Over the course of the season thus far on Black Lightning, Peter Gambi's character has begun to morph from trusted friend to a man with a mysterious secret. Tonight, that secret was finally fully revealed, and it will change the tailor's relationship with Freeland's superhero forever.
Spoilers for tonight's episode of Black Lightning, "Revelations", below.
In tonight's episode audiences find Gambi (James Remar) in a difficult place. Even as he's trying to help Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning (Cress Williams) and his family, he's been engaging with the enemy. In previous episodes we've seen him talking with Lady Eve (Jill Scott) as well as Tobias Whale (Marvin "Krondon" Jones III), revealing in those conversations that not only does he have some sort of alliance with a secretive government organization but that he knows far more than he's let Jefferson know. "Revelations" is no different. Early on, we see Gambi speaking with a man who appears to be with the ASA and, more than that, wants Black Lightning dead.
As the episode continues, Gambi continues to struggle with the situation he is in and finally after Lynn (Christine Adams) asks him about the scientific findings of a vaccine the late Alvin Pierce had been investigating, the truth comes out. We've previously speculated that part of why Gambi has been lying and keeping secrets from Jefferson is because he has some involvement in his father's death and that, to an extent, turns out to be the truth. Gambi reveals to Jefferson that his real name is Peter Esposito and that he came to Freeland 30 years ago as an agent for ASA. The secret government organization, it turns out, was conducting an experiment on the people of Freeland to make them passive and docile during a time Gambi describes as a "politically explosive environment". However, the vaccine the agency was using to create that passiveness was creating metahumans instead. Gambi's job? To find those metahumans, but when he realized that children were dying because of this he leaked the information to Alvin who was in turn murdered because of his investigation.
It's a huge reveal and it's devastating for Jefferson who immediately assumes that Gambi created him, but Gambi insists that that is not the case. He had no hand in the actual vaccinations, but when he realized that Jefferson had powers he made it his job to protect him. However, he can no longer do that. The man Gambi was speaking to earlier in the episode? He's Martin Proctor, head of the ASA for their area and now Proctor is hunting Black Lightning in order to kill him.
The reveal of what Gambi has really been up to clearly turns Jefferson's world upside down for personal reasons, but it also blows things open on a much larger level. Whatever is going on in Freeland clearly didn't end thirty years ago. While the ASA may not be trying to control the city with a vaccine these days, elements of that still remain in the form of the drug Green Light -- which just so happens to match elements of the vaccine. With Lady Eve as well as Tobias Whale both being involved with Green Light one can't help but wonder who the real villains are and what Black Lightning is truly up against.
Black Lightning airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW.
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