“Maybe your rage will kill your whole damn family.” Tobias Whale
Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning (Cress Williams) is telling his Therapist (Bethann Hardison) his latest dream. He and Tobias Whale (Marvin ‘Krondon’ Jones III) are fighting and Tobias taunts him about getting his family killed and easily beats him. She tells Jefferson he has to put in the work to figure out what this recurring dream means. Jefferson interprets it as he can’t be the man he once was. He doesn’t know who he is now. We switch to illegal live streamed cage matches run by Lala (William Catlett). His right-hand man Devonte (Rafael Castillo) is right beside him. One of the fighters is Marcel Payton (Kedrick Brown). In his office is Lydell Jackson (Kelvin Hair), the 100 member who killed Marcel’s son. He’s on crutches because Black Lightning broke his leg. Lala asks him why he killed the kid; it’s caused him problems with Blackbird. Lydell answers that it wasn’t personal, just business, the kid was collateral damage. Wrong answer, because Lala proceeds to whup his ass and kill him. Lynn (Christine Adams) is in the tub glowing with electrical energy. Jefferson tells her she can electrocute herself that way. She explains that she is experimenting with its healing powers, trying to figure out how it heals Jennifer. Jefferson calls her a weekend warrior fooling around with the different meta powers. She’s not a meta and using these powers can lead to misery. Lynn responds that she’s doing it to protect the girls and she’ll stop if he becomes Black Lightning again. He angrily tells her he won’t be a part of this.
Rebecca Larsen (Amanda Baker) is on her news show reporting on the True Costs of Superheroes, focusing on Jennifer Pierce/Lightning (China Anne McClain). She shows a heavily edited video of Lightning causing heavy damage during the shoot-out. Rebecca asks can Freeland afford the damage the superheroes cause. Lynn and Anissa/Thunder (Nafessa Williams) watch the report and Jennifer joins them. She complains that the video was edited and not showing her saving lives. Lynn and Anissa both agree that she does cause a lot of property damage and Anissa tells her with additional training she can show her how to avoid a lot of the damage. Jennifer counters that Anissa leaves damage in her wake too. Lynn tells Jennifer that bad news like that can’t be fixed. Lauren Caruso (Elena Varela) is giving Peter Gambi (James Remar) a tour of Monovista International’s R&D department. It is an impressive lab, and Gambi is honestly impressed. On the wall are the new advanced DEGs. She tells him the weapons are lethal enough to stop a tank, but with the lower settings, it can be used to stop a common criminal. Jefferson is at Garfield and he sees Marcel. He can see the fight damage on Marcel’s face. Marcel tries to pass it off as an injury from his new job as a bouncer. At the hospital, Anissa is giving the comatose Grace Choi (Chantal Thuy) a sponge bath. Anissa tells her about setting up the safe space for the homeless. She tells her how much she misses her, suddenly some spots appear on her body, and Grace wakes up from her coma.
“Says the woman who leaves giant cracks in the street just by landing dramatically in the street. You can just walk Anissa.” Jennifer Pierce
Jennifer and TC (Christopher Ammanuel) are in the hallways at school. She asks him to find Rebecca Larsen’s address. TC is afraid Jennifer wants to hurt the reporter, but she assures him she just needs to find the unedited footage of the shootout to clear Lightning’s name. TC advises her to let it go but Jennifer tells him she’s doing it to prevent more hostile news against metas. They don’t need more harmful press. Lynn is at her session with the Therapist, she tells her that she’s teaching ‘night school’ since Jefferson’s taking a break from it. The Therapist asks Lynn to tell her about Lynn’s family. Her grandparents, parents and brother were or are still in the military. Because she was so smart, her parents and brother convinced her not to join the family business. She could see all the experiences her parents and brother shared, and it made her feel like an outsider. She now feels the same way again watching Jefferson and the girls sharing their experiences. Lynn realizes that this could be the root to her addictions. The Therapist advises her to own who she is. Jefferson follows Marcel to the fight club. He barges his way in to talk to Lala. He orders Lala to shut it down. Of course, Lala won’t. They watch Marcel try to fight a huge Behemoth (Nick Pulos) who easily crushes Marcel. Lala tells Jefferson to fight or leave, Jefferson wants to fight.
Tobias offers Mayor Billy Black (Reginald C. Hayes) to help build a new hospital for Freeland if he diverts funding from Garfield High to it. The Mayor tells Tobias, he went to Garfield, his kids go there now, Garfield is a public institution that he supports. Regardless on how he acts in public towards him, he knows who Tobias is, and he won’t do anything to hurt Garfield or Principal Pierce. After the Mayor leaves, Tobias’s henchman Red (Matt Roszak) asks if he wants him to kill the Mayor, Tobias tells him not yet. Jennifer is flying in the ionosphere getting high off of absorbing energy up there. Back on the ground, she finds the kid who took the footage of the shootout, Terry Andrews (Tre Stokes). He tells Lightning that he didn’t know that Larsen would distort his footage when he sold it to her. He’ll put it online for a kiss from Lightning, after she displays some electricity from her fingertips, he wisely settles for a selfie with her. Gambi ‘borrowed’ one of the DGEs from the Monovista lab. He asks TC to go over it. Gambi sets the weapon on its lowest setting and shoots at one of Black Lightning’s suits, it blows a big hole in the suit. Jefferson steps into the ring to fight the Behemoth. The big guy has the upper hand at first and beats Jefferson down. Jefferson’s eyes glow, recharged, he gets up and beats up the Behemoth. The crowd watching the fight online goes wild. Jefferson enjoys the thrill of victory.
