This Black Lightning review contains spoilers.
Black Lightning Season 1, Episode 10
It’s not so easy to put Black Lightning down. Just ask the lady with all of the microwaves. That being said, the ASA has considerably more resources than the lady with the microwaves, and considerable more ill-intent. The lady with the microwaves was half-heartedly aiming for Black Lightning for the money; the ASA is a fundamentally racist organization that treats the people of Freeland like lab rats and sees Black Lightning as the biggest lab rat of them all.
Why am I bringing this up? Because the ASA is closing in on Black Lightning. There’s a reason why vigilante-superhero-types try to keep their identity a secret; it’s so they don’t have their friends and family used against them. It’s so they don’t have predictable patterns and habits that bad guys can track. Now that the ASA know that it’s Jefferson Pierce behind the suit, it seems like only a matter of time until they properly catch him.
Right now, the crux of that plan is Kara. In the final scene of the episode, Kara is revealed as the “spotter,” aka a spy for the ASA. In terms of emotional impact, it only goes so far. We’ve not really had a chance to get to know Jeff’s vice principal, though they do seem to have a good working relationship. In terms of likely repercussions, however, this is a killer reveal. Should Kara choose to help the ASA, they definitely have the advantage.
The big question is: Will Kara choose to help? It’s hard to know without understanding Kara’s motivation. She doesn’t seem like the type to turn on her community and her kids in this way. Does the ASA have some kind of leverage over her? Or is she just secretly evil? Again, we don’t know her well enough to truly judge at this point. (Though I’m leaning towards the former explanation.) But, even if Kara has a crisis of conscious—she knows how good of a man Jefferson Pierce truly is—the ASA has other tactics for taking out Black Lightning. Perhaps they could use some of the meta kids they have in stasis. A meta army is a possible explanation for keeping the kids alive.
While Jefferson waits for the ASA to make their move, he moves his family to the house he grew up in, one that “smells of neglect,” according to Jennifer, and “is this the house where your father was murdered?”, according to Anissa. (These women don’t miss a beat.) It doesn’t feel like a temporary solution, but at least the Pierces are all together at this point.
Well, all of them save the ex-honorary Pierce Peter Gambi, who Jeff leaves to convalesce following his torture at the hands of the ASA. Personally, I wouldn’t have left a rather pathetic-looking, terribly-wounded Gambi on his own in his secret tailor lair, but I also totally understand why Jeff hasn’t completely forgiven him yet. And bringing Gambi to the house where Grandpa Lightning was murdered, a tragedy Gambi played some role in, would be awkward.
Perhaps Gambi should just be thankful that Jeff showed up at all when the ASA men threatened Gambi’s life. Jeff was in the middle of a very important mentorship program meeting with Malik. Jefferson has offered to mentor him in the hopes that he can show the adorable child a future other than selling drugs. Going by how Malik responded to Jeff’s signature mantra and apologized for shooting Jennifer with fake blood on Lala’s orders that one time, Malik is desperate for another option that would keep both him and his grandmother safe and with a roof over their heads.
Speaking of Lala, the man has collected another ghost from his past: Will, the cousin he murdered following the botched kidnapping of Jennifer and Anissa. I still can’t figure out exactly what’s going on with Lala (for the record, neither can his minions—I think Lala himself may also be confused), but I am intrigued.
When Lala says there’s no such thing as death, he’s kind of right… at least in respect to himself. Not only has he come back from the dead, but, when one of his men tries to shoot him, the gun misfires multiple times. Who does Lala have watching over him? And how does it connect back to Lady Eve, who we have seen seemingly rescurrect people in her funeral parlor?
The final major development in tonight’s episode came with some additional information about Jennifer’s powers. While they manifest in much the same way as her father’s, while Jeff acts as a battery, sucking energy from other sources, Jennifer is a generator, creating her own power. It’s somewhat ironic that the Pierce who is the least interested in using her powers also seems to be the most powerful.
Something tells me that, before the end of the season, Jennifer is going to find a desperate situation in which she’s glad she’s had her powers. Because the Pierce family is in terrible danger, in a house that already saw one of their number die. With only three episodes left in the season, things are undoubtedly going to get worse for the Pierces before they get better.