Black Lightning 1.6 Recap: An Unexpected Battle Between Metahumans

by Gary Catig

Black Lightning is still reeling from his migraines and the Toledo assault. The police have also caught word of his whereabouts and they’re bringing the cavalry to bring him in. The vigilante’s powers are failing him and he can’t muster the strength to even walk. Luckily, Gambi comes to rescue him before the authorities arrive.
[*Spoilers for 1.6 Ahead!]
Lynn feels she’s being sucked back into the life she worked so hard to get away from as she treats and examines her ex-husband. She hates the fact that every time Jefferson hits the streets could be his last and she watches the news with anxiety and concern hoping he isn’t found dead. Lynn takes some brain scans of Jefferson to see if she can determine the cause of his migraines. The next day, her research assistant shows her scans of Green Light addicts and they look mighty similar to her ex-husband’s. Could the same chemicals found in the latest street drug be the source of Black Lightning’s powers? We already know users gain super strength.
Gambi fixes our hero’s suit to hopefully prevent the reoccurrence of his migraines. The two, then have a spirited conversation about Jefferson’s dogged pursuit of Tobias. Black Lightning is on a mission to kill his adversary hoping to avenge his father’s death. Gambi is worried his friend will lose his humanity if he manages to murder the crime lord in cold blood.  Unfortunately, Jefferson isn’t willing to listen to anyone and leaves to find Tobias without his mentor’s help.
Jefferson takes a different approach in tracking down his arch nemesis. Rather than following his henchmen hoping they will lead him to Tobias, he researches health problems associated with albinism. He’s able to find Tobias’ doctor and convinces him to tip him off the next time he treats the gang leader.
Meanwhile, Anissa and some other college students deface a campus statue because of its white supremacist ties. She ends up being arrested and her dad has to bail her out from the college police. Her father can’t hide his anger and disappointment with her actions as he scolds her.
The Pierce family eldest daughter is still trying to determine the cause of her powers.  She’s been sifting through all the files that used to belong to her grandfather and trying to analyze the sample she found in a safe last episode. Needing a more brilliant scientific mind, she enlists the help of her mom to perform some tests on the sample. When her mother asks her what she’s up to, Anissa feels conflicted. You can feel her wanting to reveal her powers, but hesitant and afraid of her mom’s reactions.
At Anissa’s university, a counter rally in defense of the defaced monument takes place held by white nationalists. Mirroring real life events at UVA, one demonstrator barrels into a crowd killing one of Anissa’s associates. She takes matters into her own hands later as she uses her super strength to destroy the monument. Later, she feels ready to tell her mom her secret so she arranges to meet her at her work.

The same night, Black Lightning receives a call from the doctor and is staking out his office.  As he waits for Tobias to arrive, he remembers the night his father died as he watched in hiding while Tobias and his cronies beat the elder Pierce to death. He’s about to attack his enemy when he receives a call from Lynn. She makes one last attempt to reason with him.  Mid call, some assailants break into her lab so Jefferson abandons his plans in order to rescue his ex-wife.
As her hero alter ego, Anissa arrives at the lab just in time to save her mom. Black Lightning soon comes in and mistakes his daughter as the assailant. They have a metahuman showdown where Anissa is able to hold her own against the veteran hero, at least for a while.  Eventually, Jefferson takes her down and as he takes a closer look, he realizes who she is.
At the end of the episode, we see that the paralyzed Khalil has joined forces with Tobias. For helping him, the leader of The 100 has promised his new underling that he will walk again.  Will he give the former track star the same serum he uses in order to restore his legs? We also find out that Gambi and Lady Eve used to be coworkers and she used to be one of his proteges. They had made a deal before where the Pierce Family was off limits as long as he hid the fact that Tobias was still alive.
This episode, we receive a confrontation that has been building up all season so far. Once it was revealed in the pilot that Anissa had powers, it was only a matter of time before her parents would find out. It was unexpected that it would be through a fight with her own dad.  Now that the cat is out of the bag, the next episode teases the idea of Jefferson taking his daughter under his wing and teach her his vigilante ways.
Though this was an interesting episode, I find it hard to buy into the Khalil story line. I can understand he can be in a dark place after experiencing a traumatic incident. I can also believe him lashing out to those close to him as he deals with being paralyzed.  However, it’s a stretch for me to see how easily he has been swayed to join Tobias. First, Tobias speech to him in the hospital room wasn’t very convincing. Even more so, he was shot by gang members during a rally against community violence. Tobias gives off a sketchy, crime boss vibe so why partner with him if it was gang violence that paralyzed you in the first place?
Black Lightning airs Tuesday nights at 9:00 pm on the CW.

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