Black Lightning continues his second season with “The Book of Consequences: Chapter Three: Master Lowry.” They still have the weird new title sequence they started last episode, which is very stylized and different from last season. The show opens with another of the Green Light Babies in the hospital, having been brought in by the police. The kid freaks out, with eyes glowing, and demonstrates that she has superhuman strength. The cops can’t stop her, and are tossed around like ragdolls until Black Lightning shows up, saves the cops, and very cleverly stops the rampaging metahuman without hurting her more. He then carries her off, and I really wonder to where. The scene also gets some odd musical accompaniment.
Gambi and Jefferson are down in Gambi’s hidden grotto, going over footage from the attack on Garfield High. Somehow, Tobias and Khalil (no mention of the late Syonide) managed to rampage all over the school and yet not appear on camera. Pierce hopes he can still reach the kid he used to know that became the supervillain Painkiller. Gambi tells Pierce he could also use one of Painkiller’s darts to make an antidote, since the samples from Pierce’s blood were corrupted by his weird body chemistry. Khalil himself gets his gaming interrupted when Tobias comes in with his unique on the job training methods.
The news covers Reverend Holt’s clinic being in danger of shutting down, which outrages Anissa, and Jennifer reacts the same way as she does to anything that doesn’t directly affect her- meh. The younger Pierce daughter turns the conversation to something she’s a lot more interested in, her being more or less grounded since her powers are out of control. Jennifer is also very interested to learn that Anissa is dating Zoe B. Jennifer gives Anissa some unsolicited advice that actually makes sense, and then shows she’s been working at controlling her powers.
Lynn talks to the dour Agent O’Dell about getting help to research a cure for the Green Light Babies. She gets no one she asked for, and instead Dr. Helga Jace. In the comics, Jace first appeared in Batman and the Outsiders 1, was instrumental in making Markovian Prince Brion Markov into the superhero Geo-Force, and was later revealed to be an agent of the Manhunters. She’s not much better on the show, apparently, as Lynn comments she needs brilliance she doesn’t have to hide the knives from. Lynn and O’Dell argue, and he lands a few good points before walking off.
Jefferson goes back to Garfield and sees a lot of changes in the works already. Not at all happy, he goes to introduce himself to his replacement, Principal Mike Lowry. I’ll just say they don’t hit it off, and Lowry is yet another unsympathetic white person on the show. Jennifer goes for her allowed walk around the block, which somehow ends her up in a park, and has an encounter with a strange woman who knows her name. Jennifer learns a few things she’s really not happy about, and confronts her parents later. Jefferson is very apologetic about the situation, feeling the guilt that his genes caused Jennifer’s powers.
Henderson is not having an easy time in his new job as Deputy Chief. He gets to a crime scene that is related to last episode, and makes a few interesting observations, pointing things out to a rookie who has been on for ten days but somehow caught the case and has no field trainer in sight. Freeland must have a different police department from any of the ones I’ve worked with. Lynn has her first meeting with Dr. Jace, and it doesn’t exactly go well.
Anissa, in her new nameless masked identity, goes to Holt’s church and makes another large donation. They talk about what else the Reverend needs. She uses a quick prayer to cover her quick exit. Tobias gets a manicure and gives Khalil more management tips. Jefferson has a sad scene packing up his office and carries out the cliched box of stuff. Anissa tracks down Grace at work and has a weird conversation that veers back and forth from apology to defiance to sort of asking her out.
Henderson goes to see Pierce, and things are very tense still. Henderson is trying to track down an arsonist and is desperate enough to appeal for help from Black Lightning. This is also when Henderson finds out Pierce lost his job. It’s a rough scene, and shows Henderson clearly isn’t ready to talk things out.
Khalil has been sent out on a task by Tobias, and it doesn’t go well. Khalil’s rise to power has been too fast for some of the 100 crew, and they mock his background. Khalil demonstrates he’s not just some new punk kid. He more or less carries out the job at hand, but a bit more harshly than was required. He walks out looking like a badass.
Jennifer goes back to meet with Perenna. They take another visit to a vision world, and Jennifer gets a kind of odd lecture about a small piece of black history. True to form, she’s not interested in the slightest. Perenna does start the unwilling young meta on a new visualization exercise. She gives a very odd version of events to Jefferson, who is lost by the deliberate vagueness.
Lynn shows Jace around the pod facility, and we get a look at the special precautions in place to keep Jace under control. Gambit and Anissa look into the background of the man behind the real estate deal endangering the Reverend’s clinic. They come to an agreement, of sorts, about how to handle things. Anyone want to bet this kicks off another feud between Jefferson and Gambi?
Black Lightning pays a visit to the arsonist, and is a bit on the vicious side with getting information out of him. He does learn about a link between him and Khalil. Black Lightning reports back to Henderson with what he learned, and they compare notes on a few things.
The masked hero then pays a visit to Khalil’s mom. She’s an odd mix of defiant and resigned, defending her son while also pretty much giving up on any chance of saving him. I will give Black Lightning points for asking her to set up a meeting, not trying to trick her or trap him. Tobias puts a case in a safe, admires himself in a mirror, and tells Khalil they need to get going.
Khalil meets with Black Lightning, and is pissed off the hero went to see his mother. At first, Black Lightning tries to appeal to Khalil’s better nature, but the kid is convinced that Black Lightning can’t stop Tobias. It’s worth noting Khalil never claims to be loyal to the gangster. By the end of the meeting, Pierce is frustrated and uses his power to force some answers out of Kahlil. It ends on a bad note, but Jefferson does manage to do something someone else asked him for.
Tobias pays a visit to what seems to be a family crypt, but gets a big surprise when someone else is there. Gambi helps Anissa with another of her Robin Hood style meetings, but I think this made things worse. Until now, someone with powers has been robbing drug dealers. Now, someone gets shot, which is pretty much going to require the cops to pay more attention. Anissa once again takes her money to church. Gambi gets a surprise at his place, which I don’t think we’ve seen before. Jennifer pays another visit to Perenna, and we learn some of her fears. The episode ends with Jefferson getting a message about something important to him.
What I liked: There was some good action in this episode. I like that Henderson is practical enough to go to Black Lightning for help even if he has some reservations about how he operates. Lynn is really committed to her work. Helga Jace is an interesting addition to the cast. I’m not sure I agree with Anissa’s crusade, but she’s going to a lot of effort to try and help others.
What I didn’t: Jefferson is losing his control in his quest for revenge on Tobias. Jennifer is so self-absorbed I’m ready for her to get written off the show at this point. I really loathed Lowry, and am fully aware we were supposed to. The rookie getting a homicide case made no sense at all.
I’ll give this a 3 out of 5. It’s still good, but I think the first season was a lot better.