Spoilers ahead for tonight's episode of Black Lightning, titled "The Resurrection and the Light: The Book of Pain."
Tonight on Black Lightning, Jennifer (China Anne McClain) used her powers for the first time -- and it came at a key moment for both her family and her character development.
The episode featured the return of Khalil (Jordan Calloway), Jennifer's longtime friend and short-lived boyfriend who at the beginning of the season had suffered a debilitating injury at the hands of Tobias Whale (Krondon) and his soldiers, who shot up a protest rally in which Jennifer and Khalil were taking part.
Not realizing that he was dealing with his own attackers, Khalil allowed himself to be manipulated by Whale, Martin Proctor, and the ASA, who offered to pay for cutting-edge medical treatment for him in exchange for his loyalty. After having been gone for a few weeks, Khalil reappeared this week with an experimental new AI that allowed him to walk again and a battery of specialized weapons.
Meanwhile, Jennifer and Khalil briefly reconnected, but broke up again after she asked him for details about the source of his good fortune. At home, she talked to her mother about how much she wanted to get rid of her powers and be "normal."
During an early interview, Christine Adams -- who plays Jennifer's mother Lynn on the show, told ComicBook.com about this process, although she misspoke and we thus quoted her as talking about Jennifer's sister Anissa (Nafessa Williams).
“It’s going to be an ongoing struggle,” Adams said. “I think what’s interesting about [Lightning] is that she’s reluctant. It’s not something that she necessarily wants to do. She wants to be like a normal teen, like we all did when we were teenagers. You don’t want to stand out. So I think it’s great that we’re coming at it from that angle. I think the assumption is that if you have super-powers, it’s so great and you want that — but what if its not?”
After Whale and Khalil ganged up on Black Lightning and nearly killed him, Jennifer rushed to her father's side and accidentally shocked him back to consciousness while mourning. A second shock, this time delivered on purpose, was not only the first time she intentionally used her powers for good but also fully revitalized Jefferson, so that the family could escape from the school before police arrived.
Black Lightning airs at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, following new episodes of The Flash on Tuesday nights. The season finale will air next week.