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Black Lightning - The Book of Markovia: Chapters Two & Three - Review

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Subtitles: Chapter 3: Lynn's Addiction
Chapter 4: Motherless ID

Jennifer's story has been B or C story level for most of the season. These two episodes give her a little more focus as well as returning the crime stories to the canvas.

Jennifer filled her father in on everything about her relationship with Odell. I was a little amazed as how calmly Jefferson took the news.

Last episode I tied Jennifer's conviction that Odell needed to be killed to her teenaged emotionality. But Jefferson's comment about what killing does to a person made me consider the fact that Jennifer's conviction that killing Odell as the only option is part of the fundamental change Jefferson was referring to.

If that's the case, that story could be more interesting than a petulant teenager acting out.

What the information did do was inspire Jefferson and Gambi to come up with a plan. We'll have to wait a couple of episodes to find out the details, but it will involve a sophisticated digital version of Odell.

Unfortunately, Lynn's actions forced them to put it on hold, but I'll come back to that.

Of course Jennifer discovered that Khalil is alive at the worst moment possible.

It usually bugs me to no end when major story points and character decisions depend on lies and secrets. Generally, it feels to me like a lazy way to make things worse. But Jennifer has always been so emotion driven that I'm hard pressed to think of a viable alternative choice for her family.

Either way she was going to make a decision that would be...inconvenient at best. (The only reason Jennifer's reaction to seeing Khalil didn't ruin her father's plan is that letting Odell go was actually part of the plan.)

Jennifer, everyone thinks you need protection because you never think past your first emotion driven reaction and would, were it not for their protection, have gotten yourself killed 5 times over by now.

As it was, there were at least 3 points, in this episode, where her fight first--think later approach would have killed Khalil. Luckily Gambi and her family were able to stop her from acting rashly.

We got an answer to why TC reappeared in Chapter 1. He's here to save Khalil. He managed to get Khalil back in control of his body, but the emotional damage might be more than Khalil can live with.

Those scenes were heartbreaking. The hallway was a nice way to visualize Khalil remembering what he'd done as Painkiller. Kudos to Jordan Calloway. I loved how subtle he played that scene and the scene after he woke up.

If Khalil decides he won't live with what he did what do you guys think Jennifer will do? Other than killing Odell (that's the easy answer).

Given that the subtitle of Chapter 2 is “Lynn's Addiction”, it makes sense that her first priority was getting her next fix.

Lynn used the backdoor into the security system in The Pit, that Gambi gave her, to find out what happened to the stash she dropped when Gambi rescued her.

She discovered Sgt. Gardner Grayle her purse, which was filled with her Green Light stash. (Dr. Jace later lets us know that Lynn's derivative is called Glimmer.)

For several episodes, we've watched Grayle coming to the realization that he's on the wrong side of what's happening in Freeland..

A long time ago, someone told me that there is a clause in the oath soldiers take that obligates them not to follow orders that are morally wrong. (It's been decades. I haven't looked it up yet. When I do, I'll mention it in comments. If any of you guys know it...feel free to explain in the comments. Your knowledge is much more useful, and welcome, than my quick Google search.)

At any rate, Grayle finally take a stand. He actually offered to play guinea pig for Lynn's plan to give people a meta power temporarily.

Am I the only person that can see this serum as the key to the government's quest for a “meta army”? Trained, temporarily augmented, soldiers can do what they volunteered to do, and the meta teens of Freeland can live their lives.

A periodic blood donation is a lot better than being locked in a cage and having a chip put in your head.

I wonder if this is where the story is ultimately going.

This serum is the key to Lynn's plan to cripple the ASA's ability to make more of the stabilization formula. The serum will allow her to get Tobias outside of The Pit.

No Tobias = No Stabilization formula = No Meta Army.

How many of you guys enjoyed the look on Tobias face when he realized he'd underestimated Lynn? When his punch failed to land, I just cracked up.

I'm trying to figure out how the Markovians knew where Lynn was going to be so they could grab her and Tobias. Yes. Yes. I know. Spy. I'll stop.

Lynn's capture led to one of the most hilarious scenes I've seen on Black Lightning. Dr. Jace reciting her plan to stay alive by bonding with Lynn was simply hysterical.

The Markovian Colonel forced Lynn past her denial. Lynn finally accepts that she is an addict. She also learns that It wasn't her choice. She was conditioned via drugs and hypnotism, into creating and taking Glimmer in the first place.

Lynn's reaction is to try and quit cold turkey. Jace convinces her that cold turkey won't work. Could her bonding plan be working? I kept thinking Jace thinks her plan is working better than it actually is, but Lynn's judgement is suspect.

The moment Jefferson and the girls hear that Lynn's in trouble, they make plans to go after her. Annoying as it is, they will work with the Major Grey and the ASA to rescue her.

So, Jefferson informs Major Grey that he will pick his own crew. Who do you think he was planning to invite? I ask because, other than Thunder, his reaction to everyone else who volunteered was “No, no way. It's too dangerous”.

Do you think he was considering contacting The Flash or Superman? (It occurred to me that that would have been a fun post-Crisis twist, unnecessary, but fun.)

How nice was it to see Anissa and Grace have a few fun, upbeat moments?

I'm not a fan of Major Grey, in part because I think she's cast too young, but mostly for all of the reasons the writers want me to hate Major Grey.

The only real problem I had with either of these two chapters was the scene where Odell called the Major on the carpet about all of her failures while she was filling in for him.

It was a long list, and Odell would have been justified in removing her from command.

What threw me off about that scene was that, in the face of this long list of failures, Major Grey was flippant.

It felt wrong. The character is always so straight up military that the flippant dialog did not work for me. Odell quietly letting anyone talk to them in that tone and not smacking them down simply did not work for me.

Odell swallowed his reaction to that tone with Jennifer because she's (a) a teenager, (b) not a soldier, and (c) he was manipulating her at the time, but to let a professional soldier get away with that? No way.

I did love the scene where Grey attempted to command “her” troops and was informed that she wasn't their commander. Jefferson clearly has control of these troops.

It seems as though we may be approaching the end of the Markovian storyline because Lala and Lady Eve are finally back. {Turns out that her “resurrection” had nothing to do with Crisis. I had forgotten all about that.}

I've missed Lala. I still want to know why Lazarus brings these people back. I'm really hoping that Tobias does NOT return to the landscape as well. I really want the Markovian story to be the final end of Tobias' story.

What did you guys think of these episodes?

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