They were here! Dad, I swear!” Anissa/Thunder (Nafessa Williams) tells her father, Jefferson/Black Lightning (Cress Williams) as they check out a now empty facility where Anissa earlier found rows of young people in pods. These young people were the children that Peter Gambi (James Remar) turned over to the ASA 30-years prior. Gambi thought they were dead but they were actually in suspended animation. Black Lightning scanned the floor and could tell large objects were dragged out. Suddenly, armed agents attack them. This was one of the best action sequences so far. It was awesome seeing Black Lightning and Thunder fight together as a team. We can tell their off-camera training sessions have paid off. Black Lightning flipped Thunder into the air and she pounded the floor causing an earth-shaking tremor. Thunder used her invulnerability to shield Black Lightning from a hail of gun-fire. They mopped the floor with these guys. As alarms blared, Anissa made an exit for them both by running through a brick wall.
I was happy to see the return of one of my favorite Freeland denizens, Frank “2-Bits” Tanner (Jason Louder). I wondered what happened to my main man, after his hilarious failed selfie attempt with Black Lightning several episodes ago. 2-Bits was on the street selling bootleg DVDs and baby clothes when he spots a young girl, Neema (Kat Logan) taking the “Green-Light” drug from a pusher. 2-Bits was dumbfounded as Neema glowed for a second, then she is stunned with a Taser and taken away by men in a white van. In a later scene, Black Lightning and 2-Bits meet in an alley. Black Lightning asks him if he’s seen or heard of any large trucks moving large electrical equipment around. Black Lightning is trying to find the missing pods from earlier. Suddenly an air-conditioner crashes a few feet away from them. When they look up they see a woman (Nikki Nicole Dillard) at a window. She says “Damn. I almost got you. I’m sorry Black Lightning but you worth a lot of money.” Next, she drops a microwave. Thankfully her aim was off. 2-Bits explains that the bounty on Black Lightning for the murder of Lady Eve has doubled. 2-Bits believed that Black Lightning was innocent. The rest of Freeland may be a little harder to convince.
Based on information from 2-Bits, Jefferson decides to keep Jennifer (China Anne McClain) home from school until he can figure out what’s going on. He tells Anissa to babysit her. We know how that’s going to turn out. The sisters get into a heated argument as Anissa tries to convince Jennifer to use her powers. All Jennifer wants is to be normal. Anissa hits below the belt when she tells Jennifer that she turned her back on her now disabled boyfriend Khalil. That pushed Jennifer over the edge and her body erupted into a whirlwind of lightning which burned up the couch pillows.
Later, Lynn (the divine, Christine Adams), attempts to do an MRI on Jennifer at her lab but the machine continually malfunctions. It turns out Jennifer’s cells are generating energy which caused the interference with the MRI machine. Lynn goes on to say that Jefferson is like a battery. He takes electricity from a source and channels it while Jennifer produces electricity. We’ve seen Jefferson run out of power a couple of times, I’m betting Jennifer will juice him up regularly.
What juices me up are the wonderful family moments. Jefferson comforted/encouraged Jennifer that she can have the life she wants if she learns to control her powers. This lifted the brooding and Jennifer responded in her usual jocular manner by asking him how does he use the bathroom in his super suit. Jefferson erupted into laughter and so did I. Kudos to the writers and actors on the believability of their relationship. I do hope for a slow build to Jennifer joining the Pierce family crime-fighters-club. Jefferson goes to see Lynn at her lab. She tells him to reconcile with Gambi because he needs him, but Jefferson adamantly refuses. He tells Lynn that he now has electric-vision which lets him see through things. Lynn playfully asked if he could see through her clothing. He playfully responds that he can. Their chemistry is off-the-charts. I love the way they love each other.
In the absence of Tobias Whale, a new big-bad is climbing up the charts. Tonight, the recently returned from the dead, Lala (William Catlett) was reading “The Egyptian Book of the Dead.” Sitting next to him was his cousin, Will (Dabier), whom he killed many episodes ago. The kicker is only Lala can see him. To his henchmen, Lala is losing it. His thugs are having trouble selling drugs because everyone wants Green Light which is no longer being made courtesy of Black Lightning and Thunder. One thug gets in Lala’s face and refuses to sell common street drugs. So what does Lala do? He rips off the guy’s ear and kills him with his own gun. The ghost-like Will asks what will Lala do when Tobias returns. Lala responds that he will kill him and take over the 100-gang. Oh Yeah! A big-bad confrontation is coming. And Tobias had better watch out. Lala gave up his own mother as collateral to get a large number of drugs from his supplier to push on the streets. Not to mention, when another dealer pulled a gun on Lala and tried to shoot him, the gun misfired twice. Will asked Lala how did he know the gun would misfire, Lala, responded he didn’t. I’m sensing some new abilities manifesting here. Lala is one bad dude.
Speaking of bad dudes, Gambi is as slick as they come. Martin Proctor (Gregg Henry) and his agents show up at Gambi’s tailor shop. Gambi pulls guns on them so quickly, it would’ve made John Wayne proud. Proctor tells Gambi his men will shoot innocent civilians if he doesn’t come with them. Gambi knows Proctor isn’t bluffing and goes with him. What comes next is shocking. Gambi’s interrogation is very brutal. It’s something right out of the Guantanamo Bay handbook. Proctor’s men beat Gambi to a pulp. Proctor demands answers about Gambi’s connection to Black Lightning but he remains silent. Next, they water-board him. Gambi still refuses to talk. Proctor questions why did Gambi stay in Freeland after he left the ASA 30-years ago? Proctor also asks why did he raise Jefferson Pierce? Jefferson is the son of the man killed for investigating the ASA. Proctor tells his henchmen to bring Jefferson there. Bad idea fellas.
Proctor’s men drag Jefferson out of a mentoring session he was having with Malik (Caleb Thomas). Proctor is absent, so the henchmen are running the show. Once Jefferson see’s the subjugated Gambi, curled up in a puddle on the floor, he realizes everything Gambi has done was for his protection. Immediately he forgives Gambi. When the henchmen threaten to shoot Jefferson in the head, Gambi nods… Jefferson’s eyes light up, then the room goes dark. With the last reserves of energy, Gambi kills both of the henchmen before collapsing into Jefferson’s arms.
Jefferson gets Gambi back to the tailor shop. Gambi tells Jefferson to go into hiding. Jefferson responds by moving Lynn and the girls into the house he grew up in. Not the most inconspicuous place to hide but… it is home.
Another SAY WHAT? happened at the very end of the episode. Gambi told Jefferson if he finds the spotter (ASA person that turns meta-human kids in), he’ll find Neema. We learn who the spotter is… Vice Principal Kara Fowdy (Skye P. Marshall). Who knew? I didn’t see that coming. Proctor tells Ms. Fowdy that Jefferson is Black Lightning and she tells Proctor that she can take him down. We do see her vacillate for a moment. I do wonder if Jefferson and Ms. Fowdy had some type of romantic connection in the past. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
This episode gets a BIG THUMBS UP from me.
Let me know your thoughts.