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Inhumans Tries To Be Shocking

Gabby

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“The Gentleman’s Name Is Gorgon” is the 6th episode of Marvel’s The Inhumans.

Recap

The episode starts with Maximus having a nightmare that the Royal Family returns and it is suggested that he is responsible for Triton’s and his parents’ death.

On earth, Audrey says that Lockjaw’s wounds have swollen and that he needs rest, then tells Crystal that she should go home. Crystal and Audrey get into an agreement when she suggests Inhumans should be registered. She tries to take a picture of Crystal, but she sets fire to her phone. After Audrey leaves, Crystal admits to Dave she doesn’t know what else to do to find her family. Dave helps her come up with a plan to signal them with her powers.

In the jungle, Medusa wants to find Crystal. Louise mentions that when they all arrived on Earth, they created unique energy signals and that Crystal would have done the same. Louise goes off to do her calculations, and the Royal Family discuss their plan when they get back to Attilan. Black Bolt wants to kill Maximus, but Medusa believes they should take him alive. Louise returns’ saying Crystal is on the northern part of the island. Karnak notices that she has Locus’s communication device, which is buzzing. Medusa answers it. Auran is on the other end and is holding Declan and Sammy as prisoners at Declan’s lab. The group splits up: Karnak and Gorgon to rescue the humans, while Medusa, Black Bolt, and Louise find Crystal.

On Attilan, Maximus speaks to the group of Inhumans, lead by Bronaja’s father, Loyolis (Aaron Hendry), about their mission to Earth. The group is teleported to Earth by Eldrac (Moses Good). Tibor doesn’t think the citizens will like that Maximus sent miners to fight Black Bolt. Maximus states that the people love him and that whether the group lives or dies, it will still be in his favor. Bronaja overhears this last statement and is noticeably upset. Tibor plots with the Rebel Leader (Lee Minh Topping), declaring that Maximus must die.

Ugh, leave me alone to brood.

On the way to find Crystal, Black Bolt and Medusa argue about what to do about Maximus. Even though he hurt her, she wants to give him a fair trial. Medusa doesn’t want Black Bolt to do something he’ll regret.

Back on Attilan, Tibor informs Maximus that there is a conspiracy to kill him. At first, Maximus is hesitant to believe him, but Tibor convinces him and proposes that they use a control room to find the rebels and root them out. Maximus agrees, frustrated that he is always underestimated. In a flashback Maximus trains with Gorgon who is beating him. As Gorgon begins to walk away, Maximus hits him in the back with a fighting stick. Gorgon starts to retaliate, but Karnak stops him, trying to steady the situation and says that a sneak attack was cunning.

At Declan’s lab, Auran prepares the new group of Inhumans to fight. After they disperse, Auran notices her hand hasn’t healed from the explosion. Declan tells her that based on her DNA test her powers won’t work forever and that one day she will die. Auran says she doesn’t believe him.

Louise asks why Medusa why the Inhumans hide. She replies because humans fear what is different and would attack them. Louise comments that not all humans are like that. Suddenly they see lightning strike not far away, and Medusa realizes it’s Crystal.

Maximus wants Bronaja’s help to stop any revolt. Maximus grabs Bronaja’s wrist, and he has a vision of Maximus and Tibor talking. Maximus ask if there is anything to worry about, and Bronaja replies there isn’t. Maximus wants Bronaja with him when he meets Tibor.

Strike a pose.

Gorgon and Karnak approach Declan’s lab, only anticipating Auran, Mortis, and Flora. Karnak doesn’t know what to do, but Gorgon say’s that since Auran doesn’t know his powers aren’t working, they can use that against them. Gorgon cuts the power supply. Auran watches Karnak approach them, but doesn’t shoot him, believing it to be a trick. Karnak knocks out Flora. He then distracts Mordis while Gorgon sneaks up on him, and knocks him out. Gorgon and Karnak set Sammy free. Gorgon and Auran fight, with him beating her. Karnak releases Declan, who reveals that Maximus has been funding his research.

Crystal and Dave wait to see if the signal works. Crystal says she liked Earth more than she thought she would and they kiss. Medusa and the others arrive, and the sisters embrace. Crystal introduces Dave, saying he helped her. Louise remarks that this proves not all humans are bad. Medusa states that they need to get Lockjaw so that they can find Karnak and Gorgon, and then finally go home.

