Black Lightning wraps up the second season with a lot of twists and turns. I wasn’t sure where they were going, and when the end came, I didn’t see it coming at all. I was thrilled when Black Lightning debuted, and, while it’s had problems, I still think it’s a great show. “The Book of the Apocalypse: Chapter Two: The Omega” worked as a season finale and brought a lot of things together, as well as delivering a hell of a surprising final scene.
The last episode ended with Jennifer rashly charging off to try and confront Tobias Whale, despite the warnings about her powers and her suit. Well, true to form, she didn’t listen, and finished off the episode lying in the street, power flaring brilliantly and out of control, while Tobias got away. Gambi, of course, couldn’t go after him, because he had to help Jennifer. Trying to help her, Gambi has a confrontation with Lala, the other Tobias hunter. This ends with Gambi confused and the resurrecting gangster wandering off. Probably wondering just how weird Freeland is going to get, Gambi returns his attention to Jennifer to see if he can help her.
He manages, but her out of control powers don’t do the older man any good, and Gambi collapses. Jennifer retreats to that space in her mind she’s been training with Perenna in. it doesn’t go smoothly, but she gets herself under control. Black Lightning and Thunder arrive, and the senior hero takes charge, sending his daughters back to the Sanctum with Gambi while he searches Whale’s lair. Whale himself is fuming that they ran “from a dead man,” and snaps at Cutter. He fixates on Black Lightning as the source of all his problems, and sends Cold Snap to the city’s power station to shut it down, believing Black Lightning gets his power from the city power grid. Tobias also sets a series of small actions in motion to cause riots like Los Angeles after Rodney King’s trial, using the death of “Cape Guy” as the excuse. Black Lightning searches the base, finds the pod kids, and tells Lynn, although she attracts some unwanted attention while she’s responding.
At the Sanctum, Jennifer blames Gambi’s injuries on Tobias, which isn’t true or fair, and banters with her sister about being two different superheroes, Thunder and Blackbird. Anissa plans on continuing both identities, but planning better, which is a good idea. They even get in a Batman reference as they work on Gambi. Tobias is talking to his dead sister’s picture again, and brushes off Cutter’s concern. Dr. Jace almost manages to shoot Black Lightning from behind, but Lynn arrives just in time and gets out some of her frustrations in a nasty fight. Jace seems amused at being beaten, and wants to make a deal to go to the police, not the ASA. She starts to give her information to Black Lightning and Lynn. Later, O’Dell turns up, which doesn’t make Lynn happy at all. The two once again clash over what to do with the pod kids.
The news covers riots touching off all over Freeland. Gambi’s vital signs are improving as the daughters debate the rioters’ motives. I find myself agreeing with Jennifer more than Anissa. The power goes out all over the city, although the Sanctum proves to have backup generators, because Gambi is smart. Black Lightning responds to all this by… hovering over the city doing nothing. What the hell, Jefferson?
Anissa and Jennifer debate what to do, and Gambi resolves one of their worries by recovering enough to get up. Jennifer asks why he took such a risk with her, and he says they are family. Apparently, Tobias’ wild theory is right, as Gambi notices Black Lightning’s power is at dangerously low levels. This is a big departure for the character from the comics, needing an external energy source. The others split up to respond to the various emergencies, and Jennifer argues her way into accompanying Gambi. Jace’s stay in police custody proves short as someone we haven’t seen in a while shows up, tells her why he’s there, and gets her out, much to Henderson’s annoyance.
Whale revels in the destruction across the city, still talking to his dead sister. Heatstroke and New Wave go up against a group of armed men who are either SWAT or ASA agents, it’s never really made clear. Black Lightning and Thunder show up to save the humans, although the villains oddly just sort of watch as Thunder pulls up on her bike, leisurely gets off, pulls her helmet off and places it on the saddle. How polite of them. Reverend Holt has survived his poisoning, although I swear they said he was dead before, and turns his church into a sanctuary during the unrest.
The rest of the Masters of Disaster show up, and Shakedown uses his powers in a very odd way. the fight isn’t going well for the good guys, when some very unexpected help shows up and deals with one of them, giving Black Lightning a break. The newcomer tells the hero what he’s up to, that the city needs Black Lightning, casually points out that Thunder is in trouble, and saunters off. Gambit and Jennifer get to the power station, finding the problem, and setting up a plan to fix it. They manage to get the power running again. The power coming back on tips the balance in the fight, and the heroes emerge triumphant.
Whale fumes that his plans aren’t working out because, in part, the police “aren’t overreacting like they’re supposed to.” He turns to the ASA briefcase to cause more problems, has a spat with Cutter, and she makes a decision. O’Dell and Lynn’s argument about how to handle the pods ends up being interrupted when Tobias gets all the pods open and the metas stagger out. Black Lighting and Thunder show up as the released captives wander by, and the heroes get a warning from Lynn. O’Dell and company vanished after the pod kids got out, and Gambi manages to track down where Tobias sent the signal from. Remember the saying about insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results? Jennifer takes off as soon as she learns where Tobias is, now showing a new ability as she does.
Tobias rambles on to the picture, and Lala shows up. Tobias is smugly confident, and shows he has some more surprises for Lala. Whale is also disturbingly bullet-resistant. Whale calls Lala “Tattooed Man,” which is the handle of two different DC Comics villains, but neither of their powers work the way Lala’s appear to. Jennifer comes in, calling herself Lightning, and blasts Tobias. Black Lightning shows up, talks Jennifer down, and then fights Tobias, beating him down. The Reverend provides a hopeful voiceover as he praises Black Lightning and Thunder while they help with the situation out in the streets, and Henderson drives around looking cool but not actually doing anything.
O’Dell shows he has a few surprises in the aftermath of the riots, and two of them aren’t going to sit well with the Pierces if they find out. Tobias Whale is in his new accommodations, and not happy about it. The Pierces have a family dinner where Jefferson has a minor breakdown, emotional in the aftermath of everything that’s happened. For all that they keep calling him family, it seems kind of harsh to me that Gambi is never at these dinners. Their brief celebration ends afterwards when the family gets an unwelcome visitor who dumps several surprises on them to end the episode and the season, but the show is confirmed to come back for another.
What I liked: They did a decent job showing both sides behind civil disturbances with the Pierce girls debating it. I’m so glad Whale finally got taken down a few pegs. All the good guys ended the season on a decent note, at least until that final scene. Jennifer has a codename and better handle on her powers now. The Masters of Disaster have been dealt with, and I’d be ok with them not coming back.
What I didn’t: It may not be a major point, but I don’t like how Gambi is excluded from these family dinners and meetings if everyone keeps calling him family. O’Dell is bordering on an all-knowing irritation, and he’s almost as smug as Tobias. With riots going on, why did Black Lightning spend so much time hovering over the city? If he is actually dependent on external power, this is a big change for Black Lightning, and not one I like at all. We never learn what happened to Lala after his run-in with Tobias. I’m glad she didn’t, but Thunder should have died in that fight with Masters of Disaster unless she has a new ability we don’t know about.
There were flaws, but it was a good episode over all. I’ll give the finale a 3.5 out of 5, and the same for the season. I’m really intrigued to see how they handle that final scene next time around.