Uncle Gambi does not mess around.
In this episode of Black Lightning, we found out that not only are Gambi and Lady Eve involved in the same organization, but Gambi has no qualms about murder. This episode hints at a larger organization that Eve (and therefore, Tobias) work for. In the aftermath of the incident with Lynn, Lady Eve contacts Gambi, who’s in her phone as "The Tailor" to let him know that the men involved would be dealt with. Gambi visits Lady Eve personally to talk about Tobias. In Gambi’s eyes Tobias’s ego has grown to a point of recklessness—and Lady Eve agrees. She gives Joey Toledo’s information to Gambi along with a message for Tobias. The box left on Joey’s chest after Gambi kills him is a small wooden box.
Tobias has gotten fed up with Lady Eve’s antics and threats. Tori suggests that removing Lady Eve from the picture would be the best move, to which Tobias responds that it would be bad if he acted without permission from the group they’re working for. However, the seed has been planted and when Tobias finds out that Joey’s dead and that Lady Eve had once again left him a present of dust from ground albino bone he has no hesitation about getting her out of the picture.
After Anissa is taken to headquarters, Lynn continues to monitor her body for issues post-concussion. We discover that the power in Anissa’s body helps her heal extremely quickly, which is fully understandable considering how Jefferson can get his ass kicked and still be able to go to work the next day. This leads to an argument between the two of them: Anissa wants to continue being a hero; Lynn wants her to stop before it’s too late. And even though Anissa is slightly irritated at her dad for not telling them that he was Black Lightning, she gets even angrier when she realizes that the only reason her parents split up was because of her dad’s powers. She echoes the sentiment that her parents initially had about Jefferson’s abilities. It’s a gift, it’s a blessing. Ultimately Jefferson sides with his wife and tries to convince Anissa to no longer use her powers because of the effects they could have on people around her.
Earlier in the episode Lynn filed a police report and gave a sketch artist information on the two men who broke into her lab. The questioning by Henderson ultimately doesn’t give the police any information to go on, which is understandable because there’s no way Lynn would have known that her coworker works under Lady Eve. Henderson barely keeps himself from commenting on the fact that Lynn still hasn’t dated anyone post Jefferson, considering how often they’re still seen together. This marks family member number three that’s been saved by Black Lightning, so Henderson wonders if Jefferson himself had gotten into something that made him a target. Him sweating and lying under pressure is fun to watch. After they’ve spoken to the police, Lynn remembers that the only thing different about the day of the attack was the fact that Anissa had given her a box of information and a chemical to be analyzed.
Jefferson brings this up in his argument with Anissa as his father was murdered over his research. And yes, it’s dangerous that Anissa pulled her mom into something without giving her all the details, but it’s pretty hypocritical coming from a man who’s been lying to his children about what’s been going on for what appears to be months at this point. He’s the true connection to the break in, but he doesn’t realize that and instead points to Anissa to make sure the newspaper editor she got the information from was warned.
Anissa goes to the paper. David Poe had been killed in a hit and run a few days ago. Anissa is crushed. This discovery is mixed: it’s unclear if he was murdered for the information he gave to Anissa to look into Alvin Pierce’s research. It could have been a genuine hit-and-run since the focus of the break-in had actually been Lynn’s green light research. However, it’s also possible that Lynn’s coworker had also seen Anissa with the box and did some snooping. Whatever the result, another death adds to the growing number on the show.
Jennifer was sorely missed this episode. The scene she was in was hilarious; she noticed that something weird was going on between her sister and her dad and that both of them were terrible liars. Even though Anissa had a relatively mild reaction to finding out her dad was Black Lightning, it’s unlikely that Jennifer will take the news as well. Lynn and Jefferson commented earlier on how stressful it would be if Jennifer also inherited powers but logically letting her know to watch out for anything strange happening to her would be to everyone’s benefit.
Ultimately Lynn changes her mind and asks Gambi to make her daughter a suit. Lynn supported Anissa being trained by Jefferson to use her powers, but reminded her daughter that the road of a superhero was a lonely one. Anissa insisted that her happiness was not as important as the happiness of others. This resonated deeply with me as an older sister and as a support figure. Seeing people in pain is heartbreaking and there’s often a wish to take their own pain on, even while dealing with personal pain. In response Anissa calls Grace to see if they can hang out. Maybe personal happiness and saving the city can actually coexist.
The plot to murder Lady Eve is disrupted by Jefferson realizing that it was likely that Tobias was involved in a new nightclub opening due to a tip received from Henderson. Black Lightning showing up and cause everything to promptly fall to shit. In the end, henchman use electric guns to shoot at Lady Eve in the funeral home while Jefferson and Tobias fight elsewhere. A stray bullet as Tobias and Tori went to escape hits Tori and wounds Tobias. Tobias is taken away to a getaway car; despite all of Black Lightning’s begging, Tori dies. This ups the stakes between Tobias and Black Lightning: both of them have lost a close family member in the middle of this rivalry. Despite her fighting, Lady Eve is ultimately killed by a man getting out of the casket he was hiding in. This death by electrocution is used to frame Black Lightning for her death. As far as everyone knew (including Jefferson) she was merely a respected member of the community and, as Henderson said when he called Black Lightning, Black Lightning had crossed a line.
The episode ends with a huge twist: Lala wakes up in a hotel room. He sees a spirit version of Lawanda who repeats a line first spoken by Tobias: Do you believe in the resurrection? This ghost marks Lala with Lawanda’s face. Despite this resurrection, the death of Lala earlier in the season still holds weight. Often when characters are killed and brought back to life the meaning of death becomes rather empty. But with four named characters dead in the end of the episode, Lala’s resurrection is more stunning than disappointing.
The first half of the season has focused on the discovery of powers and what it means for Black Lightning to return after retirement. This episode marks the middle of the season and with Thunder on the rise, Lady Eve gone, Lala alive once more, and Tobias having a more personal grudge against Black Lightning, it’ll be amazing to see what new explosions we’ll see as the show approaches the end of the season.