Black Lightning Episode 1×02: “LaWanda: The Book of Hope” Recap + Review

For a recap of last week’s episode “The Resurrection,” click here

This post contains Major Spoilers for episode 1×02 of Black Lightning, “LaWanda: The Book of Hope.” 

Last week on Black Lightning, Jefferson suited up for the first time in 9 years and saved his daughters who were kidnapped by Will and the 100.

While the day was ultimately saved last episode, Jefferson is still feeling the effects of suiting up. As he lays on his bed in agony, lightning courses through his veins and his body. Lynn Pierce, who has been staying at the house hears Jefferson’s grunting and comes to help him. “Black Lightning is getting too old for these streets,” Jefferson says. Lynn and Jefferson reminisce about the old times, when Jefferson first got his powers. She thought he was so cool, but ultimately it ended up ruining their marriage. Lynn feels like a hypocrite for getting mad at him for suiting back up as Black Lightning, as he saved their daughters in the last episode.

At Garfield High School, Jefferson hold’s a meeting for concerned parents. Local parent’s are not happy that the Seahorse Motel is up and running again. Jefferson is surprised by the news and was not aware of it at all. LaWanda, a former student of Jefferson’s, asks him why only his daughters were saved.

Meanwhile, Tobias Whale has LaLa tied up. He tells him “If the people of Freeland start to perceive we are no longer in control, they won’t fear us.” He knows Black Lightning is out there.

Jefferson meets up with LaWanda and she asks Jefferson to go get his daughter. He says he can’t, but she doesn’t want to take no for an answer, she feels like everyone says they care about the issue but nobody wants to do anything.

Jefferson meets with Detective Henderson. He decides now to tell Jefferson that the police haven’t been able to find Will and they need him so they can try to flip LaLa. He assures him that they will find him and tells him they have 2 cops outside his house just in case.

Lynn Pierce and her daughter are sitting outside on the porch when all of a sudden Malik, a young kid tied to LaLa comes to their house with a fake gun and shoots Jennifer with some red dye. When Jefferson find out, he angrily makes his way to the Seahorse Motel to confront LaLa. Jefferson is wildly outnumbered by the 100. LaLa says he’s trying to be nice but Jefferson’s girls are snitches. As Jefferson gets knocked down to the ground you can see the lightning in his eyes, but he holds off. He tells LaLa, ” Don’t mistake my patience as weakness, boy,” and leaves.

Jefferson goes to Gambi’s. Gambi tells him that he’s the “hope for this city.” Jefferson just want’s to take LaLa down but Gambi is in it for the long-haul. He wants to take the whole system down including the source.

We finally meet Anissa’s girlfriend Chenoa. As they lay naked in bed, Chenoa tells her that she wants more from the relationship. Anissa tells her that she’s “too busy,” and that she just wants things to go back to normal. She confides in Chenoa that last week she broke the sink into pieces. Chenoa makes up some reasoning behind it and tells her that she is going to get her help.

Detective Henderson, in his pajamas, comes to Jefferson’s house to let him know that LaWanda is posted outside the Seahorse Motel with a camera and that she’s probably going to get herself killed. ( A simple phone call would work )

Will is then apprehended by the 100 and LaLa. Feeling no remorse for his cousin, LaLa shoots and kill’s Will.

Back at the Seahorse Motel, LaWanda is still staked out there and drawing attention from local reporters. Jefferson tells her they will find a way to free these daughters of Freeland, but this isn’t the way. Jefferson tells LaWanda to give him 48 hours and they agree to let LaWanda stay there until then.

Back at the Pierce residence, Jennifer is sitting on the roof smoking when Khalil (Riverdale’s Chuck Clayton) appears. They have been good friends for a while but when everything went down last week, Khalil realized he would never get the chance to ask her out if she was dead so he asks her to be his girlfriend and she says yes.

Outside of the Seahorse Motel, LaLa and his boys arrive on the scene. LaWanda leaves her phone recording in the car and brings her camera up to LaLa and tries to expose him. LaWanda is instantly shot by LaLa and dragged back to her car.

Detective Henderson relays the news of LaWanda’s death to Jefferson. Jefferson get’s angry and shakes all the electricity in the house. Jefferson tells his ex-wife, ” I had a fantasy, when they leave me their lives are better. That they could transcend this neighborhood, this city, world.” He’s pissed he couldn’t save her and is conflicted over the fact that he could have saved her if he was Black Lightning. Lynn does not want to go out there because she thinks that using his powers is an addiction. Jefferson tells her that when he first got his powers she used to say it was a gift from god. He tells her it still is and he intends to use it not just for his girls but for everyone else out there. Lynn tells Jefferson that they are “this close” to repairing their relationship but Jefferson rejects the notion. Gambi then finds Will dead and tells Jefferson he had his cell phone on him.

At school, Jennifer and her bad-influence friend from the last episode are drinking above the gym. Jennifer meet’s up with Khalil who’s running on a treadmill. Khalil senses that shes drunk and tells her its not cool. He tells her he knows she been through craziness, but this isn’t the way,  he’s trying to be a good influence to her.

Lynn comes to Gambi’s to chat and tells him how beautiful and warm his place is still to this day. They have a conversation about Jefferson. Lynn tells him that Jefferson is happy and that he doesn’t need to be Black Lightning again. Gambi argues that Jefferson is happy like a lion in a cage at the zoo. Lynn tells him that he was addicted to his powers and Gambi says no, Jefferson wasn’t addicted to his powers…he was addicted to you, that’s what made him stop in the first place. #Burn. Gambi tells her that even know they may argue over what’s right and wrong, ultimately it’s Jefferson’s choice to make, not theirs.

Gambi uses the GPS on Will’s phone and find’s where LaLa is staying. Black Lightning suits up and makes his way to the hotel and immediately starts kicking some ass. He makes his way to the 4th floor where LaLa is staying and after a few punches, knocks LaLa out on the couch. Detective Henderson and his team show up as Black Lightning is in the room.Black Lightning tells him “Its been a while,” and escapes over the balcony.

Anissa is at her girlfriends when she starts feeling some pain in the middle of the night. She heads to the convenience store to get some medicine but there is a robber in the store. The robber turns the gun on Anissa. At first she is having PTSD from last weeks kidnapping, but eventually she uses her super strength, takes the robber down, smiles like it was no big deal, gets her medicine, and leaves the store like a boss.

In the last scene we see Tobias Whale walking into the cell where LaLa is being kept. He tells him that any man that shoots a mother has no morals, no principles to live by, which means there’s nothing he’s not capable of, including being a rat. Tobias then chokes him out, kills him and leaves.


“LaWanda: The Book of Hope,” was another fantastic episode that builds off the moment from last week’s premiere episode.

While Tobias Whale hasn’t had a lot of screen-time in the first two episodes, it’s clear that he has a lot of power in the city.

Expect the love triangle between Jefferson’s ex-wife and his secretary to simmer over the next few episodes.

It’s refreshing to see that Anissa is already out, she accepts it, her parent’s accept it and it’s just the norm.

Black Lightning so far has had higher stakes then the other Arrowverse shows and has been doing a great job of making us care for the characters in only 2 episodes.

Author: Mark Battisti

My life is a comedy but i'm no comedian

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