The second episode of Black Lightning seems to have escaped the curse that hit the other CW shows I have reviewed this week. While on the one hand there were more set-ups, and a kind of slowness to the episode, it was so permeated by a claustrophobic atmosphere of distrust that it worked really well.
I guess it helped that my favourite character, Khalil Payne (Jordan Calloway) returned, and got a great scene towards the end.
But really, it was not so much the individual plot threads or story elements that made this episode so strong. Instead, it was the way we got to see the divisions that are wrenching Freeland apart.
The Markovian army has finally assembled, which gives some justification to the way the ASA have taken over the city, and experiments they are performing on the “green light” kids. But we also see a growing resistance movement within the city to the ASA, among the general population, the media, the police, and even the gangs. Not that these groups share the same agenda by any means.
There is also tension brewing between the escapees and refugees from the city, and those who are helping them, as they fear for their own safety, and come to resent the large numbers of those they are expected to assist.
Add to this the way families are being turned against each other. Even Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) and Lynn (Christine Adams) are on bad terms with each other by the end of the episode, disagreeing about the best way to deal with their quarantine and the green light kids under her care.
This all helps to create an ominous tone for this season. It feels like it is only a matter of time before the various forces rip the city apart even further, and that no one is likely to emerge unscathed.