Black Lightning Recap: The Boxcar Children

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:stretches dramatically: Welcome back to Season 2 of Black Lightning! I hope you all had a wonderful break that hopefully included eye exams because holy hell this episode was SUPER dark (literally)! Before we dive in, if you haven’t already read our interview with the lovely Chantal Thuy, who plays Grace, check it out here!

Previously on Black Lightning, Tobias obtained the case so closely guarded by Martin Proctor and used Proctor’s own severed thumb to open it, he started grooming genius Todd to be New Khalil, and my future wife Giselle Cutter tracked and lost Jen and Khalil.

New year, new bike. That’s how the saying goes right? Thunder is finally getting the hang of her new wheels while off looking for Khalil and her sister. Cut over to the woods where Cutter pops up, like some kind of vampire, from the bed of brush she’s used to disguise herself and wait a minute. Have we seen her in the daytime? IS SHE A VAMPIRE?! (Oh wait. That time at the hospital was during the day, right?…) Anyway, Cutter realizes Jen and Khalil are gone, and then uses a sharp piece of metal in the barn to cut her ropes and free herself.

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Our teen fugitives (who I will henceforth refer to as the “Boxcar Children”) are still on the run, but this time they’ve found themselves in an abandoned train that Khalil has been using as a makeshift apartment to hide from Tobias. Both Jennifer and I aren’t even mad about this arrangement; the train car seems kind of comfy. There are incredible drawings littered around the place, and Jen goes through them while Khalil reminisces about his love of trains that started with Thomas the Tank Engine.  

Oh Lynn, my sweet angel. She’s still drunk and feeling helpless and powerless in getting her daughter back. That doesn’t stop her from unveiling just the information they need to find Jen: Khalil has a place that he’s been staying at. While Jefferson was far from pleased that Lynn got this information from Khalil’s felon of a father, he can’t deny the usefulness of the information. Jefferson has been doing this thing lately, where he gets frustrated when the women in his life don’t act exactly the way he expects them to, and lashes out when they challenge him. He did this with Anissa when she wanted to jump headfirst into being Thunder, with Jen when she started to question her powers, and with Lynn when she wanted to help the Pod Kids. It seems that many of these situations have been riddled with stress, and I’m hoping that once things calm down (LOLOL), Jeff will come to his senses and realize the Pierce women are capable of anything.

The Boxcar Children are sitting down to a gourmet meal of ramen (FOH with that cup o’ noodles trash) and reminiscing about when Khalil asked Jen to go steady. Khalil uses this opportunity to pull out the necklace he had given Jen back then, and offer to give it back. This offer doesn’t come with strings though. He just wants her to have it back with no expectation of getting back together. It’s all very cute and nice, and the two start to get physically closer, but Jen stops it. She tells Khalil that she can’t sleep with him. Not like this. She left home to keep him safe, not to lose her virginity in a train car. She can’t stop thinking about her family and getting back to them, and I was so proud of Jen in this moment. When we first met her, she was planning the perfect situation for her to lose her virginity to Khalil. So much has happened since then, she’s grown so much since then, and she’s comfortable enough to say that even though she wants this, the time isn’t right.

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Lynn goes to meet up with the crew, shotgun in tow, and we learn that Gambi isolated a 2 mile radius where the Boxcar Children could be. Anissa knows that’s a hella big area and suggests splitting up into two groups to search. Lynn is v good at math though and knows their chances are better if they look individually. (V good at math, not as good at knowing rarely any good comes from splitting up.)

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What’s that? The faint sounds of jazz? Must be time for Tobias! Much like with Khalil, Tobias is sitting down to dinner with Todd, his new charge, explaining the roots of jazz. After feeding him a meal of vegan chicken & waffles (listen, don’t knock it till you tried it), Tobias explains to Todd that he needs his super special coding brain to help unlock whatever it is that was inside Proctor’s case. Before they can talk more about it, Cutter calls to inform Tobias (via Todd) that she no longer has Khalil.

