Welcome, friends, to another week of Black Lightning! Previously, Todd cracked the briefcase code revealing Project M.O.D., Jen and Khalil decided to bring the On the Run tour to a close, and Cutter delivered Khalil to Tobias who LITERALLY ripped out Khalil’s spine implant.
Last week, we saw Khalil get dropped off in the street in front of Rev. Holt’s church, and this week we open at that very church. Reverend Holt is giving a rousing sermon to his congregation with the message that their entire town is under attack. He tells them that not only is Khalil fighting for his life right now, but every single citizen of Freeland is too, whether they know it or not. It’s a message that rings true in this fictional world as well as the real one. The police are killing them. Gangs are killing each other. Bullets are killing children.
While Holt is preaching, we see the Pierces and Khalil’s mom go see Khalil in the hospital. He’s facedown on a table with a camera under the table so they can see his face, and his back is exposed. When Jeff is alone in the room with Khalil, Khalil asks him for a favor. He wants Black Lightning to kill Tobias. Jeff says he can’t do it. Not because he isn’t able to, but because they need to let the system work. Even facedown fighting for his life, Khalil knows this is BS. He angrily asks Jeff if he’s talking about the same system that allowed Tobias to kidnap his daughters, to commit countless murders and get away with them all. “Is that your system?” he yells. And Jeff can only concede because he knows Khalil is right. The system has failed Tobias’ victims time and time again and it needs to stop.
Meanwhile, Holt is continuing on about how Freeland can’t trust the government to keep them safe, and they can’t trust Black Lightning or Thunder to do it either.
Back at the hospital, Jen is overcome with emotion and leaning on a car in the parking lot to catch her breath when Parking Lot Patty comes over and accuses Jen of trying to steal her car. She calls 911 and while she’s on the phone, Jen uses her powers to shoot lightning at the car causing it to explode. As she walks away, Jen asks if the woman plans to call the police on God and oh boy did I laugh and laugh and laugh.
At the church, Holt is still preaching and thanking all of the heroes who came before them. He thanks Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks and Fannie Lou Hamer. Reverend Holt only gets out a couple of “let the Church say ‘Amen’”s before he suddenly faints. We then see CUTTER in her Sunday best get up and leave the church. Surely there’s nothing fishy about that…
Jeff brings a very much still on fire Jen into a hospital closet to try and siphon the energy from her, but there’s just too much. They hear a knock on the door and it’s Perenna! She sensed that Jen might need help and boy howdy was she right!
Meanwhile, Tobias and Todd are going over the Pod Kid footage when Tobias recognizes Dr. Jayce. Remember her? The woman Lynn slapped right across the face? Good times. Well it turns out, Tobias hasn’t seen Helga Jayce in THIRTY YEARS and she looks EXACTLY THE SAME! She probably knows about the four supermetas though, so the two start to hatch a plan.
Jen is fully levitating while Perenna helps her control her breathing. Slowly but surely, Jen is able to draw the energy back within herself and the fire goes out. Jeff tries to get Perenna to tell him what she said to Jennifer, but all Perenna says is it was “what she needed to know.” I loved this. I know that Jeff is coming from the place of a concerned parent, but Perenna connects to Jennifer in a way that he can’t and I’m so glad Jen has her as a source of trust and comfort.
While Jen goes to keep Khalil company, Lynn decides to have a talk with one of his doctors, who doesn’t seem to understand she’s talking to a WORLD CLASS scientist. Lynn offers to help with Khalil’s care, but the doc is all “nah girl, your work is still experimental and my ass isn’t tryna get sued” or something like that.
Henderson joins Jeff in the hospital cafeteria and tells him Rev. Holt had a heart attack. Jeff has been watching his own show and thus, is not convinced it was actually a heart attack. He decides it’s time to bring Henderson further into the fold and offers him some …”resources”… to help take down Tobias. To the Lightning Lair!
Poor Henderson was just getting his mind around the fact that his friend is actually a vigilante, and now Jeff brings him to Gambi’s shop, shows him insane technology, and unveils AN ALIVE GAMBI! Once the shock wears off a bit, the three men strategize on how to get Tobias on more than just one murder. Also Henderson asks about the food in the lair because that man has his priorities in order.
Back at the hospital, Jen’s with Khalil and he looks so helpless as he coughs on the table. Jen sees the electricity that flowing through him. She leaves the room and meets up with her mom and tells her that she can see electrical impulses in people and Khalil’s are getting weaker. She suggests using her powers to give Khalil a “jumpstart” but Lynn doesn’t think he’ll survive that or being put in a pod.
In the waiting room, Anissa waits nervously when GRAAAAAACE!!! IT’S GRAAAAACE!!! Ahem. Grace comes by with some burgers and fries. She tells Anissa that she cares and she’s so sorry her family is going through this and then she KISSES HER FOREHEAD AND IT IS SO CUTE! I neglected to mention that we got a glimpse of Anissa’s phone earlier in the episode and either she had Grace’s photo as her lock screen or Grace was calling her. Either way, despite this being a Khalil-heavy episode, I was really hoping it meant we would get more development in the Thundergrace sphere. What we got though, was super adorable.
Meanwhile, Tobias is waterboarding someone, NBD. Cutter comes in wearing a dress designed to personally attack me. The two talk and give us clues to a past relationship between them. Tobias apologizes to her before asking her to get rid of the body.
At the hospital, Lynn rolls up with her team and a signed letter from Khalil’s mom in order to give him treatment. The doctor tries to stop her but Lynn reads her and pushes on through.
Henderson goes to visit Tobias wearing what I think is a super obvious camera on his tie, but okay, bruh. He accuses Tobias of being the one who ripped out Khalil’s spine, but Tobias denies it. Meanwhile, Henderson is trying his best to canvass the entire room without Tobias noticing that Gambi’s in his ear and somehow it works? Gambi’s able to identify the safe behind the wall, but the briefcase isn’t in it.
My new favorite character Todd goes to see Dr. Jayce in prison. I assume he pays off the guard or something because he walks in, sets up a legit hologram of Dr. Jayce reading, and waltzes right out with her. Todd bring Jayce to Tobias who informs us that Jayce is the one who created the anti-aging serum in the first place! And she knows where the supermetas are.
Back at the hospital, Khalil’s time is running out. The toxins in his body won’t allow the doctors to give him the anesthesia needed to put him under, so he can’t be transported in a pod. He can’t be saved. The reality of this sinks in, and Jen bring Khalil’s mind into her safe space so they can have a bit more time together. Instead of the hair salon, Jen’s safe space takes the form of their prom. A prom they won’t ever get to attend together. The two say their “I love you”s, kiss, and hold each other until Khalil disappears. The Pierce family and Khalil’s mom are together in the room when his heart beats for the last time.
The episode ends with Tobias, Cutter, Todd, and Jayce breaking down a wall most likely leading to where the supermetas are being held.
I’m sad to see Khalil go, but I’m interested in what this turn of events will mean for Jennifer as a character. As usual, I’d really like to see more development in the Thundergrace relationship. Perhaps a conversation about how you both have powers? Hmmm?
Let me know what you thought of the episode in the comments below!
Black Lightning airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW and is available Wednesdays on Netflix in Canada.
Nic is a Digital Product Manager who lives in Queens, NY. She spends way too much time thinking about queer fictional characters, Tessa Thompson, and Janelle Monae. When she's not busy consuming every form of fiction, you can find her cosplaying as Valkyrie. You can find Nic on Twitter and Instagram.