Carin Baer/The CW
January 30, 2018 at 10:00 PM EST

Black Lightning

TV Show
CW Superheroes
run date
Mara Brock-Akil, Salim Akil
Cress Williams
Greg Berlanti
The CW
Current Status
In Season
We gave it a B+

Soon it’s game time. The reverend accused the Freeland police of corruption, and his allegation certainly looks true once the department notifies everyone that they’re only deploying one squad cover to cover the march. It seems like an obvious setup by the One Hundred, but the marchers aren’t backing down. They want to send a message.

The One Hundred wants to send a message too. We soon learn that Tobias isn’t the only force of evil in Freeland when he makes a report to the mysterious Lady Eve. We don’t know much about her yet, but I’m loving the villainous vibes from actress Jill Scott so far. She’s all smiles and sugary sweetness, but she clearly rules her domain with an iron fist. She tells Tobias in no uncertain terms that “I don’t mind people believing in God, they just can’t believe they can take back these streets.”

Both sides play their cards. Tobias sends a young man to follow the march with an assault rifle, while Black Lightning prepares to protect the marchers. Gambi understands that whatever the One Hundred is doing is going to be designed to maximize fear, so when the big day comes Jefferson follows the crowd at a distance on the nearby rooftops, alert to any possible danger. Soon that danger arrives: Tobias’ henchman springs from the shadows, gun in hand, ready to lay into the reverend. Black Lightning intervenes just in time, erecting an awesome lightning shield to deflect the bullets from the protesters. Amazed at the heroic arrival, the reverend starts singing “Amazing Grace” to Black Lightning as the other marchers join in.

That’s when Tobias shows up to ruin the party. Having finally confirmed with his own eyes that his old foe is alive and well, Tobias orders his right-hand woman to open fire. She does, hitting both the reverend and Jennifer’s boyfriend Khalil in the process. Both seem to survive their wounds, but Khalil might never walk again. And so the family-comedy lightness earlier in the episode comes full circle in the most devastating way possible. On the plus side, the One Hundred’s plan to reinstill fear in the populace doesn’t appear to have worked. Even as Henderson and the police try to pin the blame for the violence on Black Lightning, a woman interviewed on local news says she still believes in her hero. She’s not the only one.

I don’t know about you all, but I’m dying to know about Black Lightning’s prior history with Tobias. I love the idea that both men think they killed the other one years ago. Tobias has now learned the truth, but Jefferson’s revelation is delayed for a little while longer after Gambi erases the footage of Tobias at the scene, apologizing to his friend under his breath as he does so.

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