Tuesday, November 26, 2019

REVIEW: 'Black Lightning' - Gambi and Lynn Discover One of Agent Odell's Secret Projects in 'The Book of Resistance: Chapter Two'

The CW's Black Lightning - Episode 3.07 "The Book of Resistance: Chapter Two: Henderson's Opus"

Anissa and Jefferson have a heart-to-heart and she tells him she needs Black Lightning's help in escorting meta refugees out of the perimeter. Gambi implores Lynn to help get him access to the Pit. Jennifer grows closer to Brandon.

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 Resistance: Chapter Two: Henderson's Opus" was written by Lynelle White and directed by Oz Scott

The people of Freeland have started to question the allegiance of Black Lightning. For so long, the citizens saw the super-powered hero as the protection they have long needed. A way to feel safe in their neighborhood. However, he was prone to fits and starts in his heroism. He has never truly been consistent with his actions. People have questioned just how effective he is in dealing with the various threats to the city. Some even believe that his motives don't go far enough and come from a place of entitlement. Those same concerns can be lobbied at Jefferson Pierce. He may no longer truly know what's happening in his city. He feels a personal responsibility to protect Freeland and ensure that the next generation makes strives towards a better future. And yet, things have spiraled out of control as well. He has seen himself as a lone hero who has come to accept help from the rest of his family. Every member of the Pierce family is a hero in their own way. They aren't always working as a collective unit though. It's powerful when they do. Jefferson made them all pledge to the same code. They always have to be ethical and moral in their actions. They can't kill or seek vengeance. That has been difficult for some. Anissa felt the need to serve her city during this occupation. She had to help people escape in order to avoid the cruel fates that were awaiting them in the detention centers. All it took was one horrifying accusation for someone to be otherized in a new and confusing way. The people of Freeland don't know anything about metahumans. Some are even willing to blame the existence of them for all of the problems now facing the city. That's not true at all. It's all directly because of the government's experiments on impoverished communities. Lynn is doing her best to advance the science and protect as many lives as she can. And yet, she feels the near constant pressure to militarize those with abilities. They have to be used as soldiers in this war with the Markovians. That remains such an elusive and mysterious threat. Some Freeland citizens don't even know anything about Markovia. But again, all it takes is one reckless action to be accused of terrible crimes. The ASA doesn't act with compassion. They view themselves as the force keeping everyone safe. The city should be thankful for what they are willing to do. But they kill even when they've apprehended these foreign agents. It's the quick and effective way to cut out the problem. Those soldiers can no longer be a part of the game. But it comes at such a huge cost to one's morality. Jefferson doesn't want anyone to compromise their values during this oppression. He wants people to speak up and take action. However, he is full of judgment when he disagrees harshly with what the resistance is willing to do. Black Lightning has to be seen as an accountable and trustworthy hero in this world. And yet, the image persists that he is helping the ASA. Jefferson cares for all human life. Some may not see it the same way. Henderson is willing to take calculated risks to save as many innocent lives as he can. Anissa is willing to send Grace away knowing just how tumultuous her emotional state and shapeshifting powers continue to be. Sometimes Black Lightning just has to be a vessel to be used to guide a message along. He has to earn the trust of the community under challenging and confusing times. He has to work hard for that. It's continually evolving alongside the rest of the world. What was once seen as heroic may no longer be seen as such. Heroes have failings just like the rest of humanity. There is always the impulse to do what's right. Those decisions can often be confusing though. Jennifer believes she's helping her country. She has simply aligned herself with a nefarious organization that has resurrected her boyfriend and turned him into a vicious killer though. That's incredibly dangerous especially when Gambi and Lynn discover the truth and immediately decide to keep it from her. Withholding of secrets and information is never good. That may be the cost of all of this as well. Oppression may highlight humanity's true colors. And yet, that may show just how divided society remains as well as its inability to ever truly be guided by the same core principles. Jefferson may still preach them but he has to live by them and accept the repercussions as well.