Black Lightning 4×02 Review: The Book of Reconstruction: Chapter Two
The Pierce family continues to struggle with their grief in ‘The Book of Reconstruction: Chapter Two’, the second episode of the final season of Black Lightning.
While light on action, ‘The Book of Reconstruction: Chapter Two’ continued to explore the growing tensions between the Pierce family while delving into the aftermath of the Markovian war on the rest of Freeland. The war for the streets of Freeland between the 100 gang, led by Lala (William Catlett), and the Cobra Cartel, led by Destiny (Teesha Renee), heats up and results in a shootout. New police chief Lopez (Melissa De Souza) announces the acquisition of advanced anti-metahuman guns and a mission to stop metahumans and the two gangs from taking over the streets.
Meanwhile, Tobias (Marvin ‘Krondon’ Jones III) continues to put his own plans in motion by buying up land in Freeland with no plans to develop it and accessing Lynn’s (Christine Adams) research. He injects himself with a serum that resists Black Lightning’s lightning and tests it out by taunting Jefferson (Cress Williams) outside of his high school. After absorbing Jefferson’s blast, Tobias threatens to take everything from him.
Gambi (James Remar) immediately works on countering the anti-metahuman guns while continuing to turn down an old friend’s job offer. After breaking into her company’s system, he agrees to work for her presumably for continued access to the server as he continues his research into the new anti-metahuman guns. Anissa (Nafessa Williams) rejects her coworker Darius (Todd Anthony), telling him that she’s gay but is still amused by his advances. She then rejects his offer for platonic drinks but changes her mind upon seeing that Grace (Chantal Thuy) has shifted into her leopard phase while still in her coma.
While having drinks, Anissa expresses her frustration with her current responsibilities and admits that she misses going out and having fun. Their evening is interrupted by a nearby shooting and Darius insists on going with her to provide medical attention to potential victims. They rush to the scene but find that they are unable to save the life of a teenager, the son of Marcel (Kedrick Brown), a teacher at Jefferson’s school. Darius later laments his inability to save the boy, but Anissa assures him that their work is necessary.
Jennifer (China Anne McClain) has recovered from her freefall in ‘The Book of Reconstruction: Chapter One’. She arrives at the shooting before Anissa and runs into Lynn, who has given herself wind powers with a serum. Neither of them is able to reach Gambi as they stop the shooting. Both of them are hurt during the fight but Jennifer flies up into the sky and heals herself before Lynn can talk to her.
Jefferson continues to refuse to wear the Black Lightning suit despite using his powers outside of it. Still haunted by Henderson’s death, he collapses on the porch as he steps outside to use his powers in the middle of the night. After consoling Marcel on the loss of his son, Marcel tells him he has become homeless as a result of the war and that his children have been taken by Child Protective Services.
When Jefferson asks Gambi to find the shooter, Gambi refuses and confronts him. He pleads that Freeland still needs Black Lightning and points out Jefferson’s hypocrisy and the danger of using his powers without the suit. Despite Gambi’s arguments, Jefferson refuses to budge on his outlook. He argues that Freeland is a lost cause, and that Black Lightning was unable to do anything to save Henderson.
Jefferson and Lynn begin individual therapy sessions outside of their couple sessions. However, tensions grow between him and Lynn as Lynn confesses that she’s been using the metahuman serums to give her powers and experiment with vigilantism. Lynn justifies this by pointing out that he hasn’t been suiting up to help their daughters. Jefferson insinuates that she’s replaced her addiction to Greenlight with her addiction to the serums. Lynn denies this, and Jefferson points out that she’s accused him of using his superpowers as a drug over the years.
Jennifer refuses Lynn’s urging to sign up for SAT and ACT testing. She insists that she no longer has any life other than being Lightning. Upon learning that Lynn has been taking up vigilantism, Jennifer and Anissa confront Lynn and urge her to ‘stay in her own lane.’ Jennifer and Anissa argue that she’s a liability, as she’s not a metahuman and that she doesn’t have the training that they do. Lynn becomes offended and argues that she helped Jennifer stop the shooting.
The end of the ‘The Book of Recontruction: Chapter Two’ ends with Anissa, dressed as Blackbird, bringing together Lala and Destiny. She forces them to agree to a safe zone in Freeland where the homeless would not be affected by their gang activities. The two reluctantly agree, but it’s clear that the battle for Freeland is far from over.
Despite her family’s concerns, Lynn injects herself with another serum to respond to another shooting. After Gambi refuses to help Jefferson identify the shooter that killed Marcel’s son, Jefferson gets help elsewhere and attacks the man in his apartment without his suit, ordering him to turn himself in.
While there wasn’t much action in ‘The Book of Reconstruction: Chapter Two’, the conflicts between the Pierce family were the main focus. The conflict between Jefferson and Lynn over Jefferson’s use of his powers has been ongoing since before the events of the show’s pilot and Jefferson is right to point out Lynn’s current hypocrisy on the matter.
On the other hand, Jefferson’s decision to not be Black Lightning while still using his powers is somewhat understandable, but still frustrating to see. It was good to see Gambi once again attempt to get through to him. Tobias’ confrontation with Jefferson was exciting, and Tobias is once again an exciting threat to the Pierce family after spending most of last season as an ASA test subject. With only a few episodes of Black Lightning left, hopefully, Jefferson will return to the Black Lightning suit sooner rather than later.
Lynn’s addiction transferring over from Greenlight to the metahuman serums is such an unfortunate turn. There is no doubt that her addiction and her vigilantism will catch up to her at some point. However, it’s great to see both Jefferson and Lynn attempting to work out their issues in individual and joint therapy and hopefully they will succeed in dealing with their problems.
Elsewhere, watching Anissa and Jennifer struggle in the aftermath of the Markovian war is hard. While it’s exciting that Jennifer has finally embraced her powers and her role as Lightning, her life as a teenage girl has been lost in the process. Anissa’s struggle with Grace still being in a coma and missing her former life is disheartening, but in character for her. It’s not clear what significance her new friend Darius will play going forward, but it’s nice to see Anissa make a new platonic friend.
In terms of Grace, knowing she’s making progress and able to shift in her coma comes as a relief. However, it’s still infuriating that Grace still hasn’t been able to wake up and that newly minted series regular Chantal Thuy hasn’t been able to do anything in her first two episodes (‘The Book of Reconstruction: Chapter One’ and ‘Chapter Two’). Despite Anissa’s clear struggles, surely Grace will wake up soon and her relationship with Anissa can finally progress.
Seeing how the Markovian war has affected the rest of Freeland drives home that the conflict has affected everyone, particularly the amount of people who have lost homes and family as a result. It will be interesting to see how Tobias’ plans and the war between Lala and Destiny continue to affect the citizens of Freeland. Despite the Pierce family’s struggles and tensions, it will be great to see them work out their differences and finally work together as a family once again.
With the threats looming in Freeland, hopefully it happens sooner rather than later.
How do you think this will play out? Get in the comment and share your thoughts about ‘The Book of Reconstruction: Chapter Two’ and Black Lightning in general!
Author: Jessica Wolff
Jessica Wolff is a graduate of Drexel University with a BS in Film/Video. She has a passion for entertainment and representation in entertainment. She currently resides outside of Washington, DC.
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2 thoughts on “Black Lightning 4×02 Review: The Book of Reconstruction: Chapter Two”
Here’s hoping for a HEA but before we get there it’s going to be pretty dark first.
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