In Review: Black Lightning: 1×02: “Lawanda: The Book of Hope”

As the community struggles with the violence surrounding them, a glimmer of hope appears: Is Black Lightning (Cress Williams) back?

Synopsis: IS HE BACK? — As the community struggles with the violence surrounding them, a glimmer of hope appears: Is Black Lightning (Cress Williams) back? Lynn Stewart (Christine Adams), noticing the changes in the community, is also left wondering. While Jefferson Pierce struggles with his decision, Gambi (James Remar) urges him to take up the mantle once more and return to life as Black Lightning. Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain) try to deal with the aftermath of their jolting experience. Damon Gupton and Marvin Jones III also star.

Review: I really appreciated the pacing of this second episode. Viewers got to see Jefferson, Lynn, Gambi, Anissa, and Jennifer process events. However, I appreciated something else even more. When Jefferson and Lynn had things out, they spoke to each other like adults. When Lynn and Gambi had things out, they spoke to each other like adults. They had disagreements the way people should have them. They didn’t act like refugees from a bad soap or an episode of Jerry Springer.

As for the argument itself, it’s one that needed to be articulated, not only for the sake of the characters but also for the sake of the viewers. Writers have been comparing having powers to having an addiction for some time now, and that argument can only apply to individuals with artificially acquired powers. Even then, the argument doesn’t always work.

Granted, the metaphor could be more effective in a reality-based narrative in which drugs are a factor, but the writers still have to avoid becoming lazy. For the record, I’m with Jefferson and Gambi. As of now, there is no addiction. Jefferson is just a man with skills trying to cope with insanity. If anything, members of The 100 are addicted to their lifestyles, trampling on anyone getting between them and their fixes. I, for one, am looking forward to watching Black Lightning and his daughters (Clean up in aisle 2, Anissa) break them of their habits.

Written by: Salim Akil

Directed by: Oz Scott

9.2
Black Lightning: 1x02:
  • Story
    8.5
  • Performances
    9.0
  • Soundtrack
    10

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.
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