This chapter was refreshing for Black Lightning. It felt like they were trying to give us everything metahuman that they couldn’t before. I can’t argue with the decision they made for this plot, because this was the kind of challenge that avoided plain and simple. No one was prepared for the world they were stepping into. Not for the power abused, and not for the kind of racial war that ran deeper than anyone imagined.
Chapter three wasted no time picking up from where the last one ended. Momentum was what they had and did not let go of this until the very end of the storyline. It was also a bit new that we could jump into a story where the atmosphere was dark and shrouded in mystery. Neither Black Lightning or Thunder knew what they were getting themselves into. They only knew what was right, and that leads to anything goes. Especially for Black Lightning who was following that glob of silver back to the Looker. The suspense was great, as well as the build-up in tension as Jefferson was realizing the kind of people he was dealing with. That made his introduction to the Looker pretty crazy in contrast to others he has met up to this point.
The way they have used the Looker for this story was commendable. I don’t think anyone was really expecting to jump into a chapter in this show where they tackled the line in the sand between black power and white power. You can see where both sides can go wrong in taking that to heart, but it was the Looker who drew that line in the sand where you could only see her as the villain. The back and forth between Jefferson and Looker was memorable for the fact that he was saying exactly what we would if we ran into someone like herself. At the same time she was giving the exact kind of responses that you would expect from someone who doesn’t see where her mindset becomes dangerous. All of this might easily scare away the viewers who can’t handle matters of race, but honestly I’m shocked if they made it this far in the show, only to back out because they can’t handle a little real world trouble.
How this all inevitably led to a fight for possession of both babies created some of the best action sequences of this season. I would have argued that what came of the choreography in the first season finale was going to be hard to top. However, there came this episode which overtook that action and gave us much more. Its fun to be able to see what Black Lightning and Thunder are capable of against a bunch of people who are suped up. They show much less restraint in using their powers, yet they also fight a lot smarter. This goes more for Thunder who showed off moves that you didn’t think she would be able to pull off as someone who at the core is more of a tank in motion. With that said, the same goes for the Looker in what she was able to dish out when it was her turn to show why she is someone to fear. She had the same powers that she gave to others and then some. The difference is the ferocity and fighting ability that really catches you off guard. With some good music set in the background, you probably wanted things to go on a little longer as well.
Anissa really had some great character moments this week too. It goes without saying that for as much ass that she kicks as Thunder, there’s no denying the importance of the times where she’s just speaking as herself. She always knows the right thing to say to people who she is trying to help. That saves lives just as much as her ability to knock people out. That balance is something they should never let go of in my opinion. It matters so much when there is an importance to the person behind the mask.
Every passing week I find myself more impressed by the way that Jennifer has evolved as a character on this show. I will be the first to admit that I was very hard on the way she was written before. Its not easy opening up to the idea of having a young character who for some reason needs to go through that generic teenage drama. I was glad that this was all simply something we had to let play out as she continued making more meaningful connections with people who were able to open her mind to what it means to be loved or different. So far this has particularly showed through the way that Jennifer and Khalil were growing closer. I love how endearing things can be when these two are together. Its as if for that fleeting moment they are the only ones able to escape from the madness of the world around them. This all led to some interesting developments that we would definitely want to see explored in greater depth down the road.
One of the best episodes of Black Lightning if you ask me. They gave us real world problems that we could believe, action that kept you at the edge of your seat, and character moments that emphasized a lot of growth for our heroes. Compared to other DC/CW shows, Black Lightning clearly proves that you only benefit from a smaller cast and villains who do not take up too many episodes at a time. Breaking things down into chappetrs allows for quality storytelling over everything else.