Black Lightning: Book of Revelations


It’s bring your daughter to the morgue day…

The Black Lightning writers continue their predilection for odd titles with “The Book of Revelations.” I guess they’re going for a Biblical theme, which is a bit odd as religion is one thing they’ve largely stayed away from, barring Lawanda’s funeral. Things do keep getting odd on a few fronts, and things get ugly with some of the characters.

The opening scene does a few things at once. The news is playing in the background, with public sentiment swinging badly against Black Lightning in the wake of the murder of Lady Eve’s murder and his being framed for it. Apparently, Eve had a very good cover story of being a respectable businesswoman. The main action in the scene is Jefferson and Anissa training together, both through sparring and some holographic targets. And, just for laughs, they spent some money and the soundtrack for the training is “Kung Fu Fighting.” Anissa makes a few rookie mistakes, and Jefferson tries to correct her.

At a mostly empty club, we see one of villains who was killed earlier in the series suddenly back and being a music critic. The one who killed him is going to be very surprised. Gambi has a meeting that touches more on his shadowy past with the ASA, whatever the hell that is, and we meet the man who used to be his boss, Martin Proctor. Proctor isn’t exactly a fan of Black Lightning, and Gambi’s in a difficult spot. We also learn a lot more about what’s going on with Green Light.

Jefferson and Lynn make dinner together and talk about Anissa, her training, and her personality. Lynn, as she seems inclined to do, worries, and Jefferson tells her that Anissa is doing well and taking it seriously. They talk about what she was like as a kid, and some of the challenges she’s going to face in his training her.

Jennifer is less than thrilled that, since quitting track, she’s going to be interning for free at Lynn’s lab until she finds an “acceptable” replacement activity. I’d argue forcing her to do free labor is a bit harsh, but hey, she’s not my kid. While she grouses about the clean up, Lynn begins to notice a pattern to what’s missing from the break-in and attack. Jennifer wonders what’s going on between her father and sister, then slips away when a distracted Lynn starts zeroing in on her newly discovered clue.

Jefferson and Anissa, guided by Gambi over coms, break in to the morgue to study the bodies from Lady Eve being killed. It’s a great example of why teamwork is so important, because Anissa with her medical training and Gambi with his mystery background notice a few things about the injuries Jefferson misses. Of course, experience is good, too, as Jefferson is fine with the bodies and Anissa looks like she’s going to be sick. Odd, for a med student. They figure out a new lead to follow, and Jefferson uses the entire exercise as more training for Anissa.

Lynn follows up on her own lead and learns enough to believe there’s some kind of carefully planned out conspiracy afoot. She’s persistent enough to manage to find something in spite of the bad guys’ best efforts. Jennifer is hanging out with her friend Kiesha, hanging up posters for school government. Teenage stupidity almost turns to tragedy, and Jennifer makes a shocking discovery about herself.

Some henchmen listen on a very disturbing conversation between a resurrected man and a ghost, and both of them are about ready to ditch their boss and run for the hills. Back in the tailor’s shop sub-basement, Jefferson, Anissa, and Gambi study what they’ve learned. Gambi is very worried and not forthcoming about why, which makes things tenser than they need to be. They also run through a long list of Anissa’s possible weaknesses she hasn’t even considered. Lynn, for her part, makes a disturbing connection between Green Light and something from their past.

Anissa and Jefferson’s lead brings them to the woods. Anissa is definitely a city girl, and Jefferson mocks her about her horror movies putting ideas in her head. Lynn calls Jefferson with her newest discovery, which has them both confused. For lack of a better idea, Jefferson suggests she talk with Gambi, and they warn each other to be careful. A troubled Gambi, meanwhile, drops in at a church where he’s apparently well known.

The father and daughter team talk over Jefferson’s early career and choices. It’s an interesting hint that we learn Gambi trained Jefferson in fighting and tactics even before his powers manifested. Jefferson’s ruminations about he and Gambi get interrupted when they make a discovery. The people behind Lady Eve’s death are being very thorough about loose ends. Jefferson, using his voice trick again, calls the scene in to Henderson. Personally, I’d think this was outside Henderson’s jurisdiction, but what do I know?

Jennifer tries to recreate what happened earlier, looking annoyed at first and then surprised. Lynn goes to follow up with Gambi. The conversation goes through a lot of twists and turns, and Lynn is shocked at what she learns. Gambi ends the conversation, not satisfying either of them. Jefferson and Anissa’s banter about proper stakeout technique comes to an end when they get a surprise visitor. Things go badly, and Anissa gets a chance to play hero.

Back home, Jefferson keeps going over what happened, surprised at himself, and pleased about Anissa’s progress. Lynn does her best to be gentle, but tells Jefferson he has to talk to Gambi about what’s going on. The resurrected man starts to have a lot of questions about what happened to him, how, and why.

The episode ends on two different, emotionally charged scenes. Jefferson confronts Gambi, and they have a major falling out. Jefferson learns some things about both of their pasts, and ends up storming off, warning the older man to stay away from his family. A very upset Jennifer has a talk with Anissa with a few misunderstandings before getting around to Jennifer’s actual news.

What I liked: Jefferson and Anissa are starting to make a good team, and I’m glad he backed off his foolish early choice about not training her. The conflicting sides, with the Pierces in one corner, Tobias Whale on his own, and whatever the ASA is lurking in the background, is going to get interesting. I’m curious about whatever’s going on with the man back from the dead. That seems to be yet another faction in he power struggle over Freeland.

What I didn’t: While I’ll grant she’s acting her age, I’m a bit sick of Jennifer the drama queen. I’m hoping the rift between Gambi and Jefferson can be repaired, because they’re both going to need all the help they can get. Henderson is apparently still putting too much trust in his follow cops, despite all the evidence about the wide-spread corruption.

I continue to be impressed with this series. I’ll give this episode a high 3.5 out of 5. It will be interesting to see what’s in store for the Pierce family next.