And lightning strikes... four times?

Not really. For one thing, you get the idea "Black Jesus" should have been the title of last week's episode. There's no mention of Jeff being the former "Black Jesus" of Freeland. Although the soundtrack makes up for it. The main theme lyrics are played mostly in full at the end, and... wow. "Here he come, just in perfect timing. To help the needy and guide the blinded" I get that BL is all 2018 and anti-racist and all, and that there are religious overtones that were played up a bit last week. But sheesh. I don't recall Black Lightning helping the needy and guiding the blind.


Black Lightning is the only hero in his little universe. I get that. But sheesh, are the religious overtones necessary? Flash was the first meta superhero in the Arrowverse, but I don't recall the (non) vocal talking about him helping the needy and guiding the blinded. Or being called White Jesus, even when he was running across water. I'm not sure whether to be insulted or not by the show having the black community of Freeland (and the creative team) framing the hero in religious terms when he isn't a divine being. They're walking a pretty thin line between religious beliefs and stereotyping, and tonight they wandered across the line a couple of times.
Maybe that's just me. On with the recap. Jeff has to deal with a student, Bernard Lewis, who took a new drug called Green Light. He becomes super-strong and Jeff has to put him down with an electrical blast. This leads Jeff and Gambi to the conclusion that someone other than The 100 is dealing drugs. Which I didn't entirely follow their line of reasoning. They make it sound like the operation is a bit too professional to be The 100. But The 100 seems pretty professional about their criminal endeavors, all things considered.

Jeff finds out that his old buddy Two-Bits is dealing Green Light. He first tries to warn him off as Jeff, and then beats up on him as Black Lightning. Funniest part of the episode is Two-Bits trying to get Black Lightning to pose with him for a selfie before BL refuses and punches him unconscious. The information leads BL to a warehouse where whoever is dealing drugs is using temperature-controlled canisters and 18-wheelers to move the drugs. But BL hears two explosions and goes to investigate.

That brings us to the Anissa part of the show. She catches two teenagers trying to sell drugs to her students, and beats them up later while she wears a hoodie. However, Anissa apparently badly injures one and calls for 911. Then she pays a visit to Grace and her lesbian club, and three (white) bigots attack them. They knock out Grace and Anissa puts her foot down twice. Literally. That's the explosion that BL heard earlier. By the time he gets there, she's taken Grace to Grace's apartment. Gambi has seen the whole thing on CCTVs, but doesn't tell Jeff and takes a photo of the footprint that Anissa left behind.


I get the impression that Gambi will figure out that Anissa is superpowered first, and supply her with a costume (since making superhero costumes seems to be his gig), and have her do what Jeff can't or won't do. We'll see.

Jennifer is sticking with the crippled Khalil, since his mother is working extra shifts to pay for his hospital bills. She decides to quit the track team, and Khalil decides to have the local news put his story on the air. Meanwhile, Tobias has called in his sister Tori (Tori Whale?), who advises him to turn BL into the people's enemies so that they'll kill him instead of Tobias. They go after Khalil, sending him gifts as the first stage in convincing him that BL is responsible. When the community supports Khalil, they'll turn against BL

Tobias is feeling the pressure because Lady Eve has told him that her partners are unhappy with Tobias' pressure. She delivers this rebuke while working in a morgue fishing around in a guy's chest with an aspirator or some such. And he's alive during the process. I think he's someone who we've seen before fail The 100.


The subplots include the fact that the school board wants to expel Bernard but Jeff wants to give him a second chance. The board doesn't like that, and eventually they tell Jeff (through his vice principal, Kara) that they'll let Bernard stay if Jeff gives up any veto power in expulsion of extreme cases. They'll refuse to sign his contract if he doesn't cooperate, which seems like it doesn't grant him any kind of power. Jeff uses it and gets let go eventually? Jeff has to accept, and Kara is kind of passive-aggressive through it all.


Most of the subplotting is Jeff having to deal with the collateral damage of his activities. Which is the usual superhero trope: it seems like The 100 is directly to blame. BL didn't shoot Khalil and sever his spine: it’s not like he accidentally shocked Khalil into a crippled state. Given the religious overtones, it seems difficult to believe that a community would turn against him.

We also find out that Tobias "killed" BL by throwing him into a river nine years ago. But the coroner (who works for Tobias) apparently misidentified the body, which was subsequently cremated. I'm not sure if we're supposed to think the coroner's boss is in on the whole BL/Jeff thing or not, or the body was just misidentified. Time will tell on that, hopefully.


And Lynn is still mad at Jeff, enough that she doesn't have time for him to lay his shit on her when he starts feeling depressed.

Overall, it was a decent episode of Black Lightning. I'm not too big on the religious overtones, and the fact that they're going the trope-alicious route of framing a hero and turning the people against him. It seems like they go to that well over on Arrow at least once a season. They're also getting into secrets and lies drama, the mark of a fine CW superhero show. Anissa is keeping secrets from her parents, Gambi is keeping secrets from Jeff, Jeff isn't telling his children about his second career, presumably Khalil will keep Tobias' involvement secret.


When the show focuses more on "Black Lightning: The Superhero With the Family", it's a bit more interesting. The adventures of Anissa and Jennifer are sometimes more interesting than those of Jeff/BL. I also don't mind BL as a community inspiration and leading the fight against The 100. It's when they do the whole "BL as Jesus" thing it gets a bit odd.

But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
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