Black Lightning: Dealing with Grief

Black Lightning | Season 2 | Episode 5 : “Requiem”
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For a quick read, go to Review.
For a complete summary, go to Recap.

KBear Recap [Read  time: 5-7 min]

“I adhere to the law of the jungle. Kill or be killed. Eat or be eaten. Either you’re dining or you’re dinner.” Tobias Whale

Peter Gambi (James Remar) is enjoying a nice day out, buying fruit and driving around. Gunmen pursue him and shoot at his bullet proof car. Gambi drives into an empty lot and his car explodes. Anissa Pierce/Thunder (Nafessa Williams) is at the free clinic with Rev. Jeremiah Holt (Clifton Powell). She is volunteering to work there. He is glad because since the attack on the clinic, it has been hard getting volunteers. Rev. Holt has heard that her dad resigned as principal, he asks how he is doing. Anissa tells him her dad is doing alright. Jennifer (China Anne McClain) is in her room doing her homework on her computer. She vents her frustration at being home schooled at her computer. Khalil Payne/Painkiller (Jordan Calloway) sends her a text. This leads to a flashback when they secretly met at Garfield High. Jennifer tells Khalil how much she misses attending school. She’s upset her parents are keeping her home to protect her. Khalil blames himself for that since he took part in the school attack. He explains how the scientific upgrades he received from Tobias Whale (Marvin “Krondon’ Jones III) affected him. Khalil: “I got so strong, I got crazy with it.”

It’s Anissa’s first day working at the clinic. She is examining a pregnant girl named Anaya (Birgundi Baker). Her boyfriend Deacon (Rob Morean) acts squirrelly. Anissa: “Thirty-eight weeks! Aren’t you excited that it’s almost over?”  Aniyah: “Actually, I’m terrified. What if I’m not good at it? What if I’m not built to be a mother? What if I just screw up?”  Anissa: “Listen, take it from someone who has amazing parents: doubting and questioning whether you’re good enough to raise children, all great parents do that. You’ll be great.”

Khalil brings Councilman Kwame Parker (Eric Lynch) to his boss. Tobias: “Well, if it isn’t the man we all know and love, Councilman Kwame Parker.”  Kwame: “Tobias Whale. So this is your version of a law-abiding citizen looks like?”  Tobias: “Depends on what law you’re referring to. I adhere to the law of the jungle. Kill or be killed. Eat or be eaten. Either you’re dining or you’re dinner.” The councilman doesn’t want anything to do with Tobias but Tobias tells him that he has some info on him, he accepted campaign money from Martin Proctor, the man responsible for the Green Light epidemic. Tobias: “If you haven’t figured it out yet, you work for me.”

Deputy Chief Bill Henderson (Damon Gupton) stops by Jefferson/Black Lightning’s (Cress Williams) home. He sadly informs him that Gambi is dead. Anissa joins Jefferson and Henderson in the living room and finds out about the attack on Gambi. Henderson informs Jefferson and Anissa that no one saw Gambi get out of the SUV. Henderson asks if Gambi was ‘one of them’. Anissa is confused by the question until Jefferson explains, “Look, I forgot to tell you. He knows that you’re Thunder and I’m Black Lightning.” Jefferson doesn’t tell Henderson Gambi’s role in their activities. Henderson gets up and asks the two not to get involved. After he leaves, Anissa asks her father why he didn’t tell Henderson about Gambi. He tells her he wants to protect Gambi. Anissa is ready to suit up to find out who attacked Gambi. Jefferson tells her to sit tight. Anissa doesn’t understand, but Jefferson doesn’t think that Gambi is dead. Jefferson: “All right. The man has contingency plans for his contingency plans.”  He doesn’t want to interfere with whatever Gambi might be doing.

