This season, Black Lightning has been a much different show than it was in the first two years it was on the air. With the world at large aware of metahumans -- and not especially happy about it -- there is a threat of a metahuman war with a foreign nation as well as what is basically martial law in Freeland, where the ASA has had the city locked down. To nobody's surprise, Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is not especially happy with this -- but at this point, he has been unable to really change very much. As the series rolls on through the "Book of Resistance" and into "Crisis on Infinite Earths," things are going to shift a bit, we're sure, but in the meantime, Williams says Black Lightning is angry.
The city he has worked tirelessly to protect for decades is in the worst state it has ever been in, and that doesn't make Jefferson happy -- and it's hard to blame him. As Williams noted, the series started when he was "Black Jesus," with both his public and secret identities almost universally beloved. And now, everything is awful.
"I think he's angrier, and, I think he has the right to be," Williams told reporters on the set of Black Lightning. "Going from season one, his school was successful, his daughters were safe, and then, you progress to being locked up, over a month, and then coming out to an occupation. And nobody is safe. So, he's tried to do things the right way, and play by the rules and then, sees the repercussions of that. So he's angry."
That said, both Jefferson and Williams have hope for tomorrow -- something that is in short supply in the locked-down Freeland as well as among members of the cast. During that set visit, Williams's onscreen wife, Christine Adams, said that she was not sure there was a way back to "normal" for Freeland and that after the occupation, things may never be safe again.
Asked whether Jefferson would agree, Williams said that not only would Jefferson disagree, but "Cress disagrees."
"Freeland was never this idealistic place. It was always flawed," Williams said. "There was crime. It's why I had to, originally, put the suit back on in the first place. So, if we get back to just that, that's still normal. And, I'd say we, definitely will, eventually, get back to that. It's the United States, who can't be, occupied forever. Or, it's just...Red Dawn, 24/7."
Black Lightning airs at 9 p.m. ET/PT, Monday nights on The CW.