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Black Lightning, Anissa, and Jennifer with the phrase Get Lit
Black Lightning, Anissa, and Jennifer with the phrase Get Lit

Television

Black Lightning Introduces Anissa’s Girlfriend Chenoa

This week we meet Chenoa, Anissa’s girlfriend!

But first, the majority of the ep follows Jefferson’s attempts at figuring out whether to be Black Lightning or not after LaWanda, a Garfield High alum, asks for help getting her daughter back. She’s been kidnapped and held at the Seahorse Motel where local girls are sex trafficked. 

LaWanda asks Pierce why Black Lightning rescued “his girls, but nobody else’s.” She wants to know why he won’t go get her daughter since Mr. Pierce (Black Jesus) can do whatever he wants in Freeland. Understandably, he’s struggling with resurrecting Black Lightning after that caused his divorce and the pain that goes along with that. (They kiss by the way twice, it’s great.)

Jefferson ultimately asks LaWanda for 48 hours to get her daughter back, but Lala kills her in cold blood when she tells him she wants her daughter back. It’s incredibly distressing and I don’t even have the words to describe it. Every death in this show no matter who it is feels terrible. As it should.

Jefferson gets the call from Henderson and immediately talks to Lynn about how he had a fantasy. He was saving more lives as the principal, but he’s been living a lie. He’s not normal, never has been, never will be. And then, we hear the line that was in the original trailer. His gift, is a blessing from God and it still is, and he intends to use it!

LaWanda’s not Lala’s first murder this episode. That is Will, Lala’s cousin who kidnapped the sisters last week. They leave him in a dumpster with his phone that Gambi (real spry for a 70 year old) finds and uses to track Lala’s address. Black Lightning finds Lala and beats him up until Henderson shows, up who takes Lala in for questioning. Since LaWanda’s murder was recorded, he’s immediately placed in booking…where Tobias shows up and chokes him to death because a man with no principles (killed a girl’s mom) will eventually become a rat.

So in two episodes we met and say goodbye to key characters and unlike the other DCTV shows (and TV) in general, death sticks in Black Lightning.

The next important negative influence in Freeland we’ll meet is Eve (Jill Scott). She owns the funeral home but is connected to a group of corrupt leaders.

Teen Trauma

Jennifer is not dealing well with what happened last week. It doesn’t help that Lala sends a young kid to shoot her with blood. We do learn that looking into Black Lightning’s face is like looking into a spotlight when she tells her friend Khalil, turned boyfriend a few moments later. He tells her later that she can’t drink in response to her experience. He also wants to get out of Freeland (his brother was killed, his dad is in jail, and his mom is working as much as she can) with Jennifer, but not like this.

Ladies in Love

We also met Anissa’s girlfriend, Chenoa (Shein Mompremier) when they’re making out in bed. Chenoa tries to get Anissa to commit more to their relationship. They’ve been together a year, have great sex, but Anissa has yet to meet Chenoa’s friends or parents. The convo stalls because Anissa is “busy” and ultimately tells Chenoa about breaking the sink

Chenoa suggests talking to a professional (YES!), but then hand waves the sink breaking as an old sink that would break anyways. (We also see them on a walk and in bed again at the end of the episode.)

Anissa and Chenoa kiss.

It’s the first time in a while that there is no “coming out” narrative. Anissa’s has been an out and proud lesbian since before we got a glimpse of her and the Pierce family’s lives and clearly her future girlfriend Grace is here to stay. Her family supporting her and her relationship is huge because the last few long-term stories on the CW involved either angry or reluctant family members, unnecessary relationship drama, or was just plain terrible writing. The first one isn’t negative by itself. However,  most of the coming out arcs last year (on multiple networks) with women of color involved crappy parents, and it was frustrating and frankly NOT enjoyable.

Speaking of Grace, we hopefully meet her next week! After all, Anissa’s last scene involves her leaving Chenoa’s bed to get something to help her sleep and throwing a robber through multiple aisles at the pharmacy. Plus, she starts training next week. 

I’m sad Chenoa and Anissa will eventually break up, but it’s exciting to have three women loving women characters in one show! And I’m intrigued to see how quickly Anissa will open up to Grace and what changes will come in the next few episodes, and the rest of this season, for the two of them to end up together. I’d assume Anissa will meet Grace’s family and friends quicker…

Random Tidbits
  • Lynn and Jefferson truly have some of the best chemistry on screen. Too bad Lynn wants nothing to do with Jefferson as Black Lightning. Anissa’s powers are going to be messy for this family.
  • Lynn’s a neuro-scientist!!! I LOVE.
  • The music!!!!
  • References to MLK, Malcolm, and more continue, and I want to start a count of how many we get by season’s end.

Next week Anissa starts training, Jefferson wonders if his community can survive without him, the parents try to figure their dynamic out, and Jennifer tells them something huge!


Image courtesy of The CW

Author

  • Seher

    Seher is a Managing Editor at The Fandomentals focusing on the ins and outs of broadcast TV. Representation on screen and behind the scenes are one of many specialties. Otherwise, she's reading away for her anthropology graduate program. pc: @poika_

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