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Posted: January 27, 2018 by John Hammond

black lightning episode 1 - dcworld

Before you read on, please be aware that there are SPOILERS in this article.

After a cracking opening last week, this episode has come around quickly, and thankfully so.

As is usual with the CW Series, we open up with a “Previously…” recap of the happenings from Episode 1, you know, just in case you have forgotten what has happened before. If so, then you aren’t watching closely enough ;0)

Once we have caught up with that, we find Jefferson Pierce laid up in bed, suffering from the events that have led to Black Lightning making a “short term” return to Freeland City. We see the electricity running through him, causing such pain that he collapses in the toilet. We also note that there is a news report on his TV that talks of Black Lightning’s return. Lynne, who is upstairs with daughter Jennifer following the events of Episode 1, hears the noise from Jeff and goes to see what is happening. Finding him on the toilet floor, she tells him that he is tool old for Black Lightning, but they also reminisce of past times between themselves. Lynne then blames herself for putting Black Lightning out there again but Jeff disagrees, tells her that Black Lightning is done and that he loves her. Reconciliation is definitely on the cards as they kiss.

A new day and Jefferson is giving a holding a talk to citizens of the city in the school gym. Some aren’t convinced by what he is saying, despite him being a pillar of the community, as well as quoting directly from Martin Luther King. One lady, the Lawanda of the episode title, tells him that The Sea Horse Motel is still open and girls are being taken there to “work”, even after the events from the previous episode. Jefferson asks Detective Henderson if this was true and is, quite obviously, none to happy about it. Lawanda also makes it known that she isn’t too happy that Black Lightning saved Jefferson’s girls but none of the others who are being used to work there. Next up we are taken to Tobias Whale, the orchestrator of all the goings on within Freeland. He seems to think that somebody knows who Black Lightning is. He’s talking to Lala and tells him he wants his people out there figuring out who it is. During this he makes a remark about “darkies” that brings a reaction from Lala about Tobias really not liking black people. Tobias retorts that, no, he loves black people but that he hates people like Lala, enough said. We also hear that, at this moment, Tobias is of the opinion that whoever may be behind the mask is just someone “playing” Black Lightning.

We go back to the school gym and Jefferson and Lawanda are having an emotional heart to heart. Lawanda is talking of her dead husband and how he was a great man and he was killed in the line of duty. She then shows a picture to Jefferson of her husband and her daughter, before stating that her daughter has gone off the rails and is looking for her dad (or I’m assuming someone to almost replace him) but in all the wrong men. Lawanda wants Jefferson to go to that motel and get her daughter back. He tells her he can’t/won’t and Lawanda is of the opinion that, while people will fight for their own, no one will fight for her.

Jeff visits Detective Henderson demanding to know why The Sea Horse Motel is open. He is told that once the crime scene id dealt with there is nothing that can be done. Henderson tells Jefferson that his girls may say that Lala was there, he says otherwise and has others that say he was elsewhere at the time. Jeff asks questions about Will, the lad who was willing to give Jennifer up as one of Lala’s working girls, but he can’t be found, adding to Jefferson’s frustrations of those who kidnapped his daughters still being out there. Henderson promises that something will be done.

Jennifer, who is at home with her mum Lynne, is sat outside the house where she is talking to her friend Khalid on her mobile phone (face-timing I think you kids call it). Jennifer and her mum are being watched/looked after by a couple of police officers in a car, when a young lad walks up, asking if they would like to buy any candy. Jennifer says yes and gets up to see what he has when, all of a sudden, the young lad (one of Lala’s kids), pulls a gun on her and shoots. Thankfully, it’s a toy gun that should a red liquid and acts as a warning to Jennifer. Jennifer is visibly shaken.

We are taken to Lala who is in a car park where he is watching more of his men riding motorcycles. Jeff pulls up in a car and walks towards Lala in a nice slow-mo shot. He warns Lala to stay away from his girls but Lala just gives Jeff a warning that his girls better keep their mouths shut. Jeff makes a step towards Lala but is blocked by 2 of his goons. One of them gives Jeff a punch in the gut that doubles him up. We see Jefferson become consumed with rage and his eyes light up. However, before he takes things further, he gets his powers under control and walks away, telling Lala to not mistake his patience for weakness………….BOY! Lala laughs at being called boy as Jeff walks on.

 

TITLE SCREEN – 13 Minutes in, is that some sort of CW record?

 

Following on from this and Jefferson visits Peter Gambi, tells him where he has been and what has happened. Gambi is of the opinion that Jefferson should bring back Black Lightning and what things he can do to help the city. Jeff tells him that, once he has brought down Lala, that is the end of Black Lightning.

