Black Lightning DC Television

Black Lightning Season Finale: “Shadow of Death: The Book of War,” Recap & Review

For a recap of last weeks episode, “The Resurrection and the Light: The Book of Pain,” click here

This post contains major spoilers for episode 1×13 of Black Lightning, “Shadow of Death: The Book of War.”

The finale starts off with a flashback from 30 years ago as a young Gambi meets with Alvin Pierce to tell him that all he had to do was blow the whistle on human experimentation in Freeland, not expose corruption. Gambi warns Alvin to think about his son first or he may be killed. The flash-back continues to show a number of things, Alvin Pierce’s funeral, the social unrest in Freeland, and Jefferson’s origin as he uses his powers to free himself from ASA officers. After freeing himself Jefferson jumps on an electric fence which shorts out his powers before Gambi finds young Jefferson passed out on the street.

In the present day, Jefferson is still not moving after being killed by Khalil and later resurrected by Jennifer’s powers at the end of the last episode. Its an effective way to start the finale as in both cases (the flashback & the present day) Jefferson lies nearly dead with his powers shorted out. Lynn tries to wake him using a defibrillator but its a no-go and they can’t take him to the hospital because the ASA is looking for him.

Gambi and Jennifer ( 2 characters who haven’t had much screen-time together over this season) talk about Khalil, meta-humans and Tobias Whale. Gambi exposes that the serum Tobias takes makes him stronger as he gets older, has the strength of 3 men, and is the one who turned Khalil over to the dark-side. Gambi also talks about how Tobias sees the worst in people, case-in point, Syonide, who he’s trained since she was a little girl. Jennifer doesn’t want to believe Khalil is a monster but Gambi tells her that he’s not coming back as the Khalil she knows.

Khalil walks into Tobias’ office to apologize for killing Black Lightning but Tobias doesn’t actually mind that he’s dead, because that was all part of Procter’s plan and he was with Lady Eve. Tobias also goes on to say the “laws of convention and morality don’t apply to me, that’s Napoleon and he was a weak ass Frenchman.” Tobias frequently calls Khalil “Painkiller” and tells him never to apologize.

At the ASA headquarters, Martin Procter is waiting for Black Lightning’s body to be given to him but the ASA doesn’t have the body. All they have is a witness, which is LaLa, so Procter asks his team to bring him in. Also, the bodies in the pods aren’t in stable condition and have 10 hours before all the subjects die. The only thing that can save the meta-humans in the pods is Black Lightning’s blood since he is not like the other meta’s.

Gambi has a conversation with Anissa and Jennifer about their father and how his powers manifested. Gambi tells them that he knew about Jefferson’s powers before he did and that it took him 15 years for his powers to fully manifest. He didn’t become Black Lightning right away either, he didn’t start becoming Black Lightning until he saw that Freeland was losing hope. Anissa wants to go out and find Procter but Gambi won’t allow her, he also tells Anissa she’s the strongest among us.

Tobias tracks LaLa down, brings him into his office and teases him by saying “there’s something about your Velour track-suit wearing ass I love tracking.” LaLa, who’s being controlled by Tobias tries to hit him but Tobias levels up and knocks LaLa back into the wall. LaLa wants to know if Will and Lawanda are alive too, but Tobias says they weren’t re-animated like him, and that everyone LaLa has killed is going to come back to haunt him until his whole body is filled up with tattoos and then goes on to call him “Tattoo Man.”

In another flashback from when Jefferson was a kid, Alvin lectures Jefferson about fighting. Jefferson and a boy got into a fight and Jefferson broke his nose, causing Jeff to be suspended, not the other boy. Alvin tells Jefferson that “an eye for an eye mentality doesn’t solve anything, it just makes the world blind.” In the present, Jefferson begins to wake up.

Martin Procter brings in LaLa for questioning. Procter asks where Tobias is but LaLa literally can’t speak and starts choking. Procter then realizes that LaLa is a bomb-mule and Tobias set him up, before LaLa goes kablooey.

