And Then the Devil Brought the Plague (Black Lightning Ep. 5 TV Review)

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird…It’s a plane….It’s Jefferson discovering he can fly!!! Using his powers and suit upgrades, we see Black Lightning cruising the skies like Tony Stark when he first tested his suit. He comes across a young man tussling with a few officers. As he watches, he watches the young man literally punch the officers into the air, he realizes that The 100s new drug, Green Light, and he swoops in quickly to save the young man before the cops shoot him. And gives them the most realistic advice ever:

“Next time – use a taser first…”

Meanwhile Gambi gets a surprise visit from Tobias. This interaction between is interesting not because Tobias is grilling him for information but because clearly there is some history between these two men…We find out that Tobias has some kind of serum in his blood that gives him his power…Their dynamic will come into play later.

Jennifer and Anissa are both dealing with their own paths…Jennifer lets her father know how much of a target she is at school being the principal’s daughter. She gets into a fight with two girls at the skating rink because of a little jealousy that Jennifer is better on the track and with getting the guyJ She dispatches them quickly, breaking the wrist of one girl and walking away to skate. The smirk on her face is satisfying as she knows the mercy she shows them. Later in the episode, we see Jefferson and Lynn argue with her about the fight…Mainly upset that she didn’t tell them. Jefferson gives her the benefit of the doubt when he finds out that the girls attempted to jump Jennifer but Lynn is still upset. Watching this was surprising because in a situation, wouldn’t we want our children to be able to defend themselves in a situation where talking won’t help? Her being upset is much deeper than just this fight but Jefferson understands.

“The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me…” — Victor Frankel. Sometimes the answer to violence is peace but as Jennifer says “That’s easier said than done…”

Anissa starts doing more research on her powers as she is trying to understand them and attempt to control them better. She comes across something interesting connected to a reporter that knew a lot of information and who also is her grandfather and decides to look into it deeper.

Jefferson gets a lead on where The 100 may be storing the chemicals to make Green Light and decides to check it out. He easily overpowers the “guard” and finds out that the person paying him is Joey Toledo – Tobias’ right hand man. This leads us to an argument between Gambi and Jefferson where Jefferson finally realizes that Tobias is alive and well. As Jefferson lets Gambi know that he will do anything it takes to get to Tobias, he passes out…Clean. It’s like his body shuts down and he falls like a sack of potatoes. Not knowing what to do, Gambi calls Lynn to take a look at him and lets her know that Jefferson has passed out before and has been having headaches. As they are discussing his issues, Jefferson wakes up by literally sucking the power from the room and jolting himself awake. Lynn gets Jefferson to get some rest so she can figure out what’s happening to him.

We are then switched over to Tobias having a conversation with his sister Tori about not finding Black Lightning and his ambitions to climb the “corporate ladder”. She lets him know that she found Eldridge – their father…And we are immediately flashed into a memory of Tobias’. We watch him replay a painful memory of how their father hated being their father – upset that their mother left, upset that Tobias is albino so he couldn’t do what the other kids did for health reasons, and when Tori comes to his defense Eldridge smacks her as he pushes Tobias down. This scene is something – not only because it shows the abuse they suffered as children but Tobias is reliving it as a grown man while everything else around him is in the past. The anger, the frustration, the hurt, being told “he’s not normal”…Tori and Tobias decide that in order to move forward, they have to settle their past with their “first enemy” and decide to pay him a visit. They go to his house and confront him. Apparently he wanted gratitude for sticking around…He got a nice bear hug from Tobias…And a broken back along with a slow death…Guess someone should’ve worn his life alert bracelet.

Anissa takes a trip over to the Freeland Gazette, her grandfather’s old job, and talks to David Poe, the editor of the paper. She tries to ask questions about some of her grandfather’s work and the expose’ about the missing children. David immediately kicks her out of his office. She shows up again and David gives her all of her grandfather’s research and warns her to be careful…”They’re watching”. Going through the paperwork, Anissa finds the key to a storage locker and checks it out. We get to see her find a new outfit which brings a great moment in this episode as it becomes a superhero fashion show of sorts…She visits a risqué boutique to fins her outfit and ends up purchasing something that would make Superman proud while blushing! (P.S. every city needs a store like that) At the storage locker she finds boxes filled with her grandfather’s research along with some kind of substance.

Black Lightning gets a lead on Joey Toledo’s girlfriend from Sgt. Henderson and decides to pay her a visit to draw out Toledo hoping to find out information on Tobias. But just as he starts making progress, his headaches start up again with a crippling vengeance and Toledo gets away. The episode ends with Black Lighting on the ground writhing in pain…

 

Questions we’re left with: Who was David Poe warning Anissa about…Who are “they”? Will Gambi finally come clean with Jefferson and tell him all that he knows? Can Jefferson be helped as he struggles with the pain and migraines or will he keep deteriorating? What did Anissa find and will she tell her family about what’s going on with her? Whose ground up bones were in the envelope that Lady Eve sent Tobias?

 

One thing is for sure – the “big payback” is coming…Who it hits first is something we’ll find out next week…

Favorite tracks of this episode – “Tuck ‘N’ Roll” by Durand Jones & The Indications; “Buyaka” by Falcons, Gta & Stush

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8.5
Great
Written by
Graduate of THE Ohio State University Mother Gamer Movie Aficionado

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  1. I thought him taking flight was a nice touch. Black Lightining is getting a feel for what he could do and I’m loving it. Slowly he is getting back to the BL I know. Him taking flight was a quite a sight to see. Gambi’s meeting with Tobias definitely raised an eyebrow and I’m curious to see how BL reacts to that as I’m sure that reveal is coming at some point that they’re very familiar. The fight at the Skating place was funny to considering Jefferson’s initial reaction. The thing that makes this stick out to me was my own daughter was being picked on at school until she punched the girl in the stomach which effectively stopped further bullying. When I was told I was rather meh about it basically I didn’t really care whether it was wrong or right. So the dad in me was in agreement. I was happy my daughter could defend herself when she needed too so understood where Jefferson was coming from. Lynn character is kind of annoying to me but I have this issue with a lot of folks who find out their love interest/friend/family member is a hero with powers or special abilities. I would think it’s the coolest thing ever so her deep feelings of resentment annoy me (I feel the same way about Foggy in Daredevil mythos).

    I can’t wait to get answers on those questions asked as well especially the bones…

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