Black Lightning: Don’t Do It For The Applause

Black Lightning | Season 2  | Episode 2 : Black Jesus Blues
Feature image





For a quick read, go to Review.
For a complete summary, go to 

KBear Recap
[Read  time: 5-7 min

“This girl has been asleep for 30 years, then she wakes up in the middle of a horror movie.” Lynn Pierce – Black Lightning

Tobias Whale (Marvin ‘Krondon’ Jones III) and Khalil Payne/Painkiller (Jordan Calloway) are playing chess, the ‘Tobias’ way. Tobias is listening to Khalil’s explanation of where he was during Syonide’s death. Tobias: “Negroes always fixing their thick lips with excuses.” Khalil moves one of his pieces. Tobias: “Listen carefully. [Slaps him hard] Check. Actions have consequences. You have to anticipate.” He is teaching Khalil a hard lesson about chess and life. He slaps a frightened Khalil again after he makes another move. Tobias: “Checkmate. You lose. You let me take your queen, just like you let that bitch take Syonide from me.”

In the lab where the ASA keep the pods, a lab attendant walks in to check on them. One of occupants of the pods wakes up. He is shooting and vomiting light. He accidently kills the lab attendant and dies. This wakes up another pod person, Wendy Jones (Madison Bailey). She is disorientated and confused; everything she hears and sees is distorted. Lynn Pierce (Christine Adams) and a few other staff members walk in and see the lab attendant and dead pod person on the floor. She looks up and sees Wendy. Lynn: “It’s okay. It’s okay. I’m not gonna hurt you. Just stay there.” Wendy is scared so she uses her power to blow open a wall and escape. Lynn immediately calls Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning (Cress Williams). Lynn: “This girl has been asleep for 30 years, then she wakes up in the middle of a horror movie and she gave us this look. I think she’s having a psychotic break, and she’s hallucinating. And Jeff she’s powerful.”

Jefferson and Peter Gambi (James Remar) are looking at Wendy’s file. She is one of the kids that Gambi spotted 30 years ago. You can see the regret in Gambi’s face. She has Aerokinsis, Wendy can control wind just like Jefferson and control electricity. And she can quickly turn a slight breeze into a powerful gust. Lynn is with Agent Odell (Bill Duke). They walk into a room where a boy has a bag over his head; it is Issa Williams (Myles Truitt). Lynn chastises Odell for treating the boy like a terrorist, but Odell sees him as dangerous. He’s dumping Issa on Lynn, he wants info on him and Lynn is in charge of the project. Lynn objects because he has family, but Odell points out they are scared of Issa and don’t want to have anything to do with him. Lynn is stuck with him.

Jennifer Pierce (China Anne McClain) walks into Anissa’s room (Nafessa Williams), Anissa is stretching and preparing to work out. Jennifer wonders why she exercises so much when she already has superpowers. Anissa tells her the better shape she is in; the better she can control her breathing and control her power. Jennifer is negative about her powers but Anissa is positive, she still sees them as a gift from God. To prove her point, she tells Jennifer she no longer suffers from cramps, Jennifer admits she doesn’t either and is glad, but it makes her wonder if it means they can’t have kids. Anissa points out that Jefferson has powers and they are here. They begin discussing if their parents are getting back together and Anissa tells Jennifer she heard them doing it. They both laugh; they feel like their parents needed it. They begin discussing about relationships pertaining to them. Anissa: “And listen. Relationships, they are complicated. All right?” Jennifer: “How would you know? You’re not in one. You need to get back out there before you dry up.” The girls begin playfully roughhousing.

Lynn escorts Issa’s sister Tiffany (Zsane Jhe) into his room. He is glad to see her. She is a bit nervous but glad to see him. When the jugular vein in his neck begins to glow, Tiffany says some terrible things to her brother, calling him a body bag boy and telling him she never wants to see him again. Both she and Lynn are surprised with what she said. Tiffany runs out of the room.

