Black Lightning: Three Sevens: The Book of Thunder


Lynn’s night does not go as expected… no, not THAT way…

When we last saw Black Lightning, he was suffering another weird attack of whatever keeps messing with him and his powers. As “Three Sevens: The Book of Thunder” starts, he’s still lying on the ground after the beating he got from Joey Toledo last time. He’s looked better, our hero. We see the police gear up to arrest him after getting a tip, his powers flickering and failing, and then he gets rescued. A desperate Gambi calls Lynn for help. The man’s smart enough to know when he’s out of his depth.

Toledo hobbles into Tobias Whale’s place, not looking so good himself. He starts off boasting about winning a fight with Black Lighting, but Tobias looks less pleased as the story goes on. Whale hopes that Black Lightning is about to be captured by the cops, and plans to deal with him the same way he did with LaLa (still a stupid name) when the cops had him. Inspector Henderson, meanwhile, is starting to have some doubts about his captain and the tips he’s getting.

In their weird little base under the tailor shop, which is one of the oddest locations yet for a hero lair, Jefferson rants about wanting to go after Toledo to get to Whale, while Lynn examines him. As they go over his test results, we learn that, as a side effect of his powers, Jefferson heals faster than normal. Lynn is still very anti-Black Lightning, and says some pretty harsh stuff before storming out.

Borrowing from recent events, Anissa attends a protest at a Confederate war memorial. Very coordinated, the protesters form a firing squad, using big water guns filled with red paint, and redecorate the memorial. The cops arrest them all, and, all things considered, are fairly sedate about things.

Lynn goes to work and her assistant talks about how Green Light is affecting people. He shows her some brain scans of the drug users, and she looks concerned. When he ducks out to get coffee, she compares Jefferson’s scans to what she’s seeing. While she’s distracted, we get to see something suspicious going on somewhere else.

Jefferson bails Anissa out and gives her a lecture. He’s not just being a concerned parent, he makes a few really good points about why what she did was so dangerous. His lecture suddenly starts sounding familiar to him, and he stares into the mirror as she stalks off.

Once again, Anissa starts trying to research her powers, and once again Jen comes in to interrupt her, this time asking for help with her homework. They talk about math and then Jen’s difficult situation with Khalil. Jen feels guilty, and Anissa offers her some good advice. Whatever she decides, it’s not going to be easy for Jen.

Gambi runs Black Lightning through some tests to see if his powers are working better. Jefferson wonders if Lynn was right with her theory, and we learn there’s more to the costume than just protecting Jefferson’s identity. They make it sound like they’ve figured out what was going wrong before, but it seems a little too neat and simple to me. Jefferson wants to go after Whale, and Gambi isn’t thrilled about how he’s talking. Jefferson and Gambi argue, and the hero makes some accusations against his mentor and friend.

Desperate, Gambi turns to Lynn for some help. She continues to be on the cold and not helpful side despite some impassioned arguments from the tailor. While she turns him down, Jefferson is doing his own research for his quest of vengeance.

Continuing “Come visit Lynn Day,” Anissa drops by. After some awkward talk about family dinners, and what Anissa thinks happened in Jefferson and Lynn’s relationship, Anissa drops off the research material from her grandfather. Lynn knows her daughter is hiding something, but lets it go for now. After some vague promises, Anissa leaves, with Lynn no doubt wondering who is going to drop by next.

While Black Lightning stalks through the streets, Gambi watches through a video feed and looks at old pictures of him and Jefferson. Showing how desperate he’s getting, Black Lightning visits an innocent doctor and leans on him, not quite threatening but not far from it. The doctor is too terrified to agree to the demand now, but Black Lightning leaves him a burner phone if he changes his mind.

Back at school (Jefferson is one of the few tv heroes right now that both has a job and actually works at it), Jefferson gets some bad news from his vice principal Kara. A disturbing video has been posted online, and Jefferson goes to talk to Jennifer about it. They actually have a good talk about her situation in general, and Khalil in particular. Jefferson gives her some good advice, or at least it sounds good to me. We then see more television coverage of the protests around the Confederate statue, and, just like in Charlottesville, a protestor dies.

Jen goes to see Khalil, and it’s an ugly visit. He’s been through a lot, and I get that, but he’s going to some nasty places. After that bit of unpleasantness, Black Lightning gets a lead on his dark quest. I really don’t see this going well.

At the contentious statue, there’s a memorial set up for the dead protestor. Anissa shows up as Thunder and takes some definitive, direct action, but it doesn’t go as she thought it would, and she runs away, upset and crying. She calls Lynn, who technobabbles for a bit and then realizes she needs help. As soon as this is done, Lynn gets a desperate call from Gambi.

Black Lightning lands on a roof as he comes closer and closer to his revenge. He gets a flashback to his father’s death, and Tobias was brutal and ugly when it happened. He snarls and summons his power, and then gets a phone call. Just like heroes team up sometimes, Gambi and Lynn both plead with him not to betray his heroic heritage. While the emotional appeal may or may not have worked, what does get the hero’s attention is the sound of Lynn being attacked. In the interim, there’s a really interesting scene between two characters I didn’t know knew each other.

We get a comedy of errors as the gunmen capture Lynn, Thunder comes in to save her and shows some really impressive powers. The gunmen get away and before Thunder can untie and ungag Lynn, Black Lightning comes in for the hero stereotype of “misunderstanding leads to big fight.” It’s an impressive clash that leads to a later scene back at the Pierce home where someone gets a lot of surprises.

What I liked: Anissa is trying hard to do good with her new powers. She needs some guidance, but might get that by the end of the episode. The bit with the brain scans was interesting. Jen is actually acting a bit more mature, which is nice. Gambi’s mystery background is making me really curious.

What I didn’t: Jefferson going all murdery seems out of the blue and the wrap up of his problems, if that’s what it was, was too quick. Even with his tragedy, Khalil went to the dark side quickly. I have no idea what the Sevens part of the title was about.

This was a good episode, but not as good as some of them have been. I’ll give it a 3.5 out of 5.