This was an epic episode, partly because most of the characters were still reeling from the effects of the last chapter. The first scene in the episode is Anissa recording a video for her family to watch in the event of her death. It’s very moving and also harrowing! We soon learn the reason she’s doing this is that the resurrected Khalil’s poison is even more potent than before, and it’s stumping Gambi. With her powers pushed to the limit by how fast her cells are breaking down, Anissa can’t use her powers and must stay stuck in her apartment, hoping Gambi can come up with a solution before she dies. The video is in case he fails.

Anissa is determined not to tell her parents of her condition, figuring they already have enough going on. But this makes it especially heartbreaking when Jefferson stops by to apologize for pushing her to take Tavon back to Freeland. He tries to accept responsibility for Tavon’s death, but Anissa counters that it’s her fault since she went along with the plan even though she knew it was a bad idea. But instead of hugging and sharing this awful guilt together, Anissa kicks her dad out of the house — and promptly collapses. Thankfully Grace is there to take care of her, but you’d still think there was a better way to do this.

Black Lightning
Black Lightning — “The Book of Resistance: Chapter One” — Image BLK306b_0096r.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Christine Adams as Lynn and Cress Williams as Jefferson — Photo: Annette Brown/The CW — © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.
| Credit: Annette Brown/The CW

Jennifer investigates the mysterious student Brandon by literally breaking into his apartment. Guess you pick things up when you come from a family of vigilantes! She finds pictures of her mom on Brandon’s computer, which freaks her out, but it’s nothing compared to when he returns home and they blast each other with their powers. Brandon is mostly immune to Jennifer’s powers, but his are a little different. He can control earth, which is a pretty amazing thing to discover the same week EW declared N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy, populated with characters who can also control the earth, the best fantasy of the decade. He says that he came to Freeland because Dr. Jace killed his mom and he wants revenge. He was looking into Lynn because she worked with Jace, but carries no ill will towards the Pierce family.

Meanwhile, Chief Henderson begins mobilizing the anti-ASA resistance. After a pirate radio broadcaster who had been trying to spread the truth is found dead in a river, Henderson tries to recruit someone with a wider reach. He brings in journalist Jamillah Olsen, and at first makes it seem like he’s interrogating her. When she refuses to back down, Henderson lets the charade go: It was a test, and she passed. Now Freeland’s resistance has a mouthpiece.

Interestingly, Freeland’s resistance is mobilizing at the same time that the abstract threat the ASA was supposedly protecting them from begins to manifest for real. Instant, the Markovian teleporter, warps into an ASA truck and proceeds to kill every soldier inside to the sound of Run the Jewels — which is my kind of superhero action. He then replaces the driver with the Markovian Col. Mosin. That allows them to get inside ASA property, but Agent Odell isn’t so easily fooled. He reveals that every important ASA base is woven with neutrino disruptors that prevent Instant’s teleportation. So the only way forward is for the ASA and Markovian troops to have it out in a gunfight.

Surprisingly, Odell loses the fight! He ends up bleeding on the ground, crawling for a gun. Black Lightning bursts through the ceiling just in time to prevent Mosin from finishing him off, but Instant teleports the Markovians away before they can have their own fight. Odell calls Jefferson “pathetic” for not being more aggressive, and then passes out. At least that’s what it seems like — he still has a lot to answer for, so hopefully, he’s not dead yet.

Meanwhile, Lynn’s Green Light addiction is getting out of control. Increasingly fed up with Jefferson and distorted by the drug, she moves out of the house so she can spend all her time at the ASA lab. Anissa wasn’t lying when she said her parents had a lot going on, but they could sure use her help.

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