Black Lightning S01E08 Recap

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It looks like everything is starting to come together for the remainder of the season and we’re heading into the final stretch now that there’re only five episodes left. We got a lot of new information in this episode that put most of the things that have been happening throughout the season into context.

Firstly, we need to talk about Gambi. We finally found out why it is that he has been so very, very shady and why he’s been lying to Jefferson for all of this time. In so doing, we learned exactly how he is and was involved with Lady Eve and company, what said company is and what it is they’re doing in Freeland. And I have to say, I was quite surprised.

I never would have guessed that the ASA is a government agency/intuition/organisation or whatever word we want to use to describe them. The point is, they’re part of the U.S. government. Yes, the U.S. government has done some terrible things to the Black community – as one of my friends pointed out, what the ASA is doing is awfully similar to how Reagan flooded Black communities with crack – but I wouldn’t have assumed that this whole thing was caused by the government.

When Gambi met with Martin Proctor and he dropped the bomb that the ASA is dissecting and studying meta-humans in order to make their own and that Freeland is part of that experiment, I thought that that would be the only insight that we got into what the ASA was doing and what they were after. However, it wasn’t. Gambi dropped a whole other info-bomb on us near the end of the episode and it was all thanks to Lynn.

I was weary of Lynn continuing to look into Alvin’s research after the break-in; surely if the ASA went after her once they would go after her again. While we’re talking about Alvin’s research, even though I know that that’s the reason for the break-in, I still don’t buy that it is. I still maintain that the show made no connection between her getting the research and the break-in other than to say that the former was the cause of the latter. There were absolutely no hints that the two had to do with each other.

I thought that Lynn would have still had Alvin’s research since Anissa interrupted the robbery and as far as I can remember, we didn’t see the perpetrators leave with anything in hand. So I was surprised when she discovered that it was missing. Besides breaking into Lynn’s lab and killing David Poe, the ASA was also busy breaking into the lab where Lynn sent the powder sample to be tested. Still, Lynn got a hard copy of the test results. What she discovered was that the powder was a vaccine and that it’s the active ingredient in Green Light. When she went to Gambi for more answers, that’s when the entire truth came out.

The vaccine was made by the ASA to keep the population of Freeland docile in a time of social upheaval in the late 80’s and it inadvertently created metas and killed children. That perfectly explains what happened to the nine missing children and why Jefferson’s brain scans look like those of someone on Green Light. The ASA’s dissection of metas also explains the scene in an earlier episode when Lady Eve was dissecting a live person. Being a mortician would have been a perfect cover for Lady Eve experimenting on the dead, or living in that one case.

We also now know why Gambi was playing both sides of the field; he was Alvin’s source and leaked the information to him and was therefore responsible for his murder. All of these year’s he’s been protecting Jefferson from the ASA so that they wouldn’t find him and kill him. Here I was beginning to think that he didn’t actually care about the people on either side, was solely on his own side and was just doing whatever it took to get research on meta-humans.

Elsewhere in the episode Jefferson was busy training Anissa and the two were hard at work trying to clear Black Lightning’s name for Lady Eve’s murder. During said work, they did two things that I thought were stupid and risky; not wearing disguises and not wearing gloves.

Even if he couldn’t be seen as Black Lightning since the police were after him, he still should have hidden his appearance somehow. Sure, the writers didn’t write for them to get caught or anything, but Jefferson and Anissa still need to act like sensible people even if the plot doesn’t call for them to be found out. They don’t know that they’re the protagonists in a TV show. If that one guy hadn’t been blown up by the gun used to kill Lady Eve, he would have seen Jefferson’s face.

Speaking of, my first thought when Jefferson called Henderson to alert him to the burial site of the assassins and the weapons, my first thought was that he couldn’t leave the area before Henderson got there in case someone else showed up to get rid of the evidence. And someone did! Thankfully Jefferson was smart enough to stay close by and watch and wait for Henderson’s arrival. Regardless of if Jefferson and Anissa were there, though, that guy would still have ended up accidentally blowing himself up. Had Anissa not be there…Jefferson would be dead. Am I the only one who was elated by how excited by and proud of Anissa Jefferson was for saving his life? His energy was infectious.

Unfortunately for Jefferson and Lynn, just when they accepted that Anissa has powers and wants to be a superhero, they now have Jennifer’s powers manifesting to deal with! Poor Lynn has to go through this three times! At least she accepts it exponentially faster with each successive one. When Keisha started climbing that scaffolding I knew immediately that Jennifer’s powers were going to manifest. I’m surprised that they did. I wasn’t expecting her to get her powers until the next season.

The return of Lala has been strange to say the least. The man is actively having conversations with a hallucination of Lawanda who seems to be a manifestation of the worst parts of himself. The Lawanda he sees is not the Lawanda we saw before he killed her. The shower scene between the two was incredibly weird, made even weirder by the fact that she called him “baby” and they kissed. I have no idea what’s going on with that story line, but we’ll see I guess.

Random thoughts:

  1. “Kung Fu Fighting” song.
  2. Anissa’s power is so inconvenient.
  3. They really should be using gloves for this.
  4. Okay, but. Even if Black Lightning never killed anyone, that’s still no reason why the coroner wouldn’t or shouldn’t know the wound pattern of being struck by lightning. Anissa and Gambi certainly did.
  5. Lala done lost his mind.
  6. This is clearly the white church.
  7. Gambi gave himself away! His choice of words was designed to make Lynn put two and two together!
  8. Drinking beer and eating carrots. So contradictory Jefferson!
  9. I laughed so hard when Anissa asked Jennifer if she was pregnant.

Black Lightning airs Tuesdays at 9 PM 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.