Black Lightning is recruited to rally against The 100 gang while Anissa investigates the new drug hitting the streets.
This Black Lightning review contains spoilers. You have been warned.
This week’s episode of Black Lightning opens up with Jefferson walking into Garfield High while a student is in the bathroom seemingly screaming in pain. It turns out that the student, Bernard, is not in pain, but having a reaction to a drug he took called Green Light. Apparently, the drug gives the user some extraordinary strength, because Bernard yanks a urinal out of the wall and launches it at Jefferson’s head. Here’s to hoping whoever used it prior to that flushed after they were done. Jefferson is forced to use his powers to subdue Bernard. This knocks Bernard unconscious and Jefferson discovers a bag of the drug in his pocket.
Anissa is driving to Garfield when she spots two of her students chatting it up with a couple drug dealers. She tells the girls to get in the car and proceeds to step to the drug dealers. One of the dealers flashes a gun and the other calls her a bitch. The smirk on her face says it all as she hops back into the car. Anissa takes care of them later in the episode.
Jefferson and Gambi talk about the incident from earlier on in the day involving Bernard. Gambi tells Jefferson he’ll reach out to his contacts. Jefferson tells Gambi he’s going to check the streets to see what he can find out. He believes The 100 is responsible for the new drug and wants to work his way up the hierarchy. Jefferson starts with a low-level dealer who dimes out Two Bits as the guy he’s working for.
We then are taken to a funeral parlor where we see Lady Eve and Tobias catching up. Lady Eve is embalming a (OMFG!! live?!) body while questioning Tobias’ ability to lead. We learn Tobias is a failed or disgraced politician turned crime boss. Lady Eve tells Tobias that he “lied on his resume” when he said he killed Black Lightning. She said Tobias is making too much noise and drawing too much attention to them. She also said he needs to take Black Lightning out and to make it happen quickly. Lady Eve is mean as hell and Jill Scott is amazing in this role. This scene was both disturbing and fascinating.
Jefferson and Kara have a meeting with Bernard and his father. Bernard’s father tells Jefferson they received an email from the board saying Bernard was getting expelled. This appears to be news to Jefferson. Kara seems to be in the know. Not sure why they didn’t discuss this prior to the meeting. We see the first glimpse of the power struggle between Jefferson and the board. Not too dissimilar from the struggles Tobias is having with Lady Eve and her business associates. Jefferson tells the father Bernard was not going to be expelled, but he needs to know where the drugs came from. My favorite line from the episode comes from Bernard’s father when Bernard tells Jefferson he’s not a snitch. “Yes. Yes, you are. Tell him.” Turns out the ratted-out dealer overdosed on Green Light. Jefferson decides to follow his other lead, Two Bits. He and Two Bits grew up together.
Tobias pays a visit to the medical examiner who confirmed Black Lightning’s death nine years ago. The medical examiner says he thought the body he saw was that of Black Lightning and his boss put the body in the crematorium. Tobias tells the medical examiner he is “owed” a death. We then see Tobias’ boy slap on some brass knuckles and go to town on the M.E. in order to secure that debt.
Jefferson pays Two Bits a visit. He asked him to stop selling Green Light. Two Bits refuses, so Jefferson exits and comes back as Black Lightning. Two Bits gives up the information Black Lightning asks for after some negotiating.
Jefferson takes this information to stake out the distribution center. He discovers that Gambi has outfitted his goggles with some sort of “electrical vision” nonsense. Jefferson leaves his post, though, when he hears a loud boom. The loud boom turns out to be Anissa putting super-powered boots to homophobic asses. When he arrives the parking lot is empty. Gambi, however, goes to the scene to investigate. He finds a boot print Anissa left behind deep into lot’s pavement. Typical Gambi, it appears he knows something.
Tobias’ sister rolls into town and walks in as he is plopping in a live rat into a tank full of piranhas. Together the two plot about how to kill Black Lightning. It appears they agree that one way to at least weaken Black Lightning is to damage his reputation within the community. She believes Khalil is the best way to begin laying the seeds. Tobias tries to butter up Khalil by sending him gifts and paying his medical bills. Tobias pays Khalil a visit. He tries to convince Khalil Black Lightning is the one to blame for his current situation. He said it hurts him to see the once star athlete now paralyzed. Tobias offers up guidance to Khalil to help him “kill his pain.”
Overall, the episode was a decent one. I can appreciate the writers addressing real world problems such as drug abuse. This episode bounced around a little too much for my liking. I also feel like the Green Light storyline was shoehorned in simply for social commentary. Reminds me of when Arrow was clumsily tackling drug abuse problems back in the early seasons. Black Lightning addressed it in a more grounded way, but, let’s be real, Green Light is nothing but cut Mirakuru.
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.