Tuesday, March 16, 2021

REVIEW: 'Black Lightning' - Jefferson Suits Up to Protect His City Once More as a Hero in 'The Book of Ruin: Chapter Two'

The CW's Black Lightning - Episode 4.06 "The Book of Ruin: Chapter Two: Theseus's Ship"

Jefferson crosses a line with Lynn. Meanwhile, Anissa shares some important news. Lastly, Tobias makes a surprising move.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 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 Ruin: Chapter Two: Theseus's Ship" was written by Jake Waller and directed by Mary Lou Belli

On the night of March 13, 2020, Breonna Taylor was killed when police officers carried out a no-knock raid on her apartment in search of a criminal suspect who was already in custody. Her death has sparked nationwide protests calling for justice. However, only one officer has been charged for wanton endangerment as a result of shooting through the apartment of her white neighbors. It's a horrifying and tragic story. One that has exposed the barbaric and heinous power that police departments have. Policy changes have been introduced but no justice or true accountability has been found so far. Additionally, there isn't much of a difference between a no-knock raid and one where police announce themselves before entry. It's a common practice though. One where so much can go wrong. It contributes to the overall understanding that people of color can't even feel safe in their own homes. They always run the risk of being invaded by those who suspect them of criminal activity. It's horrifying. This practice must stop. In the world of Black Lightning, the superhero family can do something about that. The story doesn't have to end in tragedy. That is to the collective benefit of the community here. It also highlights the grim reality outside of the show though. It shines a light on this issue. It highlights the ways in which people can take action. Moreover, this is the hero Black Lightning can be in Freeland. He has been disillusioned this season. He doesn't believe that he has made a difference in this city. He has vowed to protect it. He fights to disrupt the various criminals who wish to manipulate this place. And yet, so many of them continue to survive and thrive. Tobias is mounting a mayoral campaign. He positions himself as the man who can revitalize this community and finally stomp out the drugs and gangs that have plagued this city for too long. Meanwhile, the 100 gang and the Kobra Cartel are at war with the near constant onslaught of violence. Every single moment with those characters features a barrage of bullets. It's horrifying. It also showcases the creative ways in which this city's criminals operate. They have to handle these threats differently. Lala can only be stopped by becoming encased in cement. It's a twisted visual. One that brings him constant agony as he cannot die. Those are the stakes of this conflict as well. The heroes are targeted because they serve as disruptors to these criminal enterprises. The police hope to lead with the same moral goals. And yet, they are a corrupt institution. One that doesn't care to question orders or account for the humanity involved in their actions. They believe an apartment holds criminal activity. As such, they have all the power in the world to do whatever they want. They know they can get away with that too. The police chief sets this tone. This is how she commands her officers. Not everyone agrees. Black Lightning only has reluctant allies though. He seeks to protect the city. He can't afford to lose anyone else. He believes Jennifer is gone. That isn't true. Her physical appearance has simply changed. It's a huge adjustment that everyone in the family questions. Even Jennifer is distraught over this transformation. She has gone through a tremendous ordeal just in order to survive. It's a miracle that she is still here. That comes from the love and strength this family exhibits. Jefferson still doubts it though. He doesn't want to believe this is still his daughter. He pushes her away just like he has done throughout the season. She is still heroic though. She is still the same person. The family needs time to process all of this. Of course, Tobias already learns about this newcomer. He targets her because she presents as an ally of the Pierce family. She is another pawn he can use to destroy Jefferson's world. That's how he wields power. People are given the choice of how to use their skills to impact the world. Lauren could pursue her research to create a limitless energy supply. That would dramatically alter life as we know it. And yet, the same resources are being used to create weapons to target and kill metahumans. Gambi gets close to become aware of these threats to the family. He will do whatever it takes to protect them. The world is only growing more dire though. It's constantly evolving. It's a potential relief for Anissa and Grace to embark on a honeymoon. That can provide them with safety away from this uncertain future. This is still their home though. They will fight to protect it. They cherish this family. They still have it as well. They haven't lost it. That's the benefit of their powers. Their empathy and connection is just as meaningful though. That too needs to be cherished in order to appreciate all that encompasses their lives. That humanity must always shine through. Otherwise, more tragedies will occur. We must remember the past. We must say their names as well. We must not forget Breonna Taylor.