With Freeland still in crisis, and the problems hitting closer and closer to home, Jefferson has to make the ultimate decision in regard to Black Lightning. Here’s our recap of “Lawanda: The Book of Hope”!
The episode opens with Jefferson in some serious pain as he struggles to get out of the bed. All the while, the news is on in the background, and we hear a pundit talking about the possible reappearance of Black Lightning.
“There’s no doubt that Black Lightning is back. But the question is why? Why now? If Brother Lightning is back because he’s committed to helping the people, then I’m all for it. But if he’s back because of some personal vendetta, I can’t condone that.To give the people of Freeland false hope is selfish and it’s cruel. The people of Freeland have been victimized enough. I believe he’s an answer to our prayers.”
He’s feeling the night before and is probably thinking he’s getting too old for this shit. As he struggles to the bathroom, his powers run up and down his arms and into his chest and neck. He grabs something out of the medicine cabinet and falls to the ground.
Lynn, who is sleeping with Jennifer, hears all the noise and wakes up. When she gets to the bathroom, she helps him sit up. She jokingly tells him he’s too old for this kind of stuff now.
She admits to thinking that his powers were cool when she first knew about them, but now she realizes they’re also dangerous…even though they saved their daughters. Lynn says she feels guilty for telling him to use his powers to get the girls, and Jefferson tells her that Black Lightning is not back.
Their relationship will be interesting to watch because as much as he loves Lynn, he feels the need to protect his city as well. If he can’t have both, which will he choose and how will that shake out?
In the end, Jeff and Lynn admit that they say they miss each other and share kiss. She decides it might not be such a good idea if she stays there, but Jefferson says that it’s important that she stay with the girls so he’ll sleep on the couch and she can take the bed.
The next day, Jefferson meets with concerned parents at Garfield and tries to reassure them everything is okay.
You know I heard someone say that if we are fighting for the streets The 100 are winning. But here at Garfield we are not fighting for the streets. No, we are fighting for the minds, for the hope and dreams of our children.
Those are some real pretty words, Mr. Pierce, but pretty words aren’t gonna stop The 100.
Jefferson uses the success of the Sea Horse Motel being shut down as an example of how things can change, but it hit hard when it turns out that it opened back up after the police cleaned up the crime scenes.
Then Lawanda, a former student, expresses her heartbreak that her daughter is caught up with this gang and the police won’t help her because they say her daughter is there of her own will.
She asks a very tough question:
Why did Black Lightning rescued your girls and no one else’s?
Then hits Mr. Pierce with a quote since he loves quoting material to them:
Unless all of us are free. None of us will be free.
Across town, Tobias is trying to find out where Black Lightning is, and he’s tightening security on all his businesses and assets in case they are targeted.
When Lala points out how much Tobias must hate black people by how he’s talking, Tobias tells him exactly who he hates, and the scene ends up with Lala on his knees with a ball gag in his mouth.
Jefferson talks to Lawanda after everyone has left, and she tells him about her husband who has passed away.
He was in the military and was killed while on deployment. Lawanda tells Mr. Pierce that her daughter got caught up with the 100 in trying to find a replacement for her daddy. This woman asks him why he doesn’t do something about this situation. The people of Freeland has such respect for him.
“What can I do to help?
“You can go in there and get her. Take her out of there.”
“I can’t do that.”
“Yes, you can. You just won’t. Everyone knows that Mr. Pierce can do whatever he wants in Freeland. We used to call you Black Jesus. Thought you could walk on water.”
She tells him that she’s got to find a way to fight for her daughter since the police won’t get her. When she leaves, you can tell that Jefferson is feeling very frustrated that the people he cares about how so few options.
Jefferson confronts Henderson about the Sea Horse Motel being back open and why Lala hasn’t been arrested. Apparently, LaLa said he wasn’t there and he has good alibis which trump Anissa and Jennifer’s word he was there. Henderson makes it sound like his hands are tied, but it just seems like he doesn’t care too much. I don’t know how to explain it. Maybe he’s just resigned?
Then we get the REAL big news…
It turns out that Will escape the ambulance and now he and Lala are out there, and Jefferson’s girls are at risk. Henderson says that they’re looking for them and have cops watching the Pierce home, but that doesn’t seem like enough when you think of all the stuff Lala and Will have been able to get away with so far.
At the Pierce home, Jennifer is talking to her friend Khalil on Facetime and Lynn is on the porch behind her. There are cops watching the house, too. We see a familiar face start walking toward the house, it’s the kid who sells drugs for Lala, Malik. He’s carrying a plastica box and asks if Jennifer wants to buy any candy. Jennifer says yes and asks what he has then he pulls out a water gun and shoots her with red paint.
“Lala says hi!”
The cops rush out of their car, one chasing the kid and the other going to Jennifer. Lynn holds onto her daughter, but you can tell that Jennifer is shook.
