The Ship of Theseus thought project asks in the event that you replace all of the pieces of a thing over the years is it the same thing or something different. There’s no easy answer, except in the case of Jennifer Pierce, who’s exactly the same in all but look. Someone isn’t merely their own body; they’re the culmination of all of their experiences. And that endures even when the body has been altered or damaged or, in the instance of Jen, unmade subsequently made anew. Still, the question needs to be asked, is Jen still Jen? And while the majority of the family immediately comes around to yes even Grace can smell that Jen is the exact same Jefferson has a more difficult time accepting the new reality.
Jefferson isn’t at his best as a father, or as a partner right now, and it is becoming problematic. He asks Lynn to create and take a meta booster to find out what electricity Tobias’ Right-hand woman has. She declines on the accounts of being a recovering addict and he basically says”so?” He always throws Lynn’s addiction in her face simply to state that her recovery is not as significant compared to his beef with Tobias. This facet of the storytelling reads as authentic hurt men and women hurt people but is increasingly grating to watch. I love to admit that heroes can be faulty and need the authors to mend it.
Black Lightning is doing something really interesting with its storytelling, in which it’s both extremely predictable and delightfully surprising. If following the season premiere, I needed to guess what Tobias could be doing at this point in the season, I wouldn’t have missed it at all. His moves could not be more by the numbers, from plotting on Billy Black to announcing his own mayoral run. Yet the reverse is true with Lala or Destiny, who I expected the writers to sideline following the first few episodes. The back and forth between The 100s and Kobra Cartel have been entertaining to watch and the escalation of their feud makes things more chaotic and dangerous to Freeland.
Last week, Destiny set Lala up together with all the authorities, and this week she sics an especially adept merc, Ishmael, on him. Now, Lala is serving Han Solo realness as a slab of concrete, and sis convinces the killer who’s 6 meta kills away in the 100 he wants to gain entrance into the League of Assassins to remain and search Dark Lightning, Lightning, Blackbird, and Wylde. Add to this Tobias running for mayor and Montovista arming Freeland PD with next-gen direct energy firearms, and it’s looking really bad for its meta vigilantes of Freeland.
Still, Freeland needs its own heroes. Black Lightning shows using uncomfortable detail, what happens when there’s no Black Lightning patrolling the streets. Instead of cops making a martyr of a Black woman in a shootout they instigate by entering her home without warning or warrant, Black Lightning prevents them from shooting, causing her death, and the emotional devastation that could follow. This is not something we needed to see because we are overly knowledgeable about how these things perform, but I really do have an appreciation for the inclusion of this scene. The director takes care not to sensationalize violence against this woman but also reminds us that Black women are vulnerable to the identical injury as Black men and that they deserve the exact same outrage and demands for justice. (#SayHerName)
Jenn places on the new suit Gambi has been working on and comes to Black Lightning’s aid when he is beset upon by police after interfering. The DEGs makes quick work of his energy defense, and with no Jenn there to improve his power, he is vulnerable. Working together in sync convinces Jeff that Jen is exactly the same person, despite her new form. Jefferson apologizes to Jen for the way he responded towards her, but she’s thankful he saved her in the first location. The connections between Jefferson and his brothers are beautiful because they are cluttered, and I love their dynamics, even then they annoy me. Jeff and Jen coming together in this event feel great.
I take pleasure in the family play, the crime drama, and also the hero’s journeys, and how all of these coalesce in Black Lightning. I remain genuinely enthusiastic about each new episode and look forward to that continuing week after week.
I love the moment that Grace and Jen discuss and I hope that Grace becomes integral to over just Anissa.
I enjoyed the”what Lightning means to me” scene also that it highlighted Black girls and women, and how strong it is to feel reflected in your personalities.