Black Lightning: The Chase Continues

Black Lightning | Season 2 | Episode 9 : “Gift of the Magi”
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For a complete summary, go to Recap.

KBear Recap [Read  time: 5-7 min]

“Believe me if anything happens to Jennifer, I’ll be the one bringing the trouble to them.” Anissa Pierce

Jennifer Pierce (China Anne McClain) helps Khalil Payne/Painkiller (Jordan Calloway) into a barn. He’s in bad shape. Jennifer: “You about to fall on you on your ass.” Khalil is burning up, his cut is infected. Jennifer decides to get medicine for Khalil.

Jefferson/Black Lightning (Cress Williams) is on the phone with Lynn (Christine Adams) reporting on the progress of their search. Unfortunately, he only has bad news to give to her. While Anissa/Thunder (Nafessa Williams) tends to Khalil’s aunt Yvette (Tonia Jackson), Peter Gambi (James Remar) spots some blood in the kitchen. He thinks it is Khalil’s blood. They decide to check all of the medical facilities in the area. Jefferson wants Anissa with him, partly to keep an eye on her. With an assassin after Khalil and Jennifer, he doesn’t want Anissa by herself. Anissa: “Believe me if anything happens to Jennifer, I’ll be the one bringing the trouble to them.”

Lynn goes to Nichelle Payne’s (Yolanda T. Ross) apartment. Lynn asks to look through Khalil’s room for any clues on where they could be headed. She sees a picture of Khalil’s deceased brother. He died slinging drugs for the 100 when he was 15. Nichelle: “One son dead, one son on the run. Seems that motherhood was never meant to be my calling.” Lynn tries to encourage Nichelle telling her that Khalil still needs her. She finds a recent picture of Khalil with his father. Nichelle doesn’t know if he knows where Khalil is, and she considers him worthless.

A young black engineer named Todd Green (RJ Cyler) is at a board meeting, he is informed that the prestigious encryption grant he was competing for was awarded to another engineer, whose rich white father donated a large sum of money to the university. Todd becomes enraged about the injustice, the board calls security and has Todd escorted out. When he gets to his car there is a note inviting him to Club 100. Tobias’ name is on the invite.

Jennifer is sneaking around the hospital. She sees Anissa and Jefferson at the front desk but is able to avoid being detected. She sneaks into the hospital dispensary and tries to steal some antibiotics. The medication dispensing system has a numerical passcode. Jennifer short circuits the system and opens the drug drawers.  Jennifer walks out with the drugs with Giselle Cutter (Kearran Giovanni) following her. Anissa and Jefferson hear that there was an outage at the hospital. Anissa wonders if Jennifer was the cause. She and Jefferson make it to the dispensary and Anissa spots a scorch mark on the computer. They know Jennifer was there.

Back at the barn, Jennifer jokily asks Khalil if he had ever been addicted to heroin or taken steroids while she prepares to inject him with the antibiotics. He weakly jokes back he would have won more races if he had. Jennifer replies she still would have smoked him. The antibiotics aren’t helping, he tells her his body feels like it’s on fire. He thinks he’s dying. Jennifer doesn’t want to hear that type of talk. Khalil: “I remember when I first saw you.”  Jennifer: “Are you seriously getting all corny on me right now?”  Khalil: “No. No, this is a memory I’ll keep for myself. But, I knew then that you were special.”  Jennifer: “Well, I remember all the girls at Garfield going on and on about ‘Khalil this’ and ‘Khalil that.’ And I’m like, ‘What the hell is the big deal? Who is this Khalil?!’ And then I saw you standing at your locker, and I can’t lie the first thing that popped into my head was, ‘Well, damn!’” While they are talking, Cutter is watching them through a pair of binoculars.

