MFST Reacts: ‘Black Lightning’ Series Premiere “The Resurrection”
Last night was the series premiere of the highly anticipated superhero series Black Lightning. The CW show centers on DC’s first African American hero and his family. Our retired hero gets back into the game to save his family and city. Here’s a recap of the premiere:
Jefferson Pierce, played by Cress Williams, has become a hero in a different way; as the principal of the prospering Garfield Academy. The people of Freeland lose faith in their police force after another gang killing stemming from a growing gang called the 100, who are not only violent but ruthless and led by Jefferson’s old nemesis, Tobias Whale.
That gang violence interfering with his daughters ignites a fire in Jefferson to use his powers again when his youngest daughter, Jennifer gets more than she bargained for when she goes to a nightclub affiliated with the 100 gang. Jefferson goes to get her and ends up using his powers against several gang members when a gun is pulled on him.
Outside, Jefferson has an encounter with police that is caught on video before fleeing to his old friend, Peter Gambi. The video excites many who feel the city needs a hero after Black Lightning’s disappearance nine years ago, but Jefferson doesn’t want to be a hero. He just wants to get his ex-wife, Lynn, back.
When Will, a young man Jennifer met at the club, shows up at the school and causes trouble, Jefferson goes to Latavious (street name LaLa); one of his former students, Will’s cousin, and shadow leader of the 100 gang. LaLa says he’ll handle it but Will kidnaps Anissa and Jennifer.
Jefferson picks up the new suit Gambi has developed and goes after them. The girls are in awe of their rescuer’s powers. It turns out that Tobias believes he killed Black Lightning nine years ago. He tells LaLa to take care of whoever this new figure is. Later that night, Anissa wakes up from a nightmare and the first hint of her powers emerge when she breaks the bathroom sink.
Here’s our reaction to the series premiere of Black Lightning
Samantha Reacts: I think overall it’s a very different show compared to other DCTV shows; race plays an integral part in the show. Freeland is a community consisting of, at least from what I could tell, African-American people overrun by crime and some racist white police officers. It’s a show that not only embraces diversity but also emphasizes the paranoia that comes with being African-American.
As for the story of the show itself, it’s also one that features a retired superhero which means there’ll be flashbacks and what I’m guessing will be Jefferson’s daughter, possibly daughters, becoming heroes in their own right which will be interesting to see in the future.
Kira Reacts: “Strange Fruit” playing at the start of the episode! From that first moment, I knew this was about to be the blackest show on the CW. From the mentions of Civil Rights era figures and the police stop to the dialogue in just the first ten minutes, it was clear early on that the writers took their chance to have an authentic depiction of blackness serious. That and its tone makes it stand out from the Arrowverse series.
I loved the introduction of the characters and their dynamics, from Jennifer and Anissa’s sisterhood to the chemistry between Jefferson and his ex-wife, Lynn. I was impressed by China McClain and Nafessa Williams performances. The first episode covered so many relevant topics including protesting, gangs, sex-trafficking, divorce, racial profiling and the abuse of police power. Bravo to the show’s creators Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil!
How would you rate the series premiere?
Black Lightning airs Tuesdays at 9 PM EST on The CW Network
Samantha Nguyen covers entertainment for MFST. You can follow her on Twitter @mzsnguyenthai
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. You can follow her on Twitter @cocovanilla45 (GirlsofManyFandoms) and @kiramira_
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