I like the way this episode begins because it finally gives Bill Duke something cool to do! As Lynn and Anissa are walking out to the laboratory parking lot one night, they’re suddenly accosted by a truck full of soldiers. These guys are professionals, and even manage to shoot Anissa while trying to shove Lynn into their convoy. That’s when Agent Odell shows up with guns blazing. He and his team manage to rescue Lynn and drive off the soldiers (while shoving the ones they shot into the trunk of their car).
Lynn is obviously rattled, even more so when Jefferson points out that Agent Odell’s swift response means he’s probably got Lynn under surveillance. When she confronts him about it though, he’s surprised that she’s not thanking him for saving her life instead. He has bigger fish to fry now, anyway. In a one-on-one meeting with Helga Jace, Odell reveals that the soldiers are from Markovia. Jace told Tobias in last week’s episode that she had spent some time in the Eastern European country to work on their meta program. Without her they’ve apparently gotten desperate, and have now sent troops to Freeland to capture metahumans and people knowledgeable about them (it sure seems like these are the people who tried to assassinate Gambi, for example). Odell suspects they’re after the pods, so he tells Jace that if she can find a way to move the pod kids to another location, the ASA will provide her with all necessary support. Tobias isn’t there to hear this, but it sounds like it could be quite the stroke of luck for his plans.
Perenna soon becomes a target of the Markovians as well. Sensing that she’s a metahuman, they try to take her into custody. But don’t underestimate Jennifer’s tutor; when the soldiers try to grab her, she demonstrates the scary side of her “mind palace” power. Usually, we see Perenna use her abilities to transport Jennifer to a safe mental space during their sessions. Here, she sends the soldiers to a mental state full of freezing temperatures and howling winds, leaving them shuddering on the ground. Pretty cool!
As one might expect, Khalil’s death hangs heavy over the episode. Since nothing’s ever easy in Freeland, several problems have arisen over the funeral. For one thing, Khalil’s mom can’t afford to pay for it. That means it’s time for Anissa to don her black Antifa-like outfit and pull her old Robin Hood routine of stealing from gangsters to give to the needy.
NEXT: Time to say goodbye
Anissa’s fight with a bunch of One Hundred gang members over their loot is a pretty fun action scene. It takes place in a hallway and thus manages to resemble the greatest hits of the Marvel-Netflix shows as Anissa dukes it out with one gangster after another, stealing their own baseball bat to do so. Their numbers come close to overwhelming her, but Anissa uses her superpowers. Definitely an advantageous move, but I also suspect that telling everyone that this black-clad Robin Hood is actually the superhero Thunder might be a mistake. Gambi, for one, tells her to be more careful when she gets back. But hey, at least she got the money for the funeral.
At school, Khalil’s former friends and classmates decide to mourn in their own way. Kids start putting up a makeshift memorial to him, a sight that should be familiar if your high school class suffered any losses. Principal Lowry isn’t happy with this, however, since he generally doesn’t seem to be happy with anything. Citing the fact that Khalil literally attacked the school once upon a time, he orders the memorial taken down and order restored to the hallways. Jennifer refuses, and calls him racist in front of a packed hallway of onlookers; several students whip out their phones to make the exchange viral. Lowry, who obviously resents even the slightest challenge to his authority, retaliates by suspending her. When Jefferson tries to plead her case afterward, he and Lowry end up in a heated debate about who has it worse in America, poor white people or middle-class black people. This was a sharp bit on 30 Rock when it was a contest between Jenna Maroney and Tracy Jordan; here, it’s a little cheesy.
Thanks to Anissa’s intervention, Khalil gets a funeral. At the last minute, Jennifer is reluctant to go; she’s been through a lot recently and doesn’t want to cap it off by seeing her ex-boyfriend lowered into the ground. But Jefferson reminds her that she’s a Pierce, and she owes it to her loved ones to see things like this through. But once Khalil is buried, I don’t think it’ll be long before she tries to go after Tobias…
- EW’s Fall TV comics reading guide
- Black Lightning EP on how the ‘pain and absurdity’ of the world inspired season 2
- Black Lightning season premiere recap: Freeland is changing