TV Series Black Lightning: Season 2/ Episode 2 "The Book of Consequences: Chapter Two...
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Black Lightning: Season 2/ Episode 2 “The Book of Consequences: Chapter Two ‘Black Jesus Blues'” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

As someone in the pods breaks out, and Tobias begins making moves, Jefferson is forced to face the music at Garfield High School.

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Network
CW
Director(s)Oz Scott
Writer(s)Charles D. Holland
Air Date10/16/2018
Characters Introduced
WendyMadison Bailey
IssaMyles Truitt
MarsellusRalph Wilcox
ZoeAndy Allo

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Getting My Life Back Together: Jennifer, Khalil, Anissa, Grace, Zoe, Lynn, Issa, Agent Odell

Despite Jennifer still being on lockdown, since her powers are out of control, Lynn decides to bring Issa, a 17-year-old boy with powers, home to stay with them. Her argument is, when it comes to Agent Odell, is studying him outside of a lab environment and, needless to say, she slightly comes to regret doing so. If only because Issa has the powers to, if he looks you in your eyes, you will tell the truth.

Which, at the Pierce dinner table, it leads to the pleasantries and general code switching they do with one another being dropped. Yet, despite what happened, Jennifer decides to befriend Issa. Maybe it is because she’d like to move on from Khalil, who visits her and tries to see if she still likes him, or she just wants a friend who understands what she is going through. Especially after the stuff Kiesha said. Either way, it seems both have found someone new who could be of importance – and Jennifer and Issa aren’t alone.

After seemingly dropping her romantic life to get a hold of this superhero thing, Anissa is back on the market and it seems this singer named Zoe has all her attention. Zoe would also like all of her time and seemingly make Anissa a kept woman but you know, Anissa about to be a doctor. So, if anything, she trying to make Zoe her trophy wife. Though, with seeing Grace at a function Zoe has, it complicates things since it is noted that Anissa just disappeared on her. Leaving you to question, are we about to get a lesbian love triangle?

Commentary

Zoe (Andy Allo) talking to Anissa.
Zoe (Andy Allo)

What consistently has to be noted when talking about Black Lightning is representation. Just in this topic alone, we can bring up the Black family and how Issa, even with the issue his family has with him, previously, they sat down and ate together. Making it clear this isn’t a Pierce family, upper-middle-class thing – Black folk in this universe, reality as well, do that in general. Also, you have to appreciate that the young Black women on this show are shown as desirable for either friendship or romantic reasons.

When it comes to Anissa, Zoe, a talented singer, very social, has a thing for Anissa who brings a lot to the table herself. Then with grace, while Grace is a waitress today, based on season 1, we saw how much she and Anissa clicked despite them being at different socioeconomic levels. Also, we get a diverse mix of what it means to be lesbian. Now, one could argue, there are a lot of “lipstick” aka femme lesbians so perhaps this show isn’t as diverse as I, and I’m sure others, may say when it comes to queer women of color. However, as with any representation of diversity, naturally, you can’t cover every last segment of an underrepresented people.

Then with Jennifer, while I wouldn’t consider neither her actress, China Anne McClain nor Anissa’s, Nafessa Williams, dark skin, they are certainly not of a shade which brings their ethnicity into question. With that in mind, having a young woman in her 20s and one in her teens, alongside their characters’ mother on the show, be shown as formidable, caring, desirable, and not just by one but many? Assuming representation matters as much as many a study says, you cannot deny how important it is to see, across multiple generations, Black women who can be everything and more with both strength and vulnerability on display.

Cleaning Up Shop: Tobias, Marsellus

Kara killing Syonide is a blessing and a curse for Tobias. On one hand, she was one of the last people he was truly close to. Yet, on the other, it could be taken as a sign. That may be to become better, stronger, truly reach the next level, he has to trim the dead and life sucking parts of his organization. Hence him killing a crooked cop who worked for him as well as Marsellus. Someone who was there for Tobias a long time but, at this point, has no use in his world. So, his neck gets broken.

Commentary

Marsellus (Ralph Wilcox) talking to Tobias.
Marsellus (Ralph Wilcox)

I don’t know what exactly is in that suitcase, but with Tobias talking like he is about to be on the level of a arms dealer, it seems anyone who could snitch and topple the empire is being killed. Leading you to wonder why is Khalil alive? Granted, he owes Tobias, but with him talking about him behind his back, I wouldn’t say they are chummy. He certainly is no Syonide. If it was a life or death situation, I’d foresee Khalil worrying about himself more so than Tobias. Don’t you?

Because The Balance Was Thrown Off: Jefferson, Napier, Wendy, Lynn, Gambi, Kara

Thanks to a scientist who made a mistake, two pod people get out. One dies but the other, Wendy, gets free and causes low-key havoc. After all, it has been 30 years, her parents are dead, and her neighborhood has drastically changed. Plus, who knows what being in stasis, as she was, for 30 years does on the human mind? Luckily, Gambi is able to track her and Jefferson calms her down and brings her back to Lynn. That’s the easy part of his life.

That hard part is stepping down as principal, letting a white man take over, and be expected by Napier, and the board, to give a 100% endorsement for a smooth transition. Which, as you can imagine, is a bit hard for the ego since Jefferson is very pro-Black. Almost militant, in a way, about it. So his predominately Black school being run by a white man? It makes the idea of leaving his post hard.

Luckily, rather than end up on the unemployment line, he ends up resuming his former position as a teacher. Which, you already know, is likely to be difficult as kids continue to treat him as the principal. Also, it does bring into question whether Kara may show up and perhaps be upset she wasn’t promoted, but that is neither here nor there. It seems she is just trying to get the hell out of dodge.

Commentary

Wendy (Madison Bailey) fighting Black Lightning.
Wendy (Madison Bailey)

I’m ready for the clashing between Jefferson and this new principal. For, again, with how militant he is, and how Black this show is, and how white the board mostly is, you know this dude is going to be qualified to run a school but culturally clueless. Which I’m absolutely here for.

With that said, most of the people frozen in pods are in their teens and I’m sure, little by little, Lynn is going to try to let them out and see if they can function. Which probably will mean, if they didn’t graduate high school, her expecting Jefferson to get involved and be their mentor in some way. Heck, even if they did graduate, now they have to learn how to control their powers for any type of normalcy. Which, considering Lynn got a bit scared just when Jennifer hit her with a zap, I doubt she is going to want to deal with people who might be more powerful than her kid. Much less, have no reason to recoil for they won’t realize, “Oh, I just hurt my mom!”

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Considering therapy and mental health were brought up by Lynn, when it came to Jefferson dealing with his life as Black Lightning, may that be employed with the pod kids? After all, with Wendy having a psychotic episode after no longer being in suspended animation, and one pod kid dying, it doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Also, with the idea of representation in mind, it would be good to show Black mental health professionals.

Highlights

  1. Jefferson’s students using his mantra on him when he looked defeated.
  2. What Jennifer and Anissa bring to the show beyond just being superhuman Black women.
  3. Though Tobias hasn’t felt like the big baddie for a long time, with him cleaning up shop, there is a reason for him to be on everyone’s radar.
  4. The giddiness which has to come with wondering what powers we may see from these pod kids and, if let loose, whether they will side with good or evil.
  5. Agent Odell picking with Lynn remains a serious highlight of the show.


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