Black Lightning And Then the Devil Brought the Plague review S1 E5

And Then the Devil Brought the Plague had a lot of subplots to juggle, but handled them nicely making for a solid Olympics break episode.

Jefferson was suffering from headaches. Tony Stark called them electromagnetic headaches in Captain America: Civil War. Jefferson’s seems to likewise be a case of using a suit of armor for superheroics.

Like Arrow, Flash and even Supergirl before him, Black Lightning isn’t allowed to be a hero on his own. In Jefferson’s case that’s especially annoying since the show runners are limiting his powers to make him more dependent on a costume than his own abilities. These restrictions make characters like Gambi necessary when the CW DC shows desperately need a hero that functions without having a support team.

The headaches made Jefferson more aggressive like when he shocked the racist store owner holding supplies of Green Light and intimidating the pharmacist. And it also left him vulnerable when he tracked down Tobias’ right hand man, Joey Toledo. I never understand the purpose of fight scenes on Black Lightning. He should be on the one shock, two shock, three shock fight style. There’s really no need for him to ever get into a fistfight.

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I didn’t really understand why Anissa’s search into the story that got her newspaper reporter grandfather killed made a costume necessary, but I won’t complain. For several reasons. Typically, I hate clothing montage segments, but this one was fun thanks to the atypical music selection and the helpful clerk.

I loved the Black Lightning shout-out with the wig disguise — in the comics, Jefferson originally wore an Afro wig to further distinguish his alter ego from his secret identity. It was fun seeing Anissa rock the blonde wig like her comic book counterpart even if it’s just for a couple of episodes. And it was very cool seeing Antonio Fargas in a cameo as the newspaper editor.

Anissa was investigating the mysterious disappearance of children with abilities. How cool would it be if this was a way for Black Lightning to introduce the Blood Syndicate to TV? They would actually play pretty well in the Black Lightning universe.

It’s taken a while, but we got some insight into Tobias. His sister decided he’s struggling because he hasn’t taken care of his first enemy — their abusive father. There was a nice Easter Egg for Living Single fans with TC Carson playing Tobias’ father. Too bad we couldn’t get a scene with Carson reuniting with his Living Single co-star Cress Williams. But it would have been weird for Black Lightning to interact with Tobias’ father.

[irp]

The writers didn’t fully reveal Tobias’ connection with Gambi, which seemed adversarial, but not enough for Tobias to outright kill him. This isn’t doing much for Gambi, who’s quickly becoming my least favorite character of the main cast. At least Henderson is funny in his uselessness as a police officer.

Jennifer’s subplot seemed unnecessary beyond some laughs. Jefferson was impressed she fought off two girls and Jefferson and Lynn charmed the guardians of Jennifer’s attackers when they came in straight hood. Sure, it helped to lighten up a heavy episode, but Anissa had that covered in her wardrobe malfunction/investigation scenes.

Conclusion: And Then the Devil Brought the Plague put Anissa further on the track to crack the Green Light case before Jefferson and provided some welcome back story into the main villain. Streamlining the numerous subplots would help especially with Black Lightning still fighting for the spotlight on his show.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Photo Credit: The CW

 

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