'Black Lightning' Producers Talk How The Community Perceives Jefferson's "White Picket Fence"

Spoilers ahead for "LaWanda: The Book of Hope," tonight's episode of Black Lightning.

On tonight's episode of The CW's Black Lightning, a school assembly spun quickly out of hand when principal Jefferson Pierce, Black Lightning's civilian identity, seemed to have no clue about some of the darkness encroaching on his community.

Confronted with some uncomfortable truths, Jefferson was visibly frustrated -- and later, when he decided that Black Lightning needed to come out retirement officially, he told his ex-wife that he was hiding behind his fantasies of a "white picket fence" and the illusion that he could keep his family safe even as the community is something of a war zone around him.

"I've heard this phrase, 'no good deed goes unpunished,'" executive producer Mara Brock Akil told ComicBook.com. "Jefferson is going to have a little of that, of course, becuase you can't save them all. Even just some kind is not going to be able to get into that school. But there are a lot of schools, that's how a lot of people are approaching the hope, is through these schools that are oasises so that the kids have an opportunity to better their lives."

While Jefferson is "Black Jesus," a savior to some in the community, that same nickname can be turned to acid quickly as people like Lawanda White, whose daughter was kidnapped in tonight's episode, believe that he can do anything, and that when he does not it is a lack of will.

There is, of course, a third class of people: those who don't like what Pierce is doing because he is interfering with their own agendas.

"I think it's both: I think some people look up to him. If you're inside the bubble then you love it, then you really dig him. And some people outside the bubble respect him and appreciate that he's doing it within the chaos," said showrunner Salim Akil. "Because not everybody can do that. I think those who don't appreciate him see him as shining a light on things that they don't want a light shined on."

Black Lightning airs on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT, following new episodes of The Flash on The CW.

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