“Looks like we made it…look how far we’ve come my babyyy!!!” And just like that, Season 2 of Black Lightning is in the books! There was a lot I loved about this season (Jennifer’s powers!, Jennifer finding her voice!), but there were also some questionable story choices that I hope can be remedied in Season 3 (*cough* Grace *cough). Let’s dig in on this finale!
Previously on Black Lightning, Tobias unleashed a mob of metas on Freeland, Xavier Dolls’s doppelganger headed to Freeland after shooting up a bar in Texas, both Lala and Jennifer vowed to kill Tobias, and Jen ignored all warnings and went out in her not-yet-ready suit.
We pick right back up from last week with Jennifer writhing in pain in the middle of the street. Gambi’s by her side ready to absorb some of that energy, when Lala starts to shoot at them. This dude has made the quickest face turn I’ve ever seen, but I’m 100% here for anyone trying to take out Tobias, tbh. Jennifer starts to go to her safe space, but Perenna screams at her to leave because she know Jen can get control all on her own. And she does! But not before Gambi gets knocked out by radiation. Black Lightning and THUNDER ON HER SEXY NEW MOTORCYCLE show up to help.
Tobias and Cutter really go through it in this episode. The first time we see them, Cutter is going at Tobias over his lack of planning. Cutter is one of the very few people who gives Tobias exactly what he dishes out with (at least not yet) no repercussions. Tobias has had it with Black Lightning eluding various murder attempts, so he decides to just strip him from his powers. Not only that, but he plans to take advantage of impending riots to cause even more chaos with his metas. Why riots, you ask? Well you see, the police officer who shot Cape Guy (remember him? Green Light Baby, just trying to help) had no charges brought against him for the shooting. Another unfortunate case of art imitating life.
While Black Lightning heads down to Tobias’s warehouse, Anissa and Jennifer bring Gambi down to Shuri’s Clinic for Well-Meaning White Men. Just kidding, they bring him down to the Lightning Lair, but all I could think about during this scene was Shuri sassing about needing to fix soooo many white boys. While the sisters figure out what to do about their Uncle, Jennifer cracks on Anissa for being such an overachiever that she has to be two superheroes instead of one! Jen tells her sister though, that she’s down to roll with Anissa anytime, whether it be Thunder or Black Bird.
Lynn’s finally made it to the warehouse, but she and Jeff are greeted by Dr. Jace brandishing a gun. Our girl Lynn does not just sit back. No ma’am. She finally gets her chance to pummel Jace and all we and Jeff can do is sit back and watch in awe. Ever the negotiator, Jace requests police protection in exchange for information Lynn and Black Lightning both need. They acquiesce.
As Jace is being taken in, the power in Freeland goes out. The whole town. All of the town. Luckily, Gambi has a generator down in the Lair, but unfortunately no power grid means Black Lightning’s battery is low, just so you know, he’s going to a place nearby, gotta go. (No? No one?) Gambi decides to go try and get the power back on, and Jennifer isn’t about to sit around so she promises to keep her emotions under control and joins Gambi.
Back at Freeland PD, Jace is hanging out in her cells when she hears gunshots. It’s none other than Xavier Dolls’s doppelganger here to… save the day? Kidnap Jace? He’s a bounty hunter who can teleport, and he teleports the two of them right to his employers– the Markovians.
Meanwhile, Tobias’s metas manage to take down a group of soldiers stationed in the city before Black Lightning and Thunder show up. A fight ensues and listen, I know Jeff’s battery is low, but he sure gets a helluva lot of fighting in before his power finally empties. Lala eventually joins the fight and shoots one of the metas before telling Black Lightning he has no more beef with him; he just wants to kill Tobias.
Jennifer and Gambi make it to the city’s main generator and discover it’s been frozen by one of the metas. Jen uses her powers to strategically crack the ice and help get the generator running again. I’ve had so much fun watching Jennifer go through the emotional and physical journey of embracing her powers. She’s gone from wanting nothing more than to get rid of what she deemed a burden, to gaining control to over her powers and even giving herself compliments for succeeding. It’s made my heart so happy.
Someone who isn’t super happy though, is Tobias. He realizes the power is back and he panics. He threatens to release the pods, but Cutter has had enough. No sooner does she scream at him does Tobias have her in the air by the throat. She gets out of the hold and drops into a stance ready to cut him. She doesn’t do it, but she does leave him. I really felt for her in this moment, not just because I want to wife her, but because despite everything, here was a man she loves, becoming erratic and losing sight of reality. She may have walked away, but her eyes showed just how much pain that decision caused her.
