The struggle continues as Freeland tries to live up to its name and shake off the tyrannical ASA. The Resistance is seriously outgunned, but has the specialized help of Black Lighting and Thunder/Blackbird. Meanwhile, Lightning is focused to the point of obsession with her new self-appointed mission, and Lynn’s problems are becoming more obvious. All this and a defection that could affect the balance of power are parts of “The Book of Markovia: Chapter Two: Lynn’s Addiction.”
The show opens with Gardener Grayle, the only ASA operative who seems to have a conscience, making some preparations and trying to set up to do the right thing. Jefferson returns home to find Jennifer and Brandon. He’s happy to see one, a bit less so with the other. Excusing themselves for a private conversation, Jennifer finally tells Jefferson what she’s been up to with the ASA and Odell, and tries to explain some of her motives, but admits they weren’t the best. The two argue about Odell’s fate and then Jefferson turns some intense focus on Brandon. Outside the barrier, Anissa enjoys a reunion with Grace, who seems much better. They disagree a bit about what’s going to happen next, and then Anissa gets summoned back to Freeland.
Running a mission for his new protégé, Gambi goes to see Lynn, and is struck by the changes in her, none for the better. She’s not at her best, but is swayed by Gambi’s plea for some special help only she can give. She wants him to do her a favor, though, and gets his access to the ASA computer system. Odell lectures Major Grey about the current problems, and we finally find out where he’s from. It’s very fitting. Grey suggests a desperate plan, and Odell agrees, not that he’s beset with options. Lynn has used Gambi’s access to reach out and touch someone, and she begins recruiting a new ally: Gardener Grayle. They don’t exactly trust each other, but Grayle does something for her in an attempt to show good will. He has no way of knowing how important that is to Lynn.
The streets haven’t calmed down any, and the wheelers and dealers are taking advantage of the chaos. Lala gives an associate some lessons in the Streets of Freeland School of Business, and mentions a new issue they need to deal with. Returning to the Grotto, Gambi gives TC the stabilizer injection, which has immediate effect. With fury radiating off him, Jefferson comes in to rant about Jennifer, and then is taken aback when he sees TC. The Grotto is getting crowded. Lynn and Grayle plot their own mission, which is full of risks and seems to me like a bad idea. Back at the loft, Grace is surprised to learn about a fundamental difference between herself and Anissa. There’s some banter over how Shonda addresses Anissa, and then Jefferson comes in, bearing bad news and rage, which seems to be his default this episode, not that I blame him.
Lynn is doing something I didn’t quite follow, which includes what appears to be extracting liquid from a computer file. She’s reached the non-approved human testing phase of her manic mad scientist career, and Grayle argues he should be the subject. He actually makes some good points, and, fortunately, the new creation seems to work. They set up a timetable for their project. Jennifer paces, impatient, and makes another rash decision, then finds out Brandon is making his own choices. While Gambi tries to coordinate an ambush, TC shows him something important about someone we thought was dead. Black Lightning might be one of the most grounded of the shows, but they do seem to have embraced the “Nobody dies forever” trope from comics. Black Lightning and Thunder achieve their objective, and he shows a power I’m not sure we’ve seen him use before.
Up next is a very intense interrogation scene, where several secrets are revealed. There are threats, bravado, surprises, and a pretty decent trick, as well as some assumptions. By the end of it, one of the heroes almost does something very permanent, but gets talked down. I’m not sure I agree with the revelation they made to the bad guy here. At the ASA, Major Grey prepares a special asset for a mission that’s going to be a good test of his conditioning. More and more impatient, Jennifer continues her string of rash decisions by bringing Brandon to the Grotto, endangering everyone’s secret ID’s. She gives away her own, and Brandon muses on codenames for himself, getting to one that’s used by the character he’s loosely based on before she cuts him off and leaves him there in hiding. Jennifer leaves in a huff of fury after Gambi’s devices tell her what most of the rest of the family are up to.
Lala’s henchman Devonte goes on a mission and brings back some surprising information. Grayle briefs Lynn for her task, and Gambi pulls off some wizardry to hopefully end the occupation. Lightning arrives, really pissed off, and the family squabble about enemies and homicide gets interrupted when the ASA counterattacks. It’s a very intense moment when Painkiller shows up. Keeping secrets seems to be a compulsion on these shows, and this was a bad one to pick. Down in the Pit, Lynn begins her extraction mission.
The battle with the heroes is nasty, with some surprising twists and turns and temporary shifts in allegiance. While I understand some of what goes on here, it really doesn’t help Jennifer be any more likable. Finally, things get resolved with the good guys making one capture, but also losing something important. Lala follows up on Devonte’s earlier recon, using his reputation to pull off a few impressive things before finding who he was looking for and making some demands. The good guys regroup at the increasingly crowded Grotto, where various people meet up for the first time. TC passes on a message he got through his powers, although I’m not sure how that worked. Lynn finishes her mission, showing that she anticipated some of what might go wrong (which wasn’t hard) but didn’t have enough backup. I get her being taken by surprise, but the one with her seems less likely. It was an unexpected ending to the episode.
What I liked: Brandon finally got his codename (he’s even billed that way in the IMDB credits). The ASA has apparently lost a significant and troubling asset. Several of the secrets have been brought out into the open, which will hopefully improve some things. Grayle is becoming more of a character and less a token objector. Anissa got to see Grace again.
What I didn’t: There were a few things that didn’t play for me in this episode. I’m not sure what Lynn was up to with the serum she seemed to getting from a computer. Far too many people know where the Grotto is now. I’m not sure why Gambi revealed himself the way he did to the enemy. Grayle getting dropped so easily at the end was disappointing. Are we supposed to believe that, with his family and city at stake, two things that are hugely important to him, Jefferson isn’t reaching out to his new Super Friends?
It was an uneven episode of a show that usually does better. I’ll give this one a 3 out of 5, which is a low rating of this series for me.