14th Mar2019

‘Black Lightning 2×15: The Alpha’ 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


Black Lighting is racing towards the season finale next week and after a lackluster episode last week, the series corrected a few missteps this week.

The episode starts with a former soldier attempting to be the new superhero of Freeland the media calls Cape Guy in a standoff with the Freeland Police Department. Unfortunately Cape Guy is high on the drug Greenlight and cannot control his actions, resulting in the police shooting first and asking questions later. The shooting goes viral and the citizens are up in arms again as every time Freeland heals from a prior incident, a new one rips the community apart again. At least the Pierce family is together, enjoying a home cooked meal when Jefferson and Lynn realize they need to give their children some freedom with their powers. Jefferson lays down the rules that Team Lightning must abide by: 1) Always have backup 2) Never tell anyone your secret and 3) No killing for any reason. All pretty solid rules for superheroes to live by so of course it takes 15 minutes till someone to break this rule.

The ASA is testing and training Wendy, the only meta-human they still have in custody, for possible field missions. Since Lynn was advised not to work with Wendy (last week), she secretly meets with Wendy and offers to help her, no matter what. Wendy is thankful for Lynn not abandoning her and the bond between them continues to grow as Lynn decides Jennifer might be the best person to talk to Wendy about learning to live with her powers. Darn it Lynn, Jefferson just told you the rules!

Across town, Whale wakes up the remaining meta-humans he has in his posssession and and introduces himself to several new villains, including Coldsnap, Heatstroke, and New Wave. These are your typical Rogue’s Gallery of generic supervillains that range in power from cold blasts to heat blasts to something with water but at least we have new villains that should future fights with Team Lightning a little more fun. Whale unleashes his new meta-human toys on an already conflicted and angry Freeland community, while also attempting to assasinate Whale’s former city councilman friend from a few episodes ago. Black Lightning arrives to put an end to Heatstroke’s wave of anarchy but after a small fight, Whale calls Heatstroke back to the lair in order to protect his assest.

Cutter decides it’s best to retreat since the undead LaLa arrives to take out his former boss but upon leaving, Jennifer, in her new suit, arrives to stop Whale. Unfortunately Jennifer hasn’t mastered controlling the strenght of her powers yet and collapses to the ground due to using too much of her energy. Silly Jennifer, you just broke another one of Jefferson’s rule by not having backup! The episode ends with Whale and his assests driving off into the night, LaLa looking for revenge and a a weakened Jennifer collapsed on the streets of Freeland.

One Good Thing:

  • Jefferson reflects on his life. While Gambi is making adjustments to Jennifer’s suit to prepare for her superhero debut, Jefferson reminisces about the younger years of his daughter. From moving into their home, to rollerskating with Jennifer to his daughter becoming scared when her father came home bleeding, it was a sweet, emotional moment. The scene hits a cord as well due to the wonderful music selection in the series, which is often overlooked but plays an intricate part in the emotional attachements the audience has with the Pierce family.

One Bad Thing:

  • Anissa is still searching for Grace. Anissa is still conflicted about Grace but continues to search for her. That’s the basic premise of the storyline this week. No changes to the story, no surprises and no movement forward in this once promising storyline.

What We Learned:

  • Lynn is heading to a standoff with Agent Odell. Lynn and Agent Odell have never been friends but they had a mutual interest and working relationship due to Lynn’s ability to communicate with meta-humans. Now that Wendy is the only meta-human the ASA has in their possession and Agent Odell’s and Lynn’s philosophies are differing, it’s apparent this working relationship is doomed. Lynn is fighting for Wendy to live a “real” life while Agent Odell only wants her as a soldier for the government. Agent Odell backed down this week but it’s only a matter of time until Lynn ends up on the wrong end of this argument.
  • What is LaLa’s friend’s plan? Lady Eve’s (remember her?) former scientist is LaLa’s new confidant and since he is the key to finally let LaLa die, something he is begging for, LaLa must complete his mission of killing Whale and avenging Lady Eve’s death, or he won’t be able to rest in piece. There is potential for this character and he gives off a creepy vibe but we still don’t know what his master plan is and what he really wants with LaLa. Is LaLa only a pawn to do his bidding or is there something else in play?
  • Agent Odell knows all of the Pierces’ secrets. Agent Odell is still listening in and bugging the Pierce household and all their little secrets are now known to him. He hints at his knowledge of this to Lynn at the end of the episode but now the question is if Agent Odell will use this information to blackmail Lynn into doing his bidding or give the information to the ASA. Either way, it’s not good for the Pierce family.

This Episode’s Grade: B- (Good)

Last week’s episode was pretty lackluster but Black Lightning regained its form this week and rebounded with a strong episode. Next week is the season finale (fear not, it’s been renewed for a third season), and with a title of The Omega, the episode hopefully brings all the conflict from this past season together. I’m interested to see if Whale finally gets his just due from Team Lightning and a new villain steps up for season three or if Whale escapes again and continues his reign of terror on Freeland.

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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