We are taken to a scene, where we find Anissa in bed with her girlfriend, Chenoa. They talk of their relationship, they’ve been together for a year or so, and Chenoa tells Anissa how she needs more than just the wonderful sex, from their relationship; parents never met etc. etc. However, Chenoa agrees, because of previous events, that now is not the time to talk of this. Anissa talks of how she broke the toilet sink (End of Ep 1) and is worried about how it happened after a panic attack. Chenoa says that they will get her help to combat these and they will get through it.

Detective Henderson, being a neighbour, pays a visit to Jefferson’s house. He wants to ensure that his friend and family are ok. They joke about Lynne being there and that they could be close to getting together again. He tries to assure Jefferson that they will get the men that did #the awful things before. One final thing he mentions before leaving is that Lawanda has turned up at The Sea Horse Motel and is taking photographs/filming. He tells Jeff that she could end up getting herself killed if she carries on.

We go back to Lala, who is sitting in a car, music blaring and singing along to it. He is there with a couple of his men who are in another car. They open up the boot to reveal someone tied up and they drag him out on to the floor. It’s Will, the gutless wonder who was happy to let Lala take Jennifer as one of his working girls in ep 1. Lala pretty many blames him, his cousin, for what transpired at The Sea Horse Motel. Without hesitation, Lala shoots him dead, no flinching.

Lawanda is camped up near The Sea Horse Motel where she is talking to reporters, who she thanks for helping to get the word out about what is going on. Jeff arrives to talk to her, trying to make her realise she must stop what she is doing or she is going to get herself killed. She asks the age old question whether he would die for his daughters (which father wouldn’t?). He asks her to give him 48 hours and he promises he will save Lawanda’s daughter from Lala’s men. She grudgingly agrees and stops what she’s doing, for the most part anyway, she still sits across from the motel in her car, just no photos/filming.

Jennifer is sat up on her roof, smoking (what I don’t know), when her friend Khalil arrives to see her. They talk about what happened and about meeting Black Lightning. She says that, trying to look at him, it hurt as it was like looking at a spotlight. Khalil mentions that they have been friends for a long time and it happens that he would like them to be more than that. He asks her to be his girlfriend and she agrees, while he gives her a gift of a necklace. They seal it with a little kiss.

Jefferson arrives home and Lynne is downstairs while Jennifer is on the roof. They talk and laugh and are very glad to be with each. They kiss and Lynne says she wants to take things slowly.

Back at The Sea Horse Motel and Lawanda is still on her stakeout. Lala pulls up in a car and, apologising to Mr Pierce, Lawanda races out from her car, video camera in hand to confront Lala. He wants the camera out of his face and gives her stark warning. Lawanda explains tat she wants her daughter back but, Lala being true to form in this episode, pulls out a gun and shoots her dead. Another one without flinching. The 2 goons he has with him drag Lawanda’s body back to the car and we are shown that, apart from her handheld video camera, Lawanda also had a mobile phone recording things from her car.

Detective Henderson has found Lawanda dead in her car and calls Jeff to let him know. Jeff says nothing, he is shocked/stunned by what has happened. We quickly cut to him talking with Lynne about what has happened to Lawanda. Lawanda’s death has hit him hard and he quickly becomes aware that he could have saved her had Black Lightning been here to. He starts to believe that, as Black Lightning, he could have saved more people. Lynne doesn’t agree but she is reminded that it was her who said that, originally, her powers were a gift, a blessing from God. He states that, as that is the case, he is going to use them and people need to now that Black Lightning is back.

Another school day and Ms Fowdy asks how Jefferson’s girls are. After he answers she also states that, while someone looks out for the girls, someone needs to look out for him and that she is always there if need be. Ms Fowdy, obviously, has a thing for Jefferson.

Gambi then calls Jefferson and tells him that he has found Will. However, he has found him dead in a dumpster. They realise that they both need to get to Lala before he gets to the girls.

Back at the school gymnasium and Jennifer and her friend Kiesha are drinking alcohol, they are rebels after all. She goes to the gym where she sees her, new, boyfriend Khalil working out. He sees she is drinking and doesn’t take kindly to it, grabbing the bottle from her hand and throwing it away. He explains that this is not the way to handle her issues. Khalil is another runner, like Jennifer, and he doesn’t see his life in Freeland, stating that when it comes to it she should be going with him. She says that she sees the world differently now before going in for the cuddle. At Gambi’s tailors and Lynne turns up to speak to him. She wants him to stop Jefferson going out as Black Lightning again but, ultimately, Gambi tells her that the decision is nobody;’s but Jefferson’s himself. She leaves the shop visibly upset.

