Black Lightning “Black Jesus” Review
Each week of Black Lightning has been just as powerful as the next. I remember someone telling me that an episode had little action, and I couldn’t help but tell that person, “That should never be a problem”. This is a show where it is not just up to the hero to stand up to the corruption, but the people who they protect as well. When a community tries to take the power back from those who make their lives unsafe, the events of last week’s episode will sometimes the outcome. But that’s not where the fight ends either, that pushes people to realize what is truly at stake which hopefully we would see more of this week too.
This week the madness continues on the streets of Cleveland, Ohio. Tonight’s episode was special for the fact that the situation at hand created our first superhuman occurrence. Not the kind you would expect from those like Pierce and Anissa either, and that is what made this new drug hitting the streets a point of interest. Pierce needed something solid to start going after, so this was a good start. Not to mention the proper motivation for Pierce to continue taking his work as Black Lightning seriously. This change in him since accepting that the community needed him was exactly what you were waiting for. There may not currently be anyone to challenge Black Lightning in terms of power, but we can still wait for that. Right now is the time we have to soak in the fun that is him making his presence known to those who aren’t taking the stories seriously. At the same time, the balance between his life as Black Lightning and a principal was more noticeable this episode as well. This fight of his is on more than one front, and not every situation he could zap his way out of.
Speaking of changing things up, the further involvement of Lady Eve has been quite the twist in the underground. Tobias was already someone who could put fear into others through being hands on. But with that said, Lady Eve quickly challenges what makes a villain truly intimidating. Not only for the way Tobias answers to her, but for the distressing presence she carries. As you can see in the picture below, that’s not the way you might picture conversing with someone in polite company. That scene was completely disturbing, and I could only wish to know exactly what was going on. Tobias now coming to terms with Black Lightning living was good for breaking out of the shell that is him working from behind the scenes. Taking a more active approach in taking out Black Lightning pushes him into a position where he is willing to go to great lengths to save his reputation.
It is fun following the evolution of Anissa after discovering her powers. To say that the way she goes about her daily life has changed is an understatement. Her actions are more direct, there’s an air of confidence around her as well. You would only hope that there isn’t too much confidence that would make her feel invincible. For the molding of Anissa into a hero, it made sense that she would find trouble along the way. All that power has to come with responsibility. Particularly for someone with superhuman strength. That kind of rush is not something you can easily control in the heat of the moment. Right now her growth is real and I do look forward to the idea that they will keep pushing her.
Jennifer on the other hand was a heartbreaking story to follow. I remember in the first episode when I was a little skeptical about how they would use a character of her age. While I’m glad they took her perspective to show the harsh realities of the world, that certainly did not make things easier. It feels like they might be trying to mold a hero out of tragedy, and if they are its hard to argue that they are on the right track so far. Till then, it feels engaging how she is trying to comfort Khalil. He as well is taking on a bigger role that is better than simply being the boyfriend.
Not everyone can be saved, and that was the big message of Black Lightning “Black Jesus”. Characters are making moves here, and not all of them are without consequence. Actions get results, but I stand by the appeal that Black Lightning has for not relying on it too heavily. Again I am enjoying the story they are willing to tell without pulling punches. Corruption runs deep, it takes new forms, it evolves. This is more than you will get from your meta of the week or new drama dragged from the past.