Jefferson’s search for the source of Green Light brings him face-to-face with an old nemesis and the realization that Gambi is keeping secrets. Meanwhile, Anissa’s research into genetic mutation unexpectedly brings her to some Pierce family history. Full recap of Black Lightning, “And Then the Devil Brought the Plague: The Book of Green Light”.
“And Then the Devil Brought the Plague: The Book of Green Light” opens with Jefferson trying out a new feature in his super-suit. Thanks to some upgrades from Gambi, Black Lightning can fly… well, he can levitate and it’s pretty cool! Black Lightning moves from building to building testing things out and quickly comes across two Freeland police officers trying to apprehend a young, Black man. The situation becomes increasingly violent as the officers and young man fight. Black Lightning intervenes when one officer pulls a gun. Jefferson is able to knock the young man out with an electrical charge, but realizes that he’s high off of Green Light. Black Lightning warns the officers to put their guns away, call an ambulance, and use their tasers first next time. Black Lightning leaves after a job well done, but he experiences some sort of high-pitched ringing and pain in his head. Hmmm… Black Lightning shakes it off and continues with his practice.
Gambi has a bigger concern, though–Tobias Whale has shown up at his shop. Apparently, the two of them had an agreement that Tobias would stay gone forever. But Gambi also knows that Tobias has some extra abilities as well… a serum that prevents Tobias from aging. As for Tobias, he’s looking for information about who Black Lightning is, and Gambi, an associate of the ASA*** (the American Security Agency) would have those details. Gambi denies any knowledge of Black Lightning. When Tobias pushes, Gambi pulls a gun and demands that he leave. Tobias leaves, but promises to see Gambi sometime later.
*SIDENOTE* Can we talk about how suspect Peter Gambi is?! Of course he would know Tobias Whale is alive AND keep it from Jefferson. What the hell?!
Jefferson stops by the local pharmacy on his way home. He comes upon a father with his young daughter arguing with the clerk. Apparently, he bought some medicine for his daughter’s fever earlier in the day and the medicine was spoiled. The clerk says he can’t exchange used medicine, even when Jefferson points out that the expiration date on the box has long passed. In fact, Jefferson gets unexpectedly angry, so much so that the clerk pulls out a baseball bat. He’s able to calm down enough to apologize and offer to buy new medicine for the father. It’s not a handout–Jefferson expects the man to pay it forward to someone else in need. Cool… but what’s up with Jefferson?!
Later, Jefferson gets a message from Gambi with information about where the Green Light might be stored at a local trucking company. Black Lightning breaks into the facility and locates boxes of chemicals. He’s interrupted by the owner of the trucking company with a rifle who threatens to shoot him. When Black Lightning shocks him, he admits that the chemicals are for Green Light, but it’s not his operation… he’s working for someone named Joey Toledo.
Jefferson returns to Gambi’s shop and is incensed. Joey Toledo is Tobias Whale’s right-hand man. If Joey Toledo is alive, that means Tobias Whale might be too. Does Gambi really know nothing about this? Jefferson becomes increasingly angry when Gambi denies having any knowledge… then we hear a high-pitched sound and Jefferson promptly passes out. What in the world?! Gambi calls Lynn who runs some tests. She rules out a stroke or heart attack. Gambi admits that Jefferson has been having some headaches and exhibiting aggressive behavior. Lynn suggests that it might be something Black Lightning related… Gambi suggests something with the new suit? When Jefferson comes to, he’s ready to go after Joey Toledo; however, Lynn encourages him to stay and rest.
In the meantime, Anissa has moved back home and is continuing her research into genetic mutation. She comes across a web-series where a man claims that, though time, there have been secret experiments on various communities across America (e.g. Tuskegee Syphilis Study, Flint Water Crisis). And 30 years ago, Freeland experienced something similar, where several children who displayed enhanced abilities suddenly disappeared. Things get even more interesting when Anissa finds out that her grandfather, Alvin Pierce, was working on a series of articles for the Freeland Gazette to expose a serum as the source of those abilities. Alvin Pierce was murdered a week later and his murder was never solved.
