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Black Lightning - The Book of War: Chapter Two - Review

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Subtitle: Freedom Ain't Free

I liked the explanation of how Gravedigger got his name as well as the points of American History that were included in the sequence.

Yes, America still has some of the issues that existed when Tyson Sykes lived in there but, the fundamental issue that makes him the bad guy in this story is the fact that he will only take 'Yes' for an answer. Killing people who don't want to do things his way, is the tactic of a bad dictator.

The only issue I had with this segment was with the staging of Gravedigger's presentation of power. It just didn't have the gravity of the rest of the episode for me.

It looks like Khalil's seasonal arc is going to end with him figuring out a way to live with Painkiller. I still like the way they've visualized his internal struggle.

The only way the character has a chance of staying on the show is if Khalil wins that battle and the two learn to coexist. I think it's a great conclusion for his story. I'm really hoping he'll win.

When Gravedigger was studying the video of the team that rescued Lynn and the image for Black Lightning came up. It listed “Tactical Proficiency” as one of his skills. I had to laugh.

From what we've seen of Black Lightning's battle planning there is no sense that his thinking like a chess player. In this episode, his plan making only considered what would happen if everyone did what he expected them to do.

When Gambi asked 'what if the Markovians have no weaknesses to exploit' Jefferson's response was 'They will.' That's wishful thinking, not tactics. I would expect a tactician to start looking for an answer to that question.

That short sightedness is not, IMHO, an example of tactical proficiency. Hopefully, what we are seeing on screen is just the beginning of his thought process and he would have answered those questions and others offscreen.

It all seemed moot though, because we didn't see him get a chance to evolve his plans before the Markovian army made their first move.

Speaking of off-screen activity, I really do hope that Black Lightning and Thunder had an opportunity to get the recruitment word out to others in Freeland and not just Lala.

In addition to giving them the right to chose where they live, it would be awesome to see them stand up and fight for that right.

How typical is it for Lala to think only of his desires while the house burns down around him?

But what is he up to? After his last encounter with Lady Jane, I find myself wondering if his agenda is really as simple as killing Tobias. If Lala's motives are indeed that simple, do the writers have a grander purpose to his story?

Let everyone know what you think about Lala's story in the comments below. I'd like to hear what you think.

I am enjoying watching Jennifer grow frustrated with Brandon for being volatile, self centered and single-minded about his quest to kill Dr. Jace. It is a pretty nice way to highlight Jennifer's growth.

It's too bad her parents don't have a moment to absorb it all and have a 'now you know how we feel' beat. LOL

Jennifer is maturing. Unfortunately, she is still a teenager who believes she's invincible.

She has good reason to believe she's invincible, but that's a dangerous assumption to take into battle. (I paused the DVR to write this because having watched Gravedigger study his opponents, I can see Jennifer's rude awakening on the horizon.)

And, as expected, the Markovians were prepared for Jennifer and she was taken out fairly quickly.

Personally, this is a lesson for Jefferson. 'Trust me and hide when I tell you to...because I said so' has never worked in the history of movies and television and it didn't work here.

Jefferson is raising two warriors. He should be teaching them to think tactically by, at the very least, telling them why he's making the tactical decisions he's making.

Bombshell of the episode: The Pierces are related to Gravedigger!

I cannot believe that this revelation only exists to explain why Jefferson, Anissa and Jennifer are the only stable metas (without chemical aid). I'm wondering if I it will play into how Gravedigger is defeated.

I had really been hoping they'd get through the wedding before the call to battle happened.

This was a great 'lead in to battle' episode. They raised the stakes: if Black Lightning doesn't win many of Freeland's metas will be kidnapped (captured?), Freeland will be nuked, Lynn will be re-captured.

There were several themes touched on, in this episode, that I found quite interesting.

I'm looking forward to Jefferson being forced to face the realization that it is impossible to fight a war without killing the enemy.

The Gravedigger has become the monster he hates. By ignoring the Freeland metas right to choose, he is no better than the government he rails against. I'd like to hear his response to that statement.

Those are intriguing ideas to take into the season finale.

What did you think about the episode?

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