Following up on the weird events in rural South Freeland, Black Lightning continues the string of long titles with “The Book of Blood: Chapter Three: The Sange.” The episode opens with Black Lightning tracking the weird puddle of “Element” through the woods, giving Anissa the best updates he can via coms. His power is at a low point, which we see through his costume being powered down and no longer glowing. Needing to focus on what he’s doing, he switches his coms off, much to Anissa’s annoyance. We see a new trick from his suit I had no idea it could do, but his low power and some over-confidence combine to get him captured.
Jennifer meets up with Perenna, the trainer her parents arranged for her (we still don’t know how they knew her). Jennifer is flailing around for advice, hinting around about her problems with Khalil without ever actually naming him. Perenna gives some very different advice than Jennifer was looking for, and Jennifer laments the loss of things from her past that won’t come back. She also gives the universal teen lament of, “No one understands what it’s like to be me,” although with her manifesting powers, she’s closer to right than most.
Gambi is in his hotel hideout, sketching what I believe will eventually be a new toy for Black Lightning. The man himself is unmasked, stripped to the waist, and tied to a chair in what I believe is Looker’s basement. He calls her out on some of her self-delusion, and makes a good case for his deductions. They argue a bit, she makes a few racist comments, and comments that he’s not in a position to threaten anyone. Jefferson glances up at the lightbulb above him and laughs softly.
Anissa has brought Anaya to Lynn for some help. Lynn cares for the newborn a bit, and we see there’s a very strange interaction between the baby’s blood and the Element sample Anissa got earlier. Anissa begins the long process of filling her mother in on the Sange/Perdi situation. Black Lightning is now strapped to a wall in an electrocution set up I think I saw in a Rambo movie once. She thinks she’s threatening him, but he’s very amused. The Sange, but more particularly Looker, have made some very big leaps to the wrong conclusions. Looker wants to know where the other baby is, while Gambi keeps working in his hideout.
In the basement, Jefferson has had about enough of the Sange’s “hospitality” and corrects one of their assumptions. Freeing himself, he finds the baby Looker’s people had and fights his way out of the house, his powers back at full. Jennifer has snuck out of the house to meet up with Khalil in a football stadium somewhere. The lettering makes it look like it’s not Garfield, and why the lights are on in the middle of the night I’m not sure. It’s also not a great plan for a girl sneaking around ducking her parents and a boy wanted by both sides of the law. They have a long, rambling talk and Jennifer offers some reassurance and good advice.
Black Lightning continues his trek through the woods with the baby, finding a very interesting relic from his earlier fight along the way. He and Anissa check in over coms before he uses his newish flight power to get out of the area. Why he waited that long to fly I’m not clear. Khalil pays another visit to Reverend Holt, and we see the Reverend is a bad-ass in his own way. Khalil does his best to warn the man, but Holt isn’t going to listen. I get where both sides are coming from.
Khalil walks down the street after his less-than-successful talk, and his night gets worse when Tobias Whale pulls up and demands that he get in the car. Khalil proves he’s not a total idiot and runs. Whale phones for backup. Khalil calls Jennifer to tell her what’s going on as he flees. Anissa gets her father’s warning and has Lynn and Anaya go hide. Why they’re in an abandoned mall I’m also not sure, but I guess it’s dry and off the streets at least. Black Lightning makes a stop at Henderson’s house, leaving behind the baby and a very confused deputy chief.
Khalil plays a very high-stakes game of hide and seek with Whale’s thugs. He gets some very unexpected help to get away, and Jennifer fills him in on a secret she’s been keeping. Looker and her men get to the mall, guided by some strange vision power Looker has. What happens next is a well-done fight between the Sange and Thunder, who holds her own really well. There are a lot of them, and Looker, we see, is no slouch as a fighter, even if she’s dressed wrong for it. Just as the numbers are starting to wear her down, Black Lightning shows up to turn the tide. After a lot more fighting, the heroes win and decide the best way to proceed is turning Looker over to the ASA. They’re understandably indifferent to her future.
Back in South Freeland, Anissa brings Anaya back home, where she has some new losses to deal with. In the midst of tragedy, there’s some healing. Anissa slips away to let them have their private moments. Later, Anissa is watching tv with Grace, who has another one of her strange episodes. While Grace clearly isn’t “normal,” she’s also not like her comic book counterpart, either. Jefferson finally tracks Gambi down, and the older man tells his foster son why he’s doing what he’s doing.
Lynn gets home after a very long day only to find out she’s not done. Jennifer isn’t home, and Lynn is very worried. She calls Jennifer, gets no answer, and then she and Jefferson pay their own visit to Perenna. Perenna takes her charge of working with Jennifer very seriously, and tells the Pierces some things they didn’t know about Jennifer’s powers. Jennifer and Khalil end the episode by getting to know each other a bit better and then making a surprising decision.
What I liked: Looker’s assumption about Black Lightning’s power actually made sense to me. I like the Pierce family’s dedication to do the right thing regardless of what others think. I’m glad Jefferson managed to speak to Gambi again finally. Jennifer was a great influence on Khalil this episode. Maybe all she needed was someone to need her, not treat her like a kid. The big fight near the end was great, and I certainly understand the decision to hand Looker over to the ASA. The scene with Henderson was great.
What I didn’t: Even without his powers, I do think Jefferson got taken down too easy near the beginning of the episode. Jefferson tracking down Gambi the way he apparently did is a skill set I don’t think we’ve ever seen him use before.
Those are two minor quibbles for a good episode.
Heroism, humor, doing the right thing… it was a great episode. I’ll give this one a 4 out of 5.