‘Black Lightning’ 1×02 Review: Lawanda The Book of Hope

Well, damn! That’s the first thing that comes to mind when I rethink episode two of Black Lightning. Lawanda: The Book of Hope hit on all cylinders and was a perfect indication of the potential this series has in my humble opinion. There were many strong moments, but here are my highlights:

Boy

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I love a well placed slow motion scene, and the one with Jefferson fearlessly approaching LaLa and his minions is one for the books. The look of disgust on Jefferson’s face as they try to intimidate him with bike tricks and mean mugs is so satisfying because we know the secret he carries with him-he could eradicate them in two seconds flat. The music and then the line of lines- “Don’t mistake my patience for weakness, boy!” I know that line touched a nerve in a whole lotta houses. I flashed back to a few times I called a grown man a boy and it wasn’t pretty. Black folks love calling people boy and nothing seems to burn a man up more than being called one by somebody they don’t like, and the delivery by Cress Williams was flawless.




Truth and Lies

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“Black Lightning is not back.” Yeah, ok Jeff. Looking in Lynn’s eyes probably made him believe he could leave the crime fighting to the cops, but no. Jefferson’s other lie is more deliberate. He almost gave himself away when Inspector Henderson asked how he knew Will fell off a balcony. How long can Jefferson keep up the facade to himself and to everyone else?

“I’m not normal. A blessing, a gift. Black Lightning is back!” Jefferson’s realization that he can’t just sit back and watch the city burn was another strong performance by Cress Williams. Lawanda’s death brought the question posed in the gymnasium back full circle. He wouldn’t be able to live with himself if he just used his powers to benefit his loved ones.  Lynn is not buying the story that Black Lightning has to be reborn to save the city. I wish they didn’t have to go through this, but I do appreciate her reluctance to go back to a life of worry and patching up his battered body.  Speaking of bodies, that’s my next highlight.

These Old Bones

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I’m so glad the writers have Jefferson feeling his age. Not only does it make his heroic journey as realistic as it can be, it makes for funny television moments. “Imma take the stairs. I’m just getting back into this- A brother needs all the exercise he can get.” I damn near lost it when he said that.

Anissa, or Should I Say Thunder

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Lynn thinks Jefferson has an addiction to his powers, but I think we’re being set up for that addiction to belong to Anissa. Waking up with a splitting headache that only an ass whoppin’ can cure- I say the rush of that won’t be easy to shake.

This episode was all that I wanted it to be and more. It still carried the heaviness of the pilot, (black lesbians, colorism, trafficking of young girls) but it was balanced out by the amazing lines and funny jabs at Jefferson’s age. Our new sweet ship Jeff and Lynn were on fire for a moment, but then we got the ice bucket thrown on us; I have a sneaking feeling that ship will sail and “dock” before this season ends. Well, not if Karen has any say so. Can’t wait to see what happens next week.

My Meandering Thoughts:

  • I’m not liking Tobias. He isn’t convincing me as a villian, but saying people have big lips with those soup coolers he has! I just can’t. And brother you IS black. Albino maybe, but black!
  • LaLa got off easy. Getting choked out in a cell was too tame for somebody who kills their own cousin and as Tobias said, “Somebody’s mama”
  • What is going on with Jennifer?
  • Do the girls know their father is Black Lightning? I don’t think so, but I’m not quite sure.

What did you think of this week’s episode?

Black Lightning airs on Tuesdays at 8pm/ET on the CW.