Black Lightning S01E02 Recap

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This show continues to emphasise how much the community needs Black Lightning and how Jefferson can’t just go back to his every day life after saving his daughters from Lala. I appreciate that the show didn’t leave the danger that Anissa and Jennifer are in in the first episode and that it’s an on going plot thread. Their status as witnesses does keep them in danger. They’re not safe just because they aren’t captive anymore.

I also appreciate that Jennifer didn’t just go back to school immediately afterward like nothing happened – although Anissa did, but that’s in keeping with her character; she did say she isn’t afraid of The 100 – and that she and her sister were actually portrayed as having been traumatised by the experience. Jennifer started drinking and Anissa was having trouble sleeping to the point that she needed sleep aids. Speaking of which, seeing her take down that would be robber and feel proud of herself was brilliant. Hopefully part of her story arc will be reclaiming her sense of security and personal power.

I’m glad that it was pointed out that Black  Lightning failed to rescue any of the other girls that were at the same hotel and were forced into prostitution. He was there. He could have done something. But he did say later in the episode that he wasn’t out to save the city and only wanted to protect his family. Which I don’t blame him for, but it contradicts his efforts with the school somewhat. That’s an attempt to save the city isn’t it? He was referring to fighting crime as Black Lightning at the time, however.

He did eventually try to help one of the girls in the motel – as Jefferson Pierce – when pushed by her mother to do something. He went to Henderson to try and get the police to do something, but that accomplished nothing since the police had a bunch of obstacles stopping them from getting Lala. They were pretty much powerless to stop him. Until Lawanda, the aforementioned mother of the girl Jefferson tried to save.

When Jefferson confronted her in front of the motel for openly video taping it and calling the press, the one argument he should have used to get her to stop was that she was endangering her daughter. Angering the criminal that has the person you love hostage does not help them at all. He could have – and no doubt would have – killed her daughter or hurt her in some way to get Lawanda to stop. Hell, he would have killed them both. Either way, she would have achieved the opposite of what she set out to do. It seemed, though, that Lala had no clue who she or her daughter was anyway. The girls he has “working” for him are that insignificant. Did I mention I hate him already?

I actually didn’t think that Lawanda was going to be killed. I was so sure that Jefferson would sort out everything he needed to in the forty-eight hours he asked her to give him. That he would somehow work it out and at least those two would be people he was able to save. But she got impatient, confronted Lala and was shot dead. We, the audience, know what kind of man he is and the community knows what kind of man he is. I want say that she should  have known better and not done something so foolish, but she was a desperate mother who didn’t know how to save her child. She tried everything else. Nothing worked. So I can’t blame her.

The silver lining to her death is the fact that because she secretly recorded her confrontation with him on her cell phone, the police had everything they needed to finally nail Lala and put him behind bars. Which led to Tobias paying him a very deadly visit while he was in jail. I expected him to perhaps escape, however, because it felt like he would be a major presence on the show. They got rid of him (and Will, who Lala killed) very quickly. Now Tobias is the only villain left to take down. Jefferson doesn’t know about him yet though.

Another silver lining is that her death lit a fire underneath Jefferson to finally, fully embrace returning to crime fighting. By the end of the last episode I still didn’t really want him to, but the plot forces in this one truly made Black  Lightning necessary to the well-being of the city. It really can’t be cleaned up without him. As Black Lightning or Jefferson Pierce. He said the school wasn’t working to change the community or helping the youth to get out of the cycle of drugs and crime, and I would hate for the she show to downplay the necessity for community outreach in cities like his. I don’t think that they are, however, and that was just Jefferson grieving. I really want this show to portray his efforts as both of his alter egos as worthwhile and necessary.

Someone who isn’t happy about him returning to his superhero duties? Lynn. As she always has. I understand where she’s coming from, but I don’t like how she’s trying to make him change for her. She calls his desire to fight crime an addiction, but we haven’t so far been given any indication that it is. She even went to Gumbi to get him to stop Jefferson from un-retiring. Of course, he isn’t much better because he’s trying to push Jefferson toward crime fighting as much as Lynn is trying to push him away from it. He says it’s up to Jefferson how he uses his powers, but that’s not really how he’s acting.

I do love Jefferson and Lynn’s love for each other. He’s so sweet on her and doesn’t hesitate to tell her how he feels about her. It’s adorable. At the start of this episode I was certain they would get back together before the season is over. Now, not so much.

On the topic of romances. I think that Anissa will end up the same as her parents. She seems to value her work more than her relationship. As for Jennifer, I didn’t care about her getting with Khalil until he straightened her out. He’s a good guy and she actually listened to him. He could be good for her and stop her from engaging in self-destructive behaviours. Which is all we’ve seen from her so far.

Random thoughts:

  1. Why did we get two episode recaps?
  2. I’m with Lala. He doesn’t like Black people.
  3. Jennifer and Lynn really shouldn’t be outside.
  4. I’d send Anissa and Jennifer away too!
  5. I ain’t mad Will’s dead.
  6. I don’t even buy that Jennifer is into this dude.
  7. This lady totally wants Jefferson.
  8. Pretty sure Black Lightning would screw with the elevator if he got in it.

Black Lightning airs Tuesdays at 9PM on The CW.

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About The Author

An avid reader who accidentally discovered her love and talent for writing and has loved movies for as long as she has been watching them. Stumbled into film-making and found her second love because she decided to read for a degree in it on a whim - kind of.