After Shocks: Black Lightning Episode 103, "Lawanda: The Book of Burial"

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Black Lightning 103

Picking up where things left off with the murder of Lawanda at the hands of The 100, a local pastor decides to lead 100 of his own parishioners in a march to take back their streets. For reasons unknown, Tobias Whale (MARVIN 'KRONDON' JONES III) decides to send a message to this march, rather than let the protesters finish their parade and disburse unrecognized, and sends a gunman to deliver this message.

Both Inspector Henderson (DAMON GUPTON) and Jefferson Pierce (CRESS WILLIAMS) try to talk the reverend out of holding the march, but he is adamant. The return of Black Lightning has given them hope, and inspired them to take back their streets. Of course, none of them realize that Jefferson is Black Lightning.

To prepare for the march, Jefferson conspires with his partner, Peter Gambi (JAMES REMAR), who refines his gear to give it more precise strikes. They also work on a way to reroute the march so that Black Lightning can have a better field of oversight while looking for potential shooters. And of course there is one, which Black Lightning successfully neutralizes.

However, as the marchers break into "Amazing Grace" at having been saved by Black Lightning, Tobias Whale, watching from his limousine down the street, orders his henchwoman to shoot Black Lightning. She's apparently not known for her marksmanship, because she misses him and hits the reverend in the shoulder, the bullet passing through him and into Khalil (JORDAN CALLOWAY), current boyfriend to Jennifer Pierce (CHINA ANNE MCCLAIN).

That's a story in and of itself. Just last episode, Khalil asked Jennifer to be his girl. This episode, they're already planning their first sexual encounter (a first for both of them). And part of the planning for that is Jennifer coming right out and announcing to her parents, Jefferson and Lynn (CHRISTINE ADAMS) that she's ready for this, as well as the day and time it will happen. Jefferson is stunned into silence, but later finds a way to at least get a word in by intimidating the boyfriend -- and not in the way you would expect a father to do.

The other relationship in this storyline falls by the wayside, as older sister Anissa Pierce (NAFESSA WILLIAMS) comes to grips with discovering her own super powers and how to enable and control them. While researching genetic mutations, she meets Grace Choi (CHANTAL THUY), who works at a gay bar. She's also a comic book geek, and carries a copy of THE OUTSIDERS with her (the DC Comic team in which the original--and super-powered--Grace Choi debuted). After explaining superhero logic to Anissa, she invites her to come to the cosplay night at the bar, which gives us our first look at Anissa in spandex, no doubt the base on which her future identity will be built. However, while she's at this party, her current girlfriend walks in on her dancing with Grace. How and why she found her is unexplained; Anissa could have very well have asked her what she was doing at the bar. Regardless, off screen the break-up occurs, and it's pretty obvious that Anissa and Grace will become a thing.

As the episode wraps, we're at the hospital with the Pierce family, when they receive word on the condition of the shooting victims. The reverend will be fine, but Jennifer's boyfriend took a hit to the spine; he may never walk again. This being a superhero show, however, especially a CW one, most 'crippled by injustice' victims usually find their way to an implant that overcomes the disability, and Khalil will surely be no exception. After all, how much of a leap is it from "Khalil" to "Kal-el?"

4.0 / 5.0