drugs to sell. Will: “How did you know the gun was going to misfire?” Lala: “I didn’t.”

Jefferson takes his family to the house he grew up in. No one has lived there since he was a child. The home was put in trust until he was 21. It isn’t in his name so no one should be looking for them there. Jennifer asks why he didn’t sell it. Jefferson says it has memories. Jennifer runs her finger against the furniture, “This dust is older than I am.”

Proctor is in the new location where the stasis pods are now stored. He is talking to the ‘spotter’. It is Vice-Principal Kara Fowdy (Skye P. Marshall). He compliments her for spotting Neema who is in the pod and asks are there anymore yet. She tells him not yet but she’s looking. He has a complaint about her job performance. Proctor: “Jefferson Pierce is Black Lightning.” Kara: “What? Uh no he’s not.” Proctor: “He’s been hiding in plain sight all this time. Right under your nose.” He asks her can she take him out. She believes she can.

Last week’s episode was mostly about the Pierce family. This week’s episode brought back many characters we haven’t seen for a while. Two-Bits made his grand return and he was as funny as he was in his first appearance. I hope if there is a second season [which I’m sure there will be] that Two-Bits will be a recurring character. I’d like to see Jefferson try to make him a better man. Malik returned along with Neema. I totally forgot about her. It is a nice call back to her since she was one of the girls Anissa saw trying to buy Green Light in the beginning of the season. The most important face reappearing is Kara Fowdy. We learned something very important about her, she works for the A.S.A. and is their new spotter. Proctor told her Jefferson is Black Lightning and he ordered her to take Jefferson out. Fortunately for her, since no one appears to stay dead on this show, she should make it out of her showdown with Jefferson still breathing or at least becoming a tattoo on Lala. Speaking of Lala, the SOB is pure evil now. Anytime you put your mother up as collateral for a drug deal, you are evil. Coming back from the dead didn’t make him a better person. Some people don’t appreciate their second chances.  The episode as a whole was funny. The flirty bit between Jefferson and Lynn was funny and cute. The interactions with everyone had a nice humorous beat; except for any dealings with the A.S.A. Those bastards are vicious. Aside from using Freeland as their lab, they tortured Gambi. He proved one thing, he’s a tough old SOB, and he proved his loyalty to both Jefferson and the audience. He cares about the people of Freeland, he has spent the past 30 years trying to make up for his mistakes. It’s good that he and Jefferson are back on the same page. They will need to be to take on the A.S.A.

This felt like a set-up episode. They are moving all the pieces for the end of the season. Can you believe we only have three more episodes this season? There wasn’t a lot of action except for the excellent teamwork between Black Lightning and Thunder. Here’s a clip that shows it, [near the end of the clip]. It’s nice that the father and daughter team are in sync. It was good seeing the old faces and diving back into the community. Aside from the Pierce family, the Freeland community makes this show special.

Drowning (feat. Badbadnotgood) by Mick Jenkins played when Two-Bits watched Neema get snatched by the A.S.A. When Lala was talking to Will and chastising his men with their poor work effort, Really Really by Kevin Gates played. Black Lightning and Thunder fought their way out of the facility while Shockandawe from Miguel played. Get It All by Decadez played when Lala was making his drug deal and using his mom for collateral. What a great son. Lala gets another song selection, Raw by Daye Jack, when he instructs his troops to sell the drugs he just bought using his mom for collateral. That should be quite a Mother’s Day.

Grade: B+


















Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Editor-in-Chief
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