Three Sevens: The Book of Thunder was a strong indicator that Black Lightning is the most must-see superhero show on the CW right now. From a thoughtful approach to ripped from the headlines events to racial identity, family drama and a pretty good action scene, this episode packed a lot in 60 minutes.
Battered and with no control of his powers, Black Lightning barely avoids getting caught in a police manhunt. Officers on Tobias’ take nearly tracked him down, but Gambi got to him first. Gambi is a costume designer, not a medic, but the only doctor on Team Black Lightning wants little to do with his efforts. Lynn would really come off terrible on lesser shows, but the writers give her a reasonable perspective and one that isn’t so easily shaken by the mindset that Jefferson wants to help others.
As much Lynn wants to stay out of Black Lightning’s affairs, she keeps getting pulled back. Even more so when some green light addicts’ brain wave patterns come up very similar to Jefferson’s. Was Lynn right all along about him being an addict?
Anissa and crew vandalize a confederate statue. This leads to a bunch of native terrorists launching a counter protest and killing one of Anissa’s acquaintances. Looking to prevent another tragedy, Anissa lashes out in superhero fashion and obliterates the statue with one stomp. She’s starting to get the hang of these powers.
Jennifer’s storyline flowed more naturally this week. She’s having some honest and realistic concerns about dating the wheelchair using Khalil. Again, the mature writing takes what could be a sticky situation for a main character and makes it relatable. But before she can voice those concerns with him, Khalil hops on the bash Jennifer bandwagon via social media. Jefferson tries to explain the online bullying as crabs in a barrel and tries to provide some insight into Khalil’s thoughts.
On so many other shows this would have been a goofy or overly melodramatic moment that took away from the main plot. Jennifer talks to Khalil and he understandably lashes out. Jennifer should have listened to Jefferson when he advised give Khalil some space. I’m curious what he would think if he knew Khalil was slowly falling under Tobias’ wing as his new pet project.
Jefferson is finding a way to get at Tobias through his skin care doctor. That was pretty smart. Gambi freaks out because this is something he can’t understand — how Jefferson could just kill a man. To keep us firmly on Team BL, we get a flashback of Tobias killing Jefferson’s father. It’s a dramatic moment and hits the requisite beats with the one exception of Tobias not looking a day younger in the flashback.
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Just as Jefferson has Tobias and crew in sight and he’s charging up a massive lightning fireball, Gambi puts Lynn through the comms. She talks Jefferson out of killing Tobias just as some dudes bust into her lab.
Fortunately, Anissa was already en route. Destroying the statue had her concerned. Of course in Comic Book Hero Meetup Rule No. 1, Anissa and Black Lightning have to fight. In this instance, it worked since BL wasn’t going to ask questions when his wife is tied and bound.
For a moment it looked like Anissa was going to take BL, but his power and experience eventually wins out and he knocks her out. Just in time to realize this blonde latex wearing woman is his daughter. That scene played out extremely well and didn’t come off hokey at all. And now Anissa knows Jefferson’s ‘mistress’ — being Black Lightning.
Gambi is becoming more of a mystery each week. Now he’s visiting Lady Eve asking about their deal, which keeps the Pierce family off limits. Lady Eve wants Lynn’s research and passes along a not so subtle threat to Gambi. I’m curious just how many bodies Gambi knows is buried.
Case Closed: Three Sevens: The Book of Thunder was a fantastic episode that really left me awaiting the next episode. This show is starting to find its way in setting up a lot of exciting subplots and character development.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW