In tonight's episode of Black Lightning, fans got their first real look at Jill Scott's Lady Eve, and though her appearance was brief, it's prompting a serious question.
Spoilers for tonight's episode of Black Lightning, "Lawanda: The Book of Burial," below.
In last week's episode of Black Lightning, Lala (William Catlett) murdered Lawanda (Tracey Bonner,) a killing that cemented Jefferson Pierce's (Cress Williams) decision to return to the streets and fight The 100 as Black Lightning. While Tobias Whale (Marvin "Krondon" Jones III) dispatched Lala for the killing, in tonight's episode audiences saw that it wasn't just Lala who had to answer for the crime. Tobias shows up to see Lady Eve at her funeral home, and it quickly becomes clear that, while Tobias is fearsome as the leader of The 100, he's not the person in this meeting with the power.
Tobias brings Lady Eve a sizable bag of cash to take care of the issues caused by Lawanda's murder, clearly showing deference to Lady Eve, which begs the question: could Lady Eve be the real "big bad" on Black Lightning? It certainly seems possible, and not just because of that scene. When Scott's casting as Lady Eve was first announced, EW was quick to point tout that while Eve presents herself as a legitimate and trusted business person, she will quickly turn into an adversary for the show's titular hero, serving as a connection between Tobias and a secret group of corrupt leaders.
In comics, Lady Eve is a formidable villain. A ranking member of the evil Kobra Cult, Lady Eve joined with the villain Kobra/Jeffrey Franklin Burr and his plans to use mind control on high ranking officials of the US Army so that he could steal a defense program satellite and blackmail the government. Fans may also recall that while Kobra has had clashes with numerous heroes, namely Batman and his Outsiders, when he expanded his operations to the Midwest, his base of operations was Keystone City -- putting him firmly in Flash territory. With Black Lightning existing outside of The CW's Arrowverse, it wouldn't be too difficult to imagine that, should the show be introducing Kobra Cult through Lady Eve, Freeland would make for suitable base of operations.
The idea of Lady Eve being a larger villain on the series also is in keeping with part of the back story as to why Jefferson suited up as Black Lightning to begin with. It's mentioned in the show's pilot that he took up his vigilante identity to punish Tobias after he literally stuffed newspaper articles down his father's throat until he choked to death on them. This connection makes Tobias a very personal villain, leaving plenty of room for another big bad to slowly work their way out from the shadows as the show continues.
No matter how deep the role goes, however, showrunner Salim Akil has said that he's excited to see Scott bring Lady Eve to life on Black Lightning.
“Jill is an amazing artist who can embody any character and give them an authentic voice that is both nuanced and richly complex," Akil said. "I am excited to see her in the role of Lady Eve.”
Black Lightning airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.