Black Lightning Makes Things Personal Ahead of its Finale

first_img Top Movie and TV Trailers You Might Have Missed This Week’Black Lightning’ Season 2 Finale Recap: Preparing for War Stay on target Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.center_img I can’t believe it’s almost over. Black Lightning set out to do something different from the rest of the CW superhero fare, and it’s become one of the network’s best shows. The season finale is next week, and it’s going to be hard to let go. More than any other CW DC show, it’s built its characters out into full three-dimensional people. I genuinely care about each of them, and have grown to love following their stories week after week. I kind of wish its villains received a similar level of attention. They tend to disappear for long stretches of time with little explanation.Speaking of which, it’s been a while since we’ve seen Tobias Whale, and he still has some nasty burns from his last encounter with Black Lightning. As of this episode, he’s back. And he’s working with the ASA. Now that Lady Eve is dead, he’s taking over her job, distributing Green Light to the city. First though, he needs to capture Black Lightning alive. Proctor believes Black Lightning’s powers come from the vaccine they used to try and control the citizens of Freeland. But he’s the only one who’s developed powers that hasn’t died. The director wants to study Black Lightning. And he’s finished what Tobias started with Khalil. Now, he’s walking again, and he’s all super-soldiered out.Marvin “Krondon” Jones III as Tobias (Photo: Annette Brown/The CW)We get a nice tense scene when Jefferson runs into him too. Right away, he knows something’s up. Someone powerful pulled some strings to get Khalil walking again. Even more suspicious, he’s had a complete change in attitude and personality since they last saw each other. Jefferson implores him to come back to school, but Khalil blows him off. It scares Jefferson enough that he tells Jennifer what happened, and warns her to stay away from him… advice she immediately ignores. As soon as she gets a text from him, she sneaks back to her old house to meet him. It feels a little out of character, as she’s always shown to be a bit more discerning than that. But I’ll give it to the show, as she’s been put through a lot lately. She is the only superpowered one in her family who isn’t thrilled about that fact. It makes a certain amount of sense that she’d reach out for the last normal thing she remembers. Even if he’s clearly not normal anymore.She goes back to her house to meet him on the roof. He apologizes for yelling at her the last time they saw each other, and shows off exactly what makes him walk again. He has a metal spine now. It looks cool in a comic book villain kind of way. For a second, it even feels like old times for these two kids again. I really liked their relationship early on in the season, and that’s what makes this scene even sadder. Jennifer still isn’t quite comfortable yet. Give the girl credit; she does at least hear her father even when she doesn’t listen to him. She asks how he was selected to receive this new procedure, and he freaks out on her. It’s immediately clear this isn’t going to work out. Jennifer’s even more suspicious when he jumps off the roof, completely OK.Nafessa Williams as Thunder and Cress Williams as Black Lightning (Photo: Annette Brown/The CW)Khalil brings his anger to Tobias, who tells him exactly how to use it: attack Garfield to draw Black Lightning out. The show starts to set up a promising storyline in this scene. Khalil clearly doesn’t like being bossed around by Tobias. As much as he likes his new abilities, he’s not going to take this disrespect much longer. I don’t think Khalil is going to become a superhero, but it’s at least building to some kind of falling out between them to happen at an opportune time. For now though, Khalil takes the order and attacks the school.The ensuing fight is pretty great, and it’s even better knowing that next week is the season finale. It really feels like it’s building up to something bigger. Like all the tensions this season has explored are going to boil over, and this only the first bubble. Throughout the season the school has mostly been a safe place. Partly because of the fond memories people have there and also because of Jefferson’s position in the community. Even Lala, early on at least, respected what Jefferson was trying to do. And the few times where the outside world made it inside the school walls, Jefferson was there to make sure it didn’t do too much damage. To make sure the school remained a safe place for his students. That all comes crashing down in this scene. Tobias, Syonide, and Khalil wreak havoc through the halls, and Black Lightning and Thunder have to rip apart their own classrooms to solve them.Nafessa Williams as Thunder and Charlbi Dean Kriek as Syonide (Photo: Annette Brown/The CW)This episode was heavy on exposition and talking. While we got some nice character moments from Jennifer, most of it felt like it was trying to catch everyone up on the story before next week’s finale. But the show has told its story well enough that it wasn’t really necessary. And the make-up-break-up cycle between Lynn and Jefferson just felt like a waste of time. This final scene was worth the wait, though. Between Black Lightning in a fistfight with Tobias and Thunder flinging desks around the room as she blasts Synonide, there was some amazing superhero fight choreography here. And since it was in a brightly lit school, we could really enjoy every frame of action here.It pushes Jennifer’s story forward in a satisfying way, too. As much as she doesn’t want to be a superhero, she still has an instinct to help people. She watches from a classroom window as her sister fights Syonide, just to make sure she’s OK. When Khalil was about to kill Black Lightning, I was almost sure she’d come in to deliver a shock to his metal spine, but that’s not what happened. (I wouldn’t be surprised to see that in next week’s finale, though.) Instead, Khalil does kill Black Lightning. Since Proctor needed him alive, Tobias is mad. He, Khalil and Syonide all pull out of the school, and that’s where Jennifer becomes a hero. Distraught over her dad’s apparent death, she puts her hands on his chest, inadvertently giving him a shock. A few more of those, and his heart starts back up. I’m genuinely excited to see where her story goes from here.Charlbi Dean Kriek as Syonide, William Catlett as Lala, and Marvin “Krondon” Jones III as Tobias (Photo: Annette Brown/The CW)Though there have been better episodes of Black Lightning, this one did exactly what it had to do. It set everything up for one exciting season finale. Now that Proctor thinks Black Lightning’s dead, he wants to study his body. And he wants Thunder brought to him dead or alive. If we thought the fight at the school in this episode was big, it sounds like we’ve got much more coming. Then there’s Lala. I wish the episode had spent a little more time with him, because he’s the character I most want to know more about. Whatever his deal is, it would seem he’s being controlled by Tobias somehow. That’ll probably be resolved next week, but it would have been better to give us a little more on him now. That way we’d be excited/anxious to see what he does next, rather than just hoping the show will eventually explain what’s going on. In any case, Black Lightning has had a truly spectacular first season. I can’t wait to see how it ends.last_img read more