Thursday, July 18, 2024

The Tools and the House: Black Lightning 2×03

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So far this season, I’d venture to say the Black Lightning has been a little all over the place. There are always a lot of parallel story lines happening, but the first two episodes of this season felt extra frenetic. We had an epic (and very violent) fight scene between Kara and Syonide leaving Syonide dead; Jen’s powers are super mysterious; Henderson discovered Jefferson’s powers; Lynn is inside the ASA with her golden heart trying to help the pod kids; and Anissa blew off Grace and hooked up with a celebrity?!

Faves being faves.

But this week, the season really seems to be hitting its stride. Lynn, who keeps having to compromise her morals under the finger of Agent Odell, is informed that imprisoned doctor Dr. Jace will be joining her team. Dr. Jace is apparently crucial to the work of saving the kids, but there’s this problem about an experiment she conducted that left 1 dead and 10 without their feet (hence, prison). But she’s got an implant in her ankle that will disable her should she try to escape, and Lynn summons her very effective Threatening Tone to make sure Jace knows it. My crush on her continues to grow, anyone else?

Meanwhile, Jen is going stir-crazy with her only freedom coming from her permission to walk around the block for exercise. She and Anissa have another very cute sister scene, which includes more sage dating advice from Jen to Anissa re: Zoe B not being worth falling for when Grace is actually interested (and deserves better than being ghosted?). More on this later.

One afternoon as Jen is walking, she’s stopped by a mysterious woman on the street who knows who Jen is. Jen is confused and then terrified when the woman takes her hands and transports her to a ‘safe place,’ i.e. a dreamlike white room. Jen demands to be taken back to the real world. Turns out, the woman, Perenna, is a friend of Jefferson and Lynn, who sent her to help Jen, but they failed to run it by her first?! Jen is understandably upset, leading to a very sweet father-daughter apology scene.

When Jen next meets Perenna, they go back to the safe place—a hair salon. Perenna gives a little bit of a Black History lesson on salons, which fails to impress Jen but I really liked it. Perenna explains that the two of them are going to work on Jen controlling her powers, but first they need to make a box for her to put her feelings in (lol). In their next session, Perenna shows Jen (and the audience) that putting your feelings in a box is not as easy as it sounds. First you have to know what they are, and in Jen’s case that’s a lot of fear and anxiety (if I’m reading the bursting-into-flames and screaming right). I’m into this storyline; I love when stories tackle a character’s emotions in a creative way. (Inside Out all the way!)

The safe place.

Meanwhile, Anissa is on two missions. The first is to keep being Robbin’ Hood so she can give all the dirty money in Freeland to the church that’s helping the families of the pod kids sue the federal government for custody of their own children. Now, though, there’s another cause Anissa has in mind: saving a clinic from being closed by a ‘real estate developer’ that’s actually a shell company for money laundering. She’s also got Gambi helping her on the DL. Even though this money-stealing will almost definitely blow up in her face at some point, I’m so here for our bulletproof lesbian owning every dude criminal and putting that money to good use.

Anissa’s other mission is to apologize to Grace, which, yay! The scene between them made me so happy, because I live for queer characters talking things out like adults and making heart eyes at each other.

Elsewhere in Freeland, Kahlil aka Pain Pill is making my heart so sad. He’s utterly under the control of Tobias, and, not that this is news, but Tobias is a truly repulsive human being. Kahlil ends up killing two people on Tobias’ behalf. He looks none too happy about it, but feels trapped, even when Black Lightning offers to help Kahlil get out from under Tobias’ thumb. Kahlil doesn’t believe it’s possible and runs away.

However, Henderson’s team (finally) discovers Detective Summers’ torched car (and his torched remains), which somehow leads them to finding and arresting Tobias. This seems far too easy so obviously next week he’ll get out somehow and probably leave a ton of destruction in his wake.

Henderson goes to Jefferson’s house to let him know they caught Tobias, which Jefferson has complicated feelings about, judging by his face. What will he do now? He’s already been asking himself that question, since he’s also had the not-pleasure of meeting Garfield’s new principal, Principal Lowry. Lowry insists on being called just that, installs metal detectors in the school, and is straight-up terrible. He’s throwing around micro-aggressions left and right—a painfully accurate portrayal of a lot of white dudes.

Literally everyone’s face when they meet Principal Lowry.

That’s it for this week! I’m really glad Black Lightning is digging into its core characters and their inner lives more this episode. Can’t wait for next week!

Images Courtesy of The CW

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