Black Lightning might be in the middle of airing its final season, but the world of the series' could potentially live on, with a Painkiller spinoff series being developed by The CW. News of the potential series was first announced last year, with plans to air a backdoor pilot during Black Lightning's final season. Now, we have our best indication yet of what to expect from the backdoor pilot, as The CW has revealed the synopsis for the episode, appropriately titled "Painkiller." The synopsis, which you can check out below, hints at what the future will hold for Khalil Payne (Jordan Calloway).
"PAINKILLER – Khalil Payne (Jordan Calloway) is a young man ridden with the guilt of his troubled past from his former life in Freeland City, where, as a super-enhanced killing machine known as Painkiller, he was both a member of Tobias Whale's gang and a weapon of Agent Odell and the shadowy ASA. After attempting to bury the darker, devastatingly lethal Painkiller part of his persona, Khalil has distanced himself away from everyone he knows and loves in a new city, Akashic Valley, in order to find peace…but peace never comes easy for men with pasts like Khalil Payne and Painkiller. As his violent, destructive history crashes his idyllic new beginning, Khalil is thrusted back into action with a new mission - bring justice where he once gave out punishment – but to do that, he will first have to deal with and harness his darker side, Painkiller. The episode was written and directed by Salim Akil."
"With Khalil, I wanted to get into the idea of the duality of Black men," Akil explained in an interview earlier this month. "How, in some cases, you're one person in one area of your life and you have to be another person. I'm trying to figure that out with this character: how do you bring those two parts of you together without sacrificing who you truly are?"
Akil also teased that the series would be a true spinoff if it got picked up by The CW, featuring cameo appearances from Black Lightning's Anissa Pierce/Thunder (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer Pierce/Lightning (Laura Kariuki).
"We're shooting the Painkiller pilot now," Akil said. "We fully intend for it to be a spinoff. I know that if Painkiller gets picked up, you'll probably see [the Pierce sisters] in there."
Black Lightning airs Mondays at 9/8c on The CW. "Painkiller" will air on April 12th.