TV Recap: Black Lightning – Can We All Just Get Along?

Black Lightning
“Black Jesus: The Book of Crucifixion”
April 3, 2018

Tonight was a rare Black Lightning episode where we end in a good place but we take a couple of shitty turns to get there.  We have a nice moment of redemption, “a good guy finally wins one” moment, and my dislike for Fowdy grows to ginormous size.

Without further delay, our (long overdue) recap and review of Black Lightning‘s episode, “Black Jesus: The Book of Crucifixion” … after the jump (beware of spoilers)!

We open up tonight on Kara Fowdy checking in on the status of the newly resettled test subjects, who remain in their floaty stasis chambers – how long before this becomes a fad spa treatment in LA? Anyway, Doctor Scientist Nerd assures her they’re all doing fine … except one of the older subjects but he thinks it’ll return to normal with the moving finally complete.

Elsewhere in town, Black Lightning and Thunder are busting some bad guy ass at another warehouse which is pinging a strong energy signal. When they make their way to the inner sanctum, they don’t find the test subject kids, obviously, but they do find a shit ton of “anti-Black Lightning pulse launchers.” Gambi is temporarily out of “next places to check”; seems the ASA has blocked the pod energy signal from his view but, he’s got an idea. He needs a day to set it up, however. Before they leave, Black Lightning lights up the warehouse stores.  Him and Thunder are pretty good at breaking stuff, I’ll give them that.

Title Card.

When we come back, Fowdy is reporting in to Proctor about the mostly stable pods and learns of the attack on the armory. She then spends the rest of the call trying to make the case that there is no way Jefferson is Black Lightning but she’s a good solider and “yes sirs” him until the call is ended.

Gambi Tailors.  Down in the Lair, Peter discusses his next plan which involves blanketing the city with radio signals which will cause the Pods to ping when the radio signal hits them. I dunno, SCIENCE! Jefferson is kinda “whatevs” and goes to change.  Alone, Anissa makes the obvious observation that Gambi looks like garbage following his ASA torture adventure.  He assures her that he’s had enough subperiosteal hematoma to know when he needs real medical treatment.  Subperiosteal Hematoma is a fun phrase. Also, it means “really bad black eye.” He doesn’t want to get into what caused it and tells her to ask her dad if she wants the story. Also, the ASA is actively looking for us all so make sure your dad doesn’t do anything stupid. Easy Peasy, trust your instincts!

Across town in a shady alley, Fowdy, hidden behind a screen, passes off some drugs for dirty Deputy Chief Cayman and Detective Glennon to plant on … Jefferson Pierce. Tomorrow if possible. Please and thank you.  Girl, you done sold your soul for 30 pieces of Silver. Judas!

Pierce House. Anissa and Jefferson enjoy some late night Chinese while Jeff tells her about the ASA torturing Gambi to get to him. She makes the valid point that this probably means he should maybe trust him? At least as long as the ASA is trying to kill them all.  Can’t we all just get along?!?  And Jefferson, he’s not sure if they can …

Pod Warehouse.  That old test subject that wasn’t doing so good? Yeah, she dead now.  Doctor Scientist Nerd is NOT happy! Commercials.

Garfield HS. The next day, a smiling Jefferson greets his students and when Anissa comes by, he tells her to keep an eye on Jennifer and check in with him often.  This is all to provide a juxtaposition to the police rolling up IN FORCE to Garfield High, while Jefferson is leading an experience group with students, and making a BIG production of arresting him for planted Green Light they find in his trunk. Dun Dunn Dunnnn.

As they are hauling him out, Jennifer places herself in front of her father and the police and starts to Hulk out but its a testament to Jefferson’s power as a father and calm figure that he gets her stand down her powers. Another student, and then Anissa, protests but Jefferson makes the larger point that they have to carry on and not give the police any reason to act … irrationally today.  The image of Jefferson being taken away in cuffs in front of the entire school is exactly the kind of effect the ASA was going for. Fowdy quietly observes the entire scene. Commercials.

Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CW 

Freeland PD.  Henderson flips out when he sees Cayman leading the cops bringing in Jefferson to the PD and demands to see the search warrant.  In his office, Cayman produces the warrant and Henderson just scoffs. He mentions that no one is going to believe Jefferson is a fucking drug dealer, not even Cayman believes that with a straight face, and imparts some wisdom to Cayman: “You gotta bring ass, to get ass. Don’t forget that.” In case that’s too cryptic for you, Henderson means that you can’t hurt your enemy without risking getting hurt yourself.   The internet tells me its a saying derived from boxing.

Garfield HS.  Fowdy is broadcasting a message to the school to get through the day and make Principal Pierce proud and to remember they, the students, are the future. She then uses an encrypted messaging program to inform her overlords that Jefferson is in custody, a “collection team” is coming to grab him and take him to a black site to verify.  Fowdy might be the worst person on this show.

Freeland PD. We are treated to a montage of Jefferson going through booking complete with a little police brutality and a strip search featuring a turn your head and cough segment.  Fan-Fucking-Tastic.  A couple of times we see Jefferson barely holding on to his composure and keeping Black Lightning inside. He really is impressively disciplined.  Commercials.

When we return, Lynn has shown up and gets stonewalled from seeing Jefferson. Until Henderson intervenes and takes her inside. She tells him what he already knows, that Jefferson obviously didn’t’ do anything wrong but also cryptically adds that something very bad could happen if he remains locked up.  Henderson asks her if she trusts him. “No” is Lynn’s unhesitating answer but acknowledges that Jefferson does and that’s enough for her right now.  Damon Gupton does a great “wounded face” when she says she doesn’t trust him, a nice bit of acting there.  Anyway, Lynn has to go deal with defense attorney selection, leaving Bill to get further involved in his bestie’s legal predicament.

