What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Black Lightning “The Book of Reconstruction: Chapter Three”! Going into chapter three of this final season of Black Lightning, you gotta hand it to them that they have really stayed true to what it means for the city of Freeland to go through a phase of reconstruction. The city itself has some healing to do, not to mention the Pierce family too.
Speaking of healing, there’s no character who needed this more than Jefferson. It hurt me to say this, but three episodes in and the weakest part of this story might be him. There’s no doubt that this is what it looks like when you grieve one too many losses over the years, but at the same time you can’t be as destructive as Jefferson. He’s pretty much going through that CW cliche right now where he tries to turn every conversation into a knife fight. Simple engagements that could go smoothly he somehow tries to turn into an argument over something he could have very easily walked away from. Especially when it comes to Lynn’s metahuman research. Is she playing a risky game? Hell yeah, but there is also no other person out there doing more to help better understand what it means for any one individual to unlock their metahuman gene.
Now where they do make up for some of Jefferson’s shortcomings is throwing him in situations where he is forced to acknowledge that his job is not done yet. That you can’t take an L and then give up, because there will always be someone in need of some help whether it is from Jefferson or Black Lightning. It’s baby steps, but they are getting somewhere. Especially when we have seen no shortage of action from Jefferson despite everything he is working through.
As for Lynn, it was good that they are still pushing for some character development from her even in this season. It went a long way to finally begin to understand her upbringing, and how it affects the things she does now.
One thing I did love about this episode was the way they went back to world-building. You know, taking this story back to a street-level. It goes without saying that what Black Lightning does better than the other series is focus on what goes on in the city and neighborhoods these heroes protect. It matters that you see the good that they do for people, and it matters just as much that we can see the wrong they can do when every battle can leave some damage. And to top it off, it matters that we can see where a new problem is created when the media will twist a story to fit a angle. The comparisons of the news reporter to one loud and obnoxious Tomi Lahren was on point.
Other things stood out too. On one hand you have Lala showing more personality again. It made a big difference to see the guy being more than just the criminal. It was worthwhile to see that there is a line in the sand that he will not cross. Even more to see that even when he is jumping into a new business venture, there is a part of him trying to see the bigger picture for the city. Though of course would never say this to justify someone like him. On the other hand you have Tobias continuing to make moves for the sake of his own interests, and to spite Jefferson. Then you have Gambi playing a dangerous game on his end to ensure that this new meta weapon won’t terrorize the city as much as he feared.
On a side note, I enjoyed seeing TC again. It’s good to see that at the very least for people like him there was something to look forward to after the Markovian war. Part of me was worried that he was going to simply fall to the background to never be heard of again. It would have been a disservice to the growth he clearly went through to have been such a help on team hero.
Black Lightning “The Book of Reconstruction: Chapter Three” definitely turned out to be one of the better episodes this season so far.