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Black Lightning - The Book of Little Black Lies - Review

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Jennifer isn’t handling the emergence of her powers too well. She thinks she’s imagining things; losing her mind. Anissa tried to help by showing her younger sister that she too has powers.

Unfortunately she also told Jennifer that Jefferson is Black Lighting. Jennifer completely freaked out. The news that Black Lightning is her father left her feeling betrayed and lied to.

Jennifer thinks powers mean her life is over; no prom, no marriage, and no children. Sadly, can promise her that she’ll have all of those things or that she won’t. But her mother makes it clear that she will have her parent’s support as she tries to figure it out.

I grew up watching TV shows and movies with teenagers screaming at their parents, storming out of rooms, or forcing their parent to endure epic silent treatments. The parents in these shows would either giving the teens their way or screaming right back.

That was NOT behavior allowed in my parent’s house. I’m finding that I enjoy watching the family dynamics on this show because they feel so much like the dynamics I grew up with.

The typical approach to these tantrum sequences is for everyone to head off in separate directions. Somewhere during the episode, someone identifies the teen’s issues and then we get a quick ‘let’s work it out’ scene in the epilogue of the episode.

I realize that some viewers may find that side of the show slow and uninteresting, but I am really enjoying the fact that the show doesn’t rush through the family scenes. These scenes make this family feel more real to me.

I loved Lynn’s line about young ladies who roll their eyes at their parents paying their own bills. I can hear my mother saying that.

Jennifer decides to Google Black Lightning and Thunder. (When did Thunder’s name go public enough for websites and that hysterical (and much too realistically edited) video of that guy appreciating Thunder’s ass?)

Thunder is more popular than Black Lightning, and her ass seem to be high on the list of reasons why. Although, there is at least one site out there focusing on the fact that Thunder is “challenging the patriarchy’s narrative about female heroes”. That one, Anissa wants to see.

These scenes and moments do seem to help Jennifer reclaim her sense of equilibrium. She’s finally able to admit to Lynn what frightens her so much about this change in her life. By the end of the episode she’s able to accept her father’s apology and promise of honesty in the future.

Jefferson called Henderson out on trusting the people in his crooked department. Henderson’s defense is, as usual, is the rules he has to play by. I can accept Henderson’s a man who struggles to live by his code. But, until this episode, he has done nothing to change it. We’ve barely seen him acknowledge it.

Henderson finally agrees to investigate and look for evidence that Black Lightning has been framed. Once again I was expecting the clich├ęs. I kept waiting for Henderson to be spotted and hurt or killed. Especially, after he called Black Lightning. So I was a little surprised when Henderson saved Black Lightning’s life.

Jefferson believes that the best way to stop the ASA’s plans for Freeland is to stop Green Light. He and Anissa decide to follow the money. Meanwhile, Gambi conducts his own investigation.

Jefferson and Anissa find the name of, what appears to be, the front company for the ASA, called BendsCORP. They drop in on the corporate lawyer and pick up a bit more information. Apparently the information on the lawyer’s phone led them to the lab that’s cooking Green Light.

I felt bad for the director during this scene. The director went to all the trouble of the hallway shot by only showing us their feet so that the Obama mask gag would be a surprise. The promo people spoiled it by showing that clip in the trailers.

Gambi’s checks out his own leads. His job’s a little easier because he knows some of the players. He is looking for the weapons used in Lady Eve’s murder as well as any weapons designed to kill Black Lightning.

But when Gambi gets there what he finds surprises him. One of the boys he reported to Martin, back in 1986, is encased in some kind of storage unit. The discovery is so shocking that it forces Gambi to admit that Black Lightning is the only person who can truly stop what the Martin Proctor is doing.

Gambi gives Anissa an overview of the situation between he and Jefferson. He’s frank and honest with her. It’s enough for her to get her father to consider the parallels between his situation with Jennifer and the one with Gambi. I wonder if this means he’ll be ready to forgive Gambi in the next episode.

Anissa gets her new costume. I like the official Thunder hairstyle so much more than the blonde wig. I also liked the lyrics to the song playing under her reveal to her father.

Finally, Black Lightning does something other than just punching or tossing people across the room. He and Thunder attack the Green Light lab and destroy it. They make a point to get the workers out of there before they blow up the lab, but who got the unconscious guys out?

Proctor’s weapon works. One of the rounds actually hurts Black Lightning’s arm. Luckily, Inspector Henderson has his back. He takes the doctor into custody. Then Black Lightning destroys the lab and blows up the building.

I was not remotely surprised that Proctor left the doctor to take the fall.

Another episode that worked on all cylinders for me. I enjoy the family drama (and that includes Gambi’s trying to make up for the mistakes that caused him to lose the extended family he’s cherished for 30 years). I know that in the comics Jennifer also becomes a super hero but I am glad that she hasn’t immediately jumped on the super hero bandwagon. She is going to forge her own path.

I am really looking forward to watching how all of this works out. Proctor can, presumably, kill Jefferson now. There’s real jeopardy for Black Lightning, which indicates the rest of the season won’t be smooth sailing for the Pierce family.

What did you think of the episode?

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