07th Feb2019

‘Black Lightning 2×12: Just and Unjust’ Review

by Jason Brigger

Stars: Cress Williams, China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Christine Adams, James Remar, Marvin Jones III, Damon Gupton | Developed by Salim Akil


After last week’s emotional episode, we are left with seeing the aftermath of Khalil’s death. Every member of the Pierce family is handling Khalil’s death differently: Jefferson puts himself into exercise and being Black Lightning, Jennifer grieves with Khalil’s mother, and Anissa and Lynn are still undecided on how to “be there” for Jennifer. Unfortunately a grieving family in a superhero world doesn’t get much reprieve as a new sophisticated villain team arrives and attempt to gun down Anissa and Lynn in the grocery store parking lot. Lynn’s ASA boss, Agent Odell, saves the day as his agents have been secretly watching Lynn and are able to stop the attack by the new group. Luckily Anissa reacted just in time and the bullet that hits her does little damage as a result of Anissa’s superpowers. Gambi is tasked with what he does every week, figure out who attacked the Pierce family by using his fancy tech gadgets and hacking into surveillance cameras. Gambi is able to identify Anissa and Lynn’s attackers as the Markovian but no background information is given on this organization but they obviously have some nefarious intentions as they also try to kidnap, unsuccessfully, Perenna.

Khalil’s mother has a heartbreaking conversation with Jennifer and reveals she doesn’t have the money to bury her son. Not only does this woman have to grieve over the sudden death of her child, she now has to figure out another way to honor her son. It was a quick scene but it delivered an emotional punch I was not expecting. Jefferson and Lynn are struggling in their renewed marriage as Lynn still is not happy with half of her family suiting up (not this storyline again!) but is able to put that issue on the backburner in order to figure out how to help Jennifer and her grief. The answer? No more home schooling! Jennifer enrolls again at her father’s charter school and hopefully this opens up new stories for Jennifer as she was pretty much handcuffed to Khalil and his storyline.

It doesn’t take long for Jennifer to make waves as she takes issue with Principal Lowry removing Khalil’s tribute at school, resulting in a sit-down protest and a moving speech about injustice from Jennifer. This has the beginning of Jefferson’s redemption and return to being principal as Lowry is one dumb move away from being fired. Agent Odell makes a deal with criminal Dr. Jace to return to the lab and assist Lynn in moving the pod people to a more secure location in order to protect them from the Markovian. Lynn doesn’t agree with letting Dr. Jace assist but understands they must work together to save the remaining pod people and keep them safe. Black Lightning is a man possessed as he hunts for the Markovian and with Gambi’s assistance, actually finds their secret location. Lightning takes down the gang but unfortunately it comes with a hiccup…see below.

We end the episode as an emotionally-charged Jennifer watches Khalil’s coffin being lowered into the ground at his funeral. She vows on his grave that Whale will join him soon. Jefferson knows this can only end one way and if he doesn’t step in soon to mentor his daughter, Jennifer is going to be the one joining Khalil in the ground, not Whale.

One Good Thing:

  • Anissa gets revenge. The side story this week revolves around a domestic abuse victim, Monique, and the frequency of her bruises by the hands of her boyfriend. Anissa tries to ask question Monique at the clinic but Anissa is told by the nurse that Monique is not in the system as her boyfriend is connected to the 100 Gang. In order to stay alive, the doctors and the nurses at the clinic treat Monique when she arrives every few months but they don’t ask any questions on how the bruises occurred.
  • Anissa takes this issue personally. Clothed in her hoodie and a mask, pshe ays Monique’s boyfriend and the 100 Gang a visit, resulting in a fight scene in the stairwell of the apartment. The anger Anissa has for Monique’s boyfriend is justified and the resulting fight scene is one of the most realistic and best of the season. Anissa’s actions have a positive effect as she is able to take the gang’s money to pay for Khalil’s funeral and Monique leaves her boyfriend and is in counseling by the end of the episode.

One Bad Thing:

  • Nothing. It was a well-balanced episode.

What We Learned:

  • The Markovian are going to be difficult to take down. Despite Black Lightning and Gambi’s detective work in finding them, neither Black Lightning nor Detective Henderson can do much legally. The Markovian have diplomatic immunity and despite attempted murder, cannot be arrested. In reality one would think this group would be deported due to breaking the law but in this world, they pretty much have free reign.
  • Black Lightning and Thunder are now pop culture in this world. Anissa arrives at her apartment to find Grace’s comic books starring no other than Black Lightning and Thunder. It seems these heroes have now infiltrated the pop culture world and stories are being written about them. I enjoyed this glimpse into the world outside of Freeland and how the good Black Lightning and Thunder do is relating to the world in general.
  • Anissa and Grace are in a relationship. We may not have gotten the happy ending for Jennifer and Khalil but that doesn’t mean we can’t hope for one with Anissa and how on-again/off-again girlfriend Grace. These two are back together again (maybe?) and seem to have moved on from their causal relationship earlier in the series. Unfortunately Grace hasn’t told Anissa about the meta-human powers occurring to her so the chance for a happy ending between these two is less than 50% according to this reviewer’s betting odds.

This Episode’s Grade: B+ (Great)

This week’s episode was more of a restart to the second half of the season as we are introduced to new storylines including Jennifer going back into society, Anissa back with Grace, a new villain team arrives, and everyone is searching for the pod people for their own needs. Black Lightning is finding its flow again and the first half of the season seems like a distant memory.

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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