Back at the lab Mordis, scared to be locked away again, threatens to blow up the facility. Gorgon grabs him while the others run. Desperate to stop Mordis, Gorgon stomps, and the building collapses on them.

Back at Dave’s farm, Lockjaw is awake and chipper. Louise marvels at his size and states that she can’t wait for him to take them to the moon. Black Bolt shares a look with Medusa, who states that she will speak with Louise. Suddenly the police arrive and Dave goes outside to see what is happening. Audrey called the police about Lockjaw.

While Dave is outside, Medusa apologies to Louise, who says she understands. The Royal Family then teleport away, leaving Louise. When the police open to barn doors, Louise accuses Audrey of locking her in because she and Dave are dating.

Lockjaw teleports the group to Declan’s lab, which they find in ruins. Black Bolt finds Mordis’s mask and Karnak over Gorgon’s dead body.

Congratulations! You’ve just been promoted.

On Attilan, Maximus has the rebels surrounded. Tibor says Maximus will fail and Maximus cuts his throat. Maximus asks Bronaja’s why he lied to him and begs Bronaja to trust him, commanding him to say, ‘Long live King Maximus.’

Review

Based on the title of this episode ‘The Gentleman’s Name Is Gorgon’ I thought this one would have focused on him. Maybe that was the intention, but it certainly didn’t feel that way, which is an insult to the character and Eme Ikwuakor, especially with how the episode ended. If any characters were the focal point of this episode, it would Crystal and Maximus. While Maximus’s storyline featured some interesting points, Crystal’s did not.

I love staring into your dead eyes.

Crystal is by far the weakest link in terms of both character and plot. While it’s hard to relate to most characters on the show, Crystal has to be the worse offender. She is whiny, entitled teenager, with a forced romantic subplot, and that’s about it. Her big character revelation is that she discovers she likes Earth. It’s frustrating because there is groundwork for Crystal to have a more interesting arc.

There is a moment at the beginning of the episode where Crystal fights with Audrey about Lockjaw’s health, with Crystal rebuffing Audrey’s claims that he needs rest. Once Audrey leaves, Crystal actually admits that she was right about Lockjaw. Now, here’s a situation that we can all relate to. We’ve all had moments, especially as teenagers, where we don’t want to admit that we are wrong. If only the writers had decided to let Crystal develop from this. Sheltered, privileged teen has to learn the harsh realties of the real world and finally grows up. Bam, character arc right there. Instead, she gets an underdeveloped romance with Dave, the most basic white boy, with whom she shares no chemistry. It doesn’t help that Isabelle Cornish rarely shows any emotion, often with deadpan line delivery.

Maximus finally cracked, which a part of me reveled in, yet ultimately it felt forced. Iwan Rheon knows how to bring nuance to a character, but even he couldn’t have saved this butchered plot. It was only last episode that Tibor was informed of a rebel group. Then suddenly this week, it seems like he is charge, demanding that Maximus needs to die. I’m getting whiplash from how quickly characters change motivations in this show. There was a moment where I thought Tibor might have been playing the rebels, but then I remembered what show I was watching. Which brings me to that end scene, which was a mess.

First, there was no build up, no tension surrounding whether Tibor was a traitor or what Maximus was going to do. This makes me come to the conclusion that something was cut from this scene. It just started so abruptly there’s no way there wasn’t. Secondly, as I stated before about other supporting characters, Tibor is little more than a plot device, in this instance, to show how mad with power Maximus has become. Third, whoa, was that death graphic. I know there are more graphic shows about there, and I’m generally not squeamish, but for a show that’s not on cable, I was not expecting the camera to linger for so long on Maximus cutting Tibor’s throat.

#deservedbetter

Even though Gorgon didn’t get the screen time he deserved this episode, his interactions with Karnak were a highlight. I didn’t hate the flashback in this episode. There was a lot conveyed about the characters’ personalities without saying much. If this had been a scene in the first episode, it would have given a better impression of the characters than what we got. Karnak and Gorgon have a true sense of companionship between them and their ability to work together to benefit not only each other but also the whole group, shows the depth of their devotions. When Gorgon convinces Karnak that is he can use his broken ability to his advantage, in deciding to use his brains and not just be impulsive, it felt like the first time a character truly developed in the whole season. It was a genuine moment, which is why it was such a disappointment when Gorgon died because that truly was unearned.

