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jefferson and jennifer
jefferson and jennifer

Television

Black Lightning and Jennifer Just Defending Herself

Disclaimer: There be spoilers here and I’m not Black, but I hope to review this show respectfully and appropriately.

This week Jefferson investigates his father’s death, Jennifer breaks a girl’s wrist, Anissa deals with the consequences of last week, and Lynn is over all of them.

New Powers

Episode five starts with Gambi and Jefferson working together to try out Black Lightning’s new and enhanced powers from the suit Gambi has added updates to. It’s a lot of fun just watching him try flying and swooping around especially because he’s having so much fun!

Then, of course, he swoops in to save another teen high on Greenlight fighting with the police.

“Next time, taze him first.” —Black Lightning

Hmm, almost like there are more options than shoot first?

Surprisingly that’s nothing compared to the rest of the episode.

Grandpa Gambi with a Gun is a Liar vs. Tobias and Tori are Traumatized and Terrifying

For example, Gambi and Tobias know each other! Gambi even made Tobias a suit and is in some sort of society? More importantly, we learn there’s some kind of serum keeping Tobias (and Tori) from aging!

Thankfully, Tobias (or I should say Syonide) doesn’t kill Gambi for not telling them who Black Lightning is. Later, Gambi refuses to tell Jefferson that Tobias is alive. Jefferson only even figures that out because Joey Toledo, his old right hand man is back and in charge of the Greenlight business.

As for Tobias, going to see “the tailor” was a bad decision. One of many he’s made because he wants a seat at the table with Lady Eve. (He’s just made her so much money! He deserves to be there!) Again, how long have all these adults known each other? Tobias and Tori must be Gambi’s age!

Tori points out that until Tobias deals with The Eldridge, he’ll never truly move on. Who the heck is that? None other than their abusive dad who hit Tori, told Tobias he wasn’t normal, and did many other shitty things when they were kids.

Tori’s advice: Kill you abuser. Which they do after talking about how he stayed for them but their mom didn’t. I don’t even know how to unpack that here in so little space, so yet another to be discussed item.

I do appreciate that they love each other and the show doesn’t use the flashback to justify their terrible actions.

Fisticuffs Jennifer

Elsewhere, Jennifer runs into an old classmate who she does not get along with. The two of them trade barbs about Khalil (gross) and Lana’s “dusty ass knees” (I laughed) and Lana lunges for Jennifer. Unfortunately for Lana, Jennifer breaks her wrist. It’s unclear how much of the strength is from Jefferson teaching his daughters to defend themselves and Jennifer’s own latent powers, but it’s an incredible moment.

Obviously fisticuffs aren’t a great way to handle a situation, but sometimes you just have to fight back. Lynn is not pleased and while Jefferson is proud of Jennifer for taking down two girls, Lynn grounds her for life particularly for lying to them.

“Do you really want to play with me right now, little girl?” —Lynn

Though the following conversation between Jefferson and Jennifer about fighting the fire and not adding to it was a really poignant one to watch. I can’t believe I’ve never actually explicitly touched on the fact that the show being about a Black dad and his two daughters is so incredibly refreshing!

Lynn Love

Similarly, I’ve yet to truly talk about Lynn until now. She’s supporting her kids, her ex-husband who she loves, and even slowly, Black Lightning. But it’s taking a toll on her. Lynn needs a break!

This week she’s gotta check out Jefferson who passes out mid-argument with Gambi about Tobias and of course ground Jennifer. Fortunately he’s fine. Important because he is Lynn’s priority!

Anissa Suits Up and More

While her sister and Jefferson are off fighting, Anissa researches super-strength. We find out that her grandpa Alvin died a week after pulling all articles from the Freeland Gazette about a vaccine that may have caused super-strength in nine kids who later went missing!

Though Jefferson doesn’t tell her much, he does state that he sees a lot of Grandpa in her, who always tried to do the right thing. The truest statement about Anissa this entire season!

She also tries out two costumes with the latter being more successful with the first tearing when practicing her kicks. For the second outfit, she gets help from a very awesome and gay boutique clerk and it’s even got a wig! #Gaysolidarity

Sadly, her detective skills need a bit of work because she goes right into asking the current editor of the Gazette about the missing kids and he immediately shuts her down. Fortunately he knows she is as determined as Alvin and gives her a box of files which lead her to a storage unit where she finds a vial with white liquid…

It’s implied the serum is likely related to Greenlight. But is Greenlight made this way on purpose, or did something go terribly wrong over the last decade and longer?

Random Tidbits

  • It almost seemed like Henderson actually missed working with BL!
  • Is Syonide ever going to talk? And if she’s not is it because she can’t/doesn’t, or because she’s just the silent chick with death in her eyes?
  • I am super worried about everyone at all times. Even Tobias as far as Lady Eve sending him an envelope with ashes…….
  • Loved the mention of the Tuskeegee syphilis study which is one of many horrible antiblack experiments in American scientific history.

All the episodes work well together even though they’re all by different writers. This one especially had more humorous moments and it worked well considering the way the episode ended with Black Lightning knocked out on the ground.

Next week the show is on hiatus but keep an eye out for my “Black Lightning so far” piece next Wednesday. I’ll discuss some of the stuff we’ve pointed out in the comments for these first five episodes!


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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