Jefferson Pierce’s family will be feeling the pressure of the Markovian conflict as Black Lightning season 3 lights up.

In the CW superhero drama’s season 2 finale, Agent Odell (Bill Duke) revealed that he knew Jefferson (Cress Williams) and his daughters, Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain), were the Freeland-based heroes Black Lightning, Thunder, and Lightning — and then enlisted them in the burgeoning metahuman conflict with the Eastern European nation of Markovia. When the new season begins (picking up about a month and a half after the finale), we’ll see that the Markovian conflict has taken a toll on the family.

“The family is probably the most disjointed we’ve ever had it,” Cress Williams tells EW. “It’s the whole Markovian conflict. It’s pulled everyone in different directions because they’ve gotten a little bit divided, in the sense there are just different focuses that they have and different motivations that they have.”

Black Lightning
Credit: Josh Stringer/The CW

He continues, “We’re filming, I think, episode 4 right now, and [for] a lot of the family members it’s like, ‘Oh, here’s our first scene together,’ because just where the drama has taken us has really spread us out.” So far, Williams has gotten to spend a lot more time with Duke than he did last season. “I hadn’t worked with him as an actor last season until literally the very last scene of the very last episode. So when we pick up, I’m interacting with him a lot more, interacting with other people, some new characters as well, and a little less with the family.”

Although Jefferson is physically separated from his family, they aren’t too far from his thoughts. Hoping to protect his daughters from the metahuman war, Jefferson “makes a really big sacrifice” that reveals “a little bit more of his angrier side,” Williams teases. “That sacrifice is what really propels him at the beginning of the season.”

The Markovian conflict also has a big effect on the show as a whole. “It’s larger,” says Williams. “Each season we’ve progressively gotten bigger. So we’ve moved onto an even bigger scale now that we’ve added like Markovia into everything. It’s still about Freeland, but it’s almost more of a global scale and scope.”

With the Markovian War and an appearance in the forthcoming Arrowverse crossover “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” Black Lightning has a busy fall ahead of him.

Black Lightning returns Monday, Oct. 7, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the CW.

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