“I thought Black Lightning was supposed to be a badass! Or are you just a coward in a costume?” Ishmael
Jennifer “JJ” Pierce/Lightning (Laura Kariuki) is plummeting to the ground when TC (Christopher Ammanuel) contacts her using a regular ear bud. Her suit emits a protective bubble before she hits the surface. Peter Gambi activates the stealth mode on Jefferson/Black Lightning’s (Cress Williams) suit. The police arrive and Ishmael (Rico Ball) uses a force shield against them. An invisible Black Lightning jumps him, and he tells Detective Hassan Shakur (Wallace Smith) to get out of there, the Detective orders his officers to leave. Gambi advises Jefferson to get out of there, Ishmael calls him a coward as he leaves. Grace Choi (Chantal Thuy) jumps out of nowhere and saves Anissa/Thunder (Nafessa Williams) from getting hit. They confirm that both are powerless. Anissa and Grace go back inside Dr. Morgan’s apartment and find the thumb drive he hid. Everyone gets back to the Sanctum, Gambi is busy trying to find out what happened. Shakur calls Jefferson to tell him that Lynn (Christine Adams) was arrested.
Shakur gives Jefferson five minutes to talk to Lynn. She’s charged with violation of civil rights, experimenting on children. Jefferson tells her that the metas have lost their powers. Lynn had Anissa call Keith Michaels (Will Blagrove) to represent her. He tells her they’ll get her out of jail. Tobias Whale (Marvin ‘Krondon’ Jones III) is with his henchman Red (Matt Roszak). Since he’s a meta, he’s also powerless, but Tobias gives him a bracelet that will let him use his magnetic power. Tobias checks it out by shooting at him.
Jefferson doesn’t know how he’ll pay for the attorney, but Anissa will take care of it, using the money she stole from the dealers as Blackbird. Jefferson isn’t happy about it, but no one cares. TC is on a video conference call with Philky (Alexander Hodge). Since he’s lost his power, he asks Philky to decrypt the thumb drive Grace brought him. Philky contacts Khalil Payne/Painkiller (Jordan Calloway) who is crawling inside an air vent. He doesn’t like being in tight spaces, Philky messes with Khalil about being claustrophobic. Khalil is heading towards the office that has Tobias accountant’s ledger. After he jumps down inside the office, some goons show up, he fights them as Painkiller. After an exciting fight sequence, he opens the safe and finds the thumb drive that has the ledger; he also decides to take the cash in the safe.
“So who wants to die first?” Khalil Payne/Painkiller
Keith gets Lynn released from jail, but she must wear an ankle monitoring bracelet. Jefferson arrives and he’s cool towards Keith, who happens to be Lynn’s ex-boyfriend. Back at the Sanctum, TC arrives with the thumb drive that Philky decrypted. None of the women at the clinic had cystic fibrosis, but they did have the meta gene. The genes were harvested for some unknown purpose. They assume that Tobias was behind it. He’s in his office gloating over the cemented body of Lala. Destiny (Teesha Renee) is brought in to see him. Tobias tells her the war with the 100 has ended, he now controls the Kobra Cartel, and he’ll give her a small percentage of the profits. Ishmael is with her, but she finds out that he’s changed sides and now works for Tobias. She knows when she’s beaten and leaves.
Gambi is at home when an angry Lauren Caruso (Elena Varela) arrives holding the Go Board he gave her. She pulls out a pistol, she knows he stole some promethium, and she also thinks he stole her emitter. He convinces her not to shoot him and promises to explain what’s going on. Khalil and Philky go over the info from the ledger, it is Tobias’s payroll. Jennifer is at Anissa’s place; she has taken apart her toaster. She plans on electrocuting herself to jumpstart her powers. If her theory is wrong, she figures that Anissa can revive her. Before Anissa can stop her, Jennifer electrocutes herself and collapses.
