A lot has happened since we last checked in with Black Lightning — namely, “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” As this episode begins, Black Lightning is ecstatic over his experience saving the multiverse alongside the other CW heroes. “Superman is real!” He excitedly tells Gambi over their radio when he makes it back to Freeland, but there’s no response.
When Jefferson Pierce was last in Freeland, the sky had turned red and everyone was freaking out — but no one remembers that now. After he reunites with Jennifer, it becomes clear that they are the only two people who even vaguely remember the events of “Crisis.” Gambi doesn’t remember either of them ever leaving. Since Freeland is still beset by a whole host of its own problems, “Crisis” discussion is tabled for now, and it’s back to business as usual.
Lynn’s Green Light addiction has been bubbling in the background of Black Lightning ever since we first learned that Agent Odell had her things spiked with the extremely addictive drug, but now it is an unavoidable problem. When Jennifer walks into her mom’s lab, the slight surprise is enough to get Lynn to drop her last sample of Green Light — which causes her to melt down in absolutely hysterical fashion at Jennifer. If this outburst seems out-of-character to you, well, it does to Jennifer as well. She calls her dad and tells him to talk to her mom, which he does in a pretty intense scene. Having worked with troubled kids, Jefferson Pierce knows addiction when he sees it, and isn’t accepting any of Lynn’s crazed justifications. Her frantic physicality is a little harder to deal with, culminating in her full on slapping him when he tries to stop her from scooping discarded drugs out of the toilet. Unfortunately Jefferson gets a call from Henderson telling him to suit up and help them rescue some kids, which allows Lynn to flee to who-knows-where.
Before that rescue operation commences, we get another testy exchange between Black Lightning and Blackbird. At this point Jefferson/Anissa arguments feel like such a core component of Black Lightning that it’s hard to imagine them ever going away, but at least there’s some progress in this one. Although Jefferson is still an overprotective dad hung up on his daughter’s past mistakes, Anissa convinces him to let her take the lead. She turns out to be right. At one point during the mission Black Lightning wants to take the group right, while Blackbird orders them left; the right direction turns out to be swarming with ASA soldiers, and Anissa skillfully guides Black Lightning in the best use of his powers to stop them. The sight of Henderson’s cops battling and arresting federal troops, rather than just feigning ignorance, is an interesting dynamic too.
Jennifer, meanwhile, spends most of this episode with her friend Brandon, trying to stop his powers from causing earthquakes. But just as she gets him under control, they both get shot with some kind of knock-out syringe. I’m not usually one to get hung up on whether something is “realistic” or not, but from what I understand, the reason bullets can be shot through glass is that they are made of really hard metal. Shooting a syringe through a window, though? It doesn’t feel like an open needle would survive that impact intact enough to pierce skin. But what do I know? In any case, Jennifer and Brandon aren’t down for long. When they wake up in an ASA truck with control collars around their necks, it doesn’t take Jennifer long to blast them out. She comes face-to-face with Odell and definitively tells him she’s done working for him (inspired by seeing the dark timeline version of herself murder her family on his orders), but when she blasts him with energy, it’s only a hologram. Their final reckoning will have to wait.