Black Lightning returned Monday night after a short break, but the story didn't pick up with Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning (Cress Williams) and the sudden change for Jennifer Pierce/Lightning (Laura Kariuki). Instead, the series checks in with Khalil Payne/Painkiller (Jordan Calloway). The episode, appropriately titled "Painkiller", serves as a backdoor pilot for a potential series of the same name. With that in mind, the episode spends its time in Akashic Valley with Grace Choi (Chantal Thuy) and Anissa Pierce/Thunder/Blackbird (Nafessa Williams) who head there on their honeymoon, only to end up on crossing paths with Khalil and uncovering a much deeper mystery.
Need to get caught up on all the major details and stories from this week's episode of Black Lightning? We're here to help. Here are the major plot points for "Painkiller". Warning: Full spoilers ahead for the episode beyond this point. Read on only if you really want to know.
Welcome to Akashic Valley?
Grace and Anissa travel in a high tech driverless car into Akashic Valley, which appears to be an extremely high-tech city, for their honeymoon. They go to a club but a man comes to take their photos, blinding them with flash. Annoyed, Grace gets up to use the restroom, but is subdued and kidnapped on her way to the bathroom. Anissa, who had gone to get the check, sees Grace being dragged away and pursues but Painkiller also shows up and attacks Anissa.prevnext
All in your head
Inside his head, Khalil and Painkiller literally contront one another about killing Anissa. Even though Painkiller knows it's programming from the ASA, he is in pain until he kills all the Pierces. Khalil and Painkiller literally fight each other inside the mind, but Khalil is ultimatey victorious and spares Anissa, bringing her back to his secred lair beneath the bar. Khalil watches footage from what happened and asks his friend, Philky, what happened. Philky put a "logic bomb" inside of his head to help give Khalil better control, but he can "sense" the Pierces which let Painkiller override it. Khalil thinks Painkiller brought Anissa to Akashic City. Apparently Painkiller has been silent for a year and this whole set up was paid for by some secret A.S.A. fortunte that Philky and Khalil found and took.prevnext
Another of Khalil's associates, Donald, takes care of Anissa and tells her she will be okay but Anissa is still weak. After some guilting, Khalil decides to go find Grace. Elsewhere, Grace's kidnapper -- the photographer from the bar -- reports back to his boss Maya, reporting that his accomplice was killed in the escape. Maya is surprised they captured a metahuman. Khalil tracks him the photographer down soon after. He claims the people he works for are just interested in minds. Khalil puts a tracker on the man and the car, Philky gets a location and sends Khalil there.prevnext
A literal thinktank
Maya observes Grace and orders that they keep her sedated. She says she has "special plans" for her. Meanwhile, Khalil infiltrates the building he was sent to. He takes out the guards one by one and finds a weird room where people are in pods, their minds hooked up to computers. Khalil takes the laptops for evidence.
Turns out the victim's brains have been "cryptojacked" (think to farm bitcoin) and have been partitioned to power some sort of computer operation while the rest of the brain has been put in a non-functioning sort of state. Khalil thinks they might be able to use it to get rid of Painkiller.prevnext
Philky and Khalil pay a visit to a woman named Wo to ask her if she knows about Maya and it turns out she does, giving them information and guns but warning that Maya is bad news.
Khalil shows up at Maya's. Inside his mind, Painkiller asks to be let out. They decide to work together to save Grace and get the technology and get out. Painkiller comes out and deals with the guards. Maya watches from her office, intrigued. She activates a self destruct to destroy her safehouse then leaves. Grace, who wakes up and becomes Wylde, fights her way out, but the building is gonna blow. Painkiller wants to end it all, but Khalil talks him out of it. They escape.prevnext
Later, Anissa chats with Khalil and he asks her to not tell Jen where he is to protect her from Painkiller's kill order. She tells him to keep doing good.
The computers reveal that Maya really is cryptojacking minds, but Philky thinks it is for something bigger than bitcoin.0comments
It turns out that Maya is Odell's daughter and she tells him Painkiller is there. She says it isn't coincidence.
Khalil tracked down the ASA's secret millions to fund his lab/lair/bar. He also loves the Pierces, though he struggles with Painkiller who wants them dead.prev