Over the last few episodes of Black Lightning, it's started to become clear that there is far more than meets the eye when it comes Black Lightning's close friend and ally Peter Gambi, but tonight's episode gave fans a little more insight in the tailor even as it deepened the mystery.
Spoilers for tonight's episode of Black Lightning, "And Then the Devil Brought the Plague: The Book of Green Light", below.
While fans got a hint that there is more to the story when it comes to Peter Gambi (James Remar) and how he may or may not be connected to Tobias Whale (Marvin "Krondon" Jones III) earlier this season when Gambi deleted video footage revealing that Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning's (Cress Williams) biggest foe is alive and well, tonight confirmed that the tailor and the gang leader are definitely connected. Whale and his bodyguard Syonide showed up at Gambi's shop and he wasn't there for a new suit. Whale was coming for information.
It turns out that Gambi isn't just a tailor. While his secret Batcave-like lair full of technology was a pretty solid clue of that all along, Whale confirmed tonight that Gambi works for an organization called the ASA, and that association meant he probably knows Black Lightning's real identity. For DC Comics fans, the mention of the ASA is a curious one. In comics the ASA is the American Security Agency, a U.S. Government organization that supervised the creation of the Force of July, a national team of super-agents. The team was an antagonistic one, despite being "good" guys, and ended up going up against the Outsiders more than a few times. Like most government-sponsored teams in comics, there were some dubious things going on with the ASA, particularly with its leadership. The original government liaison for the group was replaced with someone with even less scruples and, ultimately, the agency went defunct.
While exactly what Black Lightning's ASA does hasn't yet been revealed, it's pretty clear from Whale's assertion that being part of it would give Gambi specific knowledge about the superhero that there's a government element at play. It's also clear that whatever Gambi does for them, he's known for a long time about Whale and may even have been a part of Whale going underground. But Gambi knowing Whale and even covering for him isn't the biggest reveal in the brief scene. Gambi warns Whale that the serum he and his sister took to prevent them from aging has consequences. This is the first mention that there might be something more to meets the eye to Whale than just that of exiled gang leader currently doing damage control with Lady Eve.
And the mention of a serum with curious effects is particularly interesting when considered in light of what Anissa (Nafessa Williams) discovers about her grandfather. Turns out that the late Alvin Pierce was reporting on the disappearance of 9 Freeland children who exhibited enhanced abilities after a vaccine. The work would have been a major expose but never made it to press -- and Pierce was murdered. As we know that Alvin Pierce was murdered by Whale and now know that Whale himself has some enhanced abilities thanks to a serum of some sort it begs the question of just who is Gambi really and why does he really want Black Lightning back on the streets? And what does this mean for Anissa, as she tries to get to the bottom of her grandfather's mysteries and suits up for the first time? One thing is certain: Gambi is more than just a tailor, something Remar himself told ComicBook.com.
"I don't just sit in the tailor shop and do nothing besides sew clothes," Remar said. "I do other stuff. Some pretty challenging stuff, too. And I'm out here helping Jefferson when he's Black Lightning, in terms of surveillance support -- and a couple of times I have to haul in there but quick and scoop him up off the ground."
Black Lightning airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.