Gambi hacks into the hospital CCTV footage and sees Jennifer short circuit the medication dispensing system. Jefferson asks him to delete the footage so the police won’t see her committing a crime. They also spot Cutter in the footage. Gambi says it looks like Jennifer is heading east. Knowing that Cutter is hot on Jennifer’s trail, Jefferson is ready to take off in broad daylight without his Black Lightning suit. Gambi has to physically stop him while both he and Anissa try to convince him it’s too dangerous for him to do this. Jefferson doesn’t care when Jennifer’s life is in danger. Gambi: “Jeff, I’m sorry. You’ve lost perspective. Please, don’t lose your life.” Jefferson heeds their words, but is angry with both.

“It’s because it’s the black man’s burden to carry the weight of white privilege. Tobias Whale

Todd enters Club 100 where a big party is going on. He is stopped at the VIP section, he points at Tobias Whale (Marvin ‘Krondon’ Jones III) and says he invited me. Tobias waves him over. He tells Todd he knows all about him, he has been monitoring him for a while. Tobias tells Todd a few facts about him, he is a prodigy who graduated from high school and college early, and earned his Master degree before 21. He was turned down for a prestigious encryption grant. Tobias: “It’s because it’s the black man’s burden to carry the weight of white privilege. Without the benefits of being rich or white, you’ll never be better than second best. Well of course unless you change the game. Here, I’ve saved you the best seat of the house.” Todd sits down in between two women who touch him. Todd: “Oh… oh…”  Tobias: “Now, if these women aren’t to your liking, I can get you others. Or, if you prefer men?”  Todd: “No, no, but thank you. I actually prefer to not be touched. That would be my preference.”  Tobias: “Ladies, you heard the man. Go.” The ladies get up and leave. Tobias: “This is what they call the good life, Todd. And you better get used to it because that old life doesn’t exist anymore.”   Tobias receives a phone call from Cutter. She tells him his boy is going to die within an hour. Tobias tells her he wants Khalil brought in alive. He wants to kill Khalil personally.

Gambi looks up Cutter, her picture is on his screen. Gambi: “Giselle Cutter. Assassin, tracker, world-class martial artist, mercenary for hire.”  Jefferson: “Is she a meta?”  Gambi: “There are rumors. People have had her lined up point blank and they’ve missed.”  Anissa: “She’s bulletproof?!”  Gambi: “Bullets never hit her. And it’s also been said that she can literally throw knives around corners; that says to me low-level telekinetic.” Gambi gets an alert, someone is in the Black Lightning sanctum. It is Lynn on the computer looking for info on Khalil’s father, Kito Payne (Kendrick Cross). Gambi appears on a screen and he and Lynn talk. Kito is a career criminal, Gambi advices Lynn not to seek him out, but she tells Gambi he might be able to help them find the kids. Gambi knows he can’t convince her not to go and asks her to be careful. Lynn promises she will and takes a cool looking shotgun with her.

Jennifer prays over an unconscious Khalil, “God, please don’t let him die.” She walks out of the barn to cry. Jennifer senses something and she finds herself in the psychic beauty shop. Perenna (Erika Alexander) is there, but she didn’t bring Jennifer there. Jennifer has created this on her own. Not only is Perenna there, but another put together version of Jennifer appears. Perenna: “Let your fear be your guide. Two parts of your brain working in harmony.” The two Jennifers work together to figure out what Jennifer sensed. The humming she heard was a pair of battery powered binoculars. The buzzing is Jennifer sensing electricity. The two Jennifers figure out that using the electricity that runs in the human body, they can see who it is. Jennifer sees the electricity running through Cutter’s body. The other Jennifer screams for Jennifer to run. Jennifer runs through the woods.

“My daughter’s a damn generator. I’m Black Lightning and I can’t find her.” Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning

Cutter enters the barn and sees the unconscious Khalil, she doesn’t notice that Jennifer is behind her. Jennifer shocks Cutter with a huge voltage of electricity. Jennifer ties her up and blind folds her. Jennifer uses a small amount of electricity to shock Cutter to interrogate her. She thinks Jennifer is using a stun gun. Jennifer asks her what she did to Khalil, Cutter won’t answer. Jennifer looks at the knives and asks how Cutter would feel if she uses one of the poisoned blades on her. Cutter: “Bitch we all gonna die.” Jennifer realizes that with Cutter using poisoned knives she would have an antidote with her. To prove her theory she cuts Cutter’s face with one of her poisoned knives. Cutter finally tells Jennifer the antidote is in her necklace. Jennifer takes the antidote and gives it to Khalil. She kicks Cutter in the face and tells her this is for Khalil.

