Black Lightning “The Book of Blood: Chapter One: Requiem” Review
It was a tough pill to swallow when finding out that we would have a week without Black Lightning. One of the few I look forward to most each week from the DC/CW shows. With that said, we’re back in action this week! Fighting for the city of Freeland and its people is easier said than done. Our heroes are always a step behind, they have to keep from fighting each other, and then we have a villain who is not to be underestimated.
I have to say, I was prepared for this week’s episode of Black Lightning to make up for the week we had without it, but I wasn’t prepared for what they were ready to execute with the start of this new chapter. Now before I get into anything else, I think it is time that I showed some appreciation towards the fact that this show is broken into story arcs/chapters. This is what separates Black Lightning further from the others. Having that stronger distinction between storyline and story arc is great for the overall focus. The last episode wrapped a lot of plot points up, but it also paved the way for much more. Much more just so happened to begin with a certain someone put in danger. It was a bold statement to make at the start of this new chapter that no one is safe. Not when something like what happened in the opening scene could happen to anyone out of nowhere.
The big thing this week seemed to be the concept of loss. Everyone handles the idea of this differently. The fear that comes with an unknown fate, the worst possible scenario. This episode being titles Requiem centered a lot of what unfolded around the way that people remember those who they care for most. For Jefferson, it was a big deal to see how he handles this at this stage in being Black Lightning. Although more of the same, you could still see where he has grown in contrast to how he would have handled his emotions before.
While Anissa was making a lot of gambles as a new hero, I felt like this slight change in direction for her was for the best. When she is hit with the realization of mortality, this was the wake-up call for her to understand what she needs to appreciate that’s right in front of her. Invincible is nice, but that isn’t a gift that others can share in. What she was exposed to was the perfect transition into that phase of vulnerability. Everyone has it, and for Anissa that means realizing that there is more than one way to hurt. While this episode didn’t actually dive too deep into this investigation of hers about a man from the clinic, I didn’t mind this since there was much more that would have overshadowed that shocking discovery. With that said, for even Jennifer to understand that same realization was refreshing from the drama of being locked up in the house. That couldn’t only push so long before you risk losing some viewer’s interest along the way. Showing that she can express herself in more than one way was smart character development.
Lynn’s storyline has been a slow-crawl to this point, but I like that this one has been taking time to progress to a moment of climax. Everything that Lynn is working on with Jace is leading to three eventualities. Either the pod kids live, they die, or at the very least half walk away with a second chance at life. When you have that in mind, the suspense is right to take advantage of. I mean, how does someone keep their composure with that kind of weight and responsibility on their shoulders? That alone is what makes Lynn such a strong character as someone who is the most normal in the family.
This new direction for Tobias Whale has been everything that we have waited for the past two seasons so far. It was always one thing for him to work behind the shadows when everyone thought him to be dead, it was another thing entirely when he is now able to walk the streets freely. He proved that he knows how to work the system, how to outsmart his competition, and how to execute plans that take much more than one step. As far as villains go, you have to also enjoy the fact that so much is intellectual about Tobias. The guy knows his stories, and he knows his parables that clearly guide many of his actions. He says much of these things without being over the top either. The pressure that Khalil has been getting from Tobias to step up with more responsibilities has been worthwhile as well. For comic readers, they are more accustomed to it being Syonide who is at Tobias’ side. It shakes things up where not it is Khalil who works at his side and has a lot to prove. When it comes to Tobias and Khalil, I think it was the wise choice that it be Khalil who you sympathize with and not the main villain.
Black Lightning “The Book of Blood: Chapter One: Requiem” I will admit caught me in some feelings. This show gives us real problems, real emotions, real connections that are more than cliche for what we get out of most superhero shows. I wish I could get into much more that happened here, but you likely have or will see for yourself why you should brace for this episode being titled requiem.