First, Anissa asks her Dad about her Grandpa. At first, Jefferson is defensive, but he admits that Anissa deserves to know about her Grandfather. Jefferson says that Alvin Pierce always did the right thing, a trait he sees in Anissa. She leaves and next goes to see David Poe, who is still the editor of the Freeland Gazette. As soon as Anissa mentions the articles about the missing kids, Mr. Poe closes up and kicks her out of his office. Mr. Poe is clearly scared of something… or someone. Anissa comes to see Mr. Poe the next day and tries to figure out why he never ran her Grandfather’s stories. He gives her a box with Alvin’s old research. Mr. Poe also issues a warning: “Alvin tapped into something far bigger and much more dangerous than I care to be a part of. Jefferson made a good life for you and your family. Maybe walking away from this is best. Alvin said it then and I still believe it to be true today: they’re watchin’”
Anissa goes through the box and the research about the experimentation on kids is pretty gruesome. She finds a key to a storage unit in town and decides to investigate. Anissa is going to need some new clothes though… with help from an enthusiastic sales associate, Anissa finds the perfectly fierce outfit to fight crime in.
She breaks into the storage unit and finds a suspicious vial locked in a safe.
Jennifer is having some issues of her own. While at the skating rink, she’s bullied by a girl from school, Lana. Lana makes fun of Jennifer and even calls Khalil “crippled’. When Lana and her friend get physical, Jennifer defends herself and ends up kicking both of their butts.
Against Lynn’s wishes, Jefferson (as Black Lightning) reaches out to Inspector Henderson for help finding Joey Toledo. He leaves a burner phone with Henderson to contact him with info, the “Black signal” if you will. (Shout-out to the Batman shade!) The next day, while Lynn confronts Jefferson about his antics, they’re interrupted by Lana and her Moms. It turns out Jennifer broke Lana’s wrist and she needed to go to two doctors to get things taken care of. When Jennifer gets home and sees them all sitting together, she knows she’s in trouble. Jennifer explains that she was defending herself (and Jefferson feels some fatherly pride when he realizes that Jennifer was able to handle TWO girls by herself).
Jefferson talks to Jennifer about regulating her own emotions and walking away from a fight. What’s most interesting to me is that Jennifer claims to have barely touched Lana and her friend… which leads me to believe that Jennifer’s powers are starting to emerge, too.
Elsewhere, Tobias gets some advice from his sister Tori about how to proceed. Right now, he’s being reckless, and according to Tori, it’s tied to lingering resentment from their childhood. We flashback to Tobias’ and Tori’s childhood, and their very abusive relationship with their father, Eldridge, who is angry that Tobias is albino. When Tori tries to defend her brother, Eldridge slaps her. But back in the present, Tori promises vengeance. She knows where their father is. Tobias and Tori go to see their father, now an elderly man. They question him about why he stayed when their mother abandoned them. Tobias claims to appreciate it… when he hugs Eldridge, he accuses him of torturing them and using them for money from the state. Tobias breaks his father’s back and leaves him to die, slowly.
When Tobias gets home, he has a letter waiting for him. When he opens the envelope, dust comes spilling out (hearkening back to Lady Eve warning Tobias about how, in Africa, albinos were kidnapped and their bones crushed into dust for their magical qualities. This is definitely a threat.
The episode ends with Black Lightning hearing from Inspector Henderson about tracking Joey Toledo’s girlfriend. Gambi tries to stop him from leaving–apparently it is the suit that’s causing Jefferson’s headaches. Jefferson leaves anyway and meets the girlfriend.
— Black Lightning (@blacklightning) February 16, 2018
Black Lightning takes her phone and texts Joey to come outside. Black Lightning attacks Joey and tries to beat information about Tobias Whale out of him. Unfortunately, the suit backfires and Black Lightning goes down. Joey Toledo is able to escape and promises that Tobias will kill Black Lightning.
Black Lightning is on brief hiatus until February 27 and airs Tuesdays at 9:00pm ET|PT on The CW.
***According to Wikipedia: The A.S.A. (short for American Security Agency) was a U.S. Government organization that supervised the creation of the national team of super-agents called the Force of July.