Black Lightning Recap: Lightning Bugs — Plus, Tobias' Serum Secret Revealed

Black Lightning Recap

Black Lightning this week found our hero and villain pursuing each other more persistently than before, and the family secrets that loomed over their heads not only afforded more insight into what founded their beef, but also informed each man’s personality and values (or lack thereof).

Black Lightning is trying out his suit’s new “hover” feature when he spots a man, under the effects of Green Light, fighting the police. Once weapons are drawn, Black Lightning de-escalates the situation by zapping the hopped-up fella. He then brushes off a blinding headache to continue flying around the city. Gambi, meanwhile, gets an unwelcome visit from Tobias and Syonide. Tobias wants to know Black Lightning’s true identity, but ASA (?)-connected Gambi plays dumb. The gents’ encounter does drop some fresh intel on us: Tobias has a “serum” pumping through his veins that keeps him from aging!

At the Pierce household, Anissa is researching enhanced abilities when she comes across a video that suggests a pattern between the Tuskegee Experiment, the Flint Water Crisis and the mysterious disappearance of nine Freeland kids, 30 years ago. She learns that there was a planned series of articles exposing a vaccine as the source of the kids’ enhanced abilities, but they were scrapped. The reporter of the story: Anissa’s grandfather, Alvin Pierce, who was murdered a week later. Jennifer interrupted her sister’s research to borrow a jacket, before hitting a skating rink with her friend Keisha. There, she gets into a fight with two girls (haters), breaking one of their wrists.

Tracking the address connected to the packing slip he found last week, Black Lightning finds a factory’s worth of chemicals. The owner pulls a gun and says that since the “electrified lawn jockey” is trespassing, he could shoot his “black ass” and be called a hero. (Well damn.) A few zaps make the would-be shooter talk: The chemicals are for Green Light, and Joey Toledo is paying him to store them. Back at Gambi’s, Jeff yells at his friend for not knowing that Tobias’ right hand man is still around, which means that Tobias himself is still around. After Jeff gets so worked up that he faints — is this why Gambi erased the footage of Tobias at the march? — Lynn comes to assess Jefferson’s health and tells him to rest.

Speaking of Tobias: He vents to his sister about his lack of promotion in Lady Eve’s operation. He’s done enough to earn a seat at the table next to her, and remembers that he had her respect back when he was a city council member. Tori tells him that his current recklessness is rooted in childhood trauma caused by their abusive father Eldridge. She thinks he’ll be more focused once he handles unresolved issues.

Anissa asks her dad about grandpa Alvin, mainly his investigation of enhanced abilities and the missing kids, but gets shut down. “Your grandfather had a lot of wild ideas about a lot of things,” Jefferson hedges. He adds that his father always did the right thing, and that he sees a lot of him in Anissa. This encourages her to meet with the editor of the Freeland Gazette to ask about her grandfather’s exposé, but the old man curtly tells her to leave.

The next day, Lynn is checking in on Jefferson when they get visitors: Jennifer’s frenemy Lana (in a cast), her mom (who struggled to afford her daughter’s healthcare) and her aunt (who’s ready to have Jennifer arrested). Lynn and Jefferson turn things around and end up having a friendly conversation with the ladies, but Jennifer’s arrival is the guests’ cue to leave. When Jeff and Lynn chastise her for not telling them about the fight, Jennifer says she was just defending herself — against two girls — the way Jefferson taught her. Lynn, tired of her daughter’s attitude, grounds her.

When Anissa visits the Gazette again looking for answers, the exasperated editor turns over a dusty box full of Alvin’s files. He says that Alvin tapped into something dangerous, and that he doesn’t want to be involved. “They’re watching,” he warns, before he tells her to go and not come back. In the box, Anissa finds documents, pictures and… a key to a storage unit. After swinging by a costume shop for a (stretchy) disguise, she visits the storage unit, where finds a box of her grandfather’s journals and a safe that contains a mysterious vial….

Tobias and Tori go see Eldridge, who is greeted by his son with a punch to the face. Tori brings up his subpar parenting skills, but he argues that he was better than their mom who left. Tobias thinks Eldridge only took care of them for his own selfish reasons, but claims he understands. He then hugs his father, tight, to the point that it breaks Eldridge’s back. Tori pulls her gun to finish the job, but Tobias convinces her to instead let Eldridge die a slow death.

Inspector Henderson, who was surprised by Black Lightning with a tip on Joey Toledo and a burner phone, calls the superhero to say that he found one of Joey’s old girlfriends. Jefferson swings by Gambi’s to suit up, but his mentor tells him to wait an extra day so he can fix the issues with the suit. Jefferson insists on being given the control module, or he’s gonna “Black Lightning” his cohort.

Once Black Lightning finds the girl, he takes her phone and texts Joey (aka Syonide’s male counterpart), luring him outside. As James Brown’s “The Big Payback” plays, Black Lightning delivers physical payback on the man who was present (and may have even participated) when his father was killed. He asks where Tobias is, but Joey won’t answer. Before he can throw more punches, Black Lightning suffers another debilitating headache, allowing Joey to land a few punches of his own. As Black Lightning writhes on the ground in pain, Joey says that this time, Tobias will finish him.

What did you think of the episode “And Then the Devil Brought the Plague: The Book of Green Light”?

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