Translucent Freak saw Black Lightning and company dealing with the unusual fallout of Tobias actually getting arrested. And Salli Richardson-Whitfield showed up, which is never a bad thing.
Perenna continues training Jennifer in the ways of the Lightning Force. The episode kicked off with an obvious dream/nightmare sequence of Jennifer fighting Painkiller. While there was a slight bit of clunky looking wire work that’s always the norm for Supergirl, the fight actually looked pretty good. Jennifer keeps whining about being forced to stay at home, but she’s still blowing up her laptops.
This isn’t the typical parents are acting super overprotective for no reason — she’d literally get arrested and tossed in some containment cell the first time her powers acted out. And it’s not like that kind of incident is unlikely at the rate of control she has over her powers these days. It was hard to argue with Jefferson and Lynn’s decision to home school her despite Jennifer’s protests. And in typical teen rebelling fashion, Jennifer decides to meet up with Khalil. Yeah, that’s not going to cause any problems…
Gambi snitches on Anissa stealing money from the money launderers so she could give it to Rev. Holt to aid the clinic. Predictably, Jefferson doesn’t react too well to this news and lays down the “as long as you’re living under my roof” spiel. Anissa decides to make it easy on everyone and moves out to flex her independence…by crashing at Gambi’s. This would be when it pays to have a rock star girlfriend FYI.
While he could help one person, Gambi wasn’t so lucky with Fowdy, who dies from sepsis. It almost didn’t seem worth bringing her back just to have her die the next episode.
At Garfield, Jefferson is adjusting to the new head man in town. Principal Lowry expels a student for fighting and suspends the other one for fighting back. I’m going to try and avoid being redundant here, but it’s too easy from a narrative perspective to have the new white principal have an extreme, no tolerance policy and act as an avatar for the system that oppresses black youth. Yes, it’s completely grounded in reality, but Lowry could have been a more interesting character if just didn’t cater to every negative stereotype about white men in authority positions.
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Lynn is also having her own troubles with youth as Dr. Jace is viewing the pod children as more research fodder for her data and not innocents that need to be saved. While not to the same extreme, Jace seems designed to trigger some harsh feelings as a white woman viewing black youth more as experiments than people. Even worse for Lynn, Jace found her data about Jefferson and the girls with names withheld to protect the innocent, and is fascinated about the idea of a family of metas she could dissect.
The only person who actually is on control of what’s happening these days is Tobias. He gives approval for the money launderers to go after the thief and take down Black Lightning. Despite Henderson’s best efforts, the prosecutor Rebecca Montez (Richardson-Whitfield, who also directed the episode) advises him it’s not going to go anywhere since they have no actual evidence of Tobias killing Jefferson’s father. And Jefferson is a shaky witness that won’t help the case.
Tobias gives permission to track down whoever stole the money from the clinic and he wants them to go after black Lightning. With no other options, Tobias is released and makes a big show of wanting to see justice down for the Pierce family.
Naturally, the clinic gets attacked and Black Lightning and Thunder have to put their differences aside to stop them. Originally, I liked the music playing during the fight scenes, but I’m kinda feeling like they’re taking me out of the moment now. And it would also be cool for some bad guys to show up that aren’t just taken down with a zap or two.
With Tobias now completely in the clear from the law and ralliying the troops to take down Black Lightning, things are about to get very interesting. Let’s see where things stand next episode.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW