Rooting itself as a family drama with superpowers and real-world issues mixed in, Black Lightning not only made a successful argument for being the best of The CW superhero-related shows last season but overall just potentially one of the best superhero shows on TV. Season one’s satisfying conclusion wrapped up a lot of things such as the government agency that was gathering powered youths and brought the Pierce family fully together, but it left a lot on the table to explore and season two gets right into it all from the start. The title “Book of Consequences: Chapter One: Rise of the Green Light Babies” tells you what you need to know about what is in store for the characters.
Season two of the series loses nothing as right away it dives into the police killing a young black man that has his power pulled out by the Green Light. From there it’s a race towards the opening credits with there being numerous consequences for things including Jefferson’s job in danger because of the attacks on the school last season and him being MIA as Principal Jefferson Pierce at the time, because of Black Lightning related issues (including saving the school). Most shocking was the moment where Tobias Whale’s right-hand person Syonide ends up dead at the hands of Vice Principal and secret ASA agent Ms. Fowdy, within just the first twelve minutes of the episode.
As with season one, the superheroics are not the main focus of this show and don’t take up most of the runtime as they tend to do with some of the other shows at times. Still at its core the show is about family and people, allowing viewers a look into the pain that Jennifer and her family are going through as the youngest Pierce member deals with her destructive powers, Anissa feels powerless despite her great power leading to her crossing some lines to steal to help the government-owned green light pod children, Inspector Henderson finds out that the vigilante Black Lightning he’s barely dealt with has always secretly been his friend Jefferson, Tobias Whale is in full revenge mode after losing Syonide who he claims was “the only thing left in this world I cared about” after he lost his sister last season, and now Jefferson has sacrificed his position as Principal at Garfield High School in order to save the school.
Anissa going incognito in order to steal money from drug dealers so that she can help people buy back their loved ones in the pods is a storyline that might not work or be cheesy for any other superhero show. Because not only is she relatively new to the whole superhero thing but because of the world that she inhabits, it’s a plotline that works. It’ll come with a ton of consequences down the line, that is for certain, but that fits with the theme of the episode and the title. Inspector Henderson putting all the pieces together to figure out that Pierce is Black Lightning was one of those things that took probably longer than it should have, but instantly turns their relationship on its head. As the title states and as Lynn told Jefferson earlier in the episode, he was warned that there would be consequences coming for all the choices made in the past. They are coming in spades so far.
It really says something about a comic book/superhero show where the usual villains of the piece barely make an appearance yet the show is still compelling and moves forward. While they are great in their own ways, the other shows in many ways need to feature action and fights at times to keep the show moving forward (or at least believe they do) but not this one. The real world hatred and fear and racism and other issues are far more interesting than anything to do with super powered villains. Another plus is this show has just as much of a cast as some of the others, but seemingly every episode they are able to easily juggle that cast to give everyone a compelling storyline. Even if that storyline is only briefly touched in an episode, it still moves forward. As I stated in the finale review, not a single character is anywhere near where they were at the start of the show and they just keep moving forward.
Everything about this episode was gripping, the series didn’t lose one step during it’s slightly longer than the other shows break. Most of these shows tend to sort of reset the status quo each new season with some fallout from the season before, but very few tend to turn most things on their head. Black Lightning sticks to being the show that stands apart from the others by just destroying and rebuilding so much of what we knew about the characters and world from season one, leaving the road ahead very intriguing and exciting to explore.
Score: 10 out of 10