Salutations, Freeland sympathizers, and welcome back to another (that’s right!) electrifying review of Black Lightning! Episode 11 gave us daddy issues, dynamic duos, deputy derelicts, drug money and more… But before I get into all of that, I’m going to give you one last warning. As usual, I’ll try not to give too much away, but from here on out, there are spoilers ahead.

So, What Happened?

The show opens with Black Lightning and Thunder cracking heads in what appears to be another underground ASA warehouse/lab. They were looking for the missing children the ASA has been stealing, and just so happened across a huge stockpile of the weapons that were used to frame Black Lightning. So, you know he Black Lightninged the crap out of those things. (Huge win for the father/daughter weather crew!)

Unfortunately, all the win in the world can’t quite wash away last episode’s heartbreaking Gambi revelations. And it looks like Jefferson feels the same way, as he lets Gambi know that although he can’t forgive him for his past, there may be a future someday where they have both gotten through it. Which is pretty commendable, and honestly, more than Gambi deserves (if you ask me). We hardly get to catch our breath after their wary reconciliation, as the next scene tosses our beloved Freeland freedom fighter in the slammer.

Secret (backstabbing) Agent Fowdy drops off a hefty sum of money directly into the hands of two of Freeland’s most vile officers. They take the bribe, and proceed to help set Jefferson up, which is all part of ASA’s scheme to finally catch Black Lightning, whom they currently believe to be Jefferson Pierce. Ms. Fowdy does her part by planting drugs in Jefferson’s office, and shortly afterwards, the entire school steps into the hallway to watch the police escort Jefferson Pierce off campus in handcuffs—and off to an ASA black site. ASA’s plan is to torture Jefferson until he reveals the location of Black Lightning, or admit that he is the hero, personally.

Fortunately for Jefferson, he’s got friends in high (and low) places. Black Lightning’s partner, Thunder gets the superhero secret identity heat off Jefferson’s back by running around downtown alongside an animated Black Lightning hologram. Meanwhile, his old friend, Inspector Henderson takes care of the other side of the why-Jefferson-got-kidnapped coin by exposing the corrupt officers that took Agent Fowdy’s bribe to set up Jefferson. In the process, Henderson kicks so much crooked cop ass, they give him a promotion. He’s now the Deputy Chief of Police!

The episode wraps up with the Pierce family, now completely reunited, holding hands in prayer before engaging in that most holy of American past times, having pizza for dinner.

Dynamic Duos

There were so many interesting character pairings in this week’s episode!

Let’s start with Jennifer, a novice only newly realizing the super powers she’s been gifted, and her father Jefferson, a literal superhero. Jefferson displayed the discipline and fortitude he’s had to develop in order to take Black Lightning this far, and Jennifer learned how, depending on the obstacle, sometimes it really doesn’t matter if you have super powers or not. And while I know this can easily be explained away as an analog to the impotence we all feel in the wake of government control…I must say I found it to be especially poignant in context with the Pierces’ recent circumstances (a black family losing their father to the criminal court/legal system unfairly).

Inspector Henderson and Deputy Cayman, until the end of the episode, both represented so much of what is wrong with police. You’ve got clearly crooked Cayman, committing untold amounts of crime with zero accountability on the horizon, while on the other hand, you’ve got Inspector Henderson, the “good” cop. Until recently all being a “good” cop meant was that he went to work and collected checks, while silently disparaging the ne'er-do-wells (but not actually reporting) on the force. That all changed this week, with Henderson breaking the thin blue line and doing some whistle-blowing and inspiring police work!

Plus, excellent scenes between Lynn and Jennifer about Jefferson possibly never getting out of jail. Jennifer continues to say how much she never asked for the burden of super powers, no matter what her gung-ho older sister says. And Black Lightning and Thunder’s combo moves just keep getting better!

Honorable Mentions

  • You can’t lose when your episode starts with an Isley Brothers track
  • Having Gambi say grace was a nice reminder that he’s religious/goes to church
  • Thunder is getting surgical with that thunder clap move
  • Black Lightning is never going to catch up to Thunder’s follower count after this week’s downtown stunt!
  • Wow, Rodney King reference! Haven’t thought about that in years. Well done, Black Lightning!

Signing Off

Alright, people! That’s all I’ve got for this week’s episode of Black Lightning! Feel free to whip up a dialog about it in the comments below, or, if you really can’t wait to say your say, I’m always available on Twitter at @RegularEtCetera. Until next time, y’all.


Regular Et Cetera covers Black Lightning as a part of the #DCTV Couch Club. Look for him on Twitter at @RegularEtCetera. Black Lightning airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. (8 p.m. CST) on The CW.