Tonight's Black Lightning was full of interesting twists and turns as they introduced us to South Freeland and Looker, but those twists and turns have also left some major questions for fans.
Spoilers for tonight's episode of Black Lightning, "The Book of Blood: Chapter Two: The Perdi," below.
For an episode that was a little light on the super heroics, a lot still happened tonight. Anissa went back to South Freeland to help the pregnant girl whose boyfriend died right in front of her at the clinic. Lynn had to face the parents of the kids in the pods. Khalil found out some devastating information about how he ended up paralyzed, and perhaps the biggest surprise? Gambi is alive having survived the fiery crash and assassination attempt in the previous episode.
There was also the introduction of Looker, an interesting reference to a DC Comics location, and well, we have quite a few questions from "The Perdi" that we'll be puzzling until next week. Want to know what has left us scratching our head? Read on for our big questions for tonight's episode.
Last week it looked like we had seen the last of Gambi (James Remar) after his SUV exploded during a chase. Tonight, however, it's revealed that not only is Gambi alive but he's still trying to assist Jefferson (Cress Williams) and Anissa (Nafessa Williams) without being discovered. So what's next?
Gambi likely won't be able to stay hidding forever nor will he want to, but he has to find out who exactly put out the hit on him and deal with that before revealing he's alive. If the way he dealt with the actuall assassin sent to kill him is any indication, whoever is trying to kill Gambi is not going to have a good time.
After Dr. Jace manipulated the data to make it look harmless, Lynn (Christine Adams) authorized a procedure that resulted in about half of the pod kids dying. This week, Lynn dealt with the fallout from that, but it was far more than upset and frantic parents that she was faced with. Lynn had to face herself -- and that meant doing some heavy drinking.
So what's next? We've seen Lynn struggling with her situation all season long and the situation with the pod kids now seems like something of a crossroads. Will she turn away from the ASA and the work she's been doing to save the pod kids or will she dig in deeper and go rogue to do whatever it takes to save the others? Whatever she chooses will fall in line with the consequences showrunner Salim Akil discussed in a previous interview.
"We're going to deal with the consequences of having discovered the pod children; the consequences of Green Light hitting the streets; and the consequences of Jefferson's daughters discovering they have powers," Akil said.
Tonight, Khalil (Jordan Calloway) discovered that Tobias (Marvin "Krondon" Jones III) was responsible not just for him being able to walk again, but for the shooting that left him paralyzed to begin with. The reveal prompted an already questioning Khalil to attack Tobias and turn to Jennifer (China Anne McClain) even more.
So what's next for Khalil? He has a lot on his plate to deal with, but according to Calloway that may involve even further questioning his choices.
"The thing about it is that they both fight against their hearts desire for one another," Calloway said in a recent interivew. "And for my character, for Khalil, his grounding, his rock, his North Star... She's mad at him. She's not talking to him. I mean that's the love of his life. He can't keep going on without knowing that they are on good terms at least. He may love her, he may want to be with her, but at the end of the day, he just wants her to be okay. You know?
"And so after the whole fiasco over at the school, he has this sort of weight on him. He has this sort of chip on his shoulder where he's like, "Dang I caused this. What have I done?" He's be doing some self inventory of, "How did I get here?" And I think that's a great question that a lot of kids can ask. A lot of us ask ourselves as well. It's like, "How did I get here? This series of choices that I made." And you're going to see a lot of that in this second season. Where he's realizing that."
Yes, tonight's episode really did reference the fictional nation of Markovia -- specifically the death of King Viktor Markov, father of Brion Markov, better known as the superhero Geo-Force.
Geo-Force is a longtime member of the Outsiders team led by Batman, of which Black Lightning was a key member. He was also briefly a member of the Justice League. Brion's half-sister Tara, better known as Terra, was briefly a member of the Teen Titans.
Recently, a report hit that Black Lightning was looking to cast a "Dr. Jace," likely a version of Dr. Helga Jace. In comics, Jace was the royal scientist in the fictional nation of Markovia who used experiments to give super powers to the king's youngest son, Brion Markov (better known as Geo-Force) and his half-sister Terra Markov. She ultimately ends up as a villain of the Outsiders, killed when she attempted to kill Metamorpho in Outsiders #27 in 1988.
With Dr. Jace having been on Black Lightning already, it's not impossible that this mention could be laying the groundwork for Geo-Force to appear on the series -- especially if Brion Markov ends up being one of the subjects Black Lightning's Jace previously experimented on that landed her in prison.
Tonight we were introduced to Looker (Sofia Vassilieva) and it was revealed -- in addition to her somewhat creepy powers and more than slightly racist tendencies -- that she first arrived in South Freeland 30 years ago. Timeline wise that puts her in the right place to be one of the kids who received the ASA's vaccine like Jefferson did. Is Looker another vaccine-created metahuman?
It's possible, and with Looker appearing to be leaning towards a villain at the moment, it would make for a good balance that Jefferson isn't the only metahuman created by those vaccines and that the others aren't heroes like he is.
Their numbers are significantly lower this week thanks to the machinations of Dr. Jace so what's next for the Pod Kids who have survived? Honestly, this is one of those elements of the show that is always a question mark and we don't have a whole lot of ideas as to how it will resolve. The only thing clear here is that whatever was done to them may have stabilized them so that they will not die. Perhaps now they will move from being kept in pods to other types of testing, though depending on what that is it may or may not go over well -- with Freeland or with Lynn.
Tonight's episode largely centered around the birth of a set of twins -- one white, one black -- who have ties to both the potentially racist Sange and the disenfranchised Perdi in South Freeland.
The babies appeared to be significant, but not simply because they are the children of two very different groups. There seemed to be more to it especially with Looker being so determined to get them away from their mother. Whatever their significance ends up being, they are part of what could be an interesting direction for the hit The CW series, one that might inject some social commentary in the process.
"All representation matters in the spirit of, we need to see everybody." producer Mara Brock Akil told reporters earlier this year. "We need to also see the groups of people, or the types of people, who are often left out of the narrative. I think that's why we say, Black representation matters, or LGBTQ, because these groups have been left out. Or characters who are paralyzed. It starts to grow in the fiction. They constantly get left out of the narrative, and we need to bring everybody in the narrative."5comments
"But also doing it honestly," showrunner Salim Akil stressed. "I'm not trying to be Kumbaya. The shit that I want to say, I want it to be real. I want people to have real representation. It's like me having a conversation with a Native American about slavery, that Native American is gonna look at me like, 'What the f--- are you talkin' about?' Yes, no, that was horrible! But, my people don't even exist hardly anymore. So, it's all in degrees, and I think it's time that we start talking about this."
Black Lightning airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.