We return to find Jefferson training Anisssa…Not just honing her fighting skills but her reaction and judgment skills…Making sure she pays attention to her surroundings enough to not overreact.
At the end of episode 7, the surprise return of LaLa had everyone gasping in disbelief. But here he is in the middle of a club, alive and well, with the tattoo of Lawanda (the mother he killed in cold blood) on his chest. And it’s more than just a voice in his head or any kind of haunting, he sees her at any given time and feels her touch…Later in the episode, he goes back and forth with her about who they can trust and what the streets say about him…It’s as if they truly share a consciousness. They even have a “moment” in his shower…move over Patrick Swayze! But the viewers can see that he is struggling to make sense of his existence and find his purpose.
In the meantime, Jefferson, Anissa, and Gambi work to clear Black Lightning’s name in the case of Lady Eve’s murder. Jefferson and Anissa go take a look at Lady Eve’s body in the morgue to see if they can figure out who or what actually killed her. They break in and look at her body (without gloves…smh!!!) but they discover that she has no lightning mark on her body (the mark left on people hit by lightning), instead she has burns all over her body and they figure out that she was hit with some high levels of radiation. They decide to put out a satellite trace to see if they find anything else emitting the same level of radiation.
On the other side of town, Lynn is on her own hunt. As she and Jennifer clean up the pieces of her lab after the break-in, she finds that the paperwork Anissa brought over, her grandfather’s research, is missing. She heads over to a different lab that analyzes samples and asks the researcher if they have the sample she sent over and results. She finds out that the research lab was also broken into and her sample was stolen…She realizes now that the break in wasn’t random. Luckily the researcher had a backup copy of the file and Lynn starts digging to find out what was worth all of that trouble. As she starts looking closer, she finds that Green Light has the same genetic signature as Jefferson’s father’s vaccine sample from the kids who were experimented on decades ago. She calls Jefferson as the research was 30yrs old and she is running into brick walls…Jefferson tells her to check with Gambi.
Today is the day we finally find out what Gambi has been hiding – hiding Jefferson and Tobias from each other, his relationship with Lady Eve, how he’s a tailor with no clients and a cold blooded killer, the frustration he shows towards Jefferson when Jefferson ignores his request to check out the radiation signature in the woods. Earlier in the episode, we see a truck pull up to Gambi in a dark parking lot and viewers watch as an interesting conversation takes place between Gambi and this stranger (Martin Proctor – the ASA Section Leader). They discuss being a part of the “ASA”, how Lady Eve was able to get Green Light onto the streets faster than they expected, how Black Lightning should’ve been killed when he first returned, and the “Freeland experiment”. Gambi protests and tries to change Martin’s mind but it doesn’t work…
“The only thing these people are good for is experimentation…We’re doing God’s work…” In all honesty and complete transparency, that was the most racist thing I’ve heard on this show yet…Feeds into the fact that this just got really, really bad.
Lynn goes to question Gambi about the research and Gambi cannot hide his guilt…The look of confession immediately comes across his face and it takes Lynn all of two seconds to piece it together…Maybe it confirms something she’s known for a while – that he’s been hiding something important for years. After Jefferson comes in from his outing with Anissa, Lynn tells him to go see Gambi and the conversation we’ve been waiting for finally happens…Gambi tells him everything:
His real name – Peter Esposito…
He works for a government agency called the ASA…
The ASA was conducting an experiment aimed at making volatile people more docile by giving them vaccines but the side effect was it turned some people into meta-humans, gave them powers…
His job was to find them and report who they were along with their abilities…
However some children died after receiving the vaccine and when he found out, he leaked the research to Alvin Pierce – Jefferson’s father… Gambi is the real reason why he was killed!
Martin Proctor is looking for Black Lightning and will kill him on site…And Lynn…And Anissa
Jefferson’s eyes light up immediately with anger and pain as he warns Gambi to stay away from him and his family…He leaves knowing that his whole life has been a lie.
With all of this being said – the most amazing part of this episode is Jennifer’s powers are bursting forth! After Lynn dismisses Jennifer from the lab cleanup when she realizes the research is missing, Jennifer meets up with one of her friends to hang posters up after school. Her friend climbs a scaffold to hang a poster higher on the wall and Jennifer tells her to get down repeatedly so that she won’t hurt herself. The friend stumbles at the bottom and almost falls off…In a rush of adrenaline and fear, Jennifer screams out and reaches for her friend when a spark of lightning heats up her hands burning her phone and the poster she’s holding. She can’t believe it and starts putting out the small fire on the poster, claiming her friend scaring her is what made her drop and break her phone. Later that night she tries to summon her powers again…She holds the burnt phone, closes her eyes, and calms her breathing. Her eyes begin to twitch and Zap! She zaps the phone from her hands again and we watch as hot lightning coursing through her hands…Her eyes are burning with power and we know…Lighting is about to strike again!
Some questions we’re left with – Where is Khalil? What happened to Tobias? How in the heck did LaLa come back, who exactly is he now, and why is Lawanda hanging out as a tattoo on his chest? How will the family, Lynn in-particular, handle Jennifer’s new powers? How will Jennifer handle them? Will we ever see what else was in Alvin Pierce’s research? If the vaccine created Tobias and Black Lightning – who else is out there and what abilities do they have?
Favorite tracks of this episode: “Now I’m Gone” – Durand Jones & The Indications, “As I Am” – Curtis Harding