“Then, you sing me a song. Naked. In heels, of course.” Anissa Pierce – Black Lightning

A young attractive woman sings and plays acoustic guitar. Anissa is taking her sister’s advice because she’s checking out the singer. The singer’s name is Zoe B (Andy Allo). Anissa glides through the crowd and smoothly tells Zoe B, “So, what happens when we finish staring at each other? I say we sit, talk, get to know each other for a bit. I watch you say goodnight to your last guests. Then, you sing me a song. Naked. In heels, of course.” Zoe B is impressed and leaves with Anissa. The next morning Zoe B is taking a swim and Anissa walks out to watch. She jokes about Zoe B trying to keep her hair dry like all black women. Zoe B gets out of the pool and says, “You know, I got a million songs and a closet full of heels.” Anissa compliments her on the wonderful night they had, she’d like to stay but she has to go to her medical school class. Zoe B is impressed and invites her to a gathering she’s throwing.

Dr. Napier Frank (Robert Townsend) and Jefferson are looking at photos of him with President George W. Bush, [doesn’t turn down money for the school] and President Barrack Obama [more like it]. Napier tells him that the school board has found his replacement. They know how important Jefferson is to the community and they don’t want him criticizing their choice. Napier: “You got to be 100%.” Jefferson [thinks about it for a minute and then it hits him]: “He’s white.” Napier: “Yes.” Jefferson: “And the board. [Scoffs] The boards is afraid of the backlash, from parents, students, the media because he is coming to a predominately black school playing the ‘white savior’ role.” Napier tells Jefferson he needs to go along with this for himself; he needs to reestablish his reputation. Later at Black Lightning HQ, Anissa, Jefferson, and Gambi are tracking Wendy. Gambi has set up cameras at four places she used to hang out at 30 years ago. Jefferson and Anissa go into another room where their suits are in special cases. With the Dramatics in the background, they suit up to hit the streets.

Khalil is outside Jennifer’s window. He demands they talk. She walks out and pushes him off her roof. The doofus jumps back up to talk to her. For some reason he is surprised she doesn’t want to see him. She reminds him that he killed Black Lightning [he doesn’t know Black Lightning is Jefferson] and that he attacked the school. Khalil: “I had to! God, you don’t get it J. Look, I’m caught up. Tobias gave me legs. That means I have to do whatever the hell he tells me to, or else he will kill me Jen.” He tells Jennifer he still has feelings for her and he believes she still has them for him too. Jennifer’s arms begin to glow so she orders him to leave. Fortunately, he doesn’t see the glowing and leaves.

“I wouldn’t tell anybody but you, but I have a way to go international and make Freeland my own little Somalia.” Tobias Whale – Black Lightning

An elderly man named Marsellus (Ralph Wilcox) is taking a nap when Tobias wakes him up. He’s surprised but happy to see him. Marsellus used to be Tobias’ right hand man, and Tobias is the one who set him up in this nice retirement facility. Marsellus was the one who taught Tobias how to play chess. He asks how Tobias is doing. Tobias: “I wouldn’t tell anybody but you, but I have a way to go international and make Freeland my own little Somalia.” Tobias plans to sell metahumans as weapons. Marsellus is impressed. He asks if Tobias would like to play some chess. As they begin, Tobias asks if he remembers the time they killed a journalist. Marsellus begins thinking about it and joyfully remembers the time they killed Alvin Pierce. Tobias was hoping he didn’t. Marsellus realizes he is a loose end. He tells Tobias he loves him and Tobias ‘gently’ snaps his neck.

Wendy is walking down the street causing destruction and chaos in her wake. Black Lightning and Thunder show up after she leaves. They stay behind to clean up some of the damage she caused. The crowd applauds the two heroes for their actions. Thunder enjoys the applause and gets on top of a car to bow. Black Lightning: “What are you doing? What are you doing? We don’t do this for the applause.” Thunder: “Come on dad, chill out.” Thunder high fives people on her way out.

