07th Mar2018

‘Black Lightning 1×07: Equinox: The Book of Fate’ Review

by Jason Brigger

Stars: Cress Williams, China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Christine Adams | Developed by Salim Akil


All is not well in the Black Lightning universe this week. Lynn and Anissa are fighting over the future of Anissa as a superhero, an argument Anissa thinks she won because her mother does not have super powers and does not know what Anissa is going through. In the tailor shop above Lynn and Anissa, Jefferson and Gambi’s trust with each other is eroding as Jefferson feels Gambi is holding back secrets regarding Whale and Lady Eve, a feeling that is justified.

It was only a matter of time until this happens as Gambi, even with the best of intentions, is not doing Jefferson any favors by keeping the truth from him. The interaction between the actors in this scene was strong and Jefferson got a good line in about how ridiculous it is that they cannot find a “six-foot Albino” in the city. Black Lightning has done a good job adding more depth to Gambi and Jefferson’s relationship and Gambi has surpassed the stereotypical mentor role found in most superhero shows.

In another nice turn of character development, actor Damon Gupton is being given more to work with for his character Detective Henderson. Detective Henderson is piecing together the recent events in the Pierce family and realizing the attempted kidnappings of Anissa and Jennifer from school and the more recent attempt on Lynn may be connected to Jefferson’s work in the community. I have felt Detective Henderson’s character was bland but since he has learned his boss is dirty last episode, Henderson’s character has dramatically improved.

In a plotline that is becoming my favorite of the series, Lady Eve and Gambi have their weekly meeting to discuss the state of Freeland. Gambi tries to warn Lady Eve about Whale’s growing ego and throwing a monkey wrench into their previous agreement but Lady Eve is more interested in Whale’s 300% profit he is providing to her. She does help Gambi though by deciding to send a message to Whale by allowing Gambi to eliminate Toledo, a task Gambi is happy to complete. In a nice ode to the past, Gambi dressed as the noir-superhero The Shadow which was a fun little Easter egg and now I want Gambi to have a costume too. It was also scary to see how easily Gambi can kill another person without remorse. That man has a dark past.

The Pierce family is having even more drama as Anissa is begging to be trained by her father but Jefferson is reluctant to assist. Jefferson is shown as a great father on the series but he is dropping the ball on this topic. Anissa is lost in making sense of her powers and needs a mentor at this point to guide her but Jefferson is more worried about protecting Anissa instead of helping her. Lynn and Jefferson attempt to convince Anissa that being a superhero is a long, lonely road with too much personal sacrifice but Anissa cannot be told otherwise. Thankfully, Lynn realizes at the end of the episode she rather have Jefferson train Anissa before she hurts herself.

The tension between Whale and Lady Eve finally comes to a boiling point in this episode as Whale, after realizing Lady Eve caused Toledo’s death, authorizes the plan to take over Freeland. Between the background song, Black Lightning showing up to stop Whale and his sidekicks at a club and Whale’s henchmen attacking Lady Eve at her funeral parlor, this week’s final ten minutes delivered the most important plot twists of the season!


Here’s the breakdown:

  • Tori, Whale’s sister, is killed in the crossfire when Black Lightning shows up to stop Whale’s plan of taking over the city.
  • Whale is injured, which proves the man is can be hurt.
  • A shootout at the funeral parlor leaves Eve’s personal bodyguards dead and after Lady Eve seems to win the fight, one of Whale’s henchman pops out of a casket, frying Lady Eve with a lightning gun.
  • Black Lightning is being framed for the murders at the funeral parlor. Credit goes to Whale for using guns that shoot lightning/electricity and making the police think Black Lightning is an unhinged vigilante.
  • The episode ends with Jefferson realizing he can do more good than harm by training Anissa and after a heart-to-heart talk, Jefferson agrees to teach Anissa everything he knows. In addition, Gambi is creating a new and proper costume for Anissa!

One Good Thing:

  • Syonide speaks! After complaining last week that Whale’s right-hand woman has not had much to do, outside of looking intimidating, Syonide actually speaks in this episode! It may not be much but at least she is being helpful now.

One Bad Thing:

  • Nothing. Seriously, I had no issue with anything in this week’s episode. I have thoroughly enjoyed this series but this might be the first episode that everything clicked and worked perfectly.

What We Learned:

  • Whale is now in charge of Freeland. No longer was Whale content on being Lady Eve’s number one general in the field as he launches a full on assault on Lady Eve and her empire. Whale, without the guiding hand of his sister, is going to bring pain to the city of Freeland and the city is going to get much worse before it gets better.
  • Someone is tying up loose ends. Anissa stops by the local newspaper to talk to her grandfather’s editor, David Poe, but Anissa is advised he was struck by a car and killed. Someone is tying up loose ends and anyone that comes in contact with Anissa grandfather’s research material is in danger. Is Anissa the next target?

Some Questions:

  • Who is distributing the drug Greenlight? In the beginning of the episode, Whale is training with an unknown thug hopped up on Greenlight. After realizing the beaten man was on Greenlight, Whale and Toledo give awkward expressions towards each other as they know the drug is dangerous and possibly someone new is responsible for Greenlight in Freeland. If Whale and Toledo are not the ones in charge of distributing, who is?
  • What is the true meaning of that creepy thing Lady Eve is doing to lifeless bodies? When Gambi visits with Lady Eve this week at her funeral parlor, we see another lifeless body behind her but instead of poking him with a giant medal rod, an IV is draining blood from the body. The poor soul is most likely still alive and I’m left wondering if Lady Eve is draining blood from the other test subjects Jefferson’s father was researching. I am hoping we get some answers before the end of this season because it creeps me out every time I see it.
  • What the heck is up with that ending? In a surprise twist, LaLa is shown alive in the hotel room he was supposedly murdered at in episode 3. In a bigger twist, Lawanda makes an appearance before becoming dust and her face is tattooed on LaLa’s chest. Seriously, what just happened? Does this mean LaLa is a meta-human and has powers?

This Episode’s Grade: A (Amazing)

Black Lightning delivers a near-perfect episode and allows everyone a chance to shine in their scenes. The training between Anissa and Jefferson may be delayed a week but it’s happening sooner than later and is something I am excited to watch. The characters I was most worried about at the beginning of the series, Detective Henderson and Gambi, have really started to come into their own and Gambi continues to become an integral part of the series. Whale killing Lady Eve and taking over Freeland should make for some interesting storylines for the rest of the season while Anissa and her father teaming up should make for a fun second half of the season.

You can catch Jason Brigger on the geek-centric podcast, The History of Bad Ideas, as new episodes are released every week at www.nerdly.co.uk or subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher and other podcasting apps. You can listen to their latest episode right here

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