Black Lightning | Season 3 | Episode 12 : “Motherless ID“
For a quick read, go to Review. For a complete summary, go to Recap.
KBear Recap [Read time: 5-7 min]
“Well lucky for you Sgt. Grayle, I always believed in second changes.” Jefferson Pierce
Comic Panels: Tobias Whale (Marvin ‘Krondon’ Jones III) is strapped to an exam chair. TC (Christopher Emannuel) is sitting in the corner frightened. Lynn Pierce (Christine Adams) fights Dr. Helga Jace (Jennifer Riker). Khalil Payne/Painkiller (Jordan Calloway) and Jennifer Pierce/Lightning (China Anne McClain) are sitting in his childhood bedroom.
Dr. Jace is making a scientific log, she has been in captivity for 97 days. She is waiting for Lynn’s arrival. The Markovians are going to make Lynn create a meta stabilization serum. She must bond with Lynn, something she finds difficult to do with people. Since they have Lynn, she is expendable. Lynn jumps Jace as soon as she sees her. Jace asks her if she received the message, she sent through Cyclotronic, giving Lynn a clue on how to create the serum. Lynn doesn’t thank Jace for her assistance. Colonel Yuri Mosin (Thomas K. Belgrey) sends an electric shock through the control chip they put on Lynn’s neck. He tells Lynn how the ASA conditioned her to take Green Light; Nurse Allen was his mole in the ASA who gave him that information. Jace is shocked that Lynn is a drug addict. Mosin hands Lynn some Green Light to take when she needs it.
Jennifer demands to know how TC was able to talk to a comatose Khalil. He explains how he can talk to machines, and he was communicating with the chip in his head. She convinces him to virtually go inside Khalil’s mind. Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning (Cress Williams) tells Peter Gambi (James Remar) he isn’t sure about these two new kids, Gambi can’t vouch for Jennifer’s friend, but TC is solid. Jefferson wonders if he can help Khalil, Gambi thinks if anyone can, it would be TC. Jefferson receives a text from Lynn, he takes Anissa Pierce/Thunder (Nafessa Williams) with him. When they arrive at Lynn’s place, Sgt. Grayle (Boone Platt) emerges, he informs them that Lynn was kidnapped by the Markovians. He explains how they broke Tobias out of the Pit so that the ASA can’t use his bone marrow to create a meta stabilization serum to stabilize the Green Light kids. They ask him why they should trust him; he points out they are powerful metas who can easily crush him, he wants to save Lynn, the kids, and Freeland. Jefferson chooses to believe him. Jefferson wants him to set up a meeting with Major Gray (Katy O’Brian). After Grayle leaves, Jefferson tells Anissa about Lynn’s addiction.
Tobias taunts a black male Markovian nurse with a racial insult; he tells Tobias he doesn’t like self-hating blacks. Lynn is in bad shape; she’s looking to see if methadone can be an alternative to Green Light. Jace tells her it isn’t a substitute. Lynn knows that if she helps Mosin weaponize the metas, she’s dead.
Jennifer and Brandon (Jahking Guillory) stand over Khalil. She tells Khalil to hang in there. Brandon asks her if she’s okay. He relays how he’d say goodbye to his mom each day knowing she was dying. Jennifer thinks that’s beautiful. TC tells Gambi that the chip is a hybrid of carbon nanotubes and biological material. He virtually goes into Khalil’s mind; he runs into Painkiller who chases him out. From the description TC gives of the surroundings in Khalil’s mind, Jennifer figures out he was in Khalil’s old apartment building. The Painkiller operating system (OS) ejected TC like a virus to keep him from Khalil. TC realizes they need to build a firewall around Painkiller, they’ll need an electrical current which Jennifer can supply.
Anissa is surprised and upset that Jefferson didn’t tell her about Lynn’s addiction sooner. She questions Jefferson’s decision to leave Lynn to go rescue the Green Light kids, she and the other members of the résistance had it in hand. He tells her that Henderson said they needed him, and he thought he’d have time to help Lynn later. Jefferson blames himself but Anissa tells him it wasn’t his fault. They will help Lynn battle this disease as a family.
TC is back in Khalil’s mind, Painkiller walks towards him, he gives Jennifer the signal to trap Painkiller behind a firewall. Jennifer sends electric currents that trap Painkiller behind one of the apartment building’s doors. TC mocks him and declares, “Brains over brawn, bitch!”
