‘Black Lightning’ Recap and Review: “Chapter One: Rise of the Green Light Babies”
Last Tuesday, Black Lightning returned for its second season after a strong introduction in the spring. The premiere found the Pierce family and the community of Freeland still dealing with the effects of green light, the experiments done by the ASA, and the discovery of Jennifer’s abilities. Here’s a recap and review of “Book of Consequences: Chapter One: Rise of the Green Light Babies”.
Chapter one of season two brought us a very comic book looking title graphic followed by the death of Issa, an African American teenager suspected of being under the influence of green light, killed by police. The incident was recorded and left the community angry and looking for answers, especially when some of their residents now have powers. At Garfield, the school board was furious about Jefferson’s absence during the multiple events that occurred at the school (Khalil’s attack and his daughters getting kidnapped). They decided that it would be closed until they decided how to discipline him.
While Lynn was interrogated about the night the pods were found, Anissa revealed to Jennifer that her powers were continuing to change; Jen had been glowing and floating in her sleep. Elsewhere we saw a different side of Garfield’s former vice principal and ASA operative, Kara Fowdy faced off with Cyanide (Tobias’ right-hand woman). The next morning, she turned up at Gambi’s asking for help to get away from the ASA in exchange for the missing briefcase from season one.
Later, we learned more about the relationship between Jeff and newcomer Dr. Napier Frank, who was also a board member. He warned him that he would look out for the students and not his friend’s job. Napier is played by Robert Townsend (The Five Heartbeats, The Meteor Man). While the families of Freeland dealt with the news that they couldn’t see their family members who had been found in the pods, Lynn tried to get Jen to talk about her powers. When Jen got upset her powers flared up and accidentally injured Lynn.
While Lynn and Jeff argued about Lynn’s work on Green Light, Anissa robbed a drug den to help the church pay for the families’ legal fees. After leaving the house, Jeff was confronted by his friend Bill Henderson and forced to confess that he was Black Lightning. Henderson had nothing to say and walked off, hurt by the lies. When Jeff returned home, he and Lynn made up.
The next day, Jeff learned about Kara’s deal and her role with the ASA. while Jen dealt with her own issues; Khalil calling her and Keisha’s harsh view on metahumans. The situation only got worse when Issa woke up at his own funeral, surprising his family and the ASA agents who were taking his body away.
After his powers made his mother reveal that she was relieved when he died, his sister was shocked and told him to run. The news freaked out, causing Jen’s powers to flare. She sent her friend home and hid in the bathroom until her father came home and absorbed the energy. The next day, Jefferson stepped down as principal of Garfield after the board decided to close the school permanently. As Jen continued to glow, Anissa organized more stolen money, and Lynn started work with the pods, Kara went after Tobias to get the briefcase and got in over her head. Chapter one ended with her jumping out of his office window, fate unknown.
Final thoughts on the season premiere of Black Lightning
This series has done an amazing job bringing real-world issues into its fictional world. It adds depth and realism that keeps me watching. I loved the cameo from Angela Rye and the history drop about experimentation. It tied our world to the world of the Pierce family. This season it’s clear that things are going to change even more for our main casts. Jeff is saying goodbye to Garfield and Jen’s powers just keep shifting. It’ll be an interesting dynamic to watch. I’m also interested to see where Tobias goes now that he seems to be on his own.
“Rise of the Green Light Babies” was a strong start to the season, but the ending felt super random. I’m giving the episode a 9 out of 10.
Black Lightning airs Tuesdays at 9 PM EST on CW.
Kira McCall covers entertainment for MFST. She’s a freelance writer and alum of Towson University where she studied advertising, public relations, and creative writing. Follow her on Twitter at cocovanilla45 (GirlsofManyFandoms) and kiramira_.