The CW is having a pretty big week, as the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover makes its way across its tapestry of DC TV shows. The world of Black Lightning is set to play an interesting part in that multiverse-destroying battle, as Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning (Cress Williams) is set to make an appearance in the event. As a show, Black Lightning is not officially playing a role in the five-episode event, but it looks like "Crisis" just came for the world of the show in a pretty major way. Spoilers for this week's episode of Black Lightning, "The Book of Rebellion: Chapter Four: Earth Crisis" below! Only look if you want to know!
The episode followed an unintentional meeting between three different versions of Jennifer Pierce/Lightning (China Anne McClain), who were being drawn together just as the skies on their Earths began to turn red. Through three vignettes of sorts, we saw the various ways that Jennifer's life (and spelling of her name) were different across the parallel Earths. Towards the episode's end, Jennifer's family on the main Black Lightning Earth watched over her body, as her powers appeared to fluctuate with every wave of anti-matter. Jen's body then essentially turned into floating particles, as her family watched in horror and confusion. Jefferson was then teleported - seemingly to join the fight in the coming "Crisis" - as the rest of the characters were destroyed in an anti-matter wave.
While there's no telling exactly how things will shake out, it certainly seems like things are dire for the Black Lightning universe going forward. It will be interesting to see how that influences Jefferson's arc in the coming "Crisis" episodes, which evolved in interesting ways as the crossover came together.
“The crossover was not originally designed around him,” executive producer Marc Guggenheim recently revealed, citing the fact that Black Lightning films in Atlanta, while the Arrowverse shows primarily film in Vancouver. “Once we did that, it felt like we had elevated the crossover to another level. Black Lightning’s in it much more than we ever anticipated, and he’s in it in a very significant way. That’s something we worked very closely with the team at Black Lightning because the attitude among all of us, but I don’t want to speak for Black Lightning folks, was if we’re going to bring Black Lightning into the crossover, it can’t just be for a cameo. It has to be in a way that feels significant while still, of course, dealing with our time and space limitations.”
According to Williams, that significant role brought about some fun challenges, especially when playing off of the event's menagerie of costumed heroes.
“Black Lightning gets pulled into the conflict in a very surprising way,” Williams explained. “He’s not prepared for it. So, he doesn’t know these people. He’s getting introduced into the world for the very first time, and so there’s some conflict early on when he’s trying to figure out, 'Who are you people and why am I here?' He’s kind of left off-center, which was really fun to play.”
"Crisis on Infinite Earths" will continue across The Flash on December 10th at 8/7c. Following a midseason break, the event will conclude on Tuesday, January 14th, with new episodes of Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow.