Welcome back to Freeland, fellow Black Lightning enthusiasts! This week, the women are back in the center of the story, and the show is unsurprisingly better for it.
Let’s start with Jen, whose storyline has gotten 100x more interesting without Khalil, as devastating as his death was. Not only is she sticking up for herself and generally being a fantastic complex character, but her internal journey with her purpose moving forward is quickly becoming the most compelling aspect of the entire show. As much as I cringe at the idea of a female character’s growth being sparked by a man, I would argue that Jen is more than that. She has so much literal and figurative power that didn’t come from him or her relationship with him. While she is grieving hard this episode, including promising Khalil’s casket that she will put Tobias Whale in the ground, it feels more like she’s reckoning with the world at large than with Khalil’s death specifically.
Also, Jen is back at Garfield! This is very exciting for Jen and the viewer alike, but it also means we have to see that sleazy racist principal again. This time, he has a hallway memorial to Khalil removed. When Jen sets up a new one and sits herself down next to it in protest, the principal goes on a tirade of both self-pity and authoritarianism that is truly disgusting to watch. Jen is as assertive as I’ve ever seen a human be on TV, and her powers don’t flare as she’s led out of the school by security. The students also record the whole thing on their cell phones and kneel in protest. When Jefferson confronts the principal about how he handled it, it gets even worse re: the simultaneous self-pity and self-importance of this truly awful character.
But Jen is learning how to harness her powers, and despite her eagerness to jump in a superhero suit like her dad and sister and kill Tobias ASAP, she’s coming into her own.
Unfortunately, Lynn is none too excited about this prospect. We get some pretty complicated information about Lynn this week, learning that she wants Jen to be “normal” (which is something she can’t define even when asked) and that she sometimes resents her superhero (ex-ish) husband.
In other Lynn news, she and Anissa get ambushed by Markovia agents at the start of the episode, plus Odell is there, so that’s great. Apparently Markovia, a fictional East European country, has a bunch of meta-obsessed agents who want their former war criminals back. These war criminals are in the pods Tobias stole last week with the help of Dr. Jace and Todd and an inexplicable sledgehammer. Anissa gets shot in the back, but since she’s our Bulletproof Lesbian TM, she is fine. Speaking of Dr. Jace, now that there’s been threats to the safety of the pod kids they need to be moved, so Odell has re-enlisted her to help Lynn keep them alive while moving. One guess how Lynn feels about this.
Meanwhile, Anissa’s life is getting meta in a different way. Grace is reading Black Lightning and Thunder comic books! Also Anissa has a key to Grace’s place now. I think we’re all just agreeing to forget that Anissa treated Grace terribly for like, a long time, because now she wants to introduce Grace to her family! They have the cutest gayest scenes, one in which they kiss and one in which they execute the Lesbians In A Park trope very well. But then Grace almost turns into whatever eye-glowing thing she turns into sometimes and freaks out, not only running away in the moment but running away for good? Anyway when Anissa goes to her place later, her clothes are gone and the comic books are just staring Anissa in the face on the coffee table.
We also get some Pierce Sister content this week, which y’all know is my favorite. But this time, they don’t quite see eye to eye about superhero stuff. But when Jen tells Anissa that Khalil’s mom can’t afford a funeral, Anissa dons her vigilante costume and goes after the dude whose girlfriend keeps showing up at the clinic with bruises and choke marks, deciding to kill two birds with one stone (money + lady-rescue). While she ultimately accomplishes this, it’s not without a harder fight than she bargained for, and Gambi finds her passed out in their basement cave/headquarters. So Anissa faces her weaknesses for possibly the first time, and it scares her. Probably why she asked Grace to meet the fam, but who knows what will happen with that. Come back Grace!
That’s it for this week my friends! I’m glad this show is centering its women more, their stories are getting more interesting and I hope this continues for the rest of season 2. Thanks for reading, see you next week!