Black Lighting Season II- Ep. 5 “The Book of Blood- Chapter 1- Requiem”: A Review

Posted: 11/18/2018 in Uncategorized

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Probably the first episode I have not fully enjoyed, this latest run nonetheless allowed for a great deal of set ups in multiple arcs. The tone was bleak but the acting superior. Overall, this run does open up the series quite a bit. My review follows below.

Opening with bombastic music from a bygone era, the scene in which Gambi (James Remar) visits and does business with  a fellow vendor- while speaking fluent Mandarin- could have easily been taken from big screen crime story origin volleys. This moment, however, stood out, presenting the vestige of Gambi that is public. The subsequent chase reminds us more of his real identity, namely his intelligence background and resourcefulness. We are led to one conclusion after an attack on his life. Jefferson’s initial pronouncement is more likely than not- apt.

The aftermath of the Gambi attack frames the bulk of the episode. Gambi’s impact on the Pearce family is heavily felt with a particularly strong performance from Cress Williams as Jefferson Pearce. That Gambi isn’t just his armorer and man at arms has been offered on numerous occasions. In this run, however, Gambi’s essentially being Jefferson’s father throughout his formative years, and to his modern day heroic persona, is powerfully offered.

Lynn’s (Christine Adams) own journey takes a dark, yet predictable turn as she endeavors to save all the pod children. Dr. Helga Jace (Jennifer Riker) suggests that the only viable outcome is saving some of the children; allowing for the loss of half the victims as acceptable. The two quarrel and the end sequence of this arc plays out as brutally as expected. Christine Adams’ performance in this segment was standout.

Jennifer (China Ann McClain) takes the news about Gambi exceptionally hard. Her character will be a catalyst this season…whether for good or ill remains to be seen. Her connection with Khalil/Painkiller (Jordan Calloway) could either bring one character to the light or lead to another’s damnation via the nemesis in the shadows now eking his way to the light. While not overused, Tobias Whale (Marvin Jones III) made his presence felt via a meeting with a council member and later with his “weaker brother” speech with Khalil. Jones is a superior villain, with his locked in grin and bubbling contempt. His positioning himself for power has been a plot device since season 1 and continues to resonate.

The heart of the episode revolved around Jefferson, his relationships and his sense of loss. Having been forced out of his position as Jefferson High’s principal, and fearing for his family’s well being overall, the man who more often than not exhibits a reserve of self control essentially begins to unravel. Seeing Jefferson drink too much, and unleash his fury as Pearce in lieu of his alter ego had the effect it required.

Having Nyssa (Nafessa Williams) put aside her personal disputes to both console and support her father played well. Seeing her assume a role more in line with her training offered greater benefit than her Robin Hood criminal behavior. Her meeting with Grace (Chantal Thuy) to clear the air and confirm at least an attempt at a stable, mature relationship was equally a good step.

Nafessa/Thunder got her own mysteries to solve with this ep, one in plain sight via some intensely bizarre moments with a patient’s boyfriend then later a police officer. Grace’s own incident offered another – via her seemingly manifesting abilities or demonstrating something else entirely.

While more of a filler episode than normal fare, this latest run offered plenty of storylines to keep the viewer guessing and hopefully interested. BL remains solid, presenting a show with a captivating villain and a family of heroes worth pulling for. Black Lightning stays on course to delivering another solid season.

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