Mad scientist Helga Jace (Jennifer Riker) walks into the lab and compliments Lynn (Christine Adams) for coming up with a formula to cure the pod kids. Lynn is not ready to give the formula to the kids until it is tested. The simulations show that 50% of the kids will die if they use it. Jennifer is sitting outside her window toking when Anissa asks her to come in. Jennifer thinks Anissa is going to lecture her about toking, but instead she tells her that Gambi is gone. Jennifer can’t believe it, it seems like only recently they were taking out ASA goons. After leaving Jennifer, Anissa heads over to Grace Choi’s (Chantal Thuy) house. Anissa: “Look, I’m sure I’m selfish for just popping by like this, but my uncle … he died tonight. Yeah, it was unexpected, but it got me thinking. If I knew, I only had one day to live, who, besides my family, would I want to spend that day with? I only came up with one name: you.”  Grace: “What do you expect me to say to something like that?”  Anissa: “I don’t want you to say anything.”  They kiss and begin to make hot, passionate love. The morning after, Grace tells a satisfied Anissa that she thinks she made a mistake. She doesn’t trust Anissa.  Grace: “You know how I feel about you, and I’m sorry about your uncle. I really am. But I’m not your handbag.” Anissa asks what she means by that. Grace is afraid Anissa will want her when she’s feeling sad and vulnerable; she asks Anissa can she promise not to hurt her, Anissa remains silent, so Grace asks her to walk away. Grace runs into the bathroom, where it appears the ink on her tattoos are moving. She looks in the mirror and sees spots on her face; after taking some pills, they go away.

Councilman Parker holds a press conference to report that an anonymous person offered a donation to move the clinic out of the dangerous neighborhood it is in to a safe location. A reporter asks Parker if this anonymous donor is Tobias Whale, Parker gives a coy smile and says it wouldn’t be anonymous if he said who the donor is.

“I’ve given everything for this city. My blood, my sweat, my tears, and it just takes, just takes. Takes. Takes.” Jefferson Pierce

After comforting Jefferson, Lynn and Jennifer go to Gambi’s home to find something to honor him. They find an old pocket watch that has a picture of him and a teenage Jefferson in it. When they get home, Jennifer hugs her father. Jeff: “What was that for?” Jennifer: “I just appreciate you.” Jeff: “I appreciate you too.”  After Jennifer leaves, Lynn tries to hand Gambi’s pocket watch to Jefferson. He is aghast that Lynn took the pocket watch out of Gambi’s home. Jefferson angrily says that it’s Gambi’s watch. He takes it and tells her he is taking it back.

Instead of Gambi’s place, Jefferson stops at a local watering hole to have a few drinks and look at the pocket watch. Frank ‘Two-Bits’ Tanner (Jason Louder) offers Jefferson his condolences about Gambi. He offers to give the intoxicated Jefferson a ride. Jefferson is waiting on Henderson. A bar patron slaps a waitress on the arse and won’t leave her alone. Jefferson staggers over there to tell the man to stop it. The man tries to fight Jefferson and gets his arse handed to him. Before Jefferson can beat him to death, Henderson and Two-Bits pull him off the man. Henderson and Jefferson sit down at a table and Jefferson reveals his heartache, “You have no idea what my life is like. The sacrifices I’ve made. This city. I’ve given everything for this city. My blood, my sweat, my tears, and it just takes, just takes. Takes. Takes.”

Tobias watches the press conference and is pleased that the reporter he paid made sure to bring up that Tobias is the anonymous donor. He has a fancy feast spread out before him. He had ordered this spread for him and Syonide to celebrate the anniversary of his picking her up from the orphanage. He tells Khalil that since Joey, Syonide and his sister Tori are dead; Khalil is the only family he has left. Tobias tells him a parable about a stronger brother getting rid of his weaker brother after he realizes he cannot make him stronger. He wants Khalil to think about that.

Back at the lab, Dr. Jace tells Lynn she has found a way to save all of the kids. She says all of the pods are connected and they should treat all of them together at the same time. Lynn is excited about Jace’s findings. At the bar, Two-Bits is talking to his lady on the phone when the lights begin to flicker; when he turns around, Black Lightning is standing behind him. Black Lightning asks him if he knows anything about Gambi’s attach. Two-Bits: “Bruh, that wasn’t no attack. That was a hit.” He doesn’t understand why anyone would attack Gambi, “Basically he was the only white dude in Freeland aside from the police.” Two-Bits mentions he raised Jefferson Pierce, while he continues talking the lights begin to flicker again; Black Lightning is gone.

Anissa is at the free clinic when Deacon stumbles in with red dots on his face. He collapses on the floor and begs Anissa to save the baby. Henderson show up at the clinic to examine the dead body. Anissa tells Henderson how terrified Deacon looked and that he asked her to save the baby and contact Anaya. They know about the baby. Anissa is worried they might have been in a car accident. Henderson tells Anissa it doesn’t look like Deacon was in an accident. He suddenly tells Anissa to look; a silver like liquid is oozing out of Deacon’s body. Anissa bends down to take a sample. The sample begins moving in the container. Both med student and detective are shocked.

