Black Lightning: Turning the Tide

Black Lightning | Season 4 | Episode 12 : Crossroads
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For a quick read, go to Review. For a complete summary, go to Recap.

KBear Recap [Read  time: 5-7 min]

“Being a superhero sucks!” Jennifer “JJ” Pierce/Lightning

Jennifer “JJ” Pierce/Lightning (Laura Kariuki) is in her room mourning Uriah. Jefferson/Black Lightning (Cress Williams) tries to comfort her. She tells him that she’s afraid to be Lightning because of Ishmael’s threat. Jefferson tells her that Freeland needs her. He tells her about watching Tobias kill his father. This is the first time he’s told her or Anissa about this. It encourages her to go on. Lauren Caruso (Elena Varela) asks Peter Gambi (James Remar) to fill her in on what’s happening, she reminds him she can keep a secret. He tells her he can’t because it isn’t his secret to share. Lauren hacks into the Monovista servers. They find where Monovista is keeping the stolen meta genes. Anissa/Thunder (Nafessa Williams) wants to take down the building, Gambi is going to look for a nasty virus he keeps on an old laptop to take out their servers. Red (Matt Roszak) brings Jefferson dad’s deed to Tobias Whale (Marvin ‘Krondon’ Jones III). They just need Jefferson’s signature.  Tobias receives a VR call from the Shadow Board, they won’t make him a member because he didn’t get rid of Lightning. They underestimate Tobias to their own peril; he sends one of his henchmen with meta powers to kill a Shadow Board member. Tobias tells them that was a meta power, he can grant who has them and take them away. He makes the Shadow Board bow down to him and pledge their loyalty. After he turns off the VR call, he tells Red it’s time to rid the world of Jefferson Pierce.

<span style="color: #993300;">DC TV Black Lightning Statue</span>
DC TV Black Lightning Statue

Gambi removes Lynn’s (Christine Adams) ankle monitor and fakes the signal to make it look like she’s at home. They discuss finding the emitter. Since all the promethium in Freeland is covering its signature, Lynn comes up with another way to find it, trace Val’s meta signature. Jefferson walks in with an idea, since they are in danger from Tobias because he knows their secret identities, instead of killing him, he’ll erase Tobias’s memory. Chief Ana Lopez (Melissa De Sousa) calls Detective Hassan Shakur (Wallace Smith) to her office, she shows him the meta boosters and orders him to distribute them to the meta task force. He objects and tells her it’s a bad idea. Shakur gives us some backstory on Lopez’s hatred of metas. Her husband developed meta powers and killed her brothers. Shakur reminds her that her husband was a good man before the meta powers and would she want to risk that happening to her officers. Lopez changes her mind. Khalil Payne/Painkiller (Jordan Calloway) is driving Looker (Sofia Vassilieva) back to Freeland. Looker is being annoying, and Painkiller wants to kill her. Khalil warns her to shut up.

“You dangerous. Let’s dance!” Khalil Payne/Painkiller

Jefferson calls Tobias and tells him he’ll sign over his father’s house. They agree to meet at the house. Jennifer wants to go back up to the ionosphere to charge up to fight Red. TC won’t be involved with this, he asks her is this about justice for Uriah or revenge. He reminds her that there is a difference. Lauren meets Lynn who explains how they can find the emitter using Val’s meta gene. Lynn tells her that since Gambi trusts her, she believes she can trust Lauren too; she tells her that her family are metas.

Ishmael (Rico Ball) stops the van Khalil is driving. Painkiller fights Ishmael, Ishmael puts up a good fight, but Painkiller leaves his venom on the hilt of Ismael’s sword to kill him. Gambi makes Jefferson the device to erase Tobias’s memory. Gambi warns him he’ll only get one shot at this. Jefferson tells Gambi he wants to meet Tobias alone, Gambi doesn’t think that’s a good idea. [Duh] Anissa is with Grace Choi (Chantal Thuy). She wants to tell the mothers what happened to their babies. Grace talks her out of it, she knows what it’s like to feel powerless. She believes they should let these women have their happily ever after lives. Jefferson brings Lynn his updated will. He apologizes for everything they’ve been through. She is glad they’ve had the life they’ve had, with them saving the world and he the metaverse. Grace and Anissa are in the Monovista facility, Anissa sets the charges while Grace infects the mainframe with Gambi’s computer virus. The building goes down, mission accomplished.

