‘Black Lightning’ 1×10 Review: “The Book of Redemption”

By

Before I begin, let me apologize to everyone who takes the time to read my Black Lightning reviews. Life really caught up with a sister recently; I never quite got my footing and didn’t get a review up for episode 9, The Book of Little Black Lies. You know that feeling that comes when you get so far away from something that it seems like you can’t ever get back? Well, that’s what it felt like once the week began to roll on. Then all of a sudden, episode 10 was airing, and I was screwed.

So, a quick recap of my thoughts about last week:

*Jennifer’s reaction to having powers was so well written. She isn’t a SJW like her sister. She’s a teenage girl who wants to go to prom and who now worries if she’ll be able to have children. She just wants to be your normal Miss Garfield High.

* Anissa was right to tell Jennifer about her alter ego and Jefferson’s.  The lies had already caused a rift in the family and with Gambi. And who better to tell you that your life is about to change in ways you can never imagine than the person you trust most-your big sister. I’m usually team Lynn and Jeff, but they should have been honest with Jennifer from the start. Sometimes a sibling has to pull through.

*Gambi trying to make amends for his deceptions and omissions is the right move, but is it too late for him? Jefferson is a middle aged man- Gambi should have told him long ago. The risk of losing a ‘son’ was just too much to risk I guess.

*Has anyone figured out what A.S.A. stands for? Did I miss the acronym reveal?? Please let a girl know.

*The father/daughter moments on this show are emotional vortexes, and I can’t get enough!

Okay. I know that’s pretty skimpy, but I gotta get this current review train back on the tracks.

The Littlest Pierce

Though lots of subplots are materializing (and simultaneously scaring the shit out of me) in The Book of Redemption,  Jennifer’s superpower reveal is front and center.

Jennifer not embracing her powers is interesting and something I didn’t expect. The popular notion that everyone would love the chance to have powers and play the superhero is challenged and it holds up quite well. Jennifer has been the ‘queen” of Garfield High due to her brains, beauty, and let’s face it- her dad’s status in the school and community. Why would she want to give that up? What would be the worthy trade-off for a 16-year old girl, especially one who has spent countless nights in jail waiting rooms to pick up her hero of a sister?

She hasn’t really been shown the upside to the choice of “with great power, comes great responsibility.” I admire how the show has taken Jennifer’s stance and not backed away from it- in fact she has become more entrenched in her belief that the hero life isn’t for her- it’s perfect for “Harriet” as she so lovingly calls Anissa.

Black Lightning is setting up a wonderful arc for Jennifer’s character as it also seems to be laying breadcrumbs that the littlest Pierce may just be the most powerful. With the MRI scan showing that her body has become energy itself, she will likely have abilities beyond Jeff and Anissa. Can you imagine what Jennifer will be able to do with pure energy coursing through every fiber of her body at all times? There is no need to charge up like Jeff and though we have yet to see her strength, I venture to say it will rival if not surpass Anissa’s.

For these reasons, Jennifer’s journey from reluctance to acceptance is really important and worthy of the time it may take the writers to get her there.

Ghosts

So, I ain’t gonna lie. I legit tweeted the Black Lightning writers room to tell them they are scaring me with Lala’s story line.

For one I don’t understand it and two it’s just eerie as hell. Is he dead, alive, in some limbo space between heaven and hell? How did he get there? Did the A.S.A. have something to do with his return? Is he there to help them get rid of Black Lightning and keep the people of Freeland in a drug stupor? Why is he being marked with the faces of the people he has killed? (Though I actually like that idea. They are a part of him now- “getting rid of them” has only drawn them closer. I’m fascinated by where that part of the story will go.) Why does he have super strength? He pulled off somebody’s ear without much effort. Why is he always wearing track suits? And what is Will doing back?

It was LaWanda before, so I guess it is rightly his turn. I have a feeling Will’s death is gonna haunt Lala a little more than LaWanda’s. They were family, and Will got a few joules of Black Lightning juice in him before he got shot so do we hear Static Shock knocking on the season finale door?? It would be a great redemptive arc for Will’s character- a former street thug who gets a second chance and can now work to save the city he once helped to tear apart. Plus he may get to enact a little revenge on his no loyalty having cousin- Yep. Sign me up.

With only a few episodes left this season, I can’t wait to see how the creators wrap it up or better yet leave it wide open for season 2.

Other Thoughts I Was Having:

*Why did Jefferson knock that joint out of Two Bits’ mouth like that and WHY did the writers have that lady throw those microwaves? I was dying.

*Jefferson using his electricity scanning powers to look through Lynn’s clothes was too cute. They are so like a real broken up couple. Hot and cold.

*Jennifer bursting into a ball of energy when Anissa brought up Khalil was crazy. Emotional stability will be key moving forward lil sis. That was a low blow and Anissa straight up owned it “Yeah, I said it.”

*Ms. Fowdy’s shady behind. What does the A.S.A. have on her?

*Why did those bodies in those suspension chambers remind me of The Prestige with Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale? If you haven’t seen that movie, you are truly missing out. And are those all the kidnapped kids from the past or are they adding new ones, like the missing girl from the opening scene?

*Jefferson couldn’t let Gambi die and Anissa had to be the one to lay some truth on her dad. Feeling aside, Gambi has gone a long way to make amends.

*Jennifer asking her dad how he pees in his suit and “Girl, bye.” Nuff said. LOL.

*Why does Anissa have to breath so hard and loud before she uses her powers??

*Lala put his own momma up for collateral. SMH.

What did you think of The Book of Redemption? Let me know.

Black Lightning airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.

We also recommend