What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Black Lightning “The Book of Markovia: Chapter One”. This show here is the one I was looking forward to more than any of the others since the conclusion of Crisis on Infinite Earths. What personally disappointed me about this crossover was how this event focused on so many heroes, and yet Black Lightning felt more like a guest appearance. The only big time hero involved with his own show and they couldn’t even take ten seconds to SHOW how his world is now one with the rest of the heroes? We really had to wait till this episode here to find out how Jefferson adjusts to this new reality.
That said, it was always going to be exciting jumping back into this story which continues to grow in intensity with each passing episode. Everyone is fighting for something, and everyone has something significant to lose if they don’t get their way. For the Pierce family in particular this is a house divided, and you want to see them make it out of this in one piece, because right now? They are headed for ruin if they can’t get on the same page about what needs to be done to fight for the soul of this community.
Before that, of course there was one thing more important than anything else. That being the navigation of this new reality for Jefferson and Jennifer. As much as we want to jump back into the thick of this plot, there was nothing more important this week than emphasizing how the Crisis has even changed things in Freeland. Now this isn’t to say that the conversation about it wasn’t brief, or that the changes weren’t as heavy as in other shows, but just knowing is the best you could ask for.
If there was one character who impressed me more than the others, it had to be Jennifer. It goes without saying that she was on a questionable path since she initially got herself tangled with Odell. She had all the best intentions, yet did not know that the enemy was also the people she was fighting alongside of. For everything Jennifer experienced due to the Red Wave, it was smart that this played a big role in where she set her mind next. If she still remained who she was before? This would have been a problematic storyline instantly. I mean, everything we saw up to this point gave us the impression that nothing changed. Yet that was far from the case once the episode actually aired. Overall, it was thrilling seeing someone who has been pushed to that point where they would make such a move to cut the snake at its head.
As for her relationship with Brandon? There wasn’t actually too much of that, which didn’t bother me one bit. Personally, I would rather see these two be heroes, rather than be thrust into romance.
While I did mention a house divided. things actually got better with this return. Not perfect, but things definitely got better which was never asking too much of these characters. It was cool to see Black Lightning and Lightning suited up and knowing who their enemy was. Even better when you have Black Lightning and Blackbird taking a more militant approach towards reclaiming their city, and freeing their community. This is not to say that there wasn’t some unfinished business between Jefferson and Anissa to get through, but there was no better time than now before the stakes got any higher.
One of the best takeaways had to also be the confrontation with Lynn over her addiction. This was a long time coming, and I’m glad that they wasted little time getting into this. How the scene played out made you no bigger fan of Lynn, but there was an appreciation for giving everyone else a reason for why this wife and mother has been so cold and neglectful to her own family. While things are left up in the air by the end of the episode, I side with many viewers who would like to see this ultimately lead to Jefferson moving on from what has been a toxic relationship for seasons now.
Now what caught me off guard was the storyline given to Gambi and TC. Credit where it is due that they could build a connection between the two and make you care about it. With this season in particular, Gambi is a standout character for the way he is almost always endearing. The guy who cares about the people he calls family, and even more so the guy who will treat new people in his life the same. It made a big difference as well to put him together with someone who he can actually relate to. Where this took Gambi by the end of the episode was great since there was only so long we could progress through this season before addressing the fact that there is still danger looming over his head.
The return of Black Lightning was both refreshing and action-packed. This actually might be one of the most exciting episodes so far in the a season which is shocking to say since the midseason premiere tends to be a point of ease back into a story. Overall, Black Lightning “The Book of Markovia: Chapter One: Blessings and Curses Reborn” really gets your hopes up for what the second half of this season has in store for us.