It also clear that his death is meant to motivate Black Bolt, who has been on the fence this episode on how to handle Maximus and take back his throne. Of course, all the Royal Family is affected by his death, but the camera holds on Black Bolt’s face, slowly zooming in. In film language, this is a clear indication of whose emotions are the most important in the scene. Marvel has made progression in representing black, male superheroes. Luke Cage and Black Panther, both leads in they’re own mediums, are proof of that. Which is why Gorgon’s death is such a step back. Gorgon’s death falls into the tired trope of killing off the minority to feed the white leads motivations. It just like when Locus, played by Japanese actress, Sumire Matsubara, was killed last week. Both deaths were unwarranted except to fuel Black Bolt’s man pain. It’s a lazy attempt to provoke emotion and show how serious the show is. Frankly, I’m scared that with Auran’s revelation that her powers are wearing off, that she might share the same fate.

Last, I would just like to make a general statement about the laziness of the writing in this episode. It was there before in previous episodes, but the script was so clichéd that I was saying some lines along with the characters before they even finished what their sentence. I mean, how many times have you heard someone in the movies or television say, ‘I’m not afraid of you.’ to which the other person says, ‘You should be.’ And, let’s not pretend Audrey’s treatment of Crystal was any kind metaphor for bigotry when it was all centered on a plot about two white girls fighting for a man’s affection. Also, if Triton hadn’t been brought up this episode, I would have completely forgotten about him. Where is he?

So, that was episode 6. I can’t say surprised that the series went in the direction with some its characters, but that doesn’t mean I’m any less disappointed. Minorities deserved to be represented in media without fear of being sacrificed for white characters, and writers need to realize that. I hope Eme Ikwuakor finds work more worth his time and talent. Only two episodes left in the season, so until next week, stay awesome.


Images courtesy of Marvel/ABC Television Studios

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Archie Goes Full Dufresne On Riverdale

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After last week’s exciting change of pace, Archie and the gang return to the present time in “Chapter Forty: The Great Escape” and boy, is it a drag (no, not the fun kind).

Recap

As Archie’s brilliant escape plan to run in the middle of the day, in plain sight of the guards and other prisoners, is failing miserably, we’re back at the bunker, with Betty catching Jughead and the Serpents playing G&G.

Betty tells Jug everything she’s learned from her mother, while Jughead shares his own discoveries about the game. He insists that G&G somehow reflect the real life, Riverdale’s life specifically. Betty is skeptical, so she decides to deal with feasible suspects aka the Midnight Club for now, while Jughead continues playing in order to get to the Gargoyle King his own way.

After Hiram lets Veronica know about Archie’s unsuccessful escape attempt, she decides to take the matters into her own hands. Through her connections in the, um, teenage filial of the local mafia she unknowingly gets herself invited to the warden’s little fight club. She gets a little private time with Archie and they sorta figure out a possible way to break Archie out.

Meanwhile, Betty recruits Josie, Kevin, and Reggie to discreetly question their parents about the Midnight Club. To their kids’ surprise, Mayor McCoy and ex-Sheriff Keller deny even really knowing each other back in high school, let alone dating, while Reggie gets a black eye for even mentioning G&G to his dad.

Unfortunately, the investigation has to be cut short when Veronica comes to all of her friends for help in getting Archie out of juvie. Betty tries to get Jughead on board, but he’s so cut up in a game that he sees the juvie break as nothing more than a great idea for the Serpents’ next G&G mission.

Speaking of juvie, Archie is granted a fancy meal with the warden, who informs Archiekins it’s also gonna be his last one. “The final meal before the final fight”, he says. Warden Norton also all but says outright its’ Hiram’s order. Archie takes a chance asks to hear how Hiram managed to set him up, and warden complies. When asked if Hiram also “owns” him, warden declares his soul “belongs to no mere mortal”, probably alluding to God… Or someone else.

