In Review: Black Lightning: 1×11: “Black Jesus: The Book of Crucifixion”

AND JUSTICE FOR ALL - As suspicions grow that Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is Black Lightning, the ASA arranges to have him arrested.

Synopsis: AND JUSTICE FOR ALL – As suspicions grow that Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is Black Lightning, the ASA arranges to have him arrested. Lynn (Christine Adams) seeks help from Detecitve Henderson (Damon Gupton). Meanwhile, as Jefferson is in custody, Gambi (James Remar) and Anissa (Nafessa Williams) work together to show Black Lightning is still running around the streets of Freeland. China Anne McClain and Marvin Jones III also star.

Review: With “Black Jesus: The Book of Crucifixion,” writer Melora Rivera crafted an episode that ramped up the tension by forcing the characters to slow down. The result was a story that perfectly set up the final two installments of the season.

Rivera slowed the characters down by highlighting the process of the frame up. Viewers watched as Jefferson was arrested. They watched as he talked down his agitated daughters and students. They watched as he was taken through the booking process, including a demeaning strip search. On paper, it was exposition, but in execution, it was social commentary. I particularly appreciated the continued use of on-the-street news interviews as world building.

Throughout, Cress Williams portrayed Jefferson’s suppressed rage, gravitas, and restraint perfectly. Also integral, Damon Gupton matched Williams’ restrained power, as Henderson finally came into his own. Although, it remains to be seen what price he may ultimately pay.

In addition, the ever marvelous Pierce family dynamic was on display. Nafessa Williams, China Anne McClain, and Christine Adams were as effortless and organic as ever.

Finally, I’m happy to report that Gambi and Jefferson have begun to reconcile in earnest, thanks to the effective use of Gambi’s tech to save the day. I loved how the resolution was almost leisurely. As with the rest of the episode, the slower pace served to highlight how the A.S.A. remained coiled to strike.

Given the dynamic that’s now established, I can’t wait to see how Tobias (Marvin Jones III) fits back into the story when he returns for the final two episodes.

Written by: Melora Rivera

Directed by: Michael Schultz

Black Lightning: 1x11:
  • 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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