Black Lightning (finally!) ups Chantal Thuy to series regular for season 4

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Mark Hill/The CW

A day after announcing a potential Painkiller spin-off starring Jordan Calloway, Black Lightning has made another cast change — and this one has been a long time coming.

EW has learned that Chantal Thuy, who plays Anissa Pierce/Thunder's (Nafessa Williams) girlfriend Grace Choi, has been promoted to series regular for season 4. In other words, this fan-favorite couple — both on the show and in the pages of DC Comics — isn't going anywhere (or so we hope).

Thuy has recurred on the CW superhero drama since the early days of season 1. Although she was initially introduced as a normal bartender, we (and Anissa) eventually learned she was a metahuman with shape-shifting abilities. At first, Grace tried running away from both her powers and Anissa, but the couple eventually reunited and moved in together in season 3. Now, she not only knows that Anissa's father Jefferson (Cress Williams) is Freeland's hero Black Lightning, but she also fought alongside them during the Markovian invasion in the season 3 finale (Although, Thunder had to knock her out when Wayne Brady's Gravedigger briefly brainwashed her — you know, typical superhero relationship problems).

"Chantal Thuy embodies the character of Grace Choi,” said Black Lightning executive producer and showrunner Salim Akil in a statement. “I am sure our Black Lightning fans knew, especially those who follow the Grace and Anissa relationship storyline, that having Chantal join as a series regular was only a matter of time. I am elated to finally welcome her officially to the team."

In addition to Black Lightning, Thuy's credits include guest-starring parts on Madam Secretary, Pretty Little Liars, and Matador.

Annette Brown/The CW

Yesterday, news broke that the seventh episode of Black Lightning's fourth season would be a backdoor pilot for a spin-off that follows Calloway's Khalil Payne after he leaves Freeland. Here's the official logline for the potential show:

"Khalil Payne (Jordan Calloway) is a young man ridden with the guilt of his troubled past from his former life in Freeland City, where, as a super-enhanced killing machine known as Painkiller, he was both a member of Tobias Whale’s gang and a weapon of Agent Odell and the shadowy ASA. After attempting to bury the darker, devastatingly lethal Painkiller part of his persona, Khalil has distanced himself away from everyone he knows and loves in a new city, Akashic Valley, in order to find peace…but peace never comes easy for men with pasts like Khalil Payne and Painkiller. As his violent, destructive history crashes his idyllic new beginning, Khalil is thrusted back into action with a new mission - bring justice where he once gave out punishment – but to do that, he will first have to deal with and harness his darker side, Painkiller."

Black Lightning returns Monday, Feb. 8 at 9 p.m. on The CW.

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