[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Director: Benny Boom
Writer: Adam Giaudrone
Starring: Cress Williams, China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Christine Adams, Marvon Jones, James Remar
Jennifer and Khalil have hit the road after the events of last week’s episode. They learn that life on the run can be difficult. Khalil manages to get stabbed by a new antagonist, Cutter, and Jen is forced to make a tough decision. Does she help him and go against her morality, or keep her scruples and lose him. Lynn finds someone who may help bring them home – Khalil’s estranged father. Jefferson’s own struggles give him anxiety. Is he a good father? What effect will Jennifer’s leaving have on his relationship with Lynn? Tobias continues to consolidate his power.
Once again we see that the real theme of Black Lightning is family. What makes them strong? How do they face challenges? What can those bonds overcome?
Jen’s struggle both internally and viscerally are harrowing as is Jefferson’s struggle with fatherhood and self worth. They are superheroes dealing with larger than life conflicts, but dammit if they aren’t human. And that’s why we keep coming back.
The Jen/Khalil subplot does have dividends that make the slow build worth it. It’s the midseason finale so we have to wait a bit for more episodes, but the show left on a high note
Does Black Lightning have too many subplots? I get that this is a small quibble, but could Jen’s story have been even more impactful if it had more screen time to develop? This was a good first half of the season but if the second half has just a bit more focus it will be even better.
A fitting end to the first half of the season, Black Lightning heads into it’s winter break with humanity, highlighting the importance and challenges of family. The Pierce’s are flawed to be sure, but they are heroes. Tobias is still a complex villain. The only drawback this season has been the (maybe) to many subplots. Don’t worry, we are still excited for the second half of season 2.