“You look pretty good for a dead man.” Major Gray
Major Gray meets with Anissa and Jefferson. She informs them that Lynn is in Markovia, she suggests they work together. Jefferson is vehemently against it. He reminds Gray of the bad blood between his family and the ASA. Gray counters that he can crush the local thugs but not fight an army. Anissa agrees with her, they don’t have the resources to invade a foreign country on their own. Jefferson relents but gives Gray his conditions, he’ll form his own team and the ASA has to wipe his team member’s records. Gray doesn’t like the terms but relents, she and Jefferson shake on it.
Jefferson calls Jennifer over to tell her that Lynn was kidnapped by the Markovians and they took her to their country. He and Anissa are putting together an extraction team to rescue her. Jennifer tells him she’s going and she’s bringing Brandon. Jefferson isn’t sure about Brandon but she shoots him with electricity and he easily takes it. She tells her father Brandon can take care of himself and he has her back. Brandon tells Jefferson that Dr. Jace killed his mother and he’s going with or without them. Jefferson tells Gambi who is against them working with the ASA. Jefferson confesses to Gambi that he’s got to do it to save Lynn. Gambi volunteers for the mission, Jefferson thought he’d stay here and help. Gambi speaks some Markovian and says he’s been there before, even though he’d like not to talk about it. He convinces Jefferson that he’ll need him on the ground. Anissa fills Grace (Chantal Thuy) in on what’s happening, Grace tells Anissa that she’s going too. Anissa says no, to show she’s fit for the mission, she spars with Anissa. Anissa is impressed with her abilities, but admits she’s afraid of Grace getting hurt, she tells Grace it’s her family’s fight. Grace reminds her it’s their fight.
Dr. Jace walks into Tobias’ room to extract more bone marrow from hm. He’s his usual charming self. She tells him that she is very much the prisoner he is. Tobias tells Jace how expendable she is since Lynn arrived. He thinks the Markovians won’t hurt him since they need him. She gives him the lowdown, Colonel Mosin plans to lobotomize him.
Erica Moran (Gabriella Garcia) is sparring with several men in the lab. Gray had her chipped and she asks Dr. Blair (Brandon Hirsch) if he’d given her the kill order. He hesitates to answer, Gray reminds him they programmed Erica to kill Lynn if they can’t get her out of Markovia. He types in the command: “Terminate Dr. Lynn Stewart with prejudice”.
Lynn’s got the shakes. Jace pretends to be concerned, she tells Lynn she has the glimmer and needs to take some Green Light or she’ll die. Lynn is in too much pain to resist, the last thing she wants to do is die there. Jace reports to Colonel Mosin that she’s gained Lynn’s trust. Mosin asks how many metas are ready to fight, she tells him aside from Gravedigger, none, they’ll die if they exceed 60% capacity. Mosin threatens Jace that they will experiment on her if she and Lynn don’t produce the stabilization serum.
Jefferson’s team along with Erica, Grayle and Gray meet at ASA’s headquarters. Gray is surprised to see Gambi. Jefferson reminds her everyone in the room gets a pardon or are taken off the ASA system. Gray begins to make a speech, but no one on Jefferson’s team wants to hear her B.S. They aren’t happy with having to work with the ASA. Jefferson reminds them that they are invading a hostile country and they will need the ASA’s assistance.
“Without me your nothing but a victim.” Painkiller
Khalil is still unconscious; Jennifer persuades TC to go back inside Khalil’s mind to see why he isn’t awake yet. TC goes back in and sees that Painkiller is still behind the firewall. He walks into Khalil’s apartment and finds him in his bedroom. TC tells him he can leave. Khalil thinks he’s dead or should be. TC reports to Jennifer and Gambi that the Painkiller OS isn’t the problem, Khalil won’t leave his room. Gambi explains to Jennifer that Khalil created a safe harbor in his bedroom, if Khalil won’t get out of his brain, he’ll die. Jennifer orders TC back in to get Khalil out. He tells her that Khalil won’t listen to him. Brandon walks in and suggest Jennifer go inside his brain. TC and Gambi explain that she can only do it if she’s pure energy. Brandon tells them how bullets went through her when she became pure energy. Gambi is against it, if Jennifer goes in and Khalil dies, she’ll die with him. He tells her that Odell had Khalil kill his own mother, he’s probably suicidal. Jennifer promise if she can’t help him, she’ll leave. Gambi consents to her doing it.