It’s investigation montage time! Gambi’s kicking down doors! Thunder’s rollin’ on her new bike! Black Lightning is flying all over the place! But Lynn, Lynn is the one who gets to the right location whether she knows it or not. She speaks into the seeming emptiness, a mother’s plea to her daughter to come home. Once Lynn leaves, Jen tries to convince Khalil not to run. He reminds her that Tobias is going to find them no matter what they do. It’s then that he realizes she can leave, even if he can’t.

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Back at the Pierce house, Jen is waiting for her family when they walk through the door. They are overjoyed to see her, but none too pleased that Khalil has joined her.

Tobias brings out the case to Todd and uses Proctor’s thumb to unlock it. Todd must realize who he’s dealing with because he barely flinches. What he finds inside is a high-tech looking computer complete with a 3D globe, lots of secret files, and probably the Trump Tower tapes (too topical? Sorry bout it). Cutter comes in looking for the last three places Khalil’s tracker placed him, and Todd sasses her so good. I like this kid, he’s a nice change of pace from Khalil who seemed to take everything way too seriously.

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Cutter’s on the move again, and finds Khalil’s hideout, just a little too late.

Speaking of Khalil, he’s at the Pierce house apologizing for getting Jen involved in his runaway. They appreciate his apology, but they also all know that Tobias would do just about anything to get Khalil back and make him pay. Khalil reveals that he knows Jefferson is Black Lightning. They all agree that Khalil knows too much and needs to turn himself in.

Despite all of that, Jefferson believes that Khalil is in fact the man he thought he was all those months ago. So he tries to get Henderson to agree to take Khalil into witness protection in exchange for testifying against Tobias. The only thing Khalil asked was to see his mother before they take him away.

THE PIERCE SISTERS ARE BACK TOGETHER HAVING HEART-TO-HEART TALKS AND I AM SO HAPPY YOU GUYS! Anissa tells her sister that she wishes she had told her what was going on with her and Khalil so she could have helped them. Jen stands by her decision and reminds her that Anissa was on her parents’ side when they had her basically on house arrest. All of that aside, what Anissa really wants to know is whether Jen and Khalil had sex when they were On the Run. Not only is Anissa beaming with pride when Jen explained what happened, but she reminded Jennifer that there’s nothing wrong with “self-love.” And yes, if you’re wondering, sex-positive Anissa reminded her sister that there’s nothing wrong with masturbation. This show, y’all. PRAISE.

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Meanwhile, Todd’s still working on the device, and somehow Tobias knows that Khalil is being taken into Witness Protection. WHO IS THE MOLE?!

As promised, Henderson allows Khalil to see his mom before being taken away, but their reunion came complete with a SWAT team, flashing lights, and sirens. During this entire scene, I kept thinking “I DON’T FEEL GOOD ABOUT THIS SOMETHING IS WRONG WHY ARE THEY GOING THROUGH AN EMPTY TUNNEL NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS THERE” and the lesson here is, trust those thoughts, readers. Because nothing good did happen there. The SWAT caravan stops in front of a seemingly injured woman in the middle of the street who turns out to be Cutter playing possum. She slashes one officer’s throat, and by the time Henderson gets to the scene, every officer is dead and Khalil is gone.

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Cutter brings Khalil to Tobias, who has less than no love for one half of the Boxcar Children. Tobias proves this, by hoisting Khalil into the air and ripping out the back implant that I completely forgot he had. They take Khalil to the church and throw him onto the street where he begs for help while the congregation and Rev Holt pray over him.

Back at Tobias’ lair, adorable Todd has cracked the computer! Inside was information on something called Project M.O.D. which stands for Masters of Disaster. There’s footage of the pod kids we knew, but also similar information on four supermetas. These supermetas were from the original experiments and they’re still alive and well. That’s why the ASA chose the site for the new experiments, it’s where the old ones started 30 years prior. The episode ends with Tobias stating, “Now it all begins.”

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What begins?! I assume Jefferson is one of the four supermetas, but who are the others? I hope next week brings us some more answers along with GRAAAAAACE!!! What did you think of this week’s episode? Let us know in the comments below!

Black Lightning airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW and is available Wednesdays on Netflix in Canada.