Tonight on Black Lightning, audiences will get to meet Lynn Pierce, the ex-wife of Jefferson "Black Lightning" Pierce and the mother to his two children. The circumstances of their estrangement and what brings them back into one another's orbits will be dealt with in the pilot -- and before filming, Adams made sure to look for the depth and the long-term storytelling potential.
Lynn does not approve of Jefferson's superheroics, and lets him know it -- which she knows can paint a female character into an unwanted corner if the writers are not careful.
"You know how TV can be. Certainly if you're the mother of the wife it can be two-dimensional," Adams admitted. "That can be the nature, but I think the thing about Mara [Brock-Akil] and Salim [Akil] is that they've always written very fleshed-out women. That's really their background. They're coming out of drama. I think it was very important for them to have a woman that felt real, and I think because in some ways she's the glue that holds the family together. I think it was really important that she felt fleshed out and felt that she had some real substance so that she had this other life, or an internal life, and I just don't think it would be compelling, you know. I think that you got that though from the first two episodes."
You will note, though, that Lynn starts the series as Jefferon's ex-wife. How does someone who left her husband and kids lay claim to being the glue that holds the family together? Adams said she spoke with producers about exactly that, and that she thinks the audience will understand more as the season progresses.
"It's sort of ironic isn't it?" she laughed. "I think they need a sort of grounding element, and I think that's what Lynn is. You know, as all this stuff happens and as you get more and more into the story lines, and as you start to see Jefferson and Anissa really take on their alter egos, it's interesting that ultimately as the one that left, she is the one that kind of comes and keeps them all centered, and is the constant reminder of, 'you know, this is dangerous. You are putting your life in danger. Remember that. Is this what you want to do?' She has to be that moral compass, I think, or it's gonna be over before it's even begun. She has to be this voice of reason."
Black Lightning premieres tonight and airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.