Black Lightning “The Book of Blood: Chapter Two: The Perdi” Review
Next to Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lightning is the superhero show to anticipate each week for the way that it breaks the mold. This show gives us real problems, real emotions, real connections that are more than cliche for what we get out of most superhero shows. There was no way that you could be mentally or emotionally prepared for the way that Gambi disappeared, half the pod kids died, or the scare that somehow turned Anissa from South Freeland.
This week was a big one when we come to understand that we have only been experiencing one half of a coin. North Freeland was bad enough between the gangs, Greenlight, corruption, and Tobias Whale. It’s crazy to think that South Freeland could be any worse, and the answer is that it can. Everything about this meta screamed horror considering every unknown element about her powers and the way she has pulled control over that part of the city. All we knew ahead of this episode was that Black Lightning and Thunder would return to South Freeland in an attempt to figure out what is going on, only to encounter a clan of mixed-race moonshiners called the Perdi.
Anissa’s second trip to South Freeland was not at all what I expected it to be. From the promo images and what not, I was anticipating something on a bigger scale. I guess the word I was looking for is invasion, but their approach to exploration worked a lot better. I think it made sense that she could travel there and find an actual interaction that didn’t involve being Thunder. This episode was the first time in a bit where we could look at Anissa and see more of the person who she was at day 1. The woman who was quick to worry about the needs of that one individual and go to great lengths to help them. It really got the heart racing as well when there was no telling how any of these new faces would react to her sticking her nose in their business. Things got weird, and that mystery was appealing for the fact that we don’t get many mysteries in general. Not the kind either that are as chilling. Hearing things from the perspective of a Perdi was a strange play on olden times that you didn’t think could exist in a city like this.
Again, this was a unique situation that Anissa got herself in. The battle that came from her involvement was exciting for the kind of power that we are introduced to. Many would screw up with speed effects or effects involving liquids, but they put the effort into making this look as real as possible without being distracting. This confrontation with supers was a milestone as well because neither Black Lightning or Anissa have gone up against this many who could match them on the same playing field.
It was a tough pill to swallow getting back to Lynn’s story. It wasn’t hard to believe that she would fall into a deep depression, and that is the last thing you would want to see from someone as strong as herself. As I said above, human problems like this matter. It shows that no one is invulnerable to mistakes, self-doubt, pity. These are the things that we connect with best, even if the characters are a bit more than average. Speaking of connecting, who managed to help her through this tough time was an excellent choice. Any other time it would have been a poor choice considering the child-like behavior up to this point, so the risk taken was appreciated.
Speaking of human problems, there’s of course the relationship between Tobias and Khalil. That’s hard to overlook when you really sympathize with the kid for what he has now gotten himself into and regrets. I think this is the part where the creatives hit you the hardest because this is not an easy obstacle to overcome. Not for Khalil when they took this opportunity to show us exactly why you don’t want to cross Tobias. One thing I felt as though we never truly were convinced of was the strength of Tobias. In the comics the guy is well-built and the size of a monster. Here you could say he is somewhat imposing, though not close. What action he saw said more than enough to those who would have said otherwise before this week’s episode.
The reveal of Gambi’s fate wasn’t too much of a shocker. I think we all knew how that would eventually turn out. This was a change in direction for Gambi that works because in the process we really came to understand the importance he held to those around him, and that includes the community as well. I wish for this I didn’t have to be so vague, but I feel as though most viewers deserve that chance to figure things out for themselves. Alive or dead, he has an impact on this story that isn’t so easily shaken off.
Black Lightning “The Book of Blood: Chapter Two: The Perdi” really jumps into the kind of world-building that helps you further invest in a show like this. South Freeland opens us up to more creative powers, situations, enemies, and much more that we have the chance to explore further in the weeks to come.