“No one really gets the fairy tale they imagined, but I really love the one that I made with you.” Lynn Pierce

Khalil hands Looker over to Shakur and Special Agent Kevin Mason (Jamal Akakpo), she will inform on Tobias, clearing Jefferson and Lynn. Painkiller tries to get Khalil to drive over to Freeland. He won’t of course, he knows Jennifer will be better off if he doesn’t. Of course, she isn’t better off, because Lightning is back up in the ionosphere. Once she recharges, she flies down to fight Red. When she confronts him, it looks like her power is fritzing out again, but she’s only playing possum. She lights him up and he surrenders. TC asks her what she’s going to do, she delivers him to Chief Lopez with a thumb drive around his neck proving he killed Uriah. Lopez draws her weapon and snarls at Lightning that she’s going to hunt her down and wipe out the meta filth. Lightning asks her if she wants to be a hero or a villain. Lightning knows which she is. She also tells the Chief the world is watching, she’s recording this.

The recording of Chief Lopez is played over the internet, the squad room is listening. Lopez loses it, she takes a meta booster to hunt Lightning. Jefferson meets with Tobias. He tries to use the memory wiping device but fails. Tobias beats his arse. He tells Jefferson that he killed his father here. Jefferson tells him he saw him do it. Tobias laughs and tells him he’s going to kill him the same way and begins to stuff paper down his throat. Jennifer is eating a snack when she gets a call from Jefferson’s phone. It’s Tobias calling her, and he shows her a picture of a beaten Jefferson. He tells her Jefferson’s is dead.

KBear Review [Read time: 1-3 minutes]

Jefferson comforts Jennifer over Uriah’s death and tells her that he saw Tobias kill his father, giving her the strength to continue being Lightning. She takes down Red and turns him over to Chief Lopez. Detective Shakur is able to convince Chief Lopez not to distribute the meta boosters to the Meta Task Force, but after Lightning records her threatening and slandering metas; the video is distributed on the internet. Lopez loses it and takes a meta booster to go after Lightning herself. Lauren hacks into the Monovista main frame, they find out where they are keeping the stolen meta genes, and the info on their research. Anissa and Grace use a computer virus Gambi gave them to wipe out the info from the Monovista mainframe, and they bring the building down with explosives. Tobias is denied membership to the Shadow Board so he stages a coup and takes it over. Lynn figures out a way to track the emitter using Val’s meta signature so Gambi introduces her to Lauren. Lynn finally fills in Lauren what is happening, that her family are metas and they are trying to take down Tobias. Khalil turns over Looker to Shakur and Agent Mason, she will testify that Tobias paid her to control people to frame Jefferson and Lynn. Also, Painkiller fights and kills Ishmael. Jefferson gets the bright idea to try to wipe Tobias’s memory of the Pierce family identity. Gambi makes a device to do it and volunteers to go with Jefferson to the meeting, Jefferson wants to go alone because this is between him and Tobias. Jefferson gets his arse whipped for his trouble and Tobias calls JJ on Jefferson’s phone and tells her he’s dead.

Just like the family didn’t die at the end of episode nine, I don’t believe Jefferson is dead. They aren’t going to kill the show’s protagonist and have him watch his family defeat Tobias in the ancestral plane. The writers would have to be braindead to do that. Jefferson’s plan to wipe Tobias’s memory was dumb, and him not taking Gambi or anyone else with him to fight Tobias was dumber. Maybe Jefferson is braindead. Aside from Jefferson’s defeat, everyone else in the family scored major victories, Anissa and Grace destroyed the stolen meta genes and the research on it in one fell swoop. JJ defeated Red and turned him into the police. She also recorded Lopez threatening metas and denigrating them, turning Lopez into a joke. Lopez is gunning for her now using the meta boosters, but I don’t believe she offers a real threat. Lauren finally knows everything and is in the inner circle. With her and Lynn working together, they have a way to find the emitter and put it out of commission. Jefferson and Lynn have a real discussion before Jefferson goes to meet Tobias. Jefferson apologizes for what he brought to the family, but Lynn finally admits what he brought was actually great. They finally are on the same page and show the love for each other that has been missing this season, it was a heartfelt scene. Finally, Khalil and Ishmael fought, and the fight didn’t disappoint. I wish that it had been longer, but aside from length, it was a well-staged fight. A very enjoyable episode overall. There was a lot going on, but the episode was well paced. I hope it sets up hope for an enjoyable finale.

 Excellent song selections that really went to the heart of the episode.

In the Rain The Dramatics

Outta Here KRS-One

Drop A Gem On ‘Em Mobb Deep

Paper Thin Lianne La Havas

If I Should Die Tonight Marvin Gaye

Sing to the Moon Laura Mvula

Little Ghetto Boy Donny Hathaway  

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