“But you’re different. You’re not like them. What I need is your superpower Lynn. What I need is you just to be you.” Tobias Whale
Jefferson and Marcel go to Jefferson’s childhood home. Marcel is surprised that a school principal can fight like that. Jefferson tells him that Marcel and his family can live here and that he will put in a good word for him at child services. He hands Marcel his cash winnings, Marcel initially refuses to take it, but Jefferson insists. Marcel hands him some of it as his first month rent. Lynn receives some flowers who she believes are from Jefferson inviting her to dinner. Jefferson stops by the sanctum, being in a good mood in ages. Gambi tells him about the DEGs, Jefferson tells him to experiment with his new Black Lightning suit, he won’t be using it, he’s done being Black Lightning. Jefferson tells Gambi he’s happy because he helped someone just being Jefferson Pierce. His plan now is to try to make things right with Lynn. Lynn shows up at the restaurant, the Maitre d’ (David Vaughn) takes her to her table, instead of it being Jefferson, it’s Tobias. Lynn prepares to walk away but Tobias threatens to tell the world about her families’ extra curriculum activities. He asks her for a favor. A friend of his has ALS, and he will finance her finding a cure for it. Jefferson walks in the house and sees the flowers and invite, he thinks it’s for him from Lynn and heads to the restaurant.
Jennifer walks into the sanctum looking trashed. She tells TC she always feels this way after being in the ionosphere. He suggests that maybe she stop doing it, absorbing that much energy might be bad for her. Jennifer tells him she knows her limits. Just then the atoms in her hand falls apart for a minute. He doesn’t see that, he shows her that he has set up a site for her, Lightning is verified. They look at the unedited footage Terry shot. Jennifer is happy because she can control the narrative now. Anissa walks into Grace’s hospital room with Dr. Darius Morgan (Todd Anthony). He has spent the past few hours getting his license to officiate Anissa and Grace’s wedding. Grace asks about Anissa’s family, she tells her they all have a lot going on, she doesn’t want to wait another minute to get married. So, they get married on the spot. Jefferson arrives at the restaurant and sees Lynn with Tobias, he storms out.
Jefferson and Lynn don’t know who they are. Jefferson keeps refusing to be Black Lightning, blaming his alter ego for the bad things that have happened to him. He keeps trying to do Black Lightning things as Jefferson Pierce, and as Jefferson Pierce he’s much more impulsive and violent than Black Lightning. In this episode he helps Marcel Payton, offering his childhood home for Marcel and his family to live in, and giving him his prize money to help him out. It probably wasn’t a good idea to fight in Lala’s illegal live streamed cage matches, but it seems like he needed to participate in this fight club for his own sanity.
He beat up a brute as Jefferson Pierce, and helped a man as Jefferson Pierce. He can do good as himself, since he spent years not being Black Lightning before, he should have known he could do that already. Clearly Jefferson isn’t thinking straight, but for once this season he felt some happiness. That left after he saw Lynn and Tobias at the restaurant. Lynn is having her own identity problem, dabbling in the meta life style. She realizes in her therapy session that she felt like an outsider with her military parents and brother, and now she feels like one with her meta husband and children. Lynn just keeps trying to fit in and not honor how special she is herself. It was good actually learning something new about Lynn and getting a peak into her psyche. On a sidenote, it’s great that the show has Jefferson and Lynn working with a therapist to help them work through their problems. As black people, we often look astray at someone seeking therapy, feeling like they should talk to a friend, or their pastor, but we should treat our mental health as we treat any other health issue.
Jennifer is in a feud with the media, with its portrayal of Lightning. She does what a lot of celebrities do now and gains control of her narrative with social media. I would have thought a young woman like Jennifer would be more adept in social media. Her flying in the ionosphere is going to bite her in the ass soon. [It happens sooner than I thought.] Grace finally wakes up from her coma and becomes a bride. That was a fast and anti-climatic wedding.
Gambi is working inside Monovista and has access to sabotaging their DEG program from the inside. Tobias makes a move on Lynn telling her he wants to finance her finding the cure for ALS. Lynn and the audience know better. What he wants specifically, we’ll have to find out later.
This episode was a major improvement from the last episodes. The complaints I had about the previous episode were answered. They had humor and humorous situations that naturally fitted the episode. The characters weren’t as gloomy and seemed a little more hopeful. The fight scenes in the cage matches between Marcel and the Behemoth, and especially between Jefferson and the Behemoth were well choreographed and staged. Showing the audience on line betting and cheering the fights made me think of the networks doing some of this while broadcasting games on TV during this pandemic.
I even enjoyed the music more, probably because the episode was better, but I believe the music played a part in its improvement.
“I Want to Take You Higher” Sly & The Family Stone
“True Love Will Find you in the End” Matthew Good
“Wildstyle Scratch Tool” Kev Luckhurst
“Double Trouble at the Amphitheater” Double Trouble
“Watch It Burn” Tasha the Amazon
“Release the Beast” Breakwater
“Mission” Qveen Herby