Straight away we see Jefferson receiving a call from Gambi who tells him that he found a phone on Will’s body and that it contained Lala’s address, which Gambi has on GPS. Jefferson rushes off.

For the first time this episode we then see Black Lightning strutting down the street towards where Lala lives. On entering, he gets rid of anyone who tries to stop him in his tracks and works his way up to the Penthouse suite (Lala lives (possibly owns??) in a hotel?). There, he finds Lala, gives him an almighty beating and, just before he can do further damage, Detective Henderson arrives to arrest Lala. Black Lightning makes his getaway but not before acknowledging the detective.

At the police station, Lala is in an interrogation room when Henderson walks in, giving him the good news that he is busted for the murder of Lawanda as it has been recorded on her mobile phone.

Jeff arrives home where Lynne is waiting for him. He tells her that it’s over and that the girls are safe. She questions whether that was it for Black Lightning but Jefferson says that, maybe, they can learn to live with it. Lynne stands up and walks out saying nothing.

We are returned to see Anissa and her girlfriend sleeping – well Chenoa is anyway. It appears that Anissa can’t sleep so she gets up and visits a nearby pharmacy. As she is picking something up and walking back to the checkout, she finds an armed robbery taking place. Noticing her behind him, the robber faces the gun at her, telling her to get down. Anissa goes in to a full on panic attack. The robber goes towards her as she is clearly struggling to do as he says. Instinctively, she grabs they robber, lifts him up and throws him in the shelving where he ends up out cold.

Jefferson is sat at home, having a drink and looking at digital photos of Lynne through the years.

The final scene and we are back at the police station, where Tobias Whale arrives outside. Someone is waiting for him and he is taken in to the station without issue. Inside, an officer, opens a door to give him access to the police cells. He is shown the cell where Lala is being kept and enters. He shows his disgust that Lala shot someone’s mother (does Tobias have some morals?) and that, as he’s been arrested, he could become a rat. Therefore, Tobias grabs Lala by the throat, holding on and choking him to death. He then casually walks out of the cell.

Episode end.

My thoughts etc

Another solid episode of this new show. I’m looking forward to getting to know the characters more and I hope that over the coming weeks we will learn more and more. I’m certainly looking forward to the development of Anissa and her powers. Tobias Whale, while not a character we have seen massive amounts of, is played so well by Marvin Jones III in the scenes that it isn’t a problem. China Anne McClain, as I said last time, is a super young actress, one to watch for the future. Again, she is great as Jennifer, showing vulnerability as well as that rebel side she has. Cress Williams is great as Jefferson/Black Lightning, absolutely n problem there and I do enjoy seeing James Remar on screen.

The relationship between Jefferson and Lynne is completely believable and you do believe that they are very much in love despite everything. Credit to both actors for that.

I will say that, initially, I wondered how Jennifer and Anissa didn’t realise that Black Lightning was their dad. However, it is then said during this episode (by Jennifer) that, looking at Black Lightning was like looking at a spotlight and it hurt. That sorts that out.

The heart to heart between Jefferson and Lawanda was extremely emotional and Tracey Bonner (as Lawanda) was particularly wonderful. Not just here but in all scenes she appeared in. Scenery chewing I believe they call it.

 

DID I MENTION – TITLE SCREEN – 13 Minutes in. I still can’t get over that.

 

Arrow alert….ish! Jefferson is “not trying to save this city”

The death of Will. A very dark moment and one that shows this will have its violent moments. Gritty stuff.

The Black Lightning strut as he’s on his way to see Lala was aces. With that music it could have come straight for a 70’s flick. Loved it.

As Black Lightning is off to get Lala, the lift attendant (?) suggests he uses that. Black Lightning’s quip about being out of the game for a while and needing the exercise did give me a chuckle.

Anissa after taking on the pharmacy robber. Her initial shocked reaction was well played. What was better though, was her quick turnaround in to a strut with attitude, mirroring that of her dad as he was off to Lala’s. This was brilliant and I think I’m going to love Nafessa Williams in this.

And to finish off the final scene, the slow-mo strut out of the police cell. Hmm, it seems that this episode has its fair share of attitude and the cocky strut. Ok, I’ll take that. For me, a solid 8.5/10

Please, let us know what you think of this episode by either commenting or by replying to our social media posts. I also hope you enjoy reading these.

Cheers, John