“So feel it. Flex it. Pull it in. And get the hell out of here!” Perenna
Peter Gambi (James Remar) is the first one to reach a glowing unconscious Jennifer Pierce/Lightning (China Anne McClain). Lala (William Catlett) walks out of the warehouse and sees Jennifer laying on the ground; he points his gun at Gambi. Lala: “Just tell me one thing? Are you with Tobias Whale?” Gambi: “Definitely not with Tobias Whale.” He’s satisfied with the answer and keeps walking. Gambi has his viscoelastic gloves on to absorb her energy. Gambi: “Go to your safe space.” Jennifer goes there and sees Perenna (Erika Alexander). Perenna: “You have to get out of here. Hurry…get out of yourself now.” Jennifer doesn’t know how. Perenna: “All right. Bat your eye lashes and curl your toes.” Jennifer: “How is that gonna help?” Perenna: “Flexing your power is as simple as finding the right muscle and flexing it. So feel it. Flex it. Pull it in. And get the hell out of here!” Jennifer finally wakes up but Gambi became overcome by Jennifer’s radiation, so he’s unconscious now. Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning (Cress Williams) arrives, Jennifer thinks Gambi is dead, but Jefferson checks, Gambi is still alive. Anissa/Thunder (Nafessa Williams) pulls up on her motorcycle, she checks Gambi and contacts Lynn (Christine Adams). She tells her mother that he has radiation burns. Lynn tells them to rush Gambi to the hospital, but Jefferson says that would cause a lot of questions. Anissa says she can give him a shot for the pain and take care of him. Jefferson tells Anissa and Jennifer to take Gambi to the sanctum while he checks out the warehouse to see if Tobias left any evidence behind.
Tobias (Marvin ‘Krondon’ Jones III) is mad that Lala chased him out of his lair. He’s also upset about Black Lightning’s involvement. While he’s ranting, Giselle Cutter (Kearran Giovanni) is watching a news report, the cops who shot Cape Guy won’t be charged. She thinks it’s typical, but it give Tobias an idea. He will use the public’s anger, with an assist from him, to start a riot. The riot will allow him to get his pods back and to kill Black Lightning. He’ll have Darryl Robinson/Coldsnap (Derrick Lewis) freeze the electric power grid, taking Black Lightning’s power from him.
Black Lightning enters Tobias’ lair while Thunder and Lightning [Finally get to say it] rush Gambi inside the sanctum. To Jefferson’s surprise, he finds the pod kids, he immediately contacts Lynn. She has his GPS and she’s on her way. Agent Percy Odell (Bill Duke) intensely watches her. [We know he probably intercepted the message] Anissa is busing tending to Gambi while Jennifer stews. She blames this on Tobias. Anissa tells her to calm down. Jennifer assure her she is calm, she won’t blow them both up. Anissa: “Good cause I got stuff to do.” Jennifer: “Yeah I know, Harriet. Or should I say Blackbird?” Anissa: “I kinda like Blackbird. She cool, right?” Jennifer: “You’re such an overachiever. It’s not enough you’re in medical school, you gotta be two superheroes. Well, maybe just one now because of Dad’s code?” Anissa: “Nah, Blackbird is needed. But I will start planning better and stop lone wolfing it.” Jennifer: “You know, I could start coming with you?” Gambi is becoming conscience, he’ll need an Ibuprofen; Anissa sends Jennifer to get some ice to cool him down.
Tobias is playing chess and talking to the portrait of his late sister Tori. Cutter silently watches him. She tells him his plan is activated. She has members of the 100 causing trouble, they are snatching people out of their cars and burn down stores. The general public is joining them. He expresses his pleasure to Tori. Cutter suggests he get some sleep, but he tells her instead to get Black Lightning.
Black Lightning is inspecting the pods when Dr. Helga Jace (Jennifer Riker) sneaks up on him prepared to shoot. Unfortunately for Dr. Jace, Lynn shows up and proceeds to whup her arse. After Lynn has her on the ground, she screams, “Bitch!” Black Lightning: “I think you got her.” Jace looks up at Lynn, “You have a funny bedside manner.” Jace doesn’t want to be handed back over to the ASA, she’s ready to make a deal for Freeland police protection. Lynn advise Black Lightning not to trust her, but she offers them Tobias’ plan to sic the M.O.D. on the city. Jefferson makes the call and Deputy Chief Bill Henderson (Damon Gupton) shows up with some of his officers to take her away.
Agent Odell shows up after Henderson leaves, he plans to take the kids with him. Lynn argues that if he tries to move them now, he will destabilize them. The news is showing the violence in the streets. Jennifer is watching it on TV. Jennifer: “People wildin’ out in these streets.” Anissa: “Yo, that’s cause they pissed off, and they got every right to be.” Jennifer: “Yeah, but what is tearing up your own community gonna do? Look. This dude is running down the street with a TV. How the hell is that helping anything?” Anissa: “That fool, he just wanna get a TV. He ain’t trying to create change. But the majority of the people out there, they’re trying to get the attention of the powers that be.” Henderson and his men bring Dr. Jace into the station, and then the lights go out, the power goes out across the city. Anissa thinks if it’s bad out there now, with the power out, it will go completely crazy now.
The power in the sanctum comes back on because of its backup generator. Anissa wants to get out there to help, but Jennifer asks her what can she do, those are regular people out there, not supervillains. Gambi is back on his feet and joins the girls. Jennifer runs to him and hugs him, a little too hard. She then scolds him for risking his life when she was overloading. She asks him why, he replies because she’s family. Gambi calls Jefferson who is relieved to hear from him. Gambi called Jefferson to warn him that with the power out his suit is going to run out of power. Jefferson tells him he has to go back to the warehouse to protect Lynn; he knows that Tobias is going to want to get the pods back. Jefferson cuts off his comms. Anissa is going out, Gambi needs to get to the power grid to restore the power. Jennifer is going with him whether he likes it or not. Gambi tells her she has to control her emotions, she promises she will and they pinky swear on it.
The meta Instant (Tosin Morohunfola) is shooting down cops in the police station. He teleports into Dr. Jace’s cell. Dr. Jace: “Line-of-sight teleportation. Interesting.” Instant tells Dr. Jace that the Markovians want her back, she tries to negotiate with him, but he tells her he doesn’t negotiate. He teleports with her before Henderson and his officers get there. Tobias cackles as he watches the city destroy itself. He tells Tori they’ll he’ll rebuild the city like he and Tori wanted it. Reverend Jeremiah Holt (Clifton Powell) is helped to the pulpit. [He’s alive, yea!!] He tells his ushers to let some people who are fleeing the riot in. He announces that the church will be a sanctuary to whomever needs it.
“I know we had beef for a long time, but I’m not ’bout that anymore. The streets need you.” Lala
A squad of SWAT members are in front of Rebecca Jones/New Wave (Brooke Ence) and Joe/Heatstroke (Esteban Cueto). New Wave directs water at their feet and the mud encases their feet. Heatstroke is ready to burn them alive when Black Lightning flies down. Soon Thunder arrives on her motorcycle. She uses a Thunder slap to set the SWAT members free. While they run off, she and her father start fighting New Wave and Heatstroke. The father and daughter team are winning until Coldsnap and Marcus Bishop/Shakedown (Hosea Chanchez) join in the fray. The M.O.D. is now winning the fight when Lala shows up and shoots and kills Heatstroke. He tells Black Lightning, “I know we had beef for a long time, but I’m not ’bout that anymore. The streets need you. I’m only about one thing. I’m gonna kill Tobias Whale. Your partner getting ready to die over there.” Lala walks away and Jefferson goes to help Anissa.