Gambi Tailors. Anissa shows up to Gambi’s, she has her own key to Gambi’s store which is a nice detail to throw in, and down in the Lair is all “I’m suiting up and going to rescue my dad.”  Gambi advises against it, making the very good point that if Jefferson wanted to use powers to get out of jail, he could definitely do it himself and Anissa would be taking an unnecessary risk of exposing herself which could lead to Jennifer and Lynn being hurt.  Nope, they need to focus on preventing the ASA from confirming Jefferson’s identity. Because, Gambi says, if they confirm he’s Black Lightning, they’ll kill him.  “Great, how,” asks Anissa?

Freeland PD.  Henderson pays a visit to Jefferson and is all business. He whispers to Jefferson that they’re on tape – eyes and ears everywhere – and gets down to formal business. He asks Jefferson about Lala and their connection. Jefferson admits to using his relationship with Lala, who was a higher up in The 100, to make Garfield an “off limits” place. Which begs the question, why would The 100 have kidnapped his daughters then … from school. “I don’t know,” Jefferson says.  Why would someone want to set you up, Henderson asks? “I don’t know.” Before Jefferson can stonewall another questions, Cayman comes in saying that the interview is over because a national security directive arrived announcing that Jefferson Pierce was being moved.  Not.Good. Commercials!

Pierce House. I guess or is this Lynn’s place? I don’t know if she even has her own place anymore at this point, she’s always at Jefferson’s.  Anyway, she’s watching news coverage on Jefferson’s arrest (old white woman isn’t surprised while the black people sing his praises; I get what the show is doing here but its a little arch) when Henderson calls to let her know, the Feds are moving Jefferson on a national security charge – that’s all he knows.

Gambi Tailors. Down in the Lair, Anissa arrives and Peter catches her up that the ASA is making its move. Peter is having second thoughts on putting his tech into play but Anissa pleads, she can’t lose her dad so we gotta give it a go.

 Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CW 

Pierce House. Jennifer doesn’t understand why her dad isn’t using his powers to escape and Lynn has to explain that you can’t punch your way out of everything; Jennifer doesn’t look convinced. Lynn tells her its ok to be scared and Jennifer breaks down at the thought of her father never coming home. Its a nice moment from China Anne McClain which feels really earned. I really give the show credit on their casting, especially of these Pierce daughters, they continue to impress.   

Freeland PD.  Henderson empties Jefferson’s holding cell and takes the moment to ask his friend one more time, what it is he’s hiding? Jefferson is sticking with “I don’t know.” Henderson looks disappointed but says he’s still going to help his bestie.  Upstairs, Henderson summons Detective Glennon into his office and lays out his corruption case against Glennon. But, he doesn’t really want Glennon, he wants Cayman so sit down and start talking, dummy.

Garfield HS. Later that night, we cut to Fowdy rolling through a list of Garfield students as she makes a “notes to self” recording about her observations of three students who have ingested Green Light (no enhanced abilities exhibited).  Damn Fowdy, you’re a Horrible Person.

 Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CW –

Somewhere in town, we see the entirety of Gambi and Thunder’s plan outlined – they’re  going to gather a crowd and then project a hologram of Black Lightning which will help Thunder chase down a reckless driver (the Gambi mobile), hence, proving Jefferson cannot be “the man.”   Peter dresses it up complete with flickering overhead street lights as “Black Lightning” runs down the street.  Its quite a show. The act culminates with “Black Lightning” throwing some bolts from his hands into the van which cause the van to swerve and the whole scene is complete and the crowd of onlookers go wild. The news coverage, which Fowdy is watching in her office, features a man and wife/mother and son (I’m not sure), talking about how life is better in Freeland with Thunder and Black Lightning around and how Thunder is a fine ass woman, which, True, Sir. True.  Fowdy looks convinced and we hit the last Commercial break.

When we come back, Fowdy is logging into her iPad of Evil (which has a text message notice about the ASA tracking the Meta sighting in Freeland).  Fowdy writes an encrypted message to her overlords requesting Jefferson be released as Black Lightning was seen tonight in town so, ipso facto, Pierce isn’t their man. The overlords basically ignore her and tell her to focus on her job and not worry about Jefferson.  She looks crestfallen but whatever, she’s fucking horrible and a traitor.

Freeland PD.  Henderson comes down to Jefferson’s cell and tells him he’s free to go.  He’s confirmed the drugs were planted by Glennon so adios, homie, next few rounds of drinks are on you.  Cayman comes down to inform Henderson he’s flushed his badge down the toilet; clearly Cayman is dealing with an old fact pattern.

Out in the hall, Henderson pins Cayman up against the wall and basically says he’s cleaning this Den of Dirty Cops and starting with Cayman. He has him hauled off to be arrested for corruption.  Its my single favorite Henderson moment to date.

Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CW 

Pierce House. Jefferson comes in and the whole family has a nice reunion moment, complete with cracking a new ice cream. Then, a knock on the door. Its funny how they all start ramping up their super powers but no need, just Gambi.  Jefferson thanks him for helping Anissa and for helping his family.  Gambi takes a victory lap for the self-driving van action but then they have serious man feeling talk about where they go from here.  Jefferson isn’t quite sure what its going to be like but he knows he needs Peter’s help to save the kid test subjects.

We cut to a new report of Jefferson’s exoneration from charges following the revelation of Cayman’s frame up and Henderson, newly promoted to Deputy Chief, is giving a press conference wherein he promises a new, better, Freeland Police Department.

Pierce House. The episode ends with the Pierce Family + Gambi saying a prayer before celebrating their hard won victory tonight … with pizza (and salad). Its a rare moment these 5 find peace so I am sure next week will be a shit show of epic proportions.

Until then, folks.  Thanks for reading!

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