Black Lightning and Thunder return to the van after splitting up and looking for Jennifer. Both were unsuccessful. Jefferson tries to apologize to Gambi for what happened earlier, but Gambi assures him they are cool. Jefferson begins to lose it again. Shooting lightning in the sky he screams, “My daughter’s a damn generator! I’m Black Lightning and I can’t find her!” He is afraid they may never find her. Anissa tells him they will find Jennifer because he is Black Lightning.

Lynn is outside a restaurant, watching a man taking out a large bag of garbage. The man is Kito Payne. Lynn walks over to him and introduces herself. He knows what is happening. He tells Lynn he told Khalil not to run with Tobias, but his son wouldn’t listen to him. Kito owns up to his own past mistakes of running with the 100. He was in prison when his other son died. He knows that Nichelle hates him. Kito doesn’t have that much information but he knows that Khalil didn’t live with Tobias but had his own place. He doesn’t know where it is located.

Black Lightning is in the air trying to locate Jennifer. Jefferson comes up with an idea, he tells Gambi to increase the voltage threshold in Black Lightning’s goggles to track Jennifer. Jefferson: “Most generators and large appliances operate at about 24 volts.”  Gambi: “And since Jen runs hotter than that, by increasing the threshold…”  Anissa: “We’ll be able to narrow down the search.” They begin eliminating the places he and Anissa had already searched and Jefferson spots a large energy reading to a place they hadn’t been to.  They realize it is Jennifer.

Khalil finally wakes up and says, “Hey.”  Jennifer cries and pulls him into a hug.  Jennifer: “Thank you, God.”  Khalil: “Don’t cry.”  Jennifer: “I thought you were dead.”  Khalil: “Come on, Jenn. You know you can’t get rid of me that easily.”  They hug and kiss.  Jennifer: “I love you.”  Khalil: “I love you too.” Jennifer: “Don’t scare me like that, please. Don’t leave me out here.” Khalil: “I got you. It’s okay.” He looks up and is startled to see an unconscious Cutter. He asks Jennifer what happened, she tells him Cutter pissed her off. She asks if he’s able to walk. He feels fine now, so they grab their gear and leave the barn.

Jefferson, Anissa, and Gambi arrive at the barn but they are too late. The kids have already left. They see blood everywhere and the rope that Jennifer restrained Cutter in. She has escaped too. They don’t know who was tied up or what happened. They begin to fear the worse. Jefferson calls Lynn and tells her they haven’t found Jennifer yet. Lynn can tell by the tone in his voice that he’s not telling her something. She asks if Jennifer is dead, Jefferson has to admit he doesn’t know. Lynn breaks down over the phone.

Back at Club 100, the party goes on. Todd has done his research on Tobias and decided that he doesn’t want to work for him. Tobias makes his final pitch, “If you come work for me, not only would I make you incredibly rich, but you’d have more control and more power than you’ve ever dreamed of.” Todd has a skill set that makes him very valuable to him. He puts $100,000 in Todd’s account. Todd sees the money and joins team Tobias.

“I’m the ride or die type, you already know that.” Jennifer Pierce 

Jennifer and Khalil are in another stolen car. As Jennifer drives, she tells Khalil that Tobias and her family will keep looking for them. Khalil agrees and says, “J, we’re never gonna be able to run fast enough. You know that right?” He doesn’t want to bring her down so he suggests she go back home. Jennifer: “I’m not going anywhere. “I’m the ride or die type, you already know that.” Khalil: “Yeah, and it’s the dying part I’m afraid of.” Jennifer: “Well I’m not. We’re in this together, okay? And after everything we’ve been through, what should we even be afraid of?” Though sounding resolute, even Jennifer should know better than that.

