Black Lightning: The Book of Secrets: Chapter Two: Just and Unjust review S2E12

Just and Unjust unpacked the emotions in the wake of the recent deaths and setting the stage for the season finale confrontation.

Someone goes after Lynn and Anissa feels powerless to stop them because they caught her off guard. This probably could have been developed better with Anissa realizing that even with her powers she can’t keep everyone she cares about safe all the time.

Instead, her subplot takes her to attacking a gang member who beat up on his girlfriend. This did result in a pretty cool fight scene and if I’m remembering correctly, the first time Anissa’s non-Thunder alter ego is named Blackbird. To really establish a second superhero identity she probably have Gambi design an alternate costume. While she mops up the gang, Anissa decides to grab some cash to pay for Khalil’s funeral.

Perenna also gets cornered by this mysterious agency from Markovia, but quickly takes them out by mentally teleporting them to a frigid location. That was impressive, but I’m ready to learn more about her now.

Jenn tells Jefferson she wants to suit up to go after Tobias. To calm her/distract her, Jefferson and Lynn agree that she can go back to school, but that clearly seems like a mistake.

Black-Lightning-The-Book-of-Secrets-Chapter-Two-Just-and-Unjust-review -pierce family at the funeral

Like most schools when a student dies, the student body set up a memorial. Not surprisingly, Principal Lowry has a problem with paying tribute to a gang member who terrorized the school. Well…actually in this case, I’m not so sure he should get dragged for that sentiment. Black Lightning does a lot of things well: family dynamics, sibling relationships, making LGBT relationships just as screwy as heterosexual ones, a strong villain, but subtly dealing with racial issues is rarely one of them.

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Jenn accuses Lowry of being a racist and says black lives matter. It all feels too heavy-handed to be organic and feels like a scene designed to just make Lowry come off like a jerk with no layers or depth. At least this episode the writers attempt some context, by having Lowry tell Jefferson about his own troubled background. Lowry needs way more character development like this than the give him shady racial undertones simply because he’s a white guy in power.

Naturally, Jenn gets suspended. The writers really need to understand they can’t spend episode blocks having Jefferson and Lynn fret and enforce these strict overprotective rules on Anissa and Jenn and then immediately have them do something screwy to validate their concerns.

Black-Lightning-The-Book-of-Secrets-Chapter-Two-Just-and-Unjust-review - Grace and Anissa

Grace gave Anissa a key, but she still hasn’t mentioned her out of control skin condition/powers. This is a frustrating carry over from the rest of the Arrowverse — the ridiculous need to keep everything a secret for no good reason. Grace takes it to the extreme and just leaves town.

Maybe this gets resolved quickly, but relationships just aren’t handled well in these shows. And when a character like Grace who’s always been portrayed as steady and grounded, just does something so counter to how they’ve been presented, it just seems silly.

Black-Lightning-The-Book-of-Secrets-Chapter-Two-Just-and-Unjust-review - jace and odell

Lynn’s subplot finds Odell releasing Dr. Jace from custody as he’s anticipating an attack from Markovia. Seems like Odell would have been aware that she was working with Tobias, no?

Overall, this was a slow episode that didn’t really progress much at all. At least it ended with a strong moment with the Pierce family uniting for Khalil’s funeral.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10

Photo Credit: The CW

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