Gambi and Jennifer make it to the power station. Gambi shoots some 100 members who are guarding the generator. It is frozen solid, covered by a big block of ice courtesy of Coldsnap. Gambi has Jennifer make three strikes against the ice. She is able to break through. Gambi is able to turn the generator back on and the lights come back on across Freeland. Thunder is in a bubble of water while Black Lightning is covered in a block of ice. Once the power is back on, Black Lightning’s suit recharges and Jefferson breaks out of the ice and pops the water bubble Anissa was trapped in. Now the two work together as a team to kick the crap out of the three remaining members of the M.O.D.
Tobias is furious that the police aren’t overreacting to the rioters, the riot is beginning to cool off. Tobias: “It’s always Black Lighting. He thinks he can take my chaos. Wait till I put 12 dazed and enraged metahumans on his punk ass!” Cutter: “No, don’t Tobias, think! If you release the pods now, we’ll lose everything we’ve worked toward.” [Tobias grabs her by the throat. She kicks off and draws her blade] Tobias: “So, you’re going to cut me now?” Cutter: “No, but I’m leaving you.” [Cutter walks away] Tobias: “Like I give a damn! I can have 10 of you by tomorrow.” Tobias opens the briefcase and remote controls the pods to open. Lynn is just about to use her serum to awaken them. The pods open before she can use it. The ASA soldiers panic and are ready to shoot. Lynn screams for them to fall back, Agent Odell gives the order. The pod kids are walking around in a daze. Black Lightning and Thunder arrive upon the scene. Lynn: “Don’t do anything. They aren’t fully awake, and they could be erratic.” Odell and the ASA are completely gone. Lynn tells them that using the info in the pods, they can trace the briefcase. They send Tobias’ location to Gambi in the van. Jennifer sees the location and is ready to go. She opens the van door and is ready to fly away. Gambi tries to stop her. Jennifer: “If I can float in my sleep, then I can probably fly when I’m awake.” Gambi looks in wonder as Jennifer takes off bathe in light.
Tobias is talking to the Tori when Lala walks in. Lala: “Damn, you’re talking to paintings now. It’s about time I killed your ass.” He shoots but it doesn’t hurt Tobias. Tobias says his old control words to control Lala, but they don’t work. Tobias: “E pluribus unum. [Lala stops dead in his tracks] Yeah, that one worked.” He tells Lala that Lazarus brought him back to life, but he has brainwashed him. The new control words causes the tattoos of the people Lala has killed to pop up. Lala tears his shirt off in pain, as the tattoos cover his torso. Tobias laughs and calls him Tattoo Man. He promises Lala the next time he wakes up, it will be in concrete. As Tobias cackles over his victory, Lighting crashes through his window. Tobias: “Who the hell are you?” Jennifer: “Call me “Lightning.” And this … is payback!” Jennifer uses her powers to lift Tobias up and electrocute him.
Lightning has him wrapped up in a coil when Black Lightning appears. Black Lightning: “Stop!” Lightning: “He deserves it.” Black Lightning: “But you don’t! Cause you don’t deserve to become a cold-blooded killer.” He uses his power to interfere with her hold. He becomes affected by her radiation. Jennifer sees her father fading and stops her attack on Tobias. Jefferson begins thinking about what his father (Keith Bolden) told him in last season’s finale. Alvin Pierce: “Peace ain’t always peaceful, son. All the blood, broken bones, pain you suffered. Only you’ll ever know if it was worth it.” Tobias grabs Lala’s gun and tries to shoot Black Lightning. He squeezes the trigger but the gun is empty. Black Lightning and Lightning sneer at him and in unison say, “PLEASE!” They use their combined powers to grab him and toss him around. Jefferson tells Jennifer Tobias is his and in a quick fight, he knocks his hated enemy out.
Rev. Holt is on the radio talking to the city. Rev. Holt: “See, I was struck down by the evil here in Freeland. And we have all in this church felt that evil. See I praise God for sending us Black Lightning, an angel of justice to fight that evil. I praise God that he gave us Thunder to protect and inspire us…. Now, it took evil to start this unrest. But love will stop it.” During his sermon we see Black Lightning walking down the street, Thunder putting out a fire, and Henderson driving down the street surveying the scene. Agent Odell is back in his lab with three pods. The first one contains Issa Williams (Myles Truitt); the second one contains Wendy (Madison Bailey); and the third one contain a breathing Khalil Payne (Jordan Calloway), WTF! Tobias is being escorted by some guards to his cell in a high-security meta prison called the Pit. It is a government black site. He has a collar on that won’t let him access his enhanced strength. The Guard Captain (Derek Russo) tells him all hope is lost. [I wouldn’t bet on that.]