A black assassin (Tosin Morohunfola) is in a bar, having wrecked it full of white thugs. Everyone is either dead or unconscious. One of the thugs tries to shoot the mysterious assassin. The assassin teleports away from the approaching bullet and appears behind the shooter, he shoots him. The assassin receives a call, “It’s done. What’s next? Well, how much we talking? Freeland, huh?”

KBear Review [Read time: 1-3 minutes]

Khalil is badly injured from the cut Cutter gave him. The poison is killing him. Jennifer goes to a hospital to steal medicine. Jefferson and Anissa are at the same hospital asking about Jennifer. She sees them before they see her and is able to avoid them. Using her powers, she is able to short circuit the medication dispensing system and get some antibiotics. Anissa and Jefferson realize they just missed her. Someone who didn’t miss her is Cutter, who follows Jennifer out of the hospital. Jennifer gives Khalil the antibiotics but they don’t help him. He continues dying. Jennifer goes outside the barn they are hiding in to cry. Her subconscious takes her back to the psychic beauty shop where she sees Perenna and another version of herself. It is Jennifer’s brain working out what is going on. She and her other version realize that Cutter is watching them. Cutter enters the barn and finds an unconscious Khalil. This allow Jennifer to get behind her and deliver a knock out dose of electricity. Jennifer using her smarts, figures out Cutter cut Khalil with a poisoned knife, and that since the assassin uses poisoned knives, she must carry an antidote with her in case she cuts herself. Jennifer cuts her in the face, making Cutter reveal where the antidote is hidden. Jennifer gives Khalil the antidote, saving him. He feels well enough to leave the barn.

Jefferson and Lynn are both losing it over their daughter. Jefferson becomes frustrated from the search and wants to do rash things like fly in broad daylight without his Black Lightning suit on. Gambi has to use force to keep Jefferson from doing it, and both he and Anissa have to continually talk him down or give him encouragement. Lynn does some investigating on her own, finding Khalil’s deadbeat dad. It turns out Kito Payne isn’t really a bad guy; he was one when he was younger but he is able to own up to his past mistakes now. He isn’t able to help Lynn find the kids, but he does tell her Khalil had his own place. This might be helpful later. Lynn falls apart when she talks to Jefferson and asks if Jennifer is dead. Jefferson doesn’t know. While things are going horribly for the Pierce’s, Tobias is throwing a party for an engineer named Todd, who lost a prestigious grant for advanced encryption to a white competitor whose father is a rich donor. Todd is embittered, allowing Tobias to convince him to work for him. We don’t know what Tobias needs Todd’s encryption skills for yet.

Jennifer continues to display her resourcefulness and toughness this episode. She and Tobias are the only ones keeping it together. She continues to outwit her family, and gets the drop on Cutter. Jennifer keeps finding new ways to use her powers. Between her and Khalil, she is definitely the one in charge. She is pushing forward because of her love for Khalil, and to be spiteful to her parents. She doesn’t know how much she is hurting her parents. Anissa proves her strength by keeping her dad together. Too bad Anissa can’t be two places at one time, because Lynn needs that strength right now too. Tobias has trapped another lost and angry boy into his web. Todd should ask Khalil how well this is going to work out. There weren’t any big action pieces. They made up for it by great character work. Everyone in the cast brought their A game. Each character acted in a believable way. The suspense of this chase continues to ratchet up.

Now the episode’s music. While Jennifer is breaking into the medication dispensing system, “My Sins” by Unions plays.  

Jennifer and Khalil talk after she has given him the antibiotics, “Tides” by Brandon Banks plays while Jennifer offers Khalil encouragement to keep fighting to live.  

Godholly provides two songs for the Club 100 scenes. “In the Streets Again” plays when Todd meets Tobias. 

“How I Feel ” by Godholly plays in the VIP section.  

Finally when Khalil and Jennifer are in the car reaffirming their commitment to each other, “I’ll Be There for You/You’re All I Need to Get By” from Method Man and Mary J. Blige plays them down the highway.

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