Monday, January 20, 2020

REVIEW: 'Black Lightning' - Jefferson and Jenn Are Thrown Right Back Into the Action in 'The Book of Markovia: Chapter One'

The CW's Black Lightning - Episode 3.10 "The Book of Markovia: Chapter One: Blessings and Curses Reborn"

Jefferson navigates his new reality following the events of the Crisis. Lynn's determination to save the meta kids deepens her troubles. Anissa faces new challenges as Blackbird. Jennifer's bond with Brandon begins to grow.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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 Markovia: Chapter One: Blessings and Curses Reborn" was written by J. Allen Brown and directed by Eric Laneuville

Jefferson and Jennifer had their own separate experiences during "Crisis on Infinite Earths." For Jenn, it was an introspective journey that allowed her to reflect on the choices she has made this season so far and the potential consequences to them. For Jefferson, it was simply him being incorporated into the extended universe at large with powers that could be useful in various moments against the threat to the multiverse. They are the only two characters who are aware that they travelled to an alternate dimension. Gambi believes them because he has the technology to pick up anti-matter particles on them. Plus, not a lot of the actual story of the season has changed despite this universe now moving over to Earth-Prime where it is aligned with the other DC shows on The CW. That means the metahumans within Freeland are no longer the only ones in the world. In fact, this is a planet that has been visited by aliens and may deal with these kinds of supernatural threats all the time. It just proves that there may be a new way to create metahumans. The ASA wants to perfect that formula in order to serve their own interests. The city remains on lock down because that is their core objective. Jefferson is outside of the perimeter. He feels the urgency to get back to his family though. That's all that he cares about. The story doesn't pick up with Lynn, Anissa and Gambi being devastated about what has just happened to their loved ones as they seemingly disappear right in front of them. Instead, it's as if that never happened and their efforts are focused on attacking the ASA. In the process, Jenn once again believes that she has to kill the threat to her humanity and the well-being of her family. She presents with a very binary view of the world and how to provide justice. Death is a clear and concise action. It just runs the risk of her losing her identity in the process as well. She can be hot-headed when she just boldly goes into battle expecting her powers will prevail. And yes, she can count on them to get out of many perilous situations. However, Agent Odell remains a smart player in this world. He knows that he can no longer trust her. In fact, he understands that the entire Pierce family is a threat to what he is trying to achieve in Freeland. This episode's title may mention Markovia. However, that isn't the main threat to the way of life in this city. It's not what the resistance is fighting against. Instead, that is the ASA hoping to achieve a breakdown of society so that the citizens will fall in line with the information given to them by this corrupt government organization. Some agents question the changing reality around them and what is now capable thanks to the science being developed. And yet, it's ultimately up to the heroes of Freeland to fight back. It's just a confusing time for Jefferson and Jenn because they are reacting to a world that doesn't exactly line up with what they have always known. Of course, the audience is aware that Lynn started taking green light awhile ago. She thought she had removed the addictive qualities. But now, she is a junkie craving her next fix and lashing out at her family members trying to keep her safe. That is absolutely devastating. To Jefferson and Jenn, that may play as this reality being worse than the one they have always known. However, it's not a seismic change whatsoever because of the audience's own awareness over the situation. Instead, the big twist may come from TC identifying Lady Eve as the person who put a hit out on Gambi. If that's the case, then that's a really lame conclusion to a mystery that was randomly introduced in the second season. That detail aspired to offer more complexity in Gambi's life. But it's mostly just been this weird tangent the audience and the show itself can forget about from time to time. And now, the explanation may be based entirely around this being Earth-Prime, which was only just recently established. That's awkward. Sure, Gambi and TC have an earnest and winning dynamic. Gambi cares about this kid and hopes to remind him of the importance of human connection. But it may also be a convenient plot twist to keep the audience guessing despite the overall uncertainty of the world as Jefferson has to keep on fighting to preserve the morals and ideals he lives by.