Spoilers ahead for tonight's episode of Black Lightning, titled "And Then The Devil Brought The Plague: The Book of Green Light."
One of the mysterious, mostly-silent sidekicks who have been following Tobias Whale around since the start of Black Lightning was named in tonight's episode -- and it's a name DC Comics fans likely recognize.
Joey Toledo was name-dropped by a gun-toting redneck who Black crossed Black Lightning during his investigation into Green Light, a designer drug being dealt at Garfield High School.
The character, played by Eric Mendenhall, has actually appeared in every episode so far, although this is the frist time he has been named onscreen. This likely feeds fuel to fan theories that his opposite number, played by Charlbi Dean Kriek, could be Syonide, another DC villain with ties to Black Lightning.
In the comics, Toledo was strictly small time, arguably playing a role more akin to what Lala did in the first two episodes of Black Lightning. In the original, pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths continuity, the character debuted in Black Lightning #1 as a drug dealer working with The 100 who was killed by the end of #2. A more recent reworking, Black Lightning: Year One, included a pair of appearances by Toledo -- in issues #2 and #3 -- before he was killed there, too.
While he was a fairly minor character in terms of his length of time on the page, he had a profound impact on Jefferson Pierce: after Pierce tried to drive Toledo, a drug dealer, out of Garfield High, a standout athlete stepped in to defend Pierce. Later, Tobias Whale ordered that the athlete be made an example of, and when he fled The 100 and was killed in a traffic accident, Jefferson took on the identity of Black Lightning for the first time to make sure that kind of thing never happened in his school again.
Whether Lala's sacrifice in the show's second episode might buy more time for Joey Toledo is anybody's guess.
In tonight's episode, he got lucky: having some problems with his powers (or was it his suit? It's difficult to tell based on the dialogue what Gambi thought was the issue), Jefferson nevertheless went out in costume to pursue Toledo.
After getting the better of Toledo and demanding information about Tobias Whale, with whom Toledo has always been close business associates, Jefferson began to have crippling pain in his head and doubled over. Toledo seized the opportunity to batter Jefferson to the best of his ability before making an escape when Black Lightning's powers seemed to give out on him.
Black Lightning airs on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.