Black Lightning is usually a very serious show, so I was not at all prepared for this week’s opening. Lynn (Christine Adams) has been kidnapped by the Markovians, who are also holding Dr Jace (Jennifer Riker). Jace knows she needs to make friends with her long time rival in order to survive, and has created a handy chart, demonstrating her ideas of what friendship is. As we hear Patsy Cline’s Crazy in the background, we see the two women wind up in an intense physical altercation. I laughed so hard.
It set the stage for what would turn out to be an excellent episode. In order to get Lynn back, Black Lighting (Cress Williams) will need to invade Markovia, something beyond the capabilities of an individual. To his dismay, Pierce has no option but to work with the hated ASA, but also recruits his own members for team. The recruitment drive is another sequence that does not go as planned, and many of those scenes add some quirky humour as well.
Though the team is not given a name, it’s pretty easy to guess that Black Lightning, Thunder (Nafessa Williams), Lightning (China Anne McClain), Geo-Force (Jahking Guillory), Grace Choi (Chantal Thuy), Gambi (James Remar), TC (Christopher A’mmanuel), and Gardner Grayle (Boone Platt) are the Outsiders.
The other plot thread this week centres on Painkiller (Jordan Calloway). TC and Jennifer work together to enter his mind, erect a firewall around the control chip the ASA implanted in him, and reach the real Khalil buried beneath. But Khalil has done so many things since falling under their control, including killing his mother, that he no longer wants to come out and deal with reality any more. I have been consistently impressed with Calloway’s performance over the last three years in this role, which has seen him undergo so many changes. No matter what is required of the character, Calloway imbues Khalil with depth.
An excellent outing, which has made me very excited for next week.