Tuesday, October 15, 2019

REVIEW: 'Black Lightning' - Jefferson and Lynn Clash Over Odell's Objectives in 'The Book of Occupation: Chapter Two'

The CW's Black Lightning - Episode 3.02 "The Book of Occupation: Chapter Two: Maryam's Tasbih"

With Freeland under full-blown occupation, the Pierce family gets pulled in different directions. Jefferson and Lynn find themselves at odds with each other. Anissa rebels as Blackbird while Jennifer feels powerless despite having powers.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of The CW's Black Lightning.

"The Book of Occupation: Chapter Two: Maryam's Tasbih" was written by Charles Holland and directed by Oz Scott

The threat from the Markovians is credible and urgent. It's not some false narrative that Agent Odell has sold to the world in the hopes of manipulating metahumans for his own nefarious purposes. He is running experiments on those who present with powers. He is making them fight each other to see the strong prevail. He hopes to use all of that in order to build a super soldier program. That can enhance the capabilities of the United States throughout the world. If they can militarize metahumans, then they will present as the strongest and most formidable power known to man. He believes he has the power to mind wipe an individual as well. He uses Khalil as a test subject. That's absolutely horrifying. It means that so many people in this world refuse to let the dead stay gone while the living mourn their loss and try to move on with their lives. Khalil's death still hits a raw nerve for Jennifer and his mother. Odell tests the new Painkiller by seeing if there is any hope that his memories will come back. They don't when he kills his mother. They probably will when he encounters Jennifer again. That seems to be the overwhelming feeling because Odell can't possibly predict everything that may happen in this world. He may have had to expanded the scope of this lockdown. The entire city of Freeland is now occupied by a military force. But Odell is still in control. He is aided by a captain who believes his word is law. He too may have powers but he sees metahumans as yet another version of humanity that needs to be locked away in a cage with no compassion whatsoever. He refuses to see the humanity on display. Lynn can only see the humanity. She strives to help the kids now caught up in the ASA's detention. She seeks out answers in the hopes of providing cures for what ails them. She knows that Odell may be manipulating her research. But she can't let innocent children die knowing that she could have made a difference. Jefferson has a much more complicated view of the world. He sees Odell as the oppressor who can't be propped up by those wishing to bring about charge through the system. Lynn sees the benefits of her work. Jefferson sees sources for information. He has had to play along by the rules of this new world. He is essentially a prison no matter how well the accommodations have become for him and Lynn. They are treated well so long as they prove to be useful to Odell's objectives. If they become too problematic, then they will be abused into compliance. Odell believes he has the tools to create such subservience as well. That's terrifying. It proves that the threat inside the government can be just as perilous as those outside our borders. Anissa does her best to get as many people out of Freeland as possible. She doesn't want to subject anyone to the horrifying conditions of the ASA detention centers. And yet, she may be blinded by her pursuit as well because she threatens her allies on this route to freedom. The citizens of South Freeland are putting their lives on the line with no protection whatsoever. There is no military presence there. But there is the threat from the armed Markovian soldiers. The government isn't looking at them as lives that must be protected at all costs. Instead, they are expendable because they are outside the reach of what Odell and his commander can easily control. They want to maintain power by cracking down on the rights of those in Freeland. People are rising up and fighting back. That fight is just bound to grow even uglier. The warring forces are still on opposite sides of the border. There are still plenty of people trapped in Freeland who can't abide by the martial law that has just been implemented by their government. They would be truly horrified to learn all that Odell has been willing to do in service of his country. Meanwhile, there are children suffering because of the powers they can't control and a threat they don't entirely understand at the moment.