Black Lightning: Agent Odell's Plans Revealed in "Birth of Blackbird"

Last season on Black Lightning, much was made of the looming Markovian threat. The sadistic Dr. Jace was revealed as having worked for the Markovians having been sent there by the ASA after her work on the original vaccine program in Freeland, but beyond that in the Season 2 finale, Agent Odell indicates that Markovia is coming for Freeland as the metahumans there make the city a threat. In tonight's Season 3 premiere of Black Lightning, however, we learn a bit more about that Markovian threat and Agent Odell's real motivations for his work in Freeland.

Spoilers for tonight's episode of Black Lightning, "The Book of Occupation: Chapter One: The Birth of Blackbird", below.

All episode it's evident that the Freeland we drop back into is not the one we've left. The city is quarantined after the pod kids escaped last season and with the Markovian threat looming, the city is also being held on lockdown by the ASA's forces. Even Jefferson Pierce and Lynn are being held in an ASA facility under the guise of protecting them from the Markovians who would love to get their hands on the both of them for nefarious purposes. The lockup, it would seem, is for their own safety.

Unfortunately, that may not actually be the case. Jefferson, after having been through various procedures and tests while detained, has developed some control of his powers without his Black Lightning suit. This lets him see deep into the lower levels of the facility and he spots both the young metahuman Issa as well as Tobias Whale. Why they are both being held there soon becomes clear.

As fans may recall from Season 2, Issa's metahuman power is that he can force people to tell the truth. Agent Odell is using that power to have Issa interrogate a rapidly aging and sick Tobias about the mysterious briefcase. When having Tobias reveal where the briefcase is fails, Agent Odell has Issa ask what is in it and that's when the other shoe drops. Tobias reveals that Agent Proctor from Season 1 wasn't a rogue agent. He was working for and taking orders from Agent Odell, who himself takes orders from the president. As for what those orders are, they're pretty sinister. Agent Odell's orders are to obtain all metas in Freeland, turn them into weapons, and then cover their tracks so that the whole operation can never be traced back to the president. This truth is dangerous, too. Agent Odell murders Issa because now he knows.

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With this being the ASA's real endgame, it appears that the Markovian story is just a ruse, an elaborate cover that keeps Black Lightning off the street and makes it that much easier for the city of Freeland to be further victimized by the government. It also makes Agent Odell the big villain, in a sense, which should make things very interesting as the season progresses.

Black Lightning airs Mondays at 9/8c on The CW.