Black Lightning | Lawanda: The Book of Hope (S1 E2)

by Christian Holub | via Entertainment Weekly

Black Lightning is back! Or is he? Despite triumphantly returning to his superhero costume to rescue his kidnapped daughters in last week’s season premiere, Jefferson Pierce is still hesitant about returning to the crimefighting life full time. After all, a kiss with his ex-wife Lynn after the successful rescue seems to indicate that they are coming close to a reconciliation — and Jefferson knows that Black Lightning is the one thing she won’t accept.

Lynn has long favored the idea that Jefferson does more good as Garfield High’s principal than he ever did as Black Lightning, but that argument is starting to fall on deaf ears. After Black Lightning’s big show, parents are wondering why no one has intervened to save their kids from the claws of the One Hundred. Jefferson trots out the tried-and-true MLK quote (“the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice”), but as one parent points out, MLK got shot in the head (coming little more than a week after this year’s MLK Day, I love how this show uses his quotes and offers different interpretations of his legacy). These people need someone to fight for them, not just educate them. Since Jefferson is still reluctant, one mother, LaWanda White, decides to make her own attempt at rescuing her captive daughter from the gang’s Seahorse Motel.

On top of that, the police aren’t having much luck solving these problems the legal way. Will apparently jumped out of his ambulance mid-ride, and they haven’t found him. LaLa has been able to keep witnesses silent about his presence at the Seahorse, so with only the Pierce girls’ word to go on, the police can’t make a move against him. That has the added effect of putting the Pierce girls in a very dangerous situation, as LaLa makes clear when he sends a young boy to prank Jennifer with a red water gun. Riled that LaLa is breaking their agreement not to come near his family, Jefferson confronts him in public. But LaLa is getting pressure from Tobias to maintain the One Hundred’s control over Freeland and refuses to back down. He even knocks Jefferson to the ground. But though his electric powers crackle in anger, Jefferson holds them in for now. He leaves LaLa with a warning: “Don’t mistake my patience for weakness, boy.” To his detriment, LaLa doesn’t take the message.

Tobias does a great job of instilling fear in his subordinates because LaLa is showing no mercy to people who might lead the authorities back to him. Even Will, his own family, gets a bullet in the head, execution-style.

Then comes LaWanda. Despite Jefferson’s warnings, she sets up a stakeout outside the Seahorse, where she believes the One Hundred is keeping her daughter in sexual slavery. Jefferson asks her to give him two days to fix this somehow, but unfortunately, she can’t keep that promise. When she sees LaLa pull up ostentatiously to the motel, she goes out to confront him. He shoots her but seems unaware that she had set up her cell phone in the windshield of her car, capturing the whole exchange on video.

Click HERE to read the rest of the recap, “Lawanda: The Book of Hope (S1 E2)”

Resurrection (S1 E1) | Lawanda: The Book of Burial (S1 E3)