“The Markovian war is coming. And Freeland …FREELAND … is ground zero.” Agent Odell
Jefferson is at home with Lynn and Jennifer. They are making dinner and Jennifer pays her mother a compliment for handling her business. Lynn is surprised and touched. She is still worried about the pod kids, it appears they have gone into hiding. Jennifer tells her not to worry about it since there isn’t anything she can do about it now. Jefferson tell Lynn to accept the compliment. Anissa shows up with a peach cobbler. Lynn asks did she use her recipe or Jefferson’s. She assures them she used Lynn’s recipe. Jefferson asks what’s wrong with his peach cobbler, the ladies tell him it could use more peaches. As they joke around, Jefferson suddenly looks serious and turns away from the fun. He begins to quietly cry, his family is surprised. He assures them he is crying for joy. Jefferson: “I’m happy you walked through that door. Your mom is here. Jenn is here. We’re safe. I worry all the time.” Lynn: “Baby, we’re here. We’re all here. We’re fine.” Jefferson: “I know. You know, sometimes I just want to quit all of it. I just want to take you all and take you somewhere far away from here, but… I can’t. And I feel guilty, because we got cobbler, family dinners… and so many people in Freeland don’t. We all deserve this.” After he recovers, the Best of My Love comes on and the family begins to dance. Suddenly out of nowhere, Agent Odell appears. He skips the formalities. Agent Odell: “I know exactly who … and what … you all are.” Lynn: “You need to leave.” Agent Odell: “There’s something you need to know. The Markovians have a stockpile of metahumans in pods; the largest on Earth.” Jefferson: “You’ve been asked to leave … nicely.” Agent Odell: “Not yet, Mr. Pierce. Thanks to you, the Markovians have Dr. Jace. And here’s the best part, the concentration of metahumans in Freeland from the vaccines and the Green Light experiments make it the greatest threat to Markovia. It’s only a matter of time before they launch a lethal first strike. I’m swearing in Black Lightning, Thunder, and whatever you’re calling yourself, young lady.” [Jennifer slides behind Anissa] Agent Odell: “The Markovian war is coming. And Freeland … FREELAND … is ground zero.”
The episode picks up with Jennifer laying on the ground unconscious. Gambi reaches her and passes out from the radiation. Jefferson and Anissa arrive, Jennifer and Anissa take Gambi back to the sanctum and Jefferson checks out the warehouse and finds the pod kids. Tobias uses the police not being charged for killing Cape Guy as a pretense to start a riot so that he can recover the pods and kill Black Lightning. Dr. Jace ties to shoot Jefferson and Lynn beats her arse down. They hand her over to Henderson and the meta bounty hunter Instant teleports her out of jail to return her to the Markovians. Black Lightning and Thunder fight the M.O.D. Tobias has the power cut out to weaken Black Lightning. Jefferson can’t recharge his suit, it is powering down. He and Anissa are losing the fight until Lala shoots Heatstroke, and Jennifer and Gambi turn the power back on, allowing Black Lightning’s suit to recharge. Black Lightning and Thunder defeat the M.O.D. Tobias opens up the pods, and the pod kids awaken. They are in a daze, so they don’t do anything but wander off. Lynn is able to use the pods to trace the briefcase Tobias used to open the pods. Jennifer overhears it and flies over to Tobias location. After Tobias has abused Lala again, Jennifer crashes through his window and announces she is Lightning; she uses her powers to wrap him in an energy coil. Before she can kill him, Jefferson is able to stop her from becoming a cold-blooded killer. Tobias tries to shoot them but the gun is empty, so Jefferson gets the satisfaction of beating Tobias in a fight. The crime lord is shipped to a high-security meta prison called the Pit. Rev. Holt is alive, it turns out that he was in a comma the whole time. He gives a sermon over the radio and praises Black Lightning and Thunder. We find out that Agent Odell has three more pods, they contain old time favorites Wendy and Issa Williams. The third pod contain an alive Khalil! That one caught me by surprise. The Pierce family is at home, with Jefferson being thankful they are all alive and together. This touching family moment is ruined when Agent Odell pops out of nowhere. He informs them he knows who they are and what they can do, and that because there are so many metas in Freeland, the Markovians are going to attack the city.
