Black Lightning – The Book of Revelations review S1 E8

The Book of Revelations stayed true to its title in an uneven episode that answered a lot of questions in between some not so welcome developments.

Jefferson spent much of the episode helping Anissa train while they tracked down evidence that could clear Black Lightning’s name. They had to hurry as public sentiment against Black Lightning was growing by the day. This one has to lay at Henderson and the police for having no clue that Lady Eve was dirty. To the general population of Freeland, Black Lightning killed an upstanding, prominent citizen.

I wish Book of Revelations tackled that concept more. Black Lightning is the hero of a city who seems to have a remarkably fickle approach to a dude risking his life to clean up Freeland. That was glossed over to focus more on Jefferson bonding with Anissa. That’s not a bad thing by itself, but this season has rushed to establish Team Black Lightning without diving in to significant subplots. It was nice to see that by the end of the episode Jefferson was excited about teaching and learning from Anissa. He won’t be the overprotective father any longer on the superhero front.

Tobias wasn’t around this episode and his absence was especially pronounced given the loss of his sister, Tori, and the curiosity of his mindset after wiping Lady Eve on the board. As we learned tonight, Tobias might not even be the season’s big bad guy, but I’m far less enthused about Black Lightning battling a shadowy government agency. Besides, the 100 still needs to be dealt with as well.

black lightning the book of revelation -gambi at church

But the big storyline this week was Lynn discovering a vaccine that was created 30 years ago and its ties to Gambi. With the Pierce family slowly gathering more information and his racist superior, Martin Proctor (Gregg Henry, Teen Titans: The Judas Contract), placing a bounty on Black Lightning, he had to finally come clean.

There was an uncomfortable tinge of reality as Gambi explained his origin. He was born Peter Esposito, a member of the government agency, the ASA. He was tasked with creating a vaccine to make the people of Freeland passive and docile. It’s no coincidence that Freeland is predominantly black.

Instead of making the residents weaker, the experiments made some stronger as it created metas. This is as good a way to explain Freeland’s metas as any and is simpler than a particle accelerator. Of course the one thing with Black Lightning is no one else seems to be a meta besides the Pierce family and possibly Tobias.


Jennifer panicked when her pal almost fell off a ladder, which was the impetus Jennifer needed to trigger her powers. Anissa just got her powers and is working with Jefferson. From the promo pictures we knew all three of the family would eventually be powered up and working together, but this seems rushed for no reason. At least Jennifer didn’t go the Anissa route and almost immediately told Anissa she’s got powers.

While Gambi’s actions led to the murder of Jefferson’s father, he does seem to be coming from a place of genuine concern for the Pierce family. Jefferson is letting his emotions get the better of him here as he probably needs Gambi now more than ever. Even with his loyalties still in question.

black lightning the book of revelation - lala

Easily the most confusing aspect of the show right now is the resurrected Lala, who’s now seeing visions of LaWanda. Of course she’s dead so he’s clearly hallucinating, or is LaWanda a ghost? Either way, LaWanda’s sudden concern for Lala doesn’t make a lot of sense. And the less said about that weird shower scene with the kiss the better.

File Closed: The Book of Revelations had some interesting elements, but they didn’t feel as cohesive as they have in previous episodes. It’ll be interesting to see which direction the show goes next week.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Photo Credit: The CW