Welcome to the second half of the second season of Black Lightning! Before hiatus, Jen and Khalil were on the run and it was eating up the entire show, and, well, it still is! But the plot finally moved forward in a predictably devastating way.
We open with Team Pierce’s continued attempt to find Jen, which includes searching a bunch of abandoned parts of town where Khalil would be most likely to go to stay away from Tobias. Turns out, he’s got a sweet little apartment in a railroad car, complete with a kitchen and a table to draw at. He and Jen go there to chill for a bit before they leave Freeland.
I have many issues with this scene because I have many issues in the way Khalil is portrayed, and specifically how his and Jen’s relationship is portrayed. Ever since he ran away from Tobias, Khalil is straight-up saccharine. You know that YA trope where for some reason every story featuring a female protagonist needs to have a Perfect Love Interest? That’s what this is. The thing that really gets me is that Khalil gives Jen her necklace back and then when she cries her eyes out saying she doesn’t want to have sex for the first time in a train car while on the run, Khalil looks at her with puppy dog eyes and just says, “I’ll wait.” The cis-heteronormative implication is that sex is always something men will want and that that women should shed tears over not providing it. Then the man should be gracious and make her feel better by saying, “I’ll wait, it’s ok, let me dry your tears.” NO THANKS.
Anyway after this trainwreck (lol) of a scene, we get Mama Lynn with her Motherly Intuition (and a map Gambi sent her) guiding her to the train yard, where she just *knows* Jen is hiding. She calls into the night, knowing Jen can hear her, that they’re not a family without her and they don’t want her to get hurt. My heart! Of course, she’s right that Jen and Khalil can hear her, and the message gets through to Jen. Then Khalil has an epiphany that he’s the reason they’re running and that Jen should go home. Lynn is VIP once more.
Jefferson, Anissa, and Lynn walk through the door of their home dejected after not having found Jen, but guess who’s sitting on the couch! All the Pierces are together again, and it feels so good.
The only thing is, Khalil is there too, and Jefferson launches into yet another trope: the I’m The Dad and I’m Going To Kill You trope. Luckily that only lasts for a second, and they group work out that the best thing to do is to have Khalil turn himself into the authorities. They figure he’s safer in police custody than in the world where Tobias could capture him at any moment. So Jefferson calls in Henderson, who has an entire SWAT team take Khalil away in the back of an armored vehicle. This is a complicated and sad thing to watch, and I think the scene was really well done. The characters address how scary it is for a Black boy to be taken by police, even when he is voluntarily going with them.
Of course, a huge SWAT team is no match for Cutter, who somehow manages to slay literally all of the cops and kidnap Khalil from the back of the armored vehicle. She takes him to Tobias, and in a truly horrifying scene, Tobias rips out Khalil’s spine, which isn’t made of bone but of metal with red and green lights on it, so I guess that’s the thing that made him able to walk again. Tobias sends Cutter and Todd to ‘take out the trash,’ which apparently means placing a dying Khalil and his bionic spine in front of the church. Reverend Holt and some parishioners come out and pray over the dying boy. I don’t know if Khalil will actually die, and I’m very conflicted about it because I don’t really like his character but I don’t like to see major characters written off a show via death. Especially not one as brutal as this.
Speaking of Tobias, he’s got Todd fully under his wing now, and is feeding him vegan chicken and waffles at a fancy table, among other things.
We find out that Todd is a code genius and Tobias wants him to crack the briefcase, which he promptly does. Turns out that behind the firewall is all the information about project MOD, aka Masters of Destruction, aka the pod kid/meta experiments. There’s a live camera feed to the room with the pod kids, and they figure out that the reason the ASA wants to buy the church clinic property so badly is that it was the first place they did the experiments. I guess that’s really important.
Welp, that’s it for this week! Let’s end on a happier note with this photo of the Sisters Pierce, because they are the best together.
Thanks for reading, see you next week!