Black Lightning: Hallway Monitors

Title: Black Lightning Season 1 Episode 12: “The Resurrection and the Light: The Book of Pain”
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction, Superhero
Platform: TV – CW
Director: Oz Scott
Writers: Jan Nash and Adam Giaudrone
Rating: TV-14
Release: April 10, 2018
Cast: Cress Williams, Nafessa Williams, China Anne McClain, Christine Adams
Feature image: Source


“Black Lightning really tried to barbeque you, huh?” Martin Proctor – Black Lightning

Tobias Whale (Marvin ‘Krondon’ Jones II) checks the burn marks on his body from his fight with Black Lightning. He has a chilly meeting with Martin Proctor (Gregg Henry). Proctor: “Black Lightning really tried to barbeque you, huh?” Tobias isn’t amused. Proctor asks what Tobias knows about Lady Eve’s activities. Tobias: “Well let’s say she helped the citizens of Freeland find happiness by muting the pain of their depravation.” Proctor explains the history of Green Light, from the experiments 30 years ago with the vaccine, up until the creation of Green Light. Because the test subjects kept dying from the vaccine, they created Green Light to stabilize them. It didn’t work. Tobias correctly guesses the government wants to make a super soldier serum. Proctor knows that Black Lightning gained his powers from the vaccine, and he is still alive. Proctor orders Tobias to capture Black Lightning alive. Khalil (Jordan Calloway) walks in wearing dreads.

Lynn Pierce (Christine Adams) calls Jefferson/Black Lightning (Cress Williams) to help her with a spider. When he walks in, he sees Lynn in sexy lingerie holding a glass of champagne. Jefferson walks over to her and uses his electric touch. Lynn: “Damn. I like it when you do that.” They begin to kiss and it leads to faire l ’amour. Later in bed, Lynn tells him that the events of the past few months, [Jefferson becoming Black Lightning again, Anissa and Jennifer discovering their powers, Gambi’s confession] has only led them to becoming closer. She requests one thing, that they keep this secret from the girls. Lynn: “I want us to be sure before we tell them. We should keep it a secret. Like we’re having an affair.” Jefferson likes the sound of that.

Tobias is back in his office with Syonide (Charlbi Dean Kriek) and the bodyguard who pulled him out of the garage after Black Lightning attacked them. He thanks him for rescuing him. Then he reminds him that he left Tori in the garage to die. The bodyguard tries to explain he had to do it to save Tobias. The explanation isn’t accepted; Tobias jokes him with one hand and Syonide shoots him dead.

To his surprise, Jefferson sees Khalil walking down the sidewalk. He is glad to see him on his feet and he hopes to see him in school soon. Khalil isn’t happy to see his old principal and tells him he doesn’t plan on returning.  Out of concern, Jefferson asks him who helped him walk again; he would hate to have anyone taking advantage of Khalil. This angers Khalil and he tells him no one is taking advantage of him. Khalil: “Man, you really are in your own world, huh…Stop with that surrogate dad act…You wouldn’t even let your daughter near me.”

Jefferson tells Peter Gambi (James Remar) about his encounter with Khalil and tells him he suspects the A.S.A is involved. Gambi warns Jefferson that even though the A.S.A. doesn’t believe he is Black Lightning, they think that he knows who Black Lightning is. Jefferson and his family are still not safe. Jefferson reminds Gambi that the A.S.A. still wants him too. Gambi is going out to see Tommy the arm dealer to get information on Proctor’s whereabouts. Gambi: “Catching Proctor is the best way to shut this down.”

“Hey you’re right. I can make a pillow that says: ‘My parents had sex and all I got was superpowers.” Jennifer Pierce – Black Lightning

Lynn is in the lab with Jennifer (China Anne McClain) running tests on her. They discuss activities Jennifer can take part in that won’t activate her powers. Lynn: “Well, there’s always needle point.” Jennifer: “Hey you’re right. I can make a pillow that says: ‘My parents had sex and all I got was superpowers.” Lynn explains to Jennifer that she is trying to understand her powers better and to locate the meta gene responsible for her powers. With further research, she might be able to suppress the gene. The thought pleases Jennifer; that and Lynn baking her a cake.

