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23 ноября 2018, 12:06

‘Black Lightning’ Season 2, Episode 6 Recap: A Strange and Scary New Villain


Stay on target

Black Lightning has always felt somehow more grounded than the rest of the CW fare. Yes, there are metahumans and conspiracies and powers, but the story always kept its focus on the characters. It was a family drama that also had superpowered action scenes. This is the first time the show dives this much into the comic book weirdness of its source material. It pulls it off just as well as the grounded character drama, even if it makes this particular episode’s story a little corny. After last week’s horror movie-style ending, we get a good look at who appears to be our villain for at least the next few episodes. Something was definitely going on with that creepy cop with the moving face, and it looks like this creepier white lady is behind it. She’s been taking drug addicts off the street, giving them life and power, and making them slaves.

Anissa hasn’t got time to deal with that right now. She has to go check on Anaya and deliver the bad news about her boyfriend, Deacon. Anaya lives in a heavily guarded compound, though. She talks her way inside, and after some heavy questioning from the girl’s parents, gives Anaya the news. She immediately goes into labor, which is probably the most harrowing scene of the season so far. Especially when it’s revealed she’s having twins. The complication of one being stuck at the back of the room was dealt with just a little too quickly. It was clearly only there to add drama before the cut. It felt cheap to have it solved so quickly. But the story needed to get to its point, I guess.

Nafessa Williams as Anissa (Photo Credit: Quantrell Colbert/The CW)

The tone in the room changes when the second baby is born. Anaya’s parents are joyful after the first, who looks Black. They’re much less happy about the second, who looks much whiter. Clearly nobody on this farm is the father. As Anissa learns though, it’s not just that she had kids with a white boy that has her parents so put out. Deacon was a Sanjay, a white person with super speed and strength. They’re made by the woman we saw at the beginning of the episode: Looker. She generates that strange grey liquid we saw leaking out of Deacon last week. It bestows powers, but also puts them under her control. Deacon and Anaya fell in love. Their parents didn’t approve because South Freeland is heavily segregated between the Sanjays and the non-powered Black population, whom the Sanjays call Perdis. Yeah, the social commentary isn’t hitting the way this show usually does.

That doesn’t hurt the episode too much. This is Black Lightning reveling in weirdness. That’s such a rare occurrence, it makes for a fun episode. Why have we never heard before that South Freeland is like this? I’m definitely interested to see more of this world, and even more curious as to where the show plans to take this story. It’s uncharted territory for Black Lightning, which is exciting even if it may not be technically as good as some other episodes. The drama and action are certainly here. Shortly after the babies are born, the Sanjays hear about it. They attack the compound hoping to kidnap the babies. Fortunately, Black Lightning figures out where Anissa has gone and fends off the attacking Sanjays while Anissa gets Anaya and one of the babies to safety. Unfortunately, the Sanjays kidnap her parents and the other twin. Looker recognizes the power inside the baby, and sends her slaves off to collect the other twin. We’re going to be spending  the next few weeks on this story, it seems.

Pictured: Sofia Vassilieva as Looker (Photo Credit: Quantrell Colbert/The CW)

Meanwhile, Tobias is experiencing a setback in his plans to buy the free clinic. The priest doesn’t want to sell, and no amount of money, no blackmailed politician, is going to convince him otherwise. Tobias’ solution: Kill the priest. Or rather, have Khalil do it. That’s going to be a problem. Not only does Khalil completely disagree with this course of action, his mother goes to that church. He doesn’t want to put his mother in danger by, as Tobias suggested, attacking the preacher in the middle of service. Tobias also  flippantly reveals that he’s the one who orchestrated the shooting that paralyzed Khalil. Between this and his conversations with Jenn, we may be seeing the start of his redemption arc. His loyalty to Tobias is being tested. The question is, what will it take to break it?

It feels like he comes awfully close here. When Khalil sends the reverend out of town instead of killing him, Tobias punishes him harshly for it. Here’s where we see the excellent fight choreography that was a high point of the first season. The way Khalil and Tobias go at each other is kinetic and brutal. In the end though, Tobias overpowers Khalil. Even with all the mechanical enhancements inside Khalil. Just how strong is Tobias Whale, anyway? When Jenn sees Khalil’s beat up face, she’s clearly worried. The two are growing closer once more, and for a brief moment, they’re the two cute kids flirting on a rooftop again. It’ll still take a while for Khalil to get back there, but it’s looking like Jenn’s compassion and even her power will be what starts to pull him back.

Sorry ????‍♂️#BlackLightning pic.twitter.com/LhfJXKlRbp

— Black Lightning (@blacklightning) November 21, 2018

And hey! Gambi’s alive. The old comic book adage holds true: No body, no death. I gotta say seeing him interrogate one of the would-be hitmen after slicing his fingers off is one hell of a way to reveal that he’s alive. It’s a shocking reveal that almost makes us forget the last episode spent so much time convincing us he was dead for no reason. Almost. The way he escaped death is a little contrived, but hey. Comic books. He apparently had a secret trap door in his car he could drive out of in the event that someone tried to murder him. He rolled out before the car flipped, and ran into the woods. As soon as the car hit the ground, he blew it up with a remote explosive. So Gambi’s alive. Yay. It doesn’t lead anywhere yet. The episode ends with him monitoring Black Lightning helping the Perdi escape the Sanjay.

Where this episode falls short is that its main story is a touch hokier than we’re used to, and the rest of the plots this week don’t really go anywhere. The main story makes up for it with a cool new villain, but the rest of the episode basically tells us to check back next week and hope for a real development. Even Khalil’s story just kind of ends without any real sense of where it’s going from here. Lynn’s part of the episode, while it also doesn’t really go anywhere, at least has emotion on its side. Christine Adams is an amazing actor, and she really shines in this episode. After losing half the kids in her care, she has to be the one to tell the parents, and she can’t even say which kids lived and which died. Throughout the episode, it takes a toll on her, leading to a breakdown in front of Jenn. It’s a heartbreaking series of scenes, and I wish this story had been given more time. Adams is doing great work here, and I wish this story was allowed to take it somewhere this week.

Black Lightning airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.

Previously on Black Lightning:

Source: https://www.geek.com/television/black-lightning-season-2-episode-6-recap-a-strange-and-scary-new-villain-1762059/?source=news