Black Lightning’s here. DC’s newest entry to the stable of superhero shows on The CW premiered this past Tuesday. Was it another hit for the network, or the first blemish for the on-going DCTV Universe? Scroll down to find out my thoughts down below.
This post contains Major Spoilers for Black Lightning’s Premiere Episode “The Resurrection.”
For 9 years, Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) has given up a life of fighting gangs and crime in Freeland in order to be the sharply dressed principal of Freeland’s Charter High School. His daughter Anissa (Nafessa Williams) a medical assistant and part-time teacher at the school, was arrested for protesting the local gang The 100 before her dad’s fundraiser. As Jefferson, Anissa, and his other daughter Jennifer (China Anne Mcclain) a scholar and track athlete at Freeland’s Charter High school, head to the fundraiser on this rainy night, they are pulled over by the police. Jefferson is asked to get out of the car with his hands up, while Anissa and Jennifer try to record the obvious attempt at racial profiling. Jefferson wants no trouble but is angered at the fact this is the 3rd time he’s been pulled over this month. The cop asks the employee of the liquor store if this was the correct man, to which she shakes her head no. Still, in outrage over the obvious racial profiling of the liquor store theft, we see the lightning in Jefferson’s eyes and the subsequent flicker of light all around them, the first hint that Black Lightning is back.
As we learn more about Jefferson through being introduced at his school fundraiser, we find Jennifer and her friend in the ladies bathroom getting ready for a small party, before her sister Anissa enters. Jennifer pleads with her sister to let her go out and she promises to be home before her dad Jefferson gets home at 10. Eventually, Anissa caves in and lets her go out. Meanwhile, at the fundraiser, we meet Jefferson’s ex-wife, Lynn Pierce (Christine Adams) and learn a little about their history. When Jefferson gets home, he discovers that his daughter Jennifer is not home and Anissa clue’s her dad into the actual situation.
Instead of going to the “small party,” Jennifer and her friend actually go to Club 100 which is run by the gang The 100. Jennifer sits at a table with a man named Will who she just met. Eventually, a man comes to the table and tells Will he is needed in the back. Jennifer tries to leave but Will tells her to be cool and that she has to come with them. In the back room, Will (a low-level drug dealer) is being threatened by his boss LaLa (William Catlett). LaLa tells Will he needs to pay him back and that Jennifer who happened to be in the wrong spot at the wrong time, could start lowering the debt by pimping her out. Jennifer takes offense to this and attacks Will. Jefferson finally makes his way to Club 100 and tries to rescue his daughter from The 100. Instead of subtly making his way to her rescue, Jefferson starts a shootout in the club and starts using his powers, everyone flees. Everyone gets out and as soon as Jefferson does he is tasered by one of the cops. Jefferson manages to get out of there but not before hurting the officers. Wounded, Jefferson makes his way to Gambi’s, Jefferson’s long-time mentor (James Remar) who’s been encouraging Jefferson to come back as Black Lightning.
As we later see in a flashback from 9 years ago, Jefferson lays battered and bloody in his bath-tub while his wife Lynn tells him she’s done with him. Lynn can’t handle the super-hero life anymore, especially with having to raise 2 daughters. Jefferson has already seen what this lifestyle can do to his family; he doesn’t want to mess things up again since he feels for the first time in 9 years that he has a chance to get his family back together. At Jefferson’s house, Lynn watches the news and see’s the story of the club incident and confronts Jefferson about becoming Black Lightning again, he lies. Meanwhile, Tobias Whale (Marvin “Krondon” Jones) Jefferson’s initial reason for becoming Black Lightning, finds out on the news that Black Lightning may as well be back.
The next day at Jefferson’s Charter School Will drop’s by unannounced with a gun, embarrassed by Jennifer at the club. Anissa then comes out of the school to defend her sister and drops Will (Will got handled by both Pierce sisters this episode, not a good look kid).Before he can pull out his gun Jefferson gets to Will and talks him down. Jefferson tells him the police are on the way and Will eventually leaves.
Jefferson meets with LaLa (or Latavious who used to attend Jefferson’s Charter School). Jefferson goes over their agreement with LaLa that the 100 have to stay away from his school. LaLa instantly breaks his promise. The 100 comes into the school and takes Anissa and Jennifer and brings them back to the Seahorse Motel. When Jefferson finds out his daughters have been taken he heads back to Gambi’s and get’s his new super-suit. Meanwhile, at the Seahorse Motel, LaLa pistol whips Will for being an idiot and orders him to kill the girls. Black Lightning makes his way to the motel and easily knock’s out his enemies using quick lightning punches and projectile lightning attacks. Before Will can get away with the girls, Black Lightning finally makes his way to Will’s room and catches him before he can run off. Black Lightning uses his projectile lightning to hold Will up will 30 feet from the ground before smashing him into a car below.
As LaLa wait’s in his car at a stop light he is apprehended by Tobias’ goons. At Tobias’, LaLa is harpooned by Tobias and is told to handle the now “resurrected” Black Lightning. In the final scene, Anissa wakes up after the frightful encounter and heads to the bathroom. Suffering from PTSD from the event, Anissa unexpectedly pulls the sink apart with her new manifested meta-human powers.
Black Lightning’s “The Resurrection” was a very solid start for the series and definitely another hit for The CW. From the start you can see why Black Lightning won’t be crossing over with the other “Arrowverse” shows for some time, the show is much more grounded and mature then its sister shows on the network and has a strong message.
Multiple “resurrections” occur in this episode: Jefferson re-becoming Black Lightning, Jefferson’s feeling that he can “resurrect” his family, Tobias Whale’s “resurrection,” and Anissa’s first awakening in becoming the hero “Thunder.”
The coolest thing about Black Lightning’s new suit is that it’s actually is powered by his powers and light’s up according to how much electrical current is flowing through his body.
It will be interesting to see how Black Lightning utilizes its villains throughout the first season, while the pilot episode was solid, I was less enthused by its villains, let’s hope we see some progression on that front throughout the next few episodes and the rest of the season.