Jennifer wakes up with her powers back. She needs more though, so she’s going to the ionosphere to recharge. Anissa tries to talk her out of it, but Jennifer confesses that without her powers, she doesn’t know who she is. She needs to do this to help the family, Jefferson went up there to save her. Anissa asks her what happens if she goes up there and they lose her, Jennifer doesn’t have an answer. Lynn asks Jefferson what’s wrong. He tells her he’s upset that she didn’t have enough faith in him that he could fix this, that he can protect her. Before this can get more heated, Gambi arrives with food. Over dinner, Gambi explains how Tobias used the clinic to take away their powers. Gambi hasn’t figured out how he’s doing it. Lynn realizes this all has to do with Val, she wasn’t there to get tested for her ALS. Tobias wanted a blueprint to produce the technology of a nullifier. Gambi thinks that Tobias has the emitter which is a type of disseminator. Tobias has the ability to nullify meta powers and broadcast it. They must locate the emitter.
Through virtual reality, Tobias meets with a committee of villains called the Shadow Board. He reports that he will be elected mayor soon and he’ll have full control of Freeland. When he does, they will initiate him into the Shadow Board.
“I’m just saying, may…maybe this is a sign. That it’s okay to let Freeland take care of itself for once. It’s fate doesn’t have to all depend on the Pierces.” Grace Choi
Grace can’t believe that Anissa allowed Jennifer to go back up to the ionosphere. Anissa tells her she didn’t allow her to go, she just couldn’t stop her from going. Grace wonders why they should ever want their powers back. It’s been nothing but trouble. Maybe the Pierce family doesn’t have to be the protectors of Freeland. Anissa doesn’t agree with her. Grace wonders how long it will be before their luck runs out. Jennifer flies up to the ionosphere, TC gets in contact with her and tells her to start descending, she’s has recharged enough. She does with no ill effects. The last shot is participles gathered together in the ionosphere.
None of our heroes died! Gambi had installed in their suits a protective bubble for Lightning in case she fell, stealth mode for Black Lightning. Grace showed up out of nowhere and saved Anissa from being hit by a car. All of them, including TC can’t access their powers thanks to Tobias Whale and the emitter. It is broadcasting Val’s nullification meta gene, so all of the metas in Freeland are powerless except Red who is wearing a bracelet that allows him to access his powers. Lynn is released from jail, her ex-boyfriend is her attorney, something Jefferson isn’t happy about. He feels like Lynn doesn’t believe he can help or protect her. With losing his power and this, his ego is bruised. Tobias is busy consolidating his power, as soon as he wins the election, Freeland is his. Things aren’t completely bleak, they are all alive which is good, plus they have Khalil getting evidence to show how Jefferson and Lynn were framed. Jennifer gets her powers back doing stupid things that could have killed her. Gambi and Lynn are beginning to figure out how Tobias took the metas’ powers. So even though they got knocked down, they are still in the fight.
This was a good episode; I was tired of watching the family get out maneuvered and out classed by Tobias nearly every episode. At least they are beginning to see what he’s up to, which gives them a chance to fight back. Tobias has always been over the top, but now he’s cartoonishly evil, watching him manically laughing while talking to his deceased sister was funny. You can tell this show is about over, Krondon can do anything he wants now. The highlight of this episode was Painkiller, his fights are expertly choreographed and fun. Painkiller is a fun character and Jordan Calloway is doing an excellent job portraying both Khalil and Painkiller. I enjoyed watching everyone’s reaction to not having their powers, the only one who thought it might not be that bad is Grace. The rest of the Pierce family don’t see it that way. JJ doesn’t know who she is without her power, Anissa feels duty bound to protect Freeland, and Jefferson feels emasculated without his. I can’t say I agree with Grace, but I see where she’s coming from. Maybe this will remind the Pierce’s of who they really are, even without powers. They are going to need to tap into it to defeat Tobias.
The music list was pretty short, they must be running out of money to buy music rights.
Protect Ya Neck Wu-Tang Clan
Final Thought Kamasi Washington
Lost One Jazmine Sullivan