The first season of Black Lightning was nearly perfect. The season centered on the Pierce family and the community of Freeland. This season still centered on the Pierce family, but Freeland got lost. While in the first season we spent a lot of time at Garfield High, once Jefferson was demoted, we spent very little time there. Instead we wasted time in South Freeland with the Perdi for a couple of episodes. Jennifer and Khalil run away, spending a lot of episodes on the run. Tobias was no longer in the shadows; last season he gained possession of the ASA briefcase, making him very powerful. He had ASA info and control of the pods. It seemed this new power only made him more unhinged. Last season was about Anissa becoming Thunder. This seasons was about Jennifer becoming Lightning. She had a bumper road than her sis. While Thunder wanted to be a superhero, it’s the last thing in the world Jennifer wanted. She only gained an interest once Tobias killed her first love Khalil. Jennifer would take one step forward and stumble back two steps. After a few failed attempts she finally gets hold of Tobias to kill him, but her dad convinces her not too, with Jefferson being willing to die to keep her from becoming a cold-blooded killer. Jennifer finally becomes the superhero her dad and sister are. The season was erratic, but all in all, it was a good sophomore effort. Even though they didn’t spend enough time exploring the Freeland community, they remembered to keep the focus on the Pierce family. The episode itself was great. The fight scenes were fun and well-choreographed, beginning with Lynn’s beat down of Dr. Jace. That woman had it coming. The fight between Black Lightning and the M.O.D. showed how powerful a team the father and daughter are. I can’t wait until Lightning joins them. Jennifer doesn’t have any tactical training, but she makes up for it with pure power. Tobias can attest to that. It was gratifying seeing Jefferson get to beat his nemesis. The episode illustrated how much the Pierce’s [along with Gambi] love each other. The action was great, there was nice social commentary, and the humor was funny. It was a good way to end the season.
The music was as good as the previous episode. Drowning in the Sea of Love by Joe Simon played during the opening title sequence. I’ve liked the opening title sequences this season. The episode tittles were long but separating the episodes into different books was clever.
The Beastie Boys’ Somethings Got to Give played when Jefferson entered Tobias’ lair and found the pods.
Tobias’ insanity is showing when he plays chess with Tori’s portrait while Gene Ammons’ Hi Ruth! plays in the background.
When the big fight between Black Lightning and Thunder vs. Heatstroke and New Wave begins, Little Child Runnin’ Wild from Curtis Mayfield plays.
Reverend Holt is back. I thought he was dead, but he’s back. He’s not the only person back from the dead. When he tells his ushers to let people fleeing from the riot enter the church, Nobody Knows from Pastor T.L. Barrett and the Youth for Christ Choir plays.
Cutter and Tobias’ breakup while Issac Hayes sings The Look of Love. Why Cutter was with Tobias beats me. I guess when you’re an assassin like Cutter, maybe another killer is attractive.
Joe Simon returns with There from Cleopatra Jones, when Jennifer flies through the window and announces to Tobias and the world that she is Lightning.
While Reverend Holt praises Black Lightning and Thunder from the pulpit, Re Run from Kamasi Washington plays. Tobias is locked up in the Pit and we see Agent Odell with his Pod Kids.
After a tiring day, and season, the Pierce family dances to Best of My Love from The Emotions, when Agent Odell rudely interrupts.