Jennifer and Jefferson are preparing dinner, to their and Anissa’s surprise, Lynn brought Issa with her. She tells Jefferson she couldn’t just leave him there alone. The dinner starts out fun and friendly but changes when Issa’s jugular vein begins glowing. Jennifer: “What you looking at Body Bag Boy?” She immediately apologizes for saying that. Issa says it’s okay, he misses being around the family table. Anissa: “Don’t be too envious. You could have a father who wants to control your every move. I’m a grown-ass woman.” Jefferson: “Then act like a grown-ass woman. You’re coming off the deep end. Jumpin’ off cars like a damn fool.” Lynn: “What’s happening?” Jennifer: “What’s happening? I feel trapped like some sort of monster. Might as well put me in one of those pods. I wish everything would go back to normal.” Lynn: “Stop whining little girl. I’m sick of it.” Jefferson realizes what is happening, and orders the girls excuse themselves from the table. Issa’s power, when his jugular vein glows, people say what they are thinking. While Jefferson and Lynn argue in the kitchen, Jennifer motions Issa to join her upstairs at her favorite spot. Jennifer has a joint lit up. She figures out that Issa’s power works only if you have direct eye contact with him when his jugular vein glows. They check out her theory when with his back turned to her, he asks Jennifer some questions and she successfully lies to him. Jennifer: “Thank god, I can still lie.” Lynn calls for Issa and Jennifer asks him to keep what Jennifer is doing between them. Lynn can’t make him tell anything.

Anissa is at Zoe B’s party, she is introducing Anissa to some of her friends. Anissa sees Grace Choi (Chantal Thuy) across the pool; she is one of the servers. Anissa makes her way over to Grace. Anissa: “Ummm, How have you been?” Grace [testy]: “Just peachy.” Anissa: “Ummm, look, I’m sorry I haven’t called in a minute. Things have been real crazy.” Grace: “I can tell. I have to get back to work.” Meanwhile, Tobias meets a dirty cop, Detective Summers (Mark Roe) on a deserted road. After Det. Summers hands Tobias a confidential report from the Freeland PD, Tobias shoots him.

Jefferson meets with the Garfield High staff to tell them that he is stepping down as principal and the board appointed Mike Lowry to replace him. The staff isn’t happy to hear this and are upset with him. Jefferson tries to convince them this is a good thing, but he doesn’t sound convincing.

Lynn is with Issa. She has to give him the bad news. Issa has the meta gene, but since it formed artificially from Green Light, the cells won’t stabilize. They will break down, leading to death. He asks how long he has. Lynn says maybe six months, but he can survive if he goes in one of the pods. Issa: “I only popped a Green Light pill a couple of times, you’re telling me my only choices are death or to get in one of those pod things?” Gambi spots Wendy on one of his monitors. He calls Black Lightning; she is near the youth center. When he gets there, she is causing a windstorm. Black Lightning saves a cop. He tells Wendy to stop, but Wendy only sees and hears a distorted version of him. She hits him with a powerful gust of wind. Black Lightning strikes her with bolt of lightning.  It knocks her down and gets her to see and hear normally. Wendy: “Who are you?” Black Lightning: “A friend Wendy. I know someone who can help you.” She peacefully goes with him.

“If his talent could be contained, he could be useful.” Agent Odell – Black Lightning

Lynn is with Issa back at the lab. Lynn: “You sure you want to do this?” Issa: “Yeah. I couldn’t see myself stuck in one of those pods. So I’m gonna stay out for as long as I have.” His sister Tiffany and his grandfather [I assume] are waiting for him. Lynn will continue to look for a cure while Issa makes regular office visits. Agent Odell wonders if it is a good idea for him to be free. Lynn says it is a way for her to study him out in the field. Agent Odell: “If his talent could be contained, he could be useful.” Jefferson is at HQ when Anissa breezes in. Jefferson is upset she wasn’t around when they found Wendy. Anissa feels bad for Wendy when she hears she’ll be going back into a pod. Jefferson: “Look, you might not be going into a pod, but if you don’t tighten up your act, you’re going to end up in a casket.” Anissa: “Get a new song dad because this one is old.” Lynn is with Wendy as she gets back into a pod. Wendy: “I’m scared.” Lynn: “You say a prayer and you’ll be asleep before you know it, okay.” It’s a very sad scene.

Jefferson meets with the student body. Jefferson: “I love Garfield High. I loved it as a student. Loved it as a teacher. And I loved it as principal. When the school reopens I will no longer be principal of Garfield High.” The students are unhappy with the news. Jefferson explains it happened because he wasn’t at the school during and after the attack and he has to face the consequences of his action. He would expect them to face the consequences of theirs too. He tells them he is grateful for all the lessons they taught him. Tavon (Jasun Jabbar Wardlaw Jr.) stands up and says, “Where’s the future.” It is the beginning of Jefferson’s mantra. Jefferson: “Right here.” The entire student body: “And whose life is it?” Jefferson: “Mine.” Student body: “What are you going to do with it?” Jefferson: “Live it by any means necessary.” The students cheer and a burden lifts off him.

