REVIEW: Black Lightning S1E12- The Resurrection and the Light: The Book of Pain

New hair do, who dis?

The Devil dealt his cards well in this week’s Black Lightning, “The Resurrection and the Light: The Book of Pain”, in which we see the return of Tobias Whale (Marvin “Krondon” Jones II) and find out exactly what he’s been up to these past few weeks. Healed from his injuries thanks to ASA, Tobias is offered a promotion from Martin Proctor (Gregg Finley) to take over Lady Eve’s position following her unfortunate, untimely death *that Tobias absolutely denied having anything to do with. Now that Tobias has earned his seat in the inner circle, Proctor fills him in on the Freeland experiments and how a drug meant to brainwash the public accidentally gave some people powers. The ASA has plans to weaponize the affected; however, many of the test subjects are dying because the ASA has not found a way to stabilize the meta-gene. Black Lightning (Cress Williams) is the only recipient of the original vaccine to survive and retain control of his powers. Therefore, Proctors tasks Tobias to bring Black Lightning in alive for research. To aid Tobias in his mission, Proctor reveals the return of another familiar face we haven’t seen in a while. Khalil (Jordan Calloway) is back: with new legs, new dreads, and a bad attitude.

Tobias is making power moves.

I’ve been concerned as of late with all the seemingly loose threads to tie up: the ASA’s motives, Tobias’ disappearance, and Lala’s (Will Catlett) sudden reappearance, with so little time before the season finale. This episode, I feel as though we finally saw (most) of the pieces to the puzzle and how they connect together. Tobias is responsible for Lala’s resurrection, and, although we still don’t know how, it’s clear that, at any time, a simple phrase from Tobias can compel Lala to do his bidding. This episode he tasked Lala with killing the weapons dealer responsible for making the weapons used to kill Lady Eve and leaking information to Gambi, but as we saw at the end of the episode, Tobias is just getting started. He killed Lady Eve to get a face to face with Martin Proctor, but, a man of ambition, not only does he want to gain a seat, he ultimately wants to “own the whole damn table”. Even with all his issues with the black community, I could never imagine Tobias willfully playing Uncle Ruckus for the ASA, so I’m actually intrigued that his true goal is to take out Proctor as well. The implications of a Tobias Whale controlled ASA, especially considering his long-standing rivalry with Jefferson, would definitely elevate the stakes for the city of Freeland going into season 2.

Khalil has something to prove to his former classmates.

The other ace up Tobias’s sleeve this episode was Khalil, who I was surprised to see, only because I was pretty sure the show had forgotten about him. I had hoped Jennifer (China A McClain) had forgotten about him as well. Khalil went from gentleman to jerk as a result of losing his bright future when he was paralyzed from a shot to the spine. Jefferson is the first to meet the new Khalil, and, afterwards, as he relates his encounter to Jennifer, he cautions her to “Stay away”, which is obviously a sure fire way to get any teenager to do the opposite of what you want. I think Khalil’s resentment and anger at Jefferson and the world for losing his future is realistic. In a dark place, he traded “legs for loyalty” to Tobias, and now that his spinal implant was working, the Devil came to collect. Tobias tasks Khalil with attacking his former classmates, shooting as many students as possible with, what I can only assume, is some version of the Green Light drug. The attack on Garfield High was pretty epic in that it gave each Pierce family member and adversary to face. Thunder (Nafessa Williams) vs Syonide (Charbli Dean Kriek), Black Lightning vs Tobias, and Jennifer vs Khalil. Of course, Jennifer didn’t have to physically fight Khalil, but it is worth noting that he chose to spare her. Jennifer’s powers do come into use later on when when her father, seemingly dead from a punch to the chest from Khalil, is revived by her lightning shock.

The chemistry between Jefferson and Lynn is electrifying.

This episode was for the villains; however it was not without its Pierce family drama. Lynn (Christine Adams) and Jefferson finally reconnect on a physical level, but their road to reconciliation hit a massive detour when Jennifer tells her father that she’ll be glad when Lynn finally figures out how to suppress her meta-gene. Jefferson’s understandably upset at what he thinks is Lynn still regarding powers as if they are a disease she needs to cure, but that’s not exactly what Lynn’s trying to do. She doesn’t want to change Jennifer; instead she wants to be able to understand the meta-gene so she can give her daughter options, which I absolutely agree with. I’m sad that the Jefferlyn reunion I waited so long has been delayed once again, but I’m hopeful mom and dad can get it together, because it’s clear these two people love each other and belong together.

Misc thoughts:

– Lynn’s research on Jennifer, isolating the meta-gene, if it got in the wrong hands, could be used to stabilize the gene in the pod kids, which opens up a whole new possibilities for S2….

– Khalil looked very Static Shock-y, style wise, tonight…Not sure if it’s just a coincidence, but from his dreads, to his gloves, the mention of his legs feeling “electrified” at one point when the doctors were working on his implant, to even the prolonged shots of Jefferson transferring his electricity to Lynn during their romantic night, I can’t deny the possibility that there may be a redemption arc in store for him.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.