Jefferson goes over to Khalil’s home to talk to his mother (Yolanda T. Ross). She hasn’t seen him since he left for California to participate in a pilot program to do a spinal implant. They wouldn’t let her go with him because she could infect him. When Jefferson tells her he recently saw Khalil walking, she is surprised; she thought he was still in California. Jefferson asks her about the program, she says an administrator named Mr. Martin came to the house to explain it to her. Gambi confronts Tommy and threatens to let everyone he has double-crossed know where to locate him so that they can torture him for past business dealings unless he helps him locate Proctor.

Jefferson tells Jennifer he saw Khalil. Jennifer immediately wants to see him. Jefferson tells her that Khalil has changed and he tells her to stay away from him. She isn’t happy about this and throws this in his face, “I can’t wait until Mom figures out how to fix me. I’m sick of this power drama.” You can see the displeasure in Jefferson’s face. As soon as Jefferson walks out, Khalil sends a text to Jennifer to meet him. She sneaks out of the house. Jefferson confronts Lynn about trying to suppress the meta gene. Lynn tries to explain she is only doing tests, but Jefferson accuses her of treating his and the girls abilities like a disease. Jefferson: “You know I think it’s really good we didn’t tell the girls we’re getting back together.” Lynn looks confused as he storms off.

“Forget it. I’m better without your ass anyway.” Khalil – Black Lightning

Jennifer meets Khalil at their usual meeting place on the ledge outside her bedroom window. He didn’t know about them being in hiding and Jennifer pretends they are out of the house because of a vermin problem. He is glad to see her and apologizes how he acted towards her. He shows her the metallic spinal implant protruding out of his back. The pills they gave him for regeneration also made his hair grow out, thus explaining the dreadlocks. Jennifer: “So, how did they pick you for the procedure?” Khalil: “Does it really matter?” Jennifer: “Well it might.” Khalil suspects that her question comes from her father and he tells her, “Forget it. I’m better without you ass anyway.” He jumps off the second floor without any problem.

Khalil meets with Tobias. He wants Khalil to go back to Garfield and start a commotion to draw out Black Lightning. He knows that since Garfield is the center of the black community in Freeland, Black Lightning will appear. Khalil is hesitant to do this but Tobias reminds him, “You made a deal son, Legs for Loyalty”.  Lala is getting on one of his lieutenants for roughing up one of their dealers. It’s okay for him to do it, but the lieutenant doing it is bad for morale. Lala gets a call, “The Devil deals the cards”. Lala walks out of meeting in a trance. Tommy calls Gambi to give him the information, but he looks up to see Lala in the room with him.

Lynn wants to talk to Jennifer about her research on the metahuman gene. She is trying to find out information on the gene, not try to change Jennifer. Jennifer: “Isn’t that what you’re trying to do?” Lynn: “No, because there’s nothing wrong with you.” Jennifer would rather talk about eating the cake Lynn baked. Back at Gambi’s secret headquarters, Jefferson and Anissa (Nafessa Williams) discuss finding the stasis pods. Anissa has an old friend from high school who works for the energy department. He has given her a clue on how to find the pods. Over the police dispatch, they hear that Garfield High is under attack. We see Khalil near an overturned school bus entering the school.

“You gonna have to fight me like a man. Not like a lightning bug.” Tobias Whale – Black Lightning

Students and teachers are running for cover as Khalil approaches. He tosses one of his old teachers into the trophy case and shoots his classmates with darts. Jennifer enters the hallway to try to talk him out of doing this. Khalil doesn’t hurt her and allows her to get one of her fallen friends out of his path. Black Lightning and Thunder enter the school before the SWAT team can get there. Kara Fowdy (Skye P. Marshall) watches them come in as she tries to lead her students to safety. Thunder walks in a classroom that Syonide is holding captive. She lets them leave so that she can fight Thunder. A big exciting fight between the two ensues. Thunder easily handles her until Syonide catches that Thunder has to catch a big breath to be indestructible. Between breaths, she quickly gains the advantage. Jennifer sees this through the classroom door window and tries to activate her powers. Thunder is able to regain the advantage and defeat Syonide. Black Lightning runs into Tobias in the hallway. When he shoots lightning at Tobias, it doesn’t hurt him. He is wearing lightning resistant protection underneath his clothes. Tobias: “You gonna have to fight me like a man. Not like a lightning bug.” They fight hand to hand and Black Lightning is winning until Khalil hits him with one of his darts. The dart prevents Black Lightning from accessing his lightning power. Tobias and Khalil double-team him and Khalil with his increased strength hits him so hard in the chest that Black Lightning collapses. Tobias checks and he can’t feel a pulse, he tells Khalil that he killed Black Lightning. Tobias tries to take Jefferson’s mask off but Thunder arrives and keeps that from happening. Syonide tries to shoot the fallen Black Lightning but Thunder shields his body. Syonide covers Tobias and Khalil so they can escape. Jennifer arrives and uses her powers to shock Jefferson back to life. Thunder carries her father out of the school.

