Black Lighting S01E08 "Revelations"

Black Lightning framed for murder proves to be a good move in this aptly titled episode. Not because it's good that he was framed for murder, as it appears that it'll be more difficult to clear his name than he thought. Instead, it's good because it forces the show to focus more intensely on the individuals attached to the Pierce family.

The episode begins with a training sequence between Jefferson and Anissa. As they fight, news clips pop up to show how the citizens of Freeland feel about the murder of Lady Eve at the hands of Black Lightning. Citizens are angry, disappointed, and afraid. After Anissa shoots a hologram of a "nonthreatening" man wearing a Confederate flag shirt, Jefferson stops the simulation to lecture her about the importance of only taking out threats. His point is that she can't react based on emotion, which is fair, but I personally can't blame her for wanting to stop a person whose white supremacist viewpoints call for her nonexistence.

Jefferson brings up these concerns to Lynn. They both know who their daughter is: someone passionate yet potentially impulsive, not looking at the bigger picture and often motivated by emotion. He asks Anissa questions about what she knows about her abilities and quickly discovers she doesn't know the full magnitude of her strength or how to fully control it. One might wonder why he didn’t work on that with her when he was training her, or why her mom didn't try to help figure it out, but using too much strength to break a hole into a brick wall. This results in Jefferson trying to mold his daughter into a version of herself that is less likely to get injured in the line of duty. Lucky for him, Anissa literally does what she feels is necessary and saves her life and her dad's life in the process.

Because Jennifer still hasn’t found an after school activity to replace track (and honestly? Will she just go back into track when she discovers her speed?) she’s recruited to help her mom clean up the destroyed lab. In the process Lynn discovers that the box given to her by Anissa has disappeared. No files or chemicals to be found. Frantically she goes to the laboratory where she sent the sample to. The laboratory had been broken into and trashed earlier in the week; Lynn’s files had been deleted. Luckily the paperwork attached to the file hadn’t be stored yet so she still had access to physical records. When she analyses the results from the powder Lynn realizes it has the exact same molecular structure as green light.

As this happens, Lala reunites with some of his old lackeys. They are stunned because (just like the audience) they believed Lala to be dead. Lala still has that terrifying, intimidating aura that he had in the first two episodes he was in. Whatever happened to him did not soften him up or give him a new perspective about life. In an interesting twist, Lawanda appears and talks to Lala while he's being driven. They have a conversation focused on Lawanda wanting him to take his men out. But Lala is talking to a ghost. No one else can see her. This makes a later scene in which the pair are in a shower together even more bizarre. The scene was very uncomfortable to watch, as the ghost Lawanda stood naked as she kissed her murderer. She eventually vanishes, leaving Lala still confused.

The first appearance of Gambi in this episode shows him meeting a casually racist white man as they have their cars parked in the dark. The murder of Lady Eve has proven that Black Lightning is a threat to an organization called ASA and needs to be put down. Gambi tries to reason with this other man but is swiftly reminded that the needs of the organization outweigh the trouble Black Lightning is causing. When Lynn approaches Gambi with the information she's discovered about the powder Alvin had, he immediately refuses to tell her what's going on. He shuts down. Lynn is stunned. She tells him to talk to Jefferson about whatever is going on. The resulting conversation goes poorly.

Gambi came to Freeland 30 years ago, right about the time Tobias was on the rise. He worked for ASA, an organization that tested vaccines on Black children in Freeland. The vaccine was to make citizens more docile, which seems to be a reaction of the Civil Rights Movement and the movement opposing the Vietnam War. The videos Anissa had watched in earlier episodes spoke the truth. However, instead the vaccine created metahumans. Gambi had been brought into Freeland to monitor experimentation but panicked when he figured out that children were being disappeared by the ASA. He gave this information to Alvin. This resulted in Alvin being killed. Was Gambi OK with general human experimentation but was panicked because children were being experimented on? Is his work with the ASA still connected to experimentation? Are all of his regrets due to the fact he destroyed the Pierce family and wanted to make amends by creating a hero? None of this matters to Jefferson as tears slowly roll down his face. Gambi's protection is not worth the disbelief and rage upon discovering the reason his father was killed. He tells Gambi to stay away from his family. Eventually we know that Gambi returns in some way, but it looks like the relationship between him and the Pierce family will never be the same.

Jennifer got her chance to shine in this episode. She helps Kiesha poster the school with campaign posters. When Kiesha takes the opportunity to post one of her treasury posters up where no one else can take it down, Jennifer is rationally terrified. The ladder is not that stable and Kiesha goes really high. As she's coming down she begins slipping. Jennifer screams, hands sending electricity into her phone and eyes turning bright red. The posters she'd clenched tightly in her fist were now scorched. To test these powers, she tries to burn her phone again in her room. Just like it did with her sister, it took Jennifer a few tries to get her powers to pop again. After they did, she went straight to Anissa's room. It's good that Anissa had already discovered her own powers as that kept her from reacting with disbelief. This reveal will lead to a re-shifting in how the Pierce family operates. It's very exciting.

Beatrice Onyekachi's picture
on March 20, 2018

I'm a Black lesbian ask me how. I'm a student who spends more time creating fandom content than focusing on her studies. I'm very excited to be a part of Geeks OUT!