• Television 

    Five Thoughts on Black Lightning‘s “The Book of Secrets, Chapter Two: Just and Unjust”

    By | February 5th, 2019
    Posted in Television | % Comments

    Khalil may have died but time waits for no man, as Lynn and Anissa get attacked in a parking lot by Markovian soldiers, who almost get away with Lynn until the ASA intervenes. Also this week, Jennifer returned to school, and despite the loss of her first love, emerged stronger and more confident.

    1. Bill Duke is a Crappy Guardian Angel

    Agent Odell admittedly looked pretty cool pulling out his Smith & Wesson Model 29 (the Dirty Harry pistol), but seriously? Him and his guys just shooting the Markovians, then taking away and driving off like that, not checking to see if Lynn and Anissa were ok? Callous, callous man. It’s not the only sloppy thing he does in his return this week, failing to notice Whale has taken the Markovians Dr. Jace experimented on that were under the ASA’s lock-and-key. Maybe a little less time spying on Lynn’s family would do him some good?

    2. Getting a Little Haphazard

    I felt the story of this week’s episode circled the drains a little: we knew Khalil had to be buried, but the show as always has so much to set up, from Whale’s next plot, the emnity between Lynn and Jace, and the mystery of Grace’s abilities, and still provide some exciting adventures for Black Lightning and Thunder. For instance, Anissa goes off in “Black Bird” mode to attack the abusive boyfriend of one of her patients, but you’re left wondering what the whole new subplot has to do with anything, until Anissa reveals she stole his cash to help pay for Khalil’s funeral. Similarly we see the Markovians attempting to kidnap Perenna – who very casually reclaims her time – but it’s not followed on.

    3. Back to School

    On that note, we see Jefferson and Lynn debating whether now’s a good time to send Jennifer back to school, and then after the break there she is, back at Garfield High. In any case, it was great seeing her back, and to see her experiences have made her calmer, more measured – it’s easy to imagine how her reaction to the school taking down Khalil’s memorial would’ve gone down if she hadn’t been training with Perenna. Instead, when she does fight back, it’s by staging a protest, and calmly answering back Principal Lowry (which is still predictably seen as threatening enough to have her escorted away by security). She really is following in her sister’s footsteps now.

    4. Master Lowry

    We got a little nuance from Lowry this week, who, while complaining to Jefferson that it was unfair his daughter called him a racist, revealed he was born into poverty, that his father was a heroin addict while his mother passed away when he was young. Jefferson briefly considers explaining what white privilege is, excellently describing it as “getting the benefit of the doubt” before getting exasperated. I thought it was an excellent depiction of how racism really can warp someone’s trauma into them justifying awful behavior: Lowry’s experiences should’ve caused him to emphathize with poor black people, but racism has instead just made him turn his resentment on them. Martin Luther King often spoke on this subject, of how racism is used as a means to divide poor people, so they don’t unite against the elites. All in all it was fascinating.

    5. A DC Production

    Grace’s coffee table is covered in DC Comics, including one for Thunder, who for the record, has never had her own series in real life. It’s funny to think about it considering the show’s been on for over a year now, and yet DC still has no interest in bringing back Thunder and Lightning, who haven’t been in the print DC Universe since the New 52 started. I think it’s time, don’t you?

    Bonus thought:

    Last week, in addition to announcing the show had been renewed for season 3, CW president Mark Pedowitz said the network had concluded its investigation into disturbing allegations about showrunner Salim Akil, and found no evidence of any wrongdoing on the set. I find it deeply cynical that they cast such a small net to provide a character witness statement for him, given the allegations were about a prior relationship from years ago. I still have no intention of dropping this column (hence today’s edition), but I’m not sure I’m doing the right thing, even if he’s not the only person working on the show.

    Continued below

    In any case, see you all next week.

    //TAGS | Black Lightning

    Christopher Chiu-Tabet

    Chris is a writer from London on the autistic spectrum, who enjoys tweeting and blogging on Medium about his favourite films, TV shows, books, music, games as well as history and religion. He is Lebanese/Chinese, although he can't speak Cantonese or Arabic. He also writes for Nerdy POC.


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