Saturday, June 10, 2023

On The Run: Black Lightning 2×08, ‘Exodus’

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Hello and welcome to the Jen and Kahlil Show! This week on Black Lightning, these two are stealing the show, for better and worse. Let’s get into it!

We open on Jen and Kahlil running away in a convertible But first, Kahlil thinks it’ll be no big deal to hit up the 100 to “collect for Tobias” and run off with the money. Yeah, there’s no risk in Tobias already having his entire network on the lookout for Kahlil and ready to kill him, no risk at all. Of course, his attempt at getting the money quickly turns into a literal firefight, with Jen needing to step in and save him again. I’m really here for Jen coming into her own with using her powers, but why does it have to be about a boy?

Meanwhile Anissa tells her parents that Jen is probably with Kahlil because she knew he’d been texting her.

My face every time Kahlil does something irresponsible, aka all the time.

The runaways ditch their car and hotwire another one (again, all Jen) and drive to Kahlil’s aunt’s house, where they can stay the night on the DL. Meanwhile, Tobias shows up to Kahlil’s mom’s house to threaten her, then congratulates himself for having a “no momma” rule (as in, no killing mothers? Which I feel like is false because mothers definitely die by his cronies’ hands?). This encounter tips her off that Kahlil and Jen have run away together, so she goes to tell Lynn that they’re probably at her sister’s place. Just moms being heroes, as usual. Black Lightning and Thunder take a break from being mad at Gambi for faking his death and go to save Jen.

Tobias is still on the hunt for Kahlil, so he hires Cutter, a knife-wielding badass lady who shows up at the aunt’s house pretending to be a detective. Did I mention Kahlil has a tracker implanted in his head? So he’s pretty easy to find. He doesn’t realize it yet, but Jen does notice a lump in his neck when she’s cutting his hair.

A wild knife fight ensues between Cutter and Kahlil, and I’m pretty sure his aunt is dead? And when Black Lightning and Thunder show up to save the day, literally everyone runs off and leaves her on her floor?

Cutter disappears into the woods, calling Tobias to chastise him for not giving her any warning that she’d have to fight Metas. This leads Tobias to make the connection between the Pierce family and Black Lightning. So where he goes with that will be interesting/terrifying.

Cutter is also interesting and terrifying.

Jen and Kahlil also run into the woods. Jen figures out that the lump must be a tracker because of how easily they were found, and because there were literal sparks when she and Kahlil kissed. She shocks it with her powers to short it out, then they just have to test it real quick by kissing again. There’s a lame joke about electricity involved that is cute but cringey.

The runaways hide in the brush until Black Lightning and Thunder give up searching (for now), so as of the end of this episode they’re still evading everyone. I have some serious qualms with this storyline. Jen is justifiably angry at being essentially caged in her house by her parents, something Anissa points out to Jefferson when he gets mad that she didn’t tell them about the texts from Kahlil. (Like, hey, maybe examine your role in driving her away, Jefferson?!).

Still, I find it hard to believe that she would choose the chaos of Kahlil at all costs over the family she knows wants to support her. She even calls them to tell them she’s ok. I feel like if she went home now that she can control her powers and has Anissa and Perenna to help communicate with her parents, her situation would be drastically different/better.

My face every time Jefferson gets mad about something he did himself.

Second, and most importantly, the writers did a thing I strongly dislike, which is introduce the beginnings of an abuse storyline. At one point Kahlil snaps, yelling at Jen and almost hitting her. I get that Jen is powerful and can hold her own physically, but the fact that they’re making her doe-eyed for this boy, forgiving him too easily and believing that they are better off together no matter what, troubles me. Kahlil makes all the classic excuses: how he’s not normally like that, he’s been under a lot of stress, it won’t happen again, etc. I just want to see independent Jen.

That’s it for this week, friends! Let’s hope this season doesn’t dig an even deeper Kahlil-Jen hole. See you next week!

Images Courtesy of The CW


  • Sarah

    Sarah divides her mental energy between analyzing/crushing on queer characters, training for marathons and sometimes on her day job.

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