In Review: Black Lightning: 1×08: “The Book of Revelations”

...James Remar turned exposition into an event, and Cress Williams proved that acting is reacting. It was a free master class.

Synopsis: TRAINING DAY – Black Lightning (Cress Williams) works with Anissa (Nafessa Willaims) to help find information to clear Black Lightning’s name. Jennifer (China Anne McClain) begins interning for Lynn (Christine Adams). Meanwhile, Gambi (James Remar) finds himself in a precarious situation. Marvin Jones III and Damon Gupton also star.

Review: Writer Jan Nash did a really interesting thing with “The Book of Revelations.” During the episode, the characters slowed down and took deep breaths. With that, however, the narrative momentum still increased.

First, Jefferson and Anissa trained, and viewers got even more of a sense of Jefferson’s mindset. Additionally, viewers got more of a sense of both how smart Anissa is and how much she still has to learn. All of it culminated in real development in their efforts to clear Black Lightning in Lady Eve’s murder.

Second, Thunder was followed by Lightning. I loved the wonderfully mundane context in which Jennifer’s power first manifested. I also appreciated how Jennifer communicated directly with Anissa at the end of the episode. The showrunners have said in interviews that the two girls will have different reactions to their powers, and tonight was the first evidence of that. I can’t wait to see how things progress.

Third, the somehow resurrected La La was definitely feeling the after-effects of whatever process had been used on him. By the episode’s end, he’d gone full Gaius Baltar, and the whole thing was even more disturbing that Moore’s iteration — I can’t unsee that disturbing — which was probably the point.

Finally, there’s the Gambi of it all. I have vision problems, so I don’t read many comics. I compensate for that by researching what I’ve missed. I hoped viewers wouldn’t get the original Gambi storyline, as I wasn’t in the mood for Greek tragedy in the ‘hood. Fortunately, Nash found a way to honor the spirit of that subplot, while providing a more hopeful context. In the course of their scene together, James Remar turned exposition into an event, and Cress Williams proved that acting is reacting. It was a free master class.

Until next week, when the Pierce family gets on the same page, and the audience can dispense with the mind-numbing dramatic irony. Yay!

Written by: Jan Nash

Directed by: Tanya Hamilton

Black Lightning: 1x08:
  • Story
  • Performances
  • Music

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.
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