In Review: Black Lightning: 1×12: “The Resurrection and the Light: The Book of Pain”

RETURN OF THE WHALE - Tobias (Marvin Jones III) returns to Freeland. He is tasked to capture - not kill - Black Lightning (Cress Williams) with the help of an unexpected source.

Synopsis: RETURN OF THE WHALE – Tobias (Marvin Jones III) returns to Freeland. He is tasked to capture – not kill – Black Lightning (Cress Williams) with the help of an unexpected source. After a battle of epic proportions, Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain) provide surprising aid. Christine Adams, Damon Gupton and James Remar also star.

Review: With “The Resurrection and the Light: The Book of Pain,” writers Jan Nash and Adam Giaudrone crafted an episode in which plot necessities trumped nuances. The resulting story set up next week’s finale in a mechanical way.

I’ll admit it. I was spoiled by the more measured pace of last week’s character study. Next, to that, this week’s outing was jarring, and the most CW-like episode so far. Nash and Giaudrone progressed Jefferson and Lynn’s relationship one minute and broke them up the next, simply because they were running out of time for meta gene suppression angst. Viewers don’t see Khalil (Jordan Calloway) for weeks, and he showed up with clunky dreads, forcing even clunkier interactions. Moreover, Jefferson developed a case of the stupids and took Tobias on without his powers. All of it was to ratchet up the tension for the finale and unintentionally expose a structural flaw. That flaw was the pacing of Jennifer’s arc, which was nowhere near as organic as Anissa’s. As a result, they’ve had to do too much in the back episodes. I hope the writers address that next season.

On the plus side, viewers were treated to a marvelous set piece fight between Anissa and Syonide that was worth the wait. Additionally, viewers finally got a partial explanation for Lala’s return from the dead, and it played like an homage to The Manchurian Candidate. Hopefully, next week’s finale won’t need set pieces and shock reveals to elevate boilerplate plotting.

Written by: Jan Nash, Adam Giaudrone 

Directed by: Oz Scott

8.3
Black Lightning: 1x12:
  • Performances, Fight Choreography
  • Pacing caused forced story points
  • Story
    7.5
  • Performances
    9.0
  • Music
    8.5

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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