10/23/2018 10:44 pm EDT
Jefferson Pierce's replacement as principal of Garfield High School made his entrance in tonight's Black Lightning, but it wasn't just a new set of challenges that the new principal brought in "Master Lowry". He came with a clever Bad Boys Easter egg as well.
Spoilers for tonight's episode of Black Lightning, "Master Lowry", below.
At the end of last week's episode, Jefferson said goodbye to his students at Garfield High School, letting them know in an assembly that he would stay on as teacher but that his time as their beloved principal was now over. A new principal would be coming in his place and tonight we met him -- Major Lowry, also known as Mike Lowry. Jefferson arrives at the school to find metal detectors -- something Jefferson long resisted -- being installed. He goes to speak with the new principal about it onto to come face to face with an uptight, yes-man, who is borderline rude to Jefferson -- dismissing him and insisting that he be referred to as Principal Lowry. As the new principal is white, it's not hard to guess the possible racial issues that may come into play later this season.
That uncomfortable introduction aside, however, the name "Mike Lowry" might ring a few bells for fans especially those who have seen Bad Boys. In the 1995 action comedy film, Martin Lawrence and Will Smith play two Miami narcotics detectives who witness a murder while investigating stolen heroin from the evidence storage of their police precinct. In the film, Will Smith's character is named Mike Lowrey.
Extremely similar names aside, there's not much else similar between Black Lightning's abrasive new principal and Smith's iconic character. Black Lightning's character will be part of a storyline that is set to tackle the "white savior" complex directly, something very much in keeping with the show's history of taking on complex social issues.
"When we can see each other, then we can see, oh, how much we are the same, and there is that bridge that we can walk over," producer Mara Brock Akil explained during San Diego Comic-Con. "TV chiefs are selecting only one type of person, or two or three types of people. All representation matters in the spirit of, we need to see everybody. 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."
"But also doing it honestly," series creator Salim Akil added. "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."
Did you make the connection between Black Lightning and Bad Boys tonight? Let us know in the comments below.
Black Lightning airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.