At the beginning of the latest episode of Black Lightning the eponymous hero (Cress Williams) and his younger daughter, Jennifer (China Anne McClain), discuss their other dimensional experiences, and Pierce shares his encounters with other superheroes with Gambi (James Remar). But once his role in the larger DC/CW universe has been clearly stated, we are back to Freeland, and the multi-faceted war going on there.
And I am glad about that. While it’s great that Black Lightning has been integrated with the other shows in the larger sense, nothing was lost that makes this one so distinctive, in plot, mood, and score.
The episode sees two major events, both of which had been building for quite a while, Jennifer turning on Agent Odell (Bill Duke), and Black Bird (Nafessa Williams) leading the multi-pronged assault on the ASA. The latter carries a bit more emotional drama, as Anissa has to convince her father to allow her to continue as the leader of the resistance, rather than stepping in to take charge, as he in wont to do.
But honestly, the best parts of this episode belonged to Lynn Stewart (Christine Adams), whose addiction to greenlight is now painful to watch, both for the viewer, and for the family members who discover it, and see her frantic and out of control behaviour, and hear her desperate justifications. I am glad this took a long time to build, as it has made the payoff so much more powerful.
The episode also gives a good role to a new player, TC (Christopher Ammanuel), who moves in with Gambi. I enjoyed his introduction before Crisis, and am very happy that he looks to become a regular supporting player. His tech abilities make him an effective partner for Gambi, whose role has a tendency to become a little too guy-in-the-chair.