After all this goes down, Jefferson goes to Lala and tells him they had a deal. No messing with his daughters or the school, and so far, Lala has messed with both. We finally see that Lala isn’t here to play with Mr. Pierce anymore and any respect that he used to have for him is gone.
Lala warns him:
“They better keep my name out of their mouths. In fact, if i was you, I’d send your daughter’s on a long vacation before I do.”
Jeff pushes forward toward Lala, but he gets punched and knocked and has to reign in his powers before standing up and telling Lala:
“Don’t mistake my patience for weakness, boy.”
This makes Lala laugh, but as Jefferson is walking away, you can tell his planning on how to end this guy and his whole operation.
At Gambi’s, he’s trying to tell Jeff that he needs to protect the city, and to protect his family, he needs to take those guys down. Get Will, he’ll talk on Lala, and Lala will flip on his boss…
BUT…Jefferson tells him that after he takes down Lala, he’s done.
Anissa is in bed with her girlfriend, and they’re being sweet and adorable, joking around.
Anissa asks her if she’s okay, and her girlfriend tells her that she wants more. They’ve been dating a year and she still hasn’t met her parents or her friends. She wants more but Anissa isn’t ready for that yet. She’s too busy.
Still, she says now isn’t the time to think about it because Anissa has been through so much right now. They’ll talk about their relationship later.
Anissa tells her how she broke the sink in her bathroom after what seemed like a panic attack. She explains how the sink just crumbled under her hands.
Her girlfriend tells her that they need to find someone for her to talk to, and things will be okay.
POSITIVE MENTAL HEALTH ALERT!!!! Actually this whole scene is just lovely because it’s real and natural. There was no big “she’s gay” moment. It was completely authentic to the show.
Henderson shows up to the Pierce home while he’s walking his dog and talks to Jefferson. It isn’t really a friendly stop by because Henderson has some important things to tell Jeff.
After trying to assure him that they police will catch Lala. He asks if Lynn is still staying with them, and they laugh a little because she is and Jefferson says that they’re pretty close to getting back together. Then Henderson drops the bomb that Lawanda is posted up outside the Seahorse Motel videoing all the men who visit and girls who work there. He says she’s going to get herself killed, and when Jefferson asks what he’s going to do, he says nothing.
“She’s got rights.”
Jefferson isn’t happy about this at all, but what can he truly do without bringing back Black Lightning for good?
In an abandoned parking garage somewhere in Freeland, Will gets tossed out of a trunk, bond and gagged. Lala tells him that he hates hiring family but he’ll straighten things out.
That’s when he stands behind Will and shoots him in the head.
Jefferson goes to the Seahorse Motel and tries to talk to Lawanda, but it doesn’t go well at first.
“Would you die for your daughter, Mr. Pierce. Would you walk away if Black Lightning hadn’t them? Huh?”
He doesn’t answer.
“That’s what I thought.”
She goes to the car and gets a camera out and he tells her to give him forty-eight hours. After some convincing, she says she’ll stop taking pictures, but she won’t leave her car. She wants to makes sure no one tries to move her daughter without her knowing.
Then Jefferson hugs her and she starts crying.
Jennifer’s friend, Khalil, shows up at her house and is super interested in her meeting Black Lightning. After the ice is broken, he decides to go for it, and asks her out.
“If they had killed you, I never would have had the chance. Do you, maybe, want to be my girlfriend?”
She giggles a little, and he gives her a necklace then a sweet kiss.
It’s precious, and it’s the first time I’ve seen Jennifer without her walls up.
Jefferson comes home and Lynn is still there. She offers to make him something to eat, and he asks about the girls.
They laugh when he botches Annisa’s girlfriend’s name, and then he says it’s good to have her here. They kiss AGAIN.
The chemistry between these two is incredible, and I’m living for it!
“There is one fact that I lean on.
“That I love you and those girls more than anything in this world.”
Lynn says she needs to take it slow, and uses her doctor-ness to explain why:
“As a neuroscientist, I know everything there is to know about the brain but no so much about the heart.”
Perfection, y’all. Perfection.
Lawanda is at the SeaHorse Motel when a car pulls up. She places her cell phone so it’s recording outside the windshield before she gets out with a video camera. Lawanda walks straight up to Lala, asking about her daughter. He tells her to get the camera out of his face, and when she doesn’t, his people start pushing her around as she repeatedly says she wants her daughter.
Lala doesn’t even flinch as he pulls out his gun and shoots her several times in the chest.
Henderson calls Jefferson to tell him about Lawanda.
He’s beside himself with anger and sadness because he feels like he could have stopped this. He has to contain his powers again.
“She was my student, Lynn. I had a fantasy that when they leave me, their lives are better. They can transcend this neighborhood, this city, this world. I saved more people as a principal than as Black Lightning.”
“It’s a lie! Lawanda is dead!”