Still in the flashback, present day Jefferson has a conversation with his father. Jefferson tells him he should have helped him, but his father says he did by following what he was told. His father tells him he’s proud of him and that he’s sorry he had to leave. He also tells him he’s not supposed to be here, Jefferson walks up the stairs of his childhood home and in seconds he wakes up in the present to Lynn laying right by his side. The kids and Gambi walk in but Jefferson realizes he doesn’t have his powers anymore.

The ASA finally have The Pierce’s and Gambi tracked down, Procter sends his team down to North Freeland to retrieve them. Meanwhile, Tobias injects his self with the serum and Syonide informs him they can’t tell if LaLa is dead or not but they are following the ASA.

As the operatives slowly make there way to the house, Gambi comes up with a plan, he’s going to give him-self up while the Pierce’s get away since they don’t have enough man-power. However, Jefferson comes up with a new plan, he puts his suit on and is going to try and draw them out, without his powers. Before Jefferson can sacrifice himself, Jennifer starts to lose control of her powers causing her to fire up and hug her father in an intense moment which gives Jefferson his powers back. Jefferson thanks her again for saving her life as Jennifer starts to accept her place in the family.

Black Lightning and Thunder come out to “Shining Star,” and easily dispatch some the ASA operatives. Meanwhile, Lynn grabs a shotgun and gets ready to light these fools up. The mood shifts as the music switches to “Timmy Turner.” Some of the operatives make it inside of the house and Lynn shoots one of the men, while Jennifer uses her powers to knock out another operative.

Procter calls for a retreat and to have the pods moved to a different location. At the ASA facility, Khalil, Syonide and Tobias kill everyone on the search for Procter. Before they can get to Procter however, Martin locks himself inside a trap-door leaving one of his workers out in the open to die.

Detective Henderson heads to the substitute Pierce residence as the Pierce’s get away in Gambi’s van. The Pierce’s head to Procter’s facility and engage him. Gambi realizes that Procter went rogue and that he’s not really a government operative right now. Jennifer lights him up before Procter threatens the family. Gambi finally shoots Procter right in the chest, killing him, taking the fall for the family. On tv, Detective Henderson thanks Thunder and Black Lightning, as the season comes full circle.

In Tobias’ office, Syonide hands him a bag of thumbs, one of which belongs to Procter. Tobias goes to open a briefcase with the first thumb however it doesn’t open so he kills a man. On the second try, the briefcase opens as a green light envelops over his face. Tobias claims that it’s time to rip the light out of Black Lightning. End of Season 1.

Thoughts:

While I’m going to be sad Black Lightning is done for the year, I can take solace in the fact that Black Lightning ended on a supremely high note. The season ended fittingly with the Pierce family and Gambi coming together as one to rid themselves of the ASA and Martin Procter. You can tell the writers put together a very coherent plot throughout the season, with almost no filler, that had a definite end point with the season.

Black Lightning really gambled by putting Jefferson out of play for the first half of the finale, but by the time Jefferson was woke, the stakes immediately rose as the ASA made their attack on the Pierce residence. It was also nice to finally see Jennifer accept powers and her place in the family by saving Jefferson again. By the time they escaped and had Procter, Jennifer started to get cocky with her powers, which is something I’m excited to see in the second season.

Before the finale, I had no clue what the writers were going to do with Tobias and I was hoping they weren’t going to kill him off, which thankfully they didn’t. Tobias has been one of the very best characters on Black Lightning so far so I’m glad they decided to keep him as the main baddie again for season 2. With Freeland under his control, watch out for Tobias in season 2.

On a disappointing note I totally expected more of Grace Choi this season. Looking back now it makes sense that she was used as sparingly as she was, as just a potential love interest for Anissa. However, there wasn’t much time for filler this season and I hope she gets a bigger arc next season.

That’s it for season 1, ladies and gentlemen! What are your thoughts on the first season, the finale and what’s to come in season 2? Let us know in the comments, we want to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

 

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