China Anne McClain, who plays Jennifer Pierce on The CW's Black Lightning, says that the stress of getting unwanted super powers and her questions about how to best use them (or not) will send Jennifer into therapy in the show's second season.
Throughout the series' first season, Jennifer's sister Anissa (Nafessa Williams) embraced her powers, becoming a superhero who operated more publicly and brazenly than their father, Black Lightning (Cress Williams). Jennifer largely tried to suppress her powers and hide from the issue, until a blow-out battle with members of The 100 street gang forced her to use them in the finale. Next up? Trying to get her head on straight and control her powers before somebody innocent gets hurt.
"I love that they're tackling it from that perspective of getting her a therapist because as you can see in Season One, Jennifer had so many psychological issues with getting these powers," McClain said. "She did not want them. She already felt like an outsider being a part of this amazing family, and living on the house on top of the hill, and so adding super powers on top of it just made things worse for her. So bringing the therapist in really is gonna help her control her powers. Because she's so powerful -- her cells create pure energy -- so if she gets really pissed off, that's not gonna be a good situation. I don't want to say too much on this topic because it's something we're filming right now."
The decision to avoid using her powers will also put her at odds with her sister even more this season, as Thunder still believes that the would-be Lightning needs to get in the game and help the community.
"It's gonna bring them together in certain ways and then push them apart in others," McClain admitted. "Anissa has always been like a mentor for Jennifer, so through the powers -- especially since they both have them, thank God -- she's gonna help her out a lot when it comes to that. Also, Anissa is annoyed by Jennifer sometimes because she's like, 'This is a gift. Why are you acting like it's a curse? Just accept it already. Put a suit on.' Jennifer is like, 'I don't want this. No, I'm not gonna be like you.' So, that part drives them apart sometimes. You're gonna see a lot of different ups and downs in their relationship this season."
Black Lightning will be back to airing new episodes on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW this October.