Here’s the scene of Lynn and Odell discussing Issa.


Here’s the scene of Jennifer and Khalil together.


KBear Review
[Read time: 1-3 minutes]

In the ASA lab, one of the occupants wakes up; he kills a lab attendant and dies himself. He also woke up another Green Light Baby named Wendy. After a 30-year nap, Wendy wakes up to a nightmare scenario. She uses her power, Aerokinsis [controlling wind] to break out. Odell brings in Issa Williams and puts him under Lynn’s care. When his sister Tiffany visits him, she says some hurtful things to him. We find out that Issa’s special power is getting people to say what is really on their minds. We get a funny and tense scene when Lynn bring Issa to a family dinner. The Pierce’s end up saying some honest and hurtful things to each other. The Green Light gave Issa the meta gene, but it is also killing him. He has a choice of being placed in a pod, or staying out and having probably six months to live. Issa decides to chance it and stay out of a pod, and if Lynn can’t find a cure, spend his remaining time with his family. Black Lightning finally catches Wendy, since her family is already deceased; she goes back in the pod. I hope Lynn finds a cure so Wendy doesn’t have to take another 30-year nap.

Along with having trouble adjusting to having superpowers, Jennifer has to deal with Khalil trying to reenter her life. The idiot feels entitled to start their relationship again, even though he did kill her dad [he doesn’t know Jefferson and Black Lightning are the same], and attacking their school. He stills has feelings for Jennifer, and it appears she still has feelings for him [even though she pushed him off the roof]. Her big sister is also having relationship problems. Anissa hooked up with a rich singer who wants to fly her to New York in her private plane for breakfast [must be nice]. Anissa runs into her old flame Grace Choi who is not happy to see Anissa. Our girl ghosted her, so seeing her with a new boo whose party she is working made her salty. Anissa is also making her father salty. She is being swept up in the adulation from the crowds. Jefferson tells her to get her head in the game, but she mouths off to him. I believe Miss Anissa has a nice brutal fall waiting for her soon.

Tobias is in the running for being the worse boss ever. He slaps around Khalil while playing chess because he blames him for not giving Syonide proper backup when she met up with Kara Fowdy and got a shoe heel in her neck for her trouble. Tobias kills his retired right hand man, Marsellus for having too good a memory. He remembers when they killed Alvin Pierce. Marsellus taught him how to play chess, but Tobias won’t let friendship interfere with business, especially since he plans to sell the metahumans as weapons. Tobias isn’t leaving any loose ends around. He proves this when he kills a corrupt cop on his payroll. It’s apparent the only way you leave Tobias employ is through death.

Aside from his daughters giving him trouble, Jefferson is dealing with the fallout from his resignation as principle of Garfield High. To his disbelief, the school board is replacing him with a white man. A great ‘white savior’ for a predominately-black school. The school board is forcing him to go along with this. The only respite Jefferson gets is when his students recite his mantra back to him.

This was a good episode. It didn’t have any cool fight scenes like last week’s episode, but the human drama was great. I found the scenes between Lynn, Issa, and Wendy very touching. Anissa getting her Mack on was fun to watch. Tobias gave a master class in employer/employee relationships. The music was outstanding again.

One More Road to Cross by DMX was in the cool new opening titles.

Nature Boy by John Coltrane played during Tobias and Khalil’s chess match and into the scene of Wendy’s escape.

Self Medicated by Derrius Logan played when Anissa and Jennifer discussed the pros and cons of their powers and relationships.

Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get by The Dramatics played during the scene when Jefferson and Anissa are ready to put on their superhero suits.

Let’s Take It to the People by Funkadelic played when Wendy blew up a storm and Anissa soaked in the crowd adulation.

Young & Reckless by Tru played at Zoe B’s get together during Anissa and Grace’s tense reunion.

Here’s the promo for next week’s episode, Master Lowry.




Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Editor-in-Chief
Latest posts by Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Editor-in-Chief (see all)