Back at the speakeasy, Veronica lays out her elaborate escape plan for Archie. Basically, they go in undercover to the fight club, create a diversion with self-created smoke bombs (… I know), Archie escapes through the sewer drain, at the end of which Betty will be waiting for him on the Jug’s motorcycle (that she drives impeccably now, apparently).

Mid 2000’s teen rom-com shenanigans realness

Right before Archie starts his final match, he gets stabbed by Joaquin. The latter immediately apologizes and insists the warden said this is the only way he can “ascend”.

It’s game time! Literally and metaphorically. While the gang executes their rescue mission, Jughead and the Serpents are on a G&G quest of their own, that coincidentally mirrors everything the other team is doing. While trying to open the sewer drain grade, Kevin sees Joaquin running for his life through the woods. Kevin decides to follow him and leaves his task to Betty.

Back at the fight club,  Archie is up for his match. And his opponent is no other than Mad Dog. Archie tells him about the escape plan, but it seems like Mad Dog has accepted his fate.

Veronica runs into her father at the fight club, but before he can do anything to stop them she, Reggie, and Josie are setting the pan in motion. Their very slow distraction works and Archie jumps into the drain, while Mad Dog heroically holds off the guards.

At the end of the sewer, Betty meets injured Archie. They race on a bike through the woods to safety, but unfortunately, get caught by the warden and the juvie guards. But PLOT TWIST! It isn’t Archie up on a bike, it’s Kevin. They were a decoy for the guards, while Ronnie and the rest of the crew got Archie to safety at the bunker, where Jughead and the Serpents also just finished their G&G quest.

Tony patches up Archie’s stab wound, and the gang notices the warden has branded Archie with a symbol, similar to those on Ben and Dilton’s backs.

Back at the Lodges, Hermione is going off on Hiram for participating in the underground teen fight club as if she, as a mayor, doesn’t have enough problem to deal with. Veronica arrives just in time for some ass whooping as well.

But *now* we said it.

At Pop’s, Kevin tells Josie and Reggie that he didn’t find Joaquin after all, all while the news of Archie’s escape is heard on the radio. The triple also decides to play G&G by themselves, to find out what their parents, and Betty, don’t tell them about the game.

While watching over Archie at the bunker, Betty and Jug discuss how warden Norton fits into this whole G&G narrative. In the meantime, the warden himself is at his office, getting notified the mayor is here to see him. But unfortunately, they’ll have to reschedule, because the warden just drank the good ol’ cyanide-infused Fresh-Aid.

The episode concludes with Jughead getting back home from the bunker when he finally encounters the Gargoyle King himself.

Thoughts

I honestly don’t have a lot on this one. The episode revolves solely around juvie plot and we all know how I feel about it. The escape sequence is extremely silly, but sticking with Riverdale for so long, nothing fazes me anymore.

My favourite scene was probably Hermione cussing out her dumbass family.  Marisol Nichols did some amazing acting, and it was just so pleasant seeing Hermione to blow up like this. In Season 2 her character felt very Stepford wife (but make it mafia), so it’s great to see her getting some of that agency and character back.

The theory that someone of the Lodges is the Gamemaster behind this G&G madness grows stronger this episode. Killing the Red Paladin aka Archie was obviously a part of Warden Norton’s quest, and we know from the warden himself Hiram ordered to get rid of Archie. Or was the warden lying? Also interesting how Hermione was at the juvie when Norton ended his life. Could be nothing, could be something.

Next week, Archie is fugitive on the run, while Jughead discovers a new piece of the G&G puzzle…


Images courtesy of CW

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Analysis

I like my women… competent

Patrycja

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Criminal minds is a show that I enjoy watching despite sometimes watching it trough my fingers. It never fails to get my adrenaline going. One of it’s many great traits is the selection and capability of present female characters, be it unsubs or agents. The lead women are versatile and different while still having a few common traits. Furthermore they’re always competent and do the job the best they can.

The leader

Emily Prentiss is one of member of the team that was with them from almost the beginning. She went trough all the career steps, finally becoming the team leader.

Her being in charge was one of my favorite story lines. She earned that privilege with exceptional service and field work with various agencies. Her character replaced Aaron Hotchner as unit chief in season 12 after he resigned. It’s wonderful to finally see a woman leading a team; it happens so rarely. She has a great deal of experience with many different cultures as her parents were diplomats. That’s also how she speaks a few different languages, and it’s a skillset that has helped solve quite a few cases.

