This Black Lightning review contains spoilers.
Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 6
The entire city of Freeland is grieving the death of Tavon, and Jefferson and Anissa are taking it especially hard. Both of them feel responsible to some extent, Jefferson for hesitating to suit up, and Anissa, for bringing him back into Freeland when she knew it was a bad idea. Both of them played a part, but neither of them are culpable. Their ire should be singularly directed at the A.S.A., not at themselves nor each other.
Anissa, I think, feels like her current situation is punishment she deserves for her part in Tavon’s death. Painkiller’s poison is killing her. Her accelerated meta healing prevented her from succumbing sooner, but the toxin is rapidly spreading and suppressing her meta abilities. At the current rate, Gambi gives her a week to live, two at most. She doesn’t want to tell her family yet, even though she recorded an “if you’re watching this, I’m gone” video for her family. Grace — who has animal senses — can smell death on her. She tries to put Grace at ease, assuring her Gambi will find an antidote, but later Grace finds her having a seizure. Once Gambi stabilizes her, he follows his suspicion about the source of the toxin to Khalil’s grave, which we know is empty, and which his scan likely confirms.
Jefferson has given up giving up. He’s been suiting up as Black Lightning, much to the dismay of Lynn, who was initially proud of him for not avenging Tavon’s death but ends up packing up and leaving him. After he goes ham and lights up a building, nearly killing A.S.A. agents, Odell pays him a visit. Jefferson says the deal is over, Odell reminds him that the deal is what kept his daughters out of The Pit, threats ensue from both sides. I wonder if Odell will be more aggressive against the Pierces now that he isn’t beholden to the agreement they made. He’s already gained Jennifer’s trust, and employs (and supplies, I assume) Lynn. He still has all the leverage.
Lynn continues her work with Tobias, and he continues to provoke her. He threatens to expose her family’s secrets and mentions Black Lightning’s antics, proving he has some access to the outside world, making his threat credible. So when he asks her to give him a list of all the metas being held in the facility and their powers, her desire to protect her family outweighs her concern for everyone else. She gives him the list, minus information on two metas, who I assume she wants to protect. Her line is… getting less clear, but when it comes to her family, I’m not sure a line exists.
Speaking of lines, Jennifer keeps crossing them nowadays. For some reason, she thinks it’s a good idea to break into Brandon’s apartment. She uses her powers to gain access to his computer, where he has photos and info on her mom. When he comes in, she has the nerve to attack him in his own house that she’s not supposed to be in, but he absorbs it. He explains to her, he’s not stalking her mom, but looking for Dr. Jace so he can kill her for killing his mom. He also explains that his power is to manipulate the earth (though elements may have been more accurate phrasing) and he turns coal into a diamond which explains why he can absorb her electricity and also answers the question I had about how he could afford that nice apartment. He’s glad to have someone to talk to about this, and I think she is, too. I hope having someone outside her immediate family and Odell to talk to will give her a better perspective because she’s been Very Problematic lately.
And on the topic of problems, The Markovians are finally making moves! Instant, who we met last season when he snatched up Dr. Jace, teleports into an armored A.S.A. vehicle and takes out everyone inside. He and Colonel Mosin disguise themselves as A.S.A. and sneak into a site, where they attempt to retrieve information, but Odell has been tracking his teleportation signature, and is waiting for them. There are “neutrino disruptors” which prevent Instant from teleporting out, so he and Mosin take it to the wild west and have a good ol’ fashioned shootout.
They lay the A.S.A. out and Odell is gravely wounded. But when Mosin goes for the kill shot, Black Lightning deflects it, and Instant teleports them away. Odell tells Jefferson to take Mosin out, and when Jefferson says he doesn’t kill, Odell says “pathetic,” then dies. You love to see it. There is always the possibility that whoever is next in line to head up the A.S.A. is worse than Odell, but that’s a tomorrow problem. Today, we take the W.
Back at the Markovian’s base, Mosin tells Dr. Jace that he saw no signs of illness in the captive metas. She assumes Lynn has found a way to stabilize the metas, or is close to a breakthrough, and Mosin reveals that they’ll retrieve the information once she does to stabilize their own army of metas. This confirms that one thing Odell said about them is true: they have an army of metas. They don’t seem to be concerned about Freeland as a whole, so I am still suspicious of Odell’s reasoning for the occupation. But I am glad the Markovians are doing something.
In the streets, the A.S.A. control the narrative, and have the people of Freeland convinced the insurgents are the enemy. Henderson wants someone in place to report the truth — a job once occupied by Truthteller Johnson, who was found dead by Freeland PD. Henderson tasks his people with building a better infrastructure for transmitting over radio while he focuses on finding the right voice. He later brings Jamillah Olsen in for questioning, and it becomes immediately clear what his intentions are.
Jamillah has been guerilla reporting from Freeland about the occupation since it began. She also questioned Jefferson about his experience with the A.S.A. as he was leaving Tavon’s funeral. So while she clearly lacks tact, she does seem committed to the work. When Henderson threatens to lock her up, she declares she’d rather be put behind bars than to stop telling the truth, which is exactly what he wants to hear. He introduces her to resistance and she broadcasts to Freeland.
I was hoping Jamillah would have a larger role and she’s perfectly suited to this one. I do hope she’ll be anonymous, though because she is a Black woman; having any kind of platform already puts her at risk, but being the mouthpiece for the resistance puts a direct target on her back.
The Pierce family might be safe now, with Odell no longer on their necks, but they may be in more danger without him as a buffer to something worse. Only time will tell if he was the lesser evil.