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Black Lightning - The Book of Consequences: Chapter Four: Translucent Freak - Review

For numerous reasons, I love the fact that the core of this show is a close-knit family that loves, supports and respects each other. The addition of heavier stories for Jennifer and Lynne provide more opportunity for them to support each other and boy, did they need each other this week.

I have a lot more sympathy for Jennifer. When she first started railing against her powers I tended to dismiss her as a sullen teenager who would get over it quickly and join her father and sister in the super hero business. She seemed to play the same note every week.

Now that she’s accepted her power and the challenge of learning to control it I’m finding her story more interesting.

Her control is definitely improving. Perenna’s virtual environments are cool, much better than our VR. I can see why VR is considered a useful technology for treating mental health issues.

Jennifer was able to release Lightning on Khalil without destroying the house or hurting anyone.

Unfortunately, learning to control her power isn’t the only thing Jennifer is struggling with. In this episode she pretty much loses everything.

The only person she’s able to talk to, Anissa, moves out. Then she’s told that she’s not going back to Garfield. She’s basically lost her entire social network. Was anyone surprised that she would turn to Khalil?

Personally, I always expected her to contact him again. Jennifer is, I’m guessing, going to be the key to Khalil hanging onto at least a bit of his humanity while Tobias works to turn him into a monster.

I’ve been missing Gambi so far this season. Tonight he was back in both his role as Black Lightning team support, father figure and uncle. He had Thunder’s back when she went on her mission to acquire cash for the clinic.

He made sure Jefferson was aware that Anissa had been playing Robin Hood, then, gave her a place to stay when she left her father’s house.

He also tried to take care of his replacement, former Vice Principle Fowdy. By the time he found her she’d gone into sepsis. She’s dying. By the time she realizes Gambi is being straight with her, it’s almost too late for her to give him any meaningful information.

But she does tell him that Tobias has Proctor’s case. She gives him her cell phone. Hopefully, he can get something off of it. Hopefully, Gambi won’t fade into the background again.

Anissa’s heart is in a good place but she hasn’t thought through the ramifications of her actions. It’s kind of interesting. She’s got an investigator’s mind.

She realizes that they’re seeing pieces of a bigger picture, but she doesn’t realize that the type of criminal that uses a huge real estate venture to launder their money isn’t going to let something like saving the free clinic stand in their way.

I will give Anissa this…when she realized that her father was right, she went to him for help. Not that I ever doubted it, but her priorities are in the right place. The people of Freeland are more important than her ego.

The Black Lightning and Thunder father/daughter moment on the roof was nice to see. They finally heard each other’s point of view. Interestingly, neither one miraculously changed their position. But family doesn’t let a disagreement destroy relationships.

Black Lightning and Thunder are great multitask-ers. They managed to keep an eye on the comings and goings at the clinic while they talked.

Jefferson didn’t miss the fact that a woman walked in pregnant and carrying a purse then walked out unencumbered by purse or baby.

The heroes evacuated the clinic and prevented both bombs from doing any structural damage. Although I couldn’t help but think Thunder didn’t have to destroy the kids table to get to the purse.

I felt a little bad for Gambi trying to take down the, much younger, hitter. He made her work to win that fight, but he still took a few hard shots.

Lynne and Jefferson had to deal with crappy co-workers. Lynne witnesses the cold, heartless side of Dr. Jace. I think the world might have been better off

Jace wakes up one of the pod kids. The kid dies almost immediately. Lynne is appalled. Dr. Jace is thrilled. She got the data she wanted.

My only problem was that we got no indication of Jace’s purpose for doing this. What was so important about this specific data that she had to wake that kid up immediately?

I’ve had no problem with the emotional side of Lynne’s quest to save these kids, but this underlined what, for me, is a warning of major problem with the active side of Lynne’s story; the lack of details.

What is Dr. Jace’s agenda? What was her assignment? What is she doing? What does Lynne think she’s doing? Why couldn’t she wait until the kid was more stable to turn on the pod?

She says that Lynne’s attempts to save the kids; to look use her experiment to predict success (i.e. creating a serum to save the kids) is a waste of time because she designed the experiment to fail.

Jace doesn’t seem interested in saving the kids because their death is inevitable. What is she trying to do?

Jace’s statement about finding a family of metas were chilling, but, again, poking and prodding with no purpose is pointless.

The longer this story goes without full plotting the less satisfying it’s going to be. I need to know what Jace is after and what the stakes are for those kids and for Lynne and her family in order to be truly invested in the story.

Frankly, the writing on this show is better than having the centerpiece of Lynne’s story continue to have no meat to it.

Not too long ago I ridiculed The CW for its lack of diversity. The network has not only improved their diversity in front of the camera (I hope they have made improvements behind the camera as well.) but their shows are tackling some serious social issues.

Jefferson finally sees Principle Lowry in action. When Lowry enforced his ‘Zero Tolerance Policy’ regarding fighting, Jefferson gets in his face. This was the confrontation I expected from last week’s episode due to its subtitle of “Chapter Three: Master Lowry”.

The writers didn’t let the opportunity address an issue that our society faces pass them by.

Jefferson points out that kicking some of these kids out of school can mean the difference between a child growing to be someone who enriches society or someone society fears.

But like many of the issues our society faces, it’s not a simple issue with a simple solution. They don’t try to answer it in thirty seconds, just to present a question we should be considering.

Jefferson’s realization about where Lowry is taking Garfield High and Lynne’s reaction to Jace’s attitude lead them to the decision to pull Jennifer out of school.

It was nice to hear Lynne suggest that Jefferson fight to get his job back.

On top of the confrontation with Lowry and the fight with Anissa, Jefferson had to face the fact that Tobias did an excellent job of removing the evidence and witnesses that could land him in prison for the murder of Jefferson’s father.

Jefferson stepped forward, after 30 years, as a witness to his father’s murder. It won’t work. The DA won’t go to trial without hard evidence.

Tobias walks free. I’d forgotten that Tobias was a politician at one time. His speech about vindication played well with the media. The only upside is if any evidence comes to light he can still be convicted.

All in all another really strong episode. I’m excited about where the story is headed. I do hope that they put some effort into developing the story surrounding the Pod Kids. They can’t vamp for much longer.

Random thoughts:

Get Jennifer a blue tooth keyboard. If she fries that, it’s a lot less expensive than having to replace the laptop.

If the school board wants Jefferson to stay at Garfield to keep the community from “having issues” with Principle Lowry, what’s going to happen when the community finds out that Jefferson pulled his daughter from the school? That speaks a LOT louder than Jefferson quitting.

So, what did you think of the episode?

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