Gambi brings the Pierce family to a hidden cabin in the woods where the A.S.A can’t track them. Lynn proceeds to treat Jefferson. Proctor and Kara think that Black Lightning is dead. He gives the orders for his agents to bring him Thunder, dead or alive. Proctor bellows, “This experiment…can’t fail!” They bring Lala to Tobias, who asks him, “Latavius. Now do you believe in the resurrection?” Lala points his gun at Tobias, but he can control him with the phase “The Devil deals the cards”. Tobias thanks him for killing the arms dealer. He now wants him to kill Proctor so that he can take over the entire operation.

Tobias and Khalil have finally returned to the show. Tobias still has burn marks from his last encounter with Jefferson but he is on his feet again. Khalil can walk again; the procedure they did to him also gave him enhanced strength and some funky dreadlocks. The show’s hair stylist must have gotten the wig from the Millie Vanilli collection. Proctor offers Tobias a seat at the big table, but he wants him to bring him a live Black Lightning, something Tobias isn’t happy about doing. They stage an attack on Garfield to capture Black Lightning but think that they killed him instead. Tobias decides to have Lala kill Proctor so he can run the group. Does Tobias realize that Proctor is an A.S.A. agent and that the government isn’t going to let a street thug take over their operation in Freeland? Proctor is a thug too, but he’s a government thug, not a street one. So, did Tobias have anything to do with Lala being alive, giving him the power to control him? Lala is docile and obedient around him when he says “The Devil deals the cards”. Jefferson and Lynn have been flirting around with getting back together again, and for a brief sexy moment they were. That didn’t last long since Jefferson became angry with her for working on suppressing Jennifer’s metahuman gene. He thinks Lynn thinks it’s a disease, while Lynn is only looking into it to figure it out. She is also trying to make Jennifer feel better since Jennifer doesn’t want her abilities. They came in useful when she was able to save her father. Since his powers are like a battery, and Jennifer generates pure energy; this would seem to be useful to Jefferson, especially when he’s hurt. This might have her reconsider keeping her powers. Jennifer did a typical teenage thing and went to see Khalil after her father told her not to. Fortunately, for her, as much as he has changed for the worse, he still cares enough about Jennifer not to hurt her. We don’t know how long that will last.

A good episode that brought back two central antagonists. The last few episodes have been so good that I didn’t miss them. It felt like most of this episode was setting everything up for the explosive season finale. What I enjoyed the most from this episode was the assault on Garfield High. The fight between Anissa and Syonide was fantastic. I thought I saw green under Syonide’s cut skin, could the A.S.A. have done ‘upgrades’ on her? It might explain why Thunder didn’t break her in half. It was good seeing Jefferson and Tobias finally go toe-to-toe against each other. I’m disappointed in how they’ve handled Khalil after his shooting. Having him become nothing but the muscle for Tobias isn’t that interesting. I would have liked to see a more creative tact taken with him. Maybe they’ll do something more interesting with him for the finale, or season two if he survives.

The soundtrack was a nice mix of old school R&B, hip-hop and mellow music. The show is good doing this combination. In the Mood by Tyrone Davis helped Lynn and Jefferson get in the mood for an evening of romance. In their afterglow, Change Your Mind by Moonchild plays while they discuss keeping this a secret until they are sure. When Jefferson encounters Khalil, Come Through by Made, Mucho Dinero & Kid plays in the background. Never Thought by Braxton Cook plays while Lynn puts frosting on her cake while she and Jennifer discuss her isolating the metahuman gene.

Grade: B+






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