Synopsis: STRUGGLES – Jefferson (Cress Williams) must break the news to his students and faculty that he is stepping down. Struggling with his new life as Painkiller, Kahlil (Jordan Calloway) pays a visit to Jennifer (China Anne McClain) in hopes of mending things. Meanwhile, Tobias (Marvin Jones III) continues to enact his plan. Nafessa Williams, Christine Adams, Damon Gupton, and James Remar also star.
Review: “The Book of Consequences: Chapter Two: Black Jesus Blues” written by Charles D. Holland finishes setting up the second season of the show. The character dynamics are established in both predictable and unforeseen ways.
I’ll begin with the predictable. Tobias’ interactions with Kahlil and Kahlil’s interactions with Jennifer play out as expected, but that isn’t a bad thing. The writers have to color within the lines at times in order to contrast with the occasions on which they don’t. Wendy and Issa’s story lines are perfect examples. Wendy (Madison Bailey) has the standard powers run amok in extremis beats so that Issa’s (Myles Truitt) contrary resolution is given the room to be ironically startling and poignant.
Jefferson’s final address to the students of Garfield High was also predictable in all the best ways, including his mantra at the end. That heroically rote character beat serves to reinforce who Jefferson is and highlight the stark realities underlying the new principal.
The regular cast continues to be as layered and organic as ever. I particularly loved Williams and McClain’s preternaturally on point sisterly bond. Another highlight was the regrettably revealing dinner scene in which Adams articulated Lynn’s frustrations perfectly.
Unfortunately, Anissa’s storyline was the one weak point. The developments in her love life and conflicts with her father seemed to be forced concessions to the CW and not natural character choices. I hope the predictability there contrasts with some unforeseen elements later in the season.
Writer: Charles D. Holland
Director: Oz Scott