While on cases, she’ s rarely upset or lets her emotions get in the way, which is one of the reasons why she makes a great unit chief. She is level headed and calm and always factors many different scenarios into her decisions. With that being said she is also quick on her feet and can make split second decisions when she needs to.

While being calm and collected she still empathizes with the victims and their families and doesn’t hesitate to sacrifice herself to protect others. She’s not only a skilled field agent but also an undercover operator, which was shown in her stint catching Ian Doyle. That particular unsub also forces her to fake her own death without informing her team, with JJ and Hotchner being the only exceptions. She eventually reunites with the team in season 7 after the whole Doyle debacle was over.

She isn’t with the BAU the entire time. As previously stated she also work with other agencies like the Interpol. Even if she isn’t always with the team, she is referenced and talked about or pops up for a visit. Her work as unit chief hasn’t always been smooth sailing either. She was reassigned after she pursued a case and went toe to toe with Linda Barnes, who disbanded the team.

The mother

Jennifer “JJ” Jareau is the only women on the team with a family. She has two sons with her husband Will, who was a police detective in New Orleans. The fact that JJ is a mother strongly affects the way she acts and responds.

Although she started working when she wasn’t a mom, she always sympathized with the victims and their families the most visibly. Since she started as a police and media liaison, JJ was often responsible for contacting the families of the victims or their loved ones. She always did a great job while consoling them.

Her early role as media liaison made her the “media face” of the bureau, as she often spoke at press conferences. She was also responsible for choosing the cases the team would be working on, so her job came with a lot of responsibility. Her excellent work in that position was the reason for her reassignment and classified assignment. After her comeback in season 7, she made the change to profiler and her responsibilities were taken over by Hotch and Penelope. She is a skilled profiler, as even before she was one she was often crucial to solving cases and did that job even without the title. Her transition was also easier because she observed the team as their liaison.

She was one of the two people to know that Emily didn’t die. As they are close friends. JJ was also the one who met Prentiss in Paris after her “death”.” That close friendship is a recurring theme with the two characters, as Prentiss comes back when Jennifer is missing.

JJ has been trough tough times including the suicide of her older sister, her classified assignment, not to mention the toll the cases take. While she can wear her heart on her sleeve, she is also a skilled operator who will do anything for her family and for the people she loves. As my choice of calling her “the mother” implies, Jennifer is the one who takes care of all the team members. She shares a special bond with Reid, who is the godfather of her son Henry.

Finally, Jennifer is also a great leader, which was showcased when she replaced Emily Prentiss in the role of team leader. Although she has the ability to lead she doesn’t aspire to be the BAU’s chief. She’s content being an SSA.

Baby Girl

The first thing that springs to mind when thinking of Penelope Garcia is her relationship with Derek Morgan, well, and her unique personality.

Penelope is a former hacker gone good who’s now a technical analyst. Out of all the Criminal Minds characters, she’s the most colorful one—literally. Garcia often offers comic relief and a sense of light and joy to the intense show, and is the one the audience can probably relate to the most if you exclude her computer knowledge.

She is very emotional and openly shows all of her reactions. It doesn’t surprise anyone that she can’t look at horrific crime scene photos; her office is filled with colorful and cute stuff because of the horror that fills her screens (that’s what Hotch says to Strauss while describing the analyst). She also often speaks a bit too intimately when talking to team members, especially Derek. She gives him nicknames like chocolate thunder, etc, and he, in turn, calls her ‘baby girl’. These would normally be considered sexual harassment (which was even addressed in a funny scene in episode 9×12).


But it never actually crosses that line because they have a mutual understanding that it’s a consensual conversational choice. In fact, Penelope’s special relationship with Morgan is what initially drew me to the show. There is just something in how different they are personality-wise while still being very close to each other and understanding the other perfectly that compelled me. And while my shipper heart never understood why the two never dated, I have to admit that sticking to a platonic relationship between these two was a great move.

She makes him laugh and calls him out on his BS. He grounds her and helps her focus and get the job done. Their close relationship is probably the reason why it took Garcia a long time to warm up to Luke Alvarez, who replaced Morgan after he retired. It was implied that Garcia and Morgan are still in contact despite him not being on the show; she is even the godmother to his son.