Lynn tries to talk to him down, but he keeps saying that he could save people. He could save so many people, but he’s hid behind his dream of being normal.
“I’m not normal! I’ll never be normal!”
In full doctor mode, Lynn tells him it’s his addiction talking, like Black Lightning is a hit he needs and not a guilt he carries for not saving people he could have.
“There is no damn addiction. Do you remember what you said when we discovered my powers? You said it was a gift. A blessing from God. It’s still a gift. It’s still a blessing from God, and I intend to use it. Not just for the girls, but for all the other people out there that need me.”
She tells him they’re so close to being back together as a family, and he agrees that maybe they are, but that can’t be enough right now.
“It is time that people know that Black Lightning is back.”
You can watch the scene here:
— Black Lightning (@blacklightning) January 25, 2018
At school, Kara tells Mr. Pierce that she’s there for him if he ever needs to talk. Since he’s always everyone else’s rock, he might need one of his own.
Girl, we see you. We understand, but we see you.
Gambi calls and tells Jefferson that he found Will, but he’s dead, so that’s not good. Jefferson says that if they don’t find Lala, he’ll go after his girls next.
Meanwhile, Jennifer is getting drunk at school making fun of being kidnapped because that’s how she processes things. Later, after she’s wasted, she visits Khalil in the gym and he takes the booze from her right away.
He tells her that this isn’t the way to deal with her pain.
“I’ve seen it all, J. My brother shot and killed, father in jail, Momma working her damn ass off just to provide. Yeah, I live the life rappers talk about and ain’t none of it cute. None of it. But you know what? God gave me a gift. I can run fast, and I’m gonna run my black ass straight up out of her, and I ain’t looking back. But I want you to come with me, but not like this.”
Khalil seems like a really great influence. I like him and I hope he sticks around for awhile!
Lynn shows up at Gambi’s and confronts him, telling him that Jefferson’s going to end up dead.
“He isn’t just Jefferson Pierce…”
Gambi argues that he wasn’t addicted to his powers. He stopped using them because he was addicted to her.
They blame each other for the state of everything. Gambi blames her for the violence in the city because Black Lightning left, and Lynn blames Gambi for taking away Jefferson.
She leaves with nothing resolved.
Later, Gambi calls Jefferson and tells him that he got Lala’s address off Will’s phone. Jefferson leaves school in a total rush because he’s about to wreck something.
Black Lightning walks down the middle of the street in full get up. The doorman lets him in and even tells him what floor Lala lives on. The elevator guy offers to get him up all the way up there.
“No, I’m gonna take the stairs. I’m just getting back into this. A brother needs all the exercise he can get.”
He beats everyone’s ass all the way up to the penthouse. When he gets a hold of Lala, he kicks his ass, but right before he can kill him, Henderson and the police show up.
They tell him to put his hands up, and he says:
“It’s been awhile, Inspector.”
Then he jumps off the roof.
Henderson takes in Lala and questions him and explains Lawanda videoed her own murdered. He even says his people are flipping on him.
Lala looks a unimpressed and doesn’t say a word.
At home, Lynn is waiting for Jefferson when he comes home. Everything is so tense as he tries to explain how everything has worked out.
“It’s over. The girls are safe. The Seahorse Motel has been shut down.”
“And Black Lightning?”
“Things are different now. The girls are older. Maybe we can find a way to deal with it.”
Lynn picks up her things and leaves the house without saying goodbye. She doesn’t want to be married to Black Lightning again because she doesn’t want to see him die, but Jefferson is done watching his city go up in flames if he can do something to stop it.
Across town, Anissa is having a nice evening out with her girlfriend, but she wakes up in the middle of the night, not feeling right, and goes to the convenience store for something to help her sleep. When she’s walking to the register, a man comes in and starts holding up the store. He turns around and yells for her to get on the ground or he’ll shoot her.
She starts to have a panic attack and when he grabs her, she throws him across the room, breaking displays in the process.
Jefferson’s at home, looking at pictures of Lynn, having a drink.
“Yeah, we were close, Lynn.”
He’s letting himself say goodbye to what could have been because without a doubt, Black Lightning is back.
Proving that he has everyone in Freeland in his pocket, Tobias walks right into the police station and they let him into Lala’s cell.
Immediately, Lala knows this isn’t going to end well for him, and I’ll be honest, I didn’t feel sad about it.
“You shot somebody’s momma? Any man that’d do that has no morals. No principles to live by. Which means there’s nothing you’re not capable of, including becoming a rat.”
He strangles Lala and walks right back out of the police station.
With Jefferson deciding that Black Lightning will be returning to the streets of Freeland and Tobias showing he controls pretty much everything, how do you think this will work out?
What about Anissa and her blossoming powers? Will Khalil pull Jennifer out of her spiral of destruction? Will Lynn give it a second try after all?
We can’t wait for next week’s episode, “Lawanda: The Book of Burial.”