SDCC 2018: China Anne McClain Talks Therapy and Khalil in S2 of ‘Black Lightning’

It’s safe to say that Jennifer Pierce struggled a lot with coming to terms with her newfound powers in the pilot season of Black Lightning. Since Jennifer will now be getting a therapist for season 2, China Anne McClain previewed what’s in store for her character’s psychological warfare.

“I love that [the writers] are tackling it from a [healthy] perspective of getting her a therapist, because as you could see in season one, Jennifer had so many psychological issues getting these powers. Like, she did not want them, and she felt like an outsider being apart of this amazing family.” She added that developing superpowers made things worse for Jennifer.

“Bringing a therapist in is really going to help her zen out,” McClain assured. “And also to help her control her powers because she’s so powerful.” McClain noted that she doesn’t want to say too much about the topic, because the actors are currently filming something of that nature right now.

McClain also teased that Jennifer is going to be “wildin’ out” for the show’s sophomore season, but also will have to grow more responsible because “she’s not very responsible right now.”

In season one, it was clear Jennifer was very hesitant about attaining her powers, which juxtaposed Anissa’s (Nafessa Williams) eagerness to use hers. McClain teased that the sister dynamic will change between the two next season. “[Their powers] are gonna bring them together in certain ways, and push them apart.” McClain teased that Anissa will assist Jennifer in controlling her powers as a mentor. However, due to the contrast in accepting their powers, “that drives them apart,” McClain said. “You’re going to see a lot of ups and downs in their relationship this season.”

Last season, Jennifer’s love interest and former boyfriend Khalil (Jordan Calloway) joined the dark side in joining Tobias (Marvin Jones III) under the alias Painkiller. When asked if Jennifer would want to redeem him, McClain teased: “Jennifer acts like she doesn’t have time for Khalil, part of her hates him because he “killed” her father. But Khalil doesn’t know [Jennifer’s] father is Black Lightning, he doesn’t know she has superpowers — so a lot of these emotions she’s feeling and this anger — he’s confused about where it’s even coming from. But deep in her heart, I think she does have time for him, they became friends before they got into in a relationship, so [fans] are gonna see more interactions between them.”

As for building her own superheroine team to join Lightning, McClain chose Wonder Woman, Storm and Phoenix.

Season 2 of Black Lightning premieres on the CW on Tuesday, October 9th at 9/8c. Check soon for interviews of the rest of the cast!