Back at the warehouse, Lynn was getting ready to administer injections to the pods, but she was unable to do so before Tobias’s signal went through and released all of the Pod Kids. When Jeff and Anissa get to the warehouse, Lynn warns them not to go near the Pod Kids because “they aren’t fully awake and could be erratic” and honestly… same. Lynn was able to use information that Jace gave them to trace the signal from the laptop to hopefully find Tobias. Jen and Gambi get the location and Jen flies (!!) there.
Tobias is talking to Tori’s painting again when Lala shows up ready to kill. He shoots at Tobias but it doesn’t take. Tobias tries to use his trusty control phrase to get Lala to stand down, but that doesn’t work. It’s not until Tobias utters a Latin phrase that translates to “from many, one”, that Latavius finally loses control. Even though Lazarus Prime (so I guess they gave that dude a name) brought Lala back to life, Tobias has been in control the entire time. And now, he’s brought out tattoos of every person whose death Lala has directly or indirectly been responsible for. All at once. Burned into Lala’s skin.
Tobias doesn’t get to enjoy this victory too long thought because Jennifer AKA LIGHTNING comes crashing through his window! Not long after, Black Lightning joins and refuses to let his daughter become a cold-blooded murderer. Together, the two manage to subdue Tobias and knock him unconscious.
Agent Odell is back with some pods, but these are faces we know. In fact, one of them… IS KHALIL?! Okay. Now is as good a time as any to talk about my number one frustration with this episode and honestly, this season as a whole. Like many people, I was beyond excited when I found out we would be getting a Black lesbian superhero in prime time. I was even more excited when very early in Season 1, we got to see her engage with more than one (!) QWOC. For me, so much of what I loved about Anissa’s arc was that it wasn’t centered around the coming out story. She had already been through that. We met her at a time in her life when she was comfortable with her sexuality and fully in the dating world. Granted, she was also figuring out some new powers at the same time, but if Oliver Queen and The Flash can do it…
Grace Choi walked into Anissa’s life and onto our screens and we knew there was something special there. The chemistry between those two, am I right?! With so much story to get through in the first season, Grace’s story took a backseat. In Season 2 though, we started to get more of the Thundergrace relationship. Some of it was rushed, but there were many cute moments, and Anissa even got a key to Grace’s apartment! Once the writers planted the seed that Grace was a meta, I thought, Yes!! This is their opportunity to feature her more prominently considering how much Season 2 centered around metas. But instead, we got a few scenes of an emotional Anissa looking for her girlfriend with little to no return. Finally last week, Anissa said OUT LOUD WITH HER MOUTH that she thinks Grace is a meta. And then this week, Grace didn’t even get a mention! NOT ONE. It’s like Anissa just forgot she had a girlfriend.
I might be able to explain some of this away if there was no focus on romantic relationships at all. What frustrates me about this is the amount of time given to Khalil and Jennifer’s relationship over Anissa and Grace’s. It’s hard to ignore the fact that the straight relationship is treated with care and as central to the plot, while the queer relationship is pushed to the side. The depth of emotion Jen and Khalil were able to explore as compared to Anissa and Grace is almost laughable. Do I think the Black Lightning team used Anissa’s sexuality to bait us with no intention of fleshing out her relationship? No, I don’t. But I do think to an extent, the writers underestimated the importance of the difference between just knowing a thing and actually seeing it play out on screen. You don’t get to make a big deal about a lead character’s sexuality and then be careless when it comes to the complexities of a queer relationship.
So to the Black Lightning writers, you’ve given us a beautiful show with a beautiful story. Please please please consider the way you treat relationships because right now, you’re showing us what you deem to be the most important.
Back to the episode! Tobias has been captured and taken to a facility known as The Pit. His powers have been nullified thanks to a super fashionable collar, and only time will tell if and how he gets out of this one.
It’s Pierce Family Dinner Time and woooo boy it’s good to see them all smiling and happy. Jennifer says she’s proud of Lynn, Anissa cracks on Jeff’s cobbler recipe (apparently he doesn’t use peaches?!?!?!), it’s almost normal again. But then Jeff breaks down. These are tears of joy though, not sadness. He’s so happy his family is all together and safe because he’s always worrying. Always. Before the Pierces can cheer up Jeff and get their dance on, they receive an unexpected visitor in the form of Agent Odell. Odell wastes no time telling them he knows exactly who and what they are, and that because of the large concentration of metas in Freeland, they will likely be the Markovians’ next target. War is coming to Freeland.
That wraps up season 2 of Black Lightning! What did you all think of the finale and the season as a whole? I think you know how I feel, but with a meta war coming, I really hope we get more of Grace next season. Let me know your thoughts in the comments and as always, you can send me your thoughts on Twitter as well.