***This post contains major spoilers for episode 3×1:”The Book of Occupation: Chapter One: Birth of Blackbird.”***
Taking place nearly over a month after the events of the season two finale, meta’s are being kept in a new facility ran by the ASA and Agent O’Dell. We hear the story of Maryam (The Chameleon), a Muslim with the power to blend, whom never intentionally took the drug green-light, but was bullied by some kids in her school who put the drug in her lunch. We meet another meta (who’s powers are never confirmed) named Devonte, before we see our titular hero Jefferson being kept there as well. After doing his 31 days, Jefferson is released.
Since his containment, Freeland has been quarantined with the pending Markovian War about to hit the streets and “The Blackbird,” has been the only hero out there fighting with Black Lightning locked up.
With Anissa in the meta-compound, an assassin named Ned Creegan AKA Cyclotronic kills nearly a dozen security guards using his telekinetic powers. Commander Carson Williams, however, takes him down using his own powers. Commander Carson is now the man in charge as he lets Deputy Chief Henderson know.
Back at the ASA compound, Lynn comes to pick up Jefferson, as his time is up. Agent O’Dell rudely interrupts them to let them know of the terrorist attack on the facility and to take off his meta-collar. Jefferson is super angry but Agent O’Dell tells him to save that anger for another day, as he’ll need it.
Deputy Henderson, with orders from Commander Carson, has now put Freeland on complete lock-down, with a 8:30 curfew. Anissa and Jennifer drive around in Anissa’s new pimped out ride courtesy of Gambi and call him to let him know of the attack at the ASA compound. Gambi however is currently busy finding a weakness in the ASA armor. Later, Anissa finds out from Gambi’s intel that Carson Williams is part of the first batch of meta’s like her father and that Cyclotronic man was originally part of William’s team. William’s also has the ability to copy the powers of other metas but needs a serum to keep him going. Gambi gives Anissa a mission to takes over a bus full of detainees which she does using her new persona “Blackbird.”
Jamillah Olsen, the reporter for Clap Back News is interviewing Reverend Holt, asking him what he thinks of Blackbird and the law. Blackbird brings the detained metas back to Reverend Holt’s church as they prepare to get them out of the city.
Because Jefferson and Lynn are big players in the conflict, O’Dell has kept them both at the facility now. While in his cell, Jefferson accesses a new ability has he see’s through the floorboards below him and see’s Tobias and Issa Williams. Before, he needed the use of Gambi’s interface on his suit but now he doesn’t need it.
While getting a drink at a local establishment, Anissa gets hit on by Jamillah (the reporter). Anissa who is looking for Grace, asks her how she finds someone who doesn’t want to be found. Anissa then takes Jamillah back to a hotel room before she gets a call from Gambi about Jennifer. Jennifer had been walking around town using a cloaking device disguising her self as another girl before Anissa drove by and picked her up. Jennifer needs to use her powers or her powers will take over, like when she’s in school.
Back at the ASA compound, Issa Williams the boy who makes everyone tell the truth, is talking to Tobias trying to find out where and what’s inside the briefcase with orders from O’Dell. Since he no longer has his super serum, Tobias is aging very rapidly and is now very old. Tobias tells Issa that O’Dell’s job is to find all the meta’s and clean up the Freeland project. O’Dell has a chat with Issa whom believes O’Dell is there to kill him. Lynn knows that Issa is there and goes to O’Dell for answers. O’Dell lies to Lynn making up a story about how he was kid-napped and that he’s going to turn Issa over to his family.
Later, O’Dell shows Lynn the body of Issa and tells her the chances of her dying a natural death are slim.
Blackbird leads the detainees through the hole in the ASA field. Anissa takes out the soldiers but is blown through the hole thanks to a rocket and isn’t moving. Jennifer puts on her suit to go help her but Gambi tells her to practice patience because she could be found by Markovian agents and that would be it for her. It’s a hard lesson for Jennifer to learn but they will have to wait another day before rushing into any action.
In the last scene, La-La, Tattoo Man, wakes up from a deep sleep.
Black Lightning’s first episode,”Birth of Blackbird,” is a decent, unspectacular start to the new season. The episode was a little slow and felt disjointed but there were some interesting developments during the episode. With some much needed focus on Anissa, the episode wasted no time in getting us up to speed with her new alter-ego “Blackbird,” and her relationship with Grace.
The episode had a lot to set-up with the Markovian War being a big plot throughout the season, but it seems like O’Dell is the real villain and the Markovian’s influence feels very hollow at this point. There was some cool action with the Cyclotronic man, a new threat in Commander Williams, Jennifer’s new cloaking device adds some intrigue, and Jefferson’s new power will hopefully be expanded on through out the season. All in all it was a decent episode, I hope the pace will pick up during the next episode.