In Review: Black Lightning: 2×01: “The Book of Consequences: Chapter One: Rise of the Green Light Babies”

Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) and his family may have survived Tobias’s (Marvin Jones III) attack, but they’re not out of the woods yet.

Synopsis: ROBERT TOWNSEND, BILL DUKE AND ANGELA RYE GUEST STAR – Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) and his family may have survived Tobias’s (Marvin Jones III) attack, but they’re not out of the woods yet. Concerned for the safety of Garfield’s students, the board considers a motion to shut down the school, forcing Jefferson to go to Napier Frank (guest star Robert Townsend) to sway the vote. Jennifer (China Anne McClain) struggles with her powers and her actions have unforeseen repercussions. Meanwhile, Anissa (Nafessa Williams) finds a new way to give back to Freeland. Lastly, Lynn (Christine Adams) continues her quest much to the dismay of Agent Odell (guest star Bill Duke). Damon Gupton and James Remar also star.

Review: I’m not going to cover the plot, because the synopsis does that, and it’s not the point. The point of this episode (and its literary, if overlong title) is the character beats.

First, I love that Kara Fowdy (Skye P. Marshall) is fiercely trying to take control of her changed circumstances. She should be a great foil for Gambi as the season progresses. Second, I adore the new dynamic between Lynn and Agent Odell. Adams and Duke demonstrate real power with their understated performances.

Ms. Fowdy and Agent Odell are ultimately stylish window treatments for the bay view we get of the Pierce family. Cress Williams and Christine Adams continue to be godsends for the show’s viewers “of a certain age.” Every layer of Jefferson and Lynn’s relationship is conveyed perfectly, leaving other CW DCU couples in the dust. 

As for the Pierce sisters, Anissa’s creative accounting cheered me up no end. Hopefully, Jennifer’s search for balance, as her powers and P.T.S.D. manifest, will be equally compelling. I really appreciate that Jennifer actually has valid, not manufactured angst on a CW show and that both sisters’ reactions are proportional to their circumstances.

Henderson’s reaction to his circumstances was also a massive highlight. Gupton’s performance alone justified jettisoning the worn out dramatic irony.

Finally, I have to give kudos to writer/director Salim Akil. I’m an English major who has studied allegory under the hood. I’ve reached the point where I note allegory and mentally strip it out. Akil’s use of it showed me that narrative scaffolding can be a useful permanent feature of the finished building.

All in all, the second season premiere was an extremely promising continuation of a strong series.

Writer, Director: Salim Akil

Black Lightning: 2x01:
  • Story
  • Performances
  • Soundtrack

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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