In the wake of LaWanda’s murder, the people of Freeland take to the streets in a show of solidarity to reclaim their community.
LaWanda: The Book of Burial
This Black Lightning review contains spoilers. You have been warned.
Black Lighting opens at LaWanda’s funeral service. The pastor praised her resilience and strength. He talked her up as an example for the community. During his sermon he called for a march to be held in protest of The 100. Jefferson and Inspector Henderson try to talk Rev. Holt (Clifton Powell) out of the march, but he pushes back and refuses to cancel the march.
Clifton Powell’s performance during this episode was pretty powerful. The episode really showcased the church’s role in the community as not just a place of worship, but as the cornerstone of their community. Their church is a safe space where residents go to talk about their problems and come up with a plan on how to address them.
This plan pisses off Tobias Whale. Can we just talk about how bad ass Marvin Jones III is as Tobias Whale? In this episode we learned that Tobias answers to Lady Eve. Lady Eve is played by the always amazing, always beautiful, Queen of Philadelphia, Jill Scott. She doesn’t directly question Tobias’ ability to restore order by removing hope, but she challenges him to do so. We discover a pastor ratted out Rev. Holt’s plan to Lady Eve. Tobias assures her he will take of it and walks out with Syonide.
Early on in the episode we see Anissa working on gaining an understanding of how her powers work. She learns the secret to summoning her strength is through her controlling her breath. She meets Grace Choi at a bookstore while she is researching on genetic mutations. She and Grace hit it off after Anissa spots a comic book rolled up in Grace’s back pocket. The comic book is The Outsiders. The two have a relationship in the comics and are members of The Outsiders. I look forward to her reveal just as much as when Anissa finally comes out to her parents about her metahuman abilities.
In order to protect the group of marchers, Jefferson enlists the help of Peter Gambi.This episode begins to unveil your typical superhero technocrap. While this gives more screen time to Gambi, he still feels a bit disconnected from the story overall. What was interesting was seeing Gambi delete Tobias Whale’s image from the video footage of the shooting from the street camera records. We’ll just have to wait and see how the story unfolds. Why did Tobias so confidently state that Black Lightning was dead? What’s the connection between Gambi and Whale? Who is he really protecting?
Overall, LaWanda: The Book of Burial was another really solid episode. The stellar performances from the cast continue. The storyline remains very grounded. Black Lightning is very much a street-level hero. I’m intrigued by the connection with Gambi and Whale. I excited to see if and how Anissa comes out to her parents. When will Jennifer’s power start to manifest? When the hell are Syonide and Black Lightning gonna finally throw down? And if Syonide is supposed to be such a monster why did she miss Black Lightning and instead hit the Reverend? You can’t be a hard ass and be a bad shot at the same time.
What are your thoughts on the episode? Let me know in the comments below.
“Black Lightning” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW or you can watch it for FREE on demand via the CW app available on iOS, Android, Roku, FireTV, Xbox… pretty much everywhere.