Jennifer sits next to Khalil in his bedroom. She explains what is happening. Jennifer: “All of this is real. It may not seem like it, but this place is a prison. If you don’t come with me right now, you will die.” She persuades him to leave. In the hallway, Painkiller shows him all the terrible things he has done, including killing his mother. He tells him he’s nothing without him. Khalil hesitates, Jennifer tells him he has to make a choice. He chooses to leave with Jennifer. Khalil finally wakes up. Gambi warns her not to touch him, he’s poison. Khalil understands technically why this is. TC explains to him that his chip was programmed with knowledge in other fields. They can’t take out the chip, Painkiller is behind a firewall, so he has to live with it lurking. This is all too much for Khalil to take. He tells Jennifer they can’t be together. He is literally poison.
KBear Review [Read time: 1-3 minutes]
Lynn arrives in Markovia and is greeted by Dr. Jace, a woman she truly hates. After a nice little throwdown that Lynn wins, Colonel Mosin tells her how the ASA got her hooked on Green Light. Jace is under pressure, because if Lynn doesn’t create a meta stabilization serum, she’s dead, but since they have Lynn, they don’t need her. Any way you look at it, Jace is screwed. Couldn’t happen to a nicer woman. Lynn is in bad shape with her addiction, so things look bleak for her. Jennifer finds out about TC’s ability to talk to machines, so she persuades him to virtually go inside Khalil’s mind, which is TC communicating with the chip in Khalil’s brain. Painkiller is acting like a vicious bouncer. They create a firewall to keep him at bay. Khalil still remains unconscious, if he doesn’t wake up soon and get out of his own mind, he will die. Jennifer using her ability to be pure energy goes inside his brain and persuades him to leave. Unfortunately, not before Painkiller shows him all the horrible things he has done as an ASA assassin. Khalil wakes up but can’t handle killing his mom, having a chip in his head they can’t take out, having Painkiller still in his mind, and his skin being poison. Sgt. Grayle informs Jefferson that the Markovians kidnapped Lynn. Major Gray tells him she’s in Markovia. She wants to work with Jefferson to rescue Lynn. He doesn’t want any assistance from the ASA, he doesn’t trust them. Anissa convinces him they need their help to invade a country. He consents, but under the conditions he picks his team and his teammates get pardons. Gray consents, but inserts Erica on the mission to kill Lynn if it isn’t successful.
This was a good episode, not action packed like a lot of episodes, but entertaining. I would say the episode is setting us up for the big invasion of Markovia, which should be action packed. This season has been pure hell for Lynn, and the show found another level of hell to put Lynn in. She is a captive of Markovia, she has to give them a meta stabilization serum, or else, and she is feeling the effects of Green Light withdrawal. She takes some off of Helga Jace suggestion, you know she must be in bad shape. A shout out to Jennifer Riker as Dr. Helga Jace, she brings out all of Jace’s twitchy lunacy. I believe she is a chaotic neutral character, she isn’t concerned for others, she is only looking out for herself. Jace truly can’t understand why Lynn hates her, if she has to kill a few folks to make a scientific discovery, so be it. She really gives Lynn a great foil to play off against. Khalil is in his own hell. While Painkiller has been out and about in the world killing people, Khalil has been hiding out in the safe harbor of his childhood bedroom. He’s finally freed from the prison of his mind, but he finds out all the horrible things Painkiller has done, and the horrible things done to his body. He’s feeling like why couldn’t they have allowed him to rest in peace. Like I mentioned, mostly this episode is getting us prepared for the invasion, and I’m here for that. We are also close to the end of the season with only four episodes left, so I’m hoping for wall to wall action and craziness.
This week’s music:
Helga Jace listens to Crazy by Patsy Cline [an appropriate choice for her] I think this might be the first country song they’ve played.
Jarvis by Cosmic Boys. TC and Jennifer lock Painkiller behind a firewall.
Anissa and Grace spar to see if Grace gets to go on the extraction mission while Breakin’ Necks by Uniqu3 plays.
Jorja Smith’s So Lonely plays during Jennifer and TC’s attempt to free Khalil from his own mind and then explain his unfortunate reality.
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