“Congratulations! We saved 14 lives, bitch!” Dr. Helga Jace

Khalil stops by to offer his condolences to Jennifer about Gambi’s death. She thanks him but tells him he has to go before anyone spots him. Khalil looks sad to go. Anissa is in their headquarters looking at subway footage of Deacon. He came in from South Freeland. She hears the motion detector and sees her father on the monitor. Outside Gambi’s shop, the residents have left flowers. Jefferson picks up one of Gambi’s measuring tapes and begins to cry. Anissa goes to her father and softly says, “Give me a hug dad. You know, Gambi told me once helping raise you, helping you become Black Lightning was the best thing he ever did.”

At the ASA lab, they inject serum that Lynn and Jace had developed into all the pods and begin the procedure. Something is going wrong with half the pods. Lynn: “What’s happening? No, No, No, No, No. What’s happening?! The simulations!” Dr. Jace: “I told you what you needed to hear. Fourteen of the vaccine kids WILL survive. Inaction would’ve killed them all. You should be proud of yourself. You’re a hero!” [Lynn slaps her] Lynn: “Security, take her out of here and take her wherever the hell you dragged her from!” Dr. Jace: “Congratulations! We saved 14 lives, bitch!” Jace falsified her data knowing that Lynn’s original data was correct, 50% of the kids died.

Anissa drives out to South Freeland by herself. The local sheriff (Robert Walker Branchaud) pulls her over. He tells her wherever she is going is closed. Anissa tells her that she is there to check on a patient. The sheriff tells her to get out of her car. She sees something wiggling in the sheriff’s face, and silver flashes appearing outside. Anissa says, “Hell no!” and drives off.


KBear Review [Read time: 1-3 minutes]

Gunman shoot up Gambi’s car and appear to have killed him. Jefferson doesn’t believe that Gambi is dead and tries to act calm. He continues to unravel throughout the episode, until he finally breaks down in Gambi’s shop. Gambi’s apparent death affects the entire Pierce family. They all provide support to Jefferson and each other. Anissa goes over to Grace’s for comfort. After making love, Grace regrets letting Anissa in because she is afraid Anissa will hurt her again. We find out that Grace has her own secret. The show doesn’t reveal what the spots are yet. Anissa volunteers at Rev. Holt’s free clinic and meets Anaya and Deacon, two young expectant parents. Deacon dies in front of Anissa asking her to save the baby. A silver liquid comes out of his body. Anissa goes to investigate in South Freeland and meets a sheriff who seems affected. Whatever affected Deacon seems to come from there. Tobias blackmails a Freeland city councilman to work for him. Khalil and Jennifer grow closer. Dr. Jace falsifies some data and kills half of the pod kids. Killing 14 kids doesn’t affect her, her reasoning that they just saved the other 14. Lynn doesn’t agree with her assessment. She slaps the hell out of that crazy B!

Since this recap is coming out so late, I won’t bother to say if I believed Gambi was dead. Just remember there was no body, so that gave us the biggest clue. Whether Gambi was dead or not, the Pierce family grieved for their family friend. Jefferson took it harder than anyone else as you would suspect, Gambi did raise him after his father was killed by Tobias. Jefferson was in denial most of the episode, but in a very nice scene he broke down. Lynn had her own traumatic experience. Dr. Jace tricked her into killing half of the pod kids. Dr. Jace is a pure psychopath. Knowing the ASA, they probably have more use for her. Anissa volunteers to work at the church’s free clinic. She meets some expectant parents from South Freeland. The boyfriend acts very nervous. It turns out for good reasons when he returns and dies in front of Anissa. He has some type of weird silver substance bleed out of his body. Anissa goes to South Freeland and finds it a strange place. I’m sure we’ll learn more about it. There wasn’t as much action as we usually get, but we got a lot of great acting, especially from Cress Williams as the grieving Jefferson Pierce. The rest of the cast was excellent too.

While Gambi is shopping for fruit, “Ain’t That a Kick” in the Head by Dean Martin plays.

“People Make the World Go Round”  by The Stylistics played when Anissa is at the free clinic talking to Rev. Holt about volunteering.

Jennifer listens to “Honey” by Eleni Drake while she is looking at pictures of her and Gambi.

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