Tuesday, November 20, 2018

REVIEW: 'Black Lightning' - Anissa Explores a Segregated New Community in 'The Book of Blood: Chapter Two: The Perdi'

The CW's Black Lightning - Episode 2.06 "The Book of Blood: Chapter Two: The Perdi"

Black Lightning and Thunder return to South Freeland in an attempt to figure out what is going on. When they arrive, they are directed to a nearby wood where they are surrounded by a clan of mixed-race moonshiners called the Perdi. Feeling tremendous guilt, Lynn falls into a deep depression. Tobias finds that his plan is falling apart.

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 Two: The Perdi" was written by Pat Charles and directed by Oz Scott

This episode is a little all over the place. That seems to be a little indicative of the season as a whole so far as well. There have been a lot of stories going on that keep all of the characters insanely busy. However, some of the larger plot points aren't landing in an emotionally resonant way because the show just hasn't had the proper time to really do justice to everything. That's a significant problem. One that could quickly spiral out of control. Moreover, this episode starts off by confirming that Gambi is indeed alive. It's just incredibly frustrating that the show let the audience live in agony for a week believing him to be dead even though there was no way that could possibly be true. This story may play better for those viewers who are binging the season all at once later on. Even then, it may be frustrating because there doesn't really seem to be a point to any of this. It's important that Gambi is isolated from the Pierce family for a little bit. The show really hasn't offered a reason for doing so though. Nor is it justified that the entire family believes he is dead and he hasn't reached out to any of them. Sure, he is still making his influence known. He has a drone during the climatic fight of this hour. He is helping Jefferson and Anissa. He is keeping them safe. They just don't notice that there is another player on their side helping them fight this new enemy. Moreover, the community of South Freeland is immediately so foreign and fantastical. It shows just how divided racial politics are still capable of being in the modern world. It shows how this community is stuck in a more segregated past because of the actions that one community has done to enslave the other with the rest of the world being completely unaware to their struggle. It's a story that tackles the horrible opinions that come from interracial relationships. However, it's also introducing a new group of super-powered individuals. It's all very expositional here. It proves that Anissa is capable of being a hero even when she isn't wearing the Thunder outfit. She is trying to protect newborn twins. The fact that they seem to be immune to Looker's powers means that they pose a significant threat to her. That means that all of this will receive even more focus moving forward. However, it also just feels like a distraction to keep Jefferson and Anissa busy while Tobias plots out his next moves. And yet, he doesn't really seem to make much progress in that regard either. He wants to relocate the free clinic. Reverend Jeremiah holds his ground which makes Tobias order Khalil to kill him. Khalil learns that Tobias is the one who ordered the hit on the reverend which led to him being paralyzed. He tries to fight Tobias but it ends in defeat for him. He believes that he is trapped in this impossible situation. This isn't who he is but he believes he's beyond redemption. Of course, Jennifer doesn't see things that way. And yet, her perspective isn't all that helpful or healthy either. She wants to help her mother as she goes through a difficult time with the deaths of half of the pod children. And yet, it still remains difficult to be emotionally invested in the outcome of this story because the show hasn't presented the audience with a reason to care about those in captivity. Lynn says she sees them as her own children. As such, she is hit hard by their deaths and feels personally responsible. But it still feels like the overall story is spinning before something major can happen that will shake things up for Lynn.