As previously stated, Garcia is a skilled computer expert and former hacker. Her work is often crucial to finding the unsub. While that is her primary job, after JJ’s promotion she also became the liaison for the team. A job she shared with Hotch till he retired. The best way to describe her is that Penelope’s character is the counterbalance we need to all the heaviness and seriousness of the show.

Criminal minds proves that we can have a show that perfectly balances it’s male and female characters. It offers us a selection of women who all are intelligent, skilled, competent, educated, professional, and strong while staying human and showing emotions.


Images courtesy of CBS

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Tailor Soldier Spy: Black Lightning 2×05

Sarah

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Black Lightning, Anissa, and Jennifer with the phrase Get Lit
Hello and welcome back to Black Lightning season 2 after one of those weird one-week hiatuses that networks sometimes do!

Last episode, Lynn was struggling to navigate her pure heart clashing against Dr. Jace’s conscience-less one at the ASA; Anissa was vigilante-ing and Thunder and Black Lightning diffused several bombs at a neighborhood clinic; and Jen was imploding under the pressure of house arrest to the point where she finally responded to Kahlil’s messages and met him at Garfield.

This week, our fam is still pretty much in the same boat as they were in the previous episode, but with the sudden devastating addition of Gambi’s supposed death by assassins (presumably sent by Tobias).

going out in a blaze of glory

The general rule for things like this is that if there’s no body (which in this case there isn’t), the character isn’t dead (see also: Delphine Cormier). But for now, we’re all operating under the assumption that Gambi’s dead, which makes for some heartbreaking crying from the entire Pierce family, including Jefferson who at first won’t believe Gambi’s gone. It’s so sad, y’all.

when ur faves cry, u cry

In her grief, Anissa indulges her central character flaw, aka using Grace/sex with Grace as an emotional crutch. When she shows up at Grace’s apartment, she has all kinds of claims about how she now knows what’s important and Grace is the only person besides her family that she cares about, but in the morning when Grace asks Anissa to look her in the eyes and promise she won’t hurt her again, Anissa can’t do it. Really Anissa? Please stop with this nonsense. I love our bulletproof lesbian but given the way she treats her girlfriends, I would not date her.

Grace, for her part, looks like she’s about to turn into some kind of supernatural being with creepy-crawly skin, which is also something that’s happening to some other Freeland residents such as a skittish boyfriend of one of Anissa’s pregnant patients who turns up dead at the clinic (did I mention Anissa now works there because she can do everything?), and a cop who pulls her over as she drives out to check on said pregnant patient. CREEPY.

but this is sexy tho

Jen, meanwhile, has some particularly great moments this episode, the first being her witty one-sided banter with her online learning program. We also get to see the conversation she and Kahlil had at Garfield, which consisted of both of them quietly lamenting their circumstances. When Kahlil asks her then, and again later in the episode, of she thinks they can fix whatever they have together, Jen is a true Strong Female Character and basically is like, no dude, we get each other on an important level but we cannot be a thing anymore. (Anyway that’s what her facial expression said, I’m pretty sure).

Lynn aka perpetual Black Lightning MVP finds herself tricked into believing Dr. Jace has used Lynn’s amazing brain-power-math to crack a code that will save all the pod kids, but it turns out it will only save half of them and the rest of them die. This is not great for Lynn’s giant heart and after slapping Dr. Jace’s smug face and having her dragged off by security, she is left alone to deal with the mess and be extra sad because yeah, Gambi’s gone too. And because she’s Lynn, she’s also doing all the emotional labor on behalf of Jefferson who is in denial about Gambi until the end of the episode. Someone give this woman a trophy and a massage.

sad face emoji

Tobias (I guess we have to talk about him too) is busy being horrible as usual, relentlessly intimidating Kahlil and also blackmailing a councilman into helping advance his agenda to take over Freeland and ultimately kill Black Lightning. So, great. That guy sucks.

the only option for a last image: Gambi & Jefferson

That’s it for this week, friends! Do you think Gambi is really dead? Do you think Anissa needs to get her lesbian act together? Do you think Jen will be ok?!?!?! Come back next week and maybe we’ll find out!


Images courtesy of The CW

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