China Anne McClain Thinks Jennifer Will Eventually Step Up on 'Black Lightning'

In DC Comics, Jennifer and Anissa Pierce -- the daughters of Black Lightning/Jefferson Pierce -- [...]

In DC Comics, Jennifer and Anissa Pierce -- the daughters of Black Lightning/Jefferson Pierce -- are known as Lightning and Thunder, respectively, and have been players in DC's superhero scene for years.

On Black Lightning, the TV series based on those comics, Thunder is all-in on being a superhero, embracing the whole "with great power comes great responsibility" thing and seeing her powers as a blessing from God. Her sister? Well, not so much. So far, Lightning has only emerged briefly, and out of absolute necessity -- and Jennifer is still having trouble dealing with powers she believes to be a curse.

"Part of her feels like she should step up, but that's also why she's so mad that she has powers," China Anne McClain, who plays Jennifer, said during a recent set visit. "She's like, 'I shouldn't feel like this. I shouldn't feel forced to step up because my sister has fully accepted it and you know, my dad's been demoted so to try and help those he can't given his situation and stuff. I shouldn't feel like this. I'm sixteen.' You know what I'm saying? 'Everybody leave me alone.' But I definitely think that part of her feels that way. She feels the responsibility to step up, put her suit on, and get her butt out there and help. And she will, eventually."

While Jennifer is a natural metahuman, thanks to getting the genetics from Jefferson at birth, her longtime best friend and boyfriend Khalil is Painkiller, a supervillain created by Tobias Whale who feels he owes a debt to the man who gave him the ability to walk again after a debilitating injury.

That is one of the things tearing her apart emotionally this season, as well as a separation from her social life now that she is effectively grounded for the indefinite future. This week, she began seeking therapy for the issues.

The story with Khalil -- and the evolution of their relationship -- will be a story that runs through the season, according to McClain. For his part, it seems like Jordan Calloway would like to see his character redeemed -- but it is a ways off, since he feels stuck with Tobias.

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