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Thunder and Black Lightning
Thunder and Black Lightning

Television

Black Lightning Redeems Gambi…Sorta

I spent the entire episode of this week’s Black Lightning stressed, because WonderCon told us there was a bombshell at the end…and was there! I can’t handle this show, but I do love it for constantly making me scream at my screen like any Pierce can hear me and after those last three minutes, I’m still screaming.

The episode starts with a young high school girl, Neema lighting up after taking Green Light and then a van comes and kidnaps her. (2 Bitz tells Jefferson as such later too!)

Looks like we’ve got more metas! We go right into Anissa finding the kids from 30 years ago who though in their 40s look like young adults. They’re kept alive via some system and each one has their own tank.

(Love all the mentions of Uncle Gambi!)

Of course, when Thunder and Black Lightning get to the location, the kids are gone and the ASA hit squad loses again in a fight with the heroes. Jefferson also fills Anissa in on Gambi’s true origins explaining why he can’t trust Gambi again, even though Anissa wants to get Uncle Gambi’s help.

Jennifer Lit Up

Elsewhere, Jefferson wants Jennifer to stay home with Anissa after he hears from 2-Bitz about Neema. As expected, another argument breaks out about whether their powers are gifts from God or a “curse from the devil”, and Anissa causes Jennifer to light up.

Maybe don’t tell your little sister she gave up on her boyfriend when he gave up on her? “Yah, I went there.” The “you’re just like dad” does get them to realize they need to actually find out more about Jennifer, so off to mom’s lab they go. The MRI shows that Jennifer is a generator and she creates pure energy, unlike Jefferson who apparently works like a battery.

Clearly, emotion is the cue to all their powers, so I wonder what caused the breakthrough for Jefferson.

While Anissa’s line about Jennifer giving up track, giving up Khalil, and maybe giving up on her sister and parents when they need them most is harsh, it highlights how intensely the two feel about powers. The sisters really show the complexities of having powers in both the show’s greater context and comics in general. What teenager in Jennifer’s place wants this life? Anissa does apologize, but she did mean what she said, so does that help?

Obviously in two weeks we get to see Jennifer join in on fighting, but that’s likely due to major danger and not any kind of excitement.

LaLa’s Spirits

Spirits, because Will is back too! Like LaWanda, he shows up and has a full conversation with LaLa, though clearly no one else in the show can see anyone LaWanda or Will. LaLa wants his people to go sell other drugs, and when one of his dudes tries to talk back about how no one wants that, LaLa rips his ear clear off before shooting him dead. LaLa really likes guns…

Will mentions LaLa’s penchant for murder before turning into a tattoo as well. Maybe LaLa will kill Tobias too? (Probably not but it would be a nice twist).

Anyways, LaLa has got other things to worry about, like putting up his own mother’s life for collateral so he can get cocaine and other drugs to sell. BRUH. He gets his drugs and scares off another dude, so I am actually really hoping we get a showdown between him and Tobias. They can fight it out while the Pierce’s shut down the ASA.

Poor Gambi

Sigh. Martin and friends come and take Gambi to question (torture) him about knowing Black Lightning and telling him about the ASA. Martin points out that not only has Gambi stuck around Freeland, he helped raise Jefferson Pierce. The son of the man investigating the ASA.

Of course, Martin sends his men to get Jefferson, who show up just as Jefferson is starting a mentorship session with another Garfield student. He has been dealing drugs to make money for him and his Grandma. Unless Jefferson houses the kid and his grandma himself…

Jefferson, Anissa, and everyone else can try as hard as they want, but unless they can make the structural violence against Freeland go away, none of the kids are truly safe. Which is the case in our world too. Teachers and mentors can help a lot of kids get out of situations that will lead to negative outcomes, but not all kids. It’s great commentary on superheroes not being able to save everyone. Hopefully we’ll see the kid again and it’s not a one-off moment, because I think it would be nice to have one win by the end of the season.

Anyhow, Jefferson takes the two dudes out when they get to Gambi, and they try to use Jefferson to get Gambi to tell them who Black Lightning is. Not that it matters since the power outage right then proves it.

Jefferson and Gambi escape and Gambi apologizes again for everything. We also learn that Gambi’s fancy GambiCave has only been seen by the Pierces. Auh.

Even after getting beat within an inch of his life, he didn’t give up Jefferson as Black Lightning! I don’t actually think that redeems Gambi for all the terrible things he’s done in the ASA and in attempts to keep the Pierce family safe. If he survives the season though, at least he and Jefferson can start over on a better footing since they are surrogate father and son.

TRUST NO ONE

As for the missing kids both from 30 years ago and 2018? Gambi mentions that Jefferson should find the new spotter who has been finding the new ones for the ASA.

And who is that spotter? THE VICE FREAKING PRINCIPAL!!!!!!! Martin’s not pleased with her either for never realizing Jefferson Pierce is Black Lightning.

Well alright then. Truly never trusting anyone ever again on this show.

Random Tidbits

  • Knowing that Tobias is coming back in the second to last episode to take in Black Lightning with help from an “unexpected source” (Khalil?) is stressing me out!
  • This episode is another one with great music. Can’t wait for a final soundtrack.
  • “Rent, car note, electric.” Let me tell you, I laughed so hard. I laughed even harder with Lynn and Jefferson when she asked if he could see through clothes. Please stop that, y’all are at work.

Y’all I don’t even know how to react. We should have known! I always judged her though for trying to get with Jefferson so clearly that should have been a clue! (I’m mostly joking.) The spotter being a Ms. Fowdy though really highlights though how smart the ASA has gotten. She’s a trusted Black woman in the community. No one would ever suspect her, and even if Jefferson does before he gets arrested, it’s not like he can do anything about it just yet.

Thank goodness Gambi will recover though since he has to help Anissa prove that Black Lightning is out and about while Jefferson is in custody for who knows what false charges oof. With the title, “Black Jesus: The Book of Crucifixion” starting the last three episodes though…I might need to pause the episodes for a breather!

What did y’all think of this week’s big reveal?


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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