After a long holiday break, Black Lightning’s back. We catch up with him as he returns from his time hanging out with some kid named The Flash. Having watched his family burned away by anti-matter, he’s more than a little excited to see that when the Spectre restored the universe, Jefferson’s family came with it. The show doesn’t spend much time on the Crisis, which is appropriate; one of the few complaints I had about the Crisis was how ill-served by it Black Lightning was as both a character and a show.
The team doesn’t have much time for that, though, because Freeland is still occupied by the ASA and supposedly under threat from the Markovians. This week, we’re spoiling Black Lightning Season 3, Episode 10, “Blessings and Curses Reborn.”
“The Book of Markovia: Chapter One: Blessings and Curses Reborn”
This episode might be the most complex of the post-Crisis homecomings. There are four storylines going on; two “A” plots and two “B” plots.
Up at the front are the storylines of the powered members of the Pierce family. Anissa and the Freeland resistance are ready to raid the ASA to rescue the “pod kids,” the teenagers and young adults the ASA experimented on and who have obtained powers as a result.
Jennifer, meanwhile, is in shock after her multi-versal epiphany. She knows that Agent Odell is up to no good, but her mind is spinning, so all she can think is that he needs to die, and die fast (and preferably leaving behind a crispy ash pile).
Between the two is Jefferson, the experienced superhero who has developed a strong code for how he deals with genuine evil like the ASA and Odell.
And the B Plots…
Back behind them is Lynn Pierce. With no powers to kick butt with, the writers saddled Lynn an addiction storyline. This gives actress Christine Adams to do some real Acting, with a capital A, but it’s a pretty weak storyline. I get that addiction is meant to cause erratic behavior, but I keep expecting her to start crying and tell Jefferson that she’s so excited and so scared.
Meanwhile, we find TC, the technomancer who helped Gambi get the info about the occupation outside of Freeland tracking down the very hard-to-find Gambi and breaking into his lair. TC doesn’t have any ill intentions, he’s just a lonely guy who is out of place in the world he now lives in. Gambi welcomes TC with open arms, but TC struggles with all the technology around him talking to him constantly.
Back to the main story
The focus is definitely on the Jefferson women, though.
While the ASA held Jefferson in one of its detention centers, Anissa became a one-woman resistance that helped inspire other prominent members of the Freeland community like Deputy Henderson and Reverend Holt, to begin resisting as well. With Jefferson back, Anissa can’t help but see his intervention as condescending. She has proven that she knows how to work against the ASA time and time again, and doesn’t appreciate her father stepping on her plans.
Jennifer, meanwhile, knows what she needs to do: She has to stop Odell. The only way to stop him, in her view, is to kill him. Jefferson convinces her to drop her ASA-supplied suit and go to check on her mother. An earthquake interrupts them, and Jennifer knows what’s going on. Her friend Brandon is losing control of his powers. Lynn, still in the throes of her addiction, sends her daughter off with the cure but refuses to go with her because she would rather look for her Green Light supply. While she’s with Brandon, the ASA tranqs the two and they wake up in collars in the back of a truck. One of the soldiers tasked with bringing her back is wired up with a mind-control device and orders to kill Jennifer if she resists at all.
Can’t contain her
Black Lightning shows us once again how powerful Jen is. She had a very Dark Phoenix moment when she first put on the ASA uniform and flew up into the stratosphere, and here she breaks out of the collar with what seems like very little effort. A short battle with the ASA soldiers proves that the mind control device probably wouldn’t be very effective on Jen when a few punches manage to deactivate it. The ASA will implant that microchip into someone important like Brandon (almost certainly Brandon) before too long, though. The two finally catch up with Odell, and Jen tries to fry him, but he’s one step ahead as usual. The Odell she’s talking to is a hologram.
Meanwhile, the raid goes off as planned, with Anissa, Jefferson, and the resistance saving the pod kids, and the ASA seems to be getting desperate.
The next steps for Black Lightning
I’m glad the show didn’t make any drastic changes post-Crisis to upset the interesting occupation storyline they’ve been telling. There are a lot of characters and players I’m curious about right now. Where are the Markovians the chapter title mentions? Where’s Lala? I also look forward to the end of Lynn’s addiction storyline. It seems like a go-to storyline that shows like to use when they don’t know what to do with a character; Arrow used it multiple times. It’s not terribly interesting for Lynn and it doesn’t move the show forward in any meaningful way.
Now that Black Lightning is part of Earth-Prime, I hope the show takes advantage of that. The ASA seems like small beans compared to ARGUS, and the pod kids suddenly sit in a different light in a world where Superman and the Flash are real. I would love to see how that stuff affects Black Lightning‘s world and characters. In the meantime, it’s still one of the strongest CW DC shows this season.