Tuesday, November 13, 2018

REVIEW: 'Black Lightning' - A Targeted Hit Shocks the Pierce Family in 'The Book of Blood: Chapter One: Requiem'

The CW's Black Lightning - Episode 2.05 "The Book of Blood: Chapter One: Requiem"

Jefferson and Anissa work together investigating the hometown of a creepy man at the clinic and make a shocking discovery. With Syonide gone, Tobias puts an increasing amount of pressure on Khalil to help fill some of the void left in the organization.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of The CW's Black Lightning.

"The Book of Blood: Chapter One: Requiem" was written by Lamont Magee and directed by Michael Schultz

Is Gambi dead or alive? That's the looming question throughout this hour. It starts with a sequence of him being attacked and seeming like his car explodes. The remainder of the hour then treats the situation as if he is truly gone now. The family all have prolonged and huge reactions to the news. Of course, it's absolutely understandable to believe like Jefferson does that Gambi planned for this scenario and managed to find some way out of it. Sure, news of his death has spread throughout Freeland. There are eyewitnesses who say that no one escaped from the vehicle before it went up in flames. Moreover, it was a professional hit by the government instead of some criminal organization. That too should intrigue the audience as it seems to be setting up some completely new aspect of the narrative. That's the overwhelming quality on display throughout this hour too. Sure, there are emotional reactions to the loss of a major character. However, there is also just a bunch of exposition that hopefully teases the audience as to what's coming next. Tobias blackmails a congressman into doing what he wants. Anissa gets a job at the free clinic. She then discovers a new kind of toxin that is apparently infecting the citizens of South Freeland. Jennifer continues to hold Khalil at a distance while still talking with him. And Lynn finds a solution to the pod kids that comes with only a fifty percent success rate. Some of these stories feel as if the show is moving from plot A to plot B. The pod kids especially needed some new twist to keep things interesting. Of course, the show waives Lynn of all responsibility that comes from the final decision as well. Fourteen of the children are killed. But it's all because Jace deceived Lynn into action and is promptly taken away likely to never be seen again. And so, the story is able to move forward to a new aspect while still being able to preserve the integrity of the main character. Elsewhere, Gambi's apparent death hits Jefferson the hardest. He lashes out at the world refusing to believe it until he sees the body. Again, that is an appropriate reaction. But the longer the show drags it out the more painful it will be should Gambi actually be revealed to still be alive. If he is still living, then it would justify everything that Jefferson does throughout this episode. He pushes a lot of people away and does some destructive things. That's not okay. It proves how much Gambi means to him. But it also feels like it comes at the expense of his family and friends. Sure, it's still very moving when he is at the store with the pocket watch. Anissa is there to help him cope with this tragic loss. But again, the show offers no clarity as to whether Gambi is gone for good. Television has trained audiences to be doubtful of any death in which the body is not seen. That leaves the potential always open for the character to be resurrected. In fact, many in Freeland believed that Tobias was dead for many years. He wasn't in the public spotlight because of the police wanting to arrest him. And now, he is operating as a free man once more. The same could be true of Gambi as well. There just has to be a solid reason for why he wouldn't confide in the Pierce family about what is going on. As such, so much of the impact of this story will depend entirely on how it plays out moving forward and whether the show actually earns the twists that it is going for. Right now, it mostly leaves things up-in-the-air to be decided at a later date.