For a recap of last week’s episode “Black Jesus” click here
This post contains Major Spoilers for episode 1×05 of Black Lightning, “And Then the Devil Brought the Plague: The Book of Green Light.”
As we start this weeks episode, Black Lightning nervously looks down from a rooftop before he jumps and flies. As Gambi sits and watches from their layer, Black Lightning comes across a man high on Green Light. Before the cops shoot him, Black Lightning swoops in to tell them to put their guns down. Black Lightning takes the man down easily, although the man did get one lick on him. Black Lightning tells the cops to maybe use Taser’s next time.
While Black Lightning is flying around, Tobias Whale struts into Gambi’s looking for a new suit. Gambi tells him “the only thing I’ll be measuring you for is a coffin.” Tobias tells him “he’ll be here long after he’s gone.” We then find out from Gambi that Tobias and his sister were injected with an anti-aging serum. Tobias demands Gambi to tell him who Black Lightning is. Gambi says that knowing who Black Lightning is could get him killed, while Tobias says not telling him who Black Lightning is will get him killed. Tobias leaves before doing anything harmful.
At home, Anissa is looking up enhanced strength on the internet and comes across a man talking about the Tuskegee Experiments before Jennifer comes in the room looking for a jacket. After Jennifer leaves, the man in the video talks about 9 people in Freeland, with enhanced abilities who immediately went missing in 1987.
At the skating rink, Jennifer gets in a fight with Lana, Khalil’s old girlfriend. Jennifer uses some surprising moves to dismantle Lana and her friend, showing that Jennifer definitely has the fighting gene in her family.
At the Pharmacy store, a man and his sick child confront the cashier over medicine that he bought that was 3 years expired that made his daughter ill. Jefferson tells the cashier to give him his money back. He says he cant, he just does what he’s told. Jefferson asks him if he’s a robot before he starts to get mad and lose it due to a migraine. Before he completely loses it he regains his composure and offers to buy non expired medicine for the man.
Back at the Pierce residence, Anissa finds out from the video that David Poe, the editor of the Freeland Gazette, canceled a series of articles that would’ve exposed the vaccine as the source of enhanced abilities, the reporter, Alvin Pierce (Anissa’s Grandfather) was murdered and the case was never solved.
Black Lightning breaks into a man’s warehouse in search of chemicals used for Green Light. As he’s entering he’s confronted by the owner with a gun claiming to be a hero if he shoots Black Lightning. The man eventually tells him all the stuff is for Green Light and gives Black Lightning a name: Joey Toledo, Tobias Whale’s former “right-hand man.” Jefferson tells Gambi that if Joey Toledo is out there, then Tobias is out there, before passing out on the ground.
Gambi calls Lynn over to look at Jefferson, because if he brought him to the hospital they would ask him too many questions he couldn’t answer. Jefferson’s migraines are starting to be a huge problem and Lynn doesn’t know what’s causing them.
Tobias and his sister Tori have a conversation. Tobias tells her that he saw Gambi to ask him about Black Lightning. Tori tells him that Lady Eve won’t be happy, he needs to be patient and that he’s making reckless decisions because he hasn’t dealt with his “real problem,” his father. See, his father always resented Tobias because he wasn’t really black. He beat him and Tobias could never really cope with that. Tori tells Tobias that she found their father and promises him if he handles this, he’ll be a new man.
Anissa goes to Jefferson to talk about her Grandfather, Jefferson’s dad, who she’s been researching. At first Jefferson is a little on edge and tells her that he had a lot of “wild ideas,” but then he calms down and tells her “he always did the right thing,” and that he sees that quality in Anissa. Anissa drops by the Freeland Gazette to talk to an old Mr.Poe about her grandfather and the expose’ that never was. He instantly changes the subject. He refuses to talk to her about it and kicks her out.
Jefferson disguising his voice as Black Lightning searches out Inspector Henderson to give him information on Joey Toledo, the man at the top of the food chain. He goes to him because he thinks Henderson can get a warrant and can help him find him.
Lana, her mom and another family member drop by the Pierce household to tell Lynn and Jefferson about the incident at the skating rink. After Lana leaves, Jennifer tells her parents she was just defending herself like her father taught her and her sister and that it was two girls she took down, not one.
The next morning Anissa stops by the Gazette again. Mr.Poe was not surprised because he knew if he was anything like her Grandfather she wouldn’t stop until she got her way. He gives her a box of files and tells her “they’re watching.”
Tobias shows up at his fathers house with Tori. Eldridge tells them that at-least he stayed unlike their mother. Tobias while bear-hugging his father as tight as he can, asks him why in fact did he stay? As Eldridge lies on the ground with a broken back, Tobias leaves him there and doesn’t shoot him, in fact he tells him he’s going to die, very slow.
Anissa looks at the documents Mr. Poe gave her and finds a key to the A.S.F storage facility. Anissa takes her spandex suit but it eventually rips. She then goes shopping to find her own superhero suit.
Meanwhile, Jennifer and Jefferson talk about the fight. Jefferson tells her “that how you respond in a crisis, is your choice, but to exercise that choice, you have to recognize your emotions and regulate them.” Jefferson gives her some friendly advice about fighting and that it should never be about adding fuel to the fire.
Inspector Henderson forwards some information to Jefferson. It wasn’t enough for a warrant but it’s a lead. Black Lightning suits up but Gambi tells him to take it off. Black Lightning is adamant about going after Toledo and tells Gambi if he doesn’t let him go out, he’ll “Black Lightning his ass.”
Tobias gets a message from Lady Eve, dust falls out of an envelope, a metaphor for the “magic fairy dust” she talked about in the last episode. Lady Eve isn’t too pleased with Tobias and if he doesn’t fix it, she’s going to kill him.
Anissa heads to the storage facility in her new suit. She breaks open the door with her super strength and finds a safe which she also breaks open with her powers. Inside she finds a vile with some sort of substance in it.
Black Lightning tracks down a woman with close ties to Joey Toledo. He steals her phone and texts him to meet. As he’s fighting Toledo he gets another migraine and isn’t able to finish him off. Toledo gets away and tells him Tobias is going to finish him and he’s going to bury him.
Side Note: Black Lightning is off next week, will return February 27th.
Of the first 5 episodes so far this season, “And Then the Devil Brought the Plague: The Book of Green Light,” seemed to be the most filler-y (Fillory?) episode to date. While still a solid episode, I would have liked to see some of the threads from last episode be at-least touched upon. The good thing Black Lightning has going for it is that even during an off episode, it still was solid, not spectacular but solid none-the less.
Tobias Whale is Black Lightning’s most interesting character, period. Over the last 2 episodes we’ve gradually learned more of Tobias’ back story, fleshing out the man who is Black Lightning’s biggest adversary. Although a villain having daddy issues has been a trope in comic books for decades, I thought it was an interesting parallel in the episode to Jefferson’s father who fought for what was right. With nothing holding him back anymore, Tobias’ hold on Freeland may get much bigger.
Poor Jennifer has been the weakest main character in Black Lightning to date, but this episode at-least gives us hope that there’s more to come for her. While she fought two girls and broke one of their wrists, Jennifer showed tremendous reaction time and agility showing us that she may have powers too.
Anissa’s sub-plot was both great and cringey at the same time. It started off strong with Anissa looking into people with abilities and finding out her Grandfather was murdered for trying to expose this. It was great that she kept digging and eventually got Mr.Poe to divulge into giving her more details about her Grandfathers involvement. However that scene of Anissa at the clothing store trying to put together a new super hero costume made me see sigh like a half dozen times. The scene felt forced and out of place in the episode.