Black Lightning 4×04 Review: “The Book of Reconstruction: Chapter Four”

Black Lightning: “The Book of Reconstruction: Chapter Four”

Tensions rise and the fate of one character is left literally up in the air in “The Book of Reconstruction: Chapter Four.”

The conflict between Jefferson (Cress Williams) and his family reaches a breaking point in this week’s Black Lightning. Days after seeing Lynn (Christine Adams) and Tobias (Marvin ‘Krondon’ Jones III) dining together in “The Book of Reconstruction: Chapter Three,” Jefferson is furious that Lynn hasn’t told him about the meeting. He takes matters into his own hands and meets with Tobias, warning him to stay away from his family.

Tobias of course has no intention of stopping his plans, repeating his promise that he will take everything from Jefferson. The conflict between the two has elevated to another level this season and the fact that Tobias knows the truth about Jefferson and his family continues to add a new layer to their dynamic. Hearing the two trade barbs at each other provides one of the more humorous moments of the episode.

Meanwhile, Jefferson has continued fighting in Lala’s (William Catlett) underground fighting ring after taking Marcel’s place in a fight last week. Soon, Jennifer (China Anne McClain) finds out about his activities once TC (Christopher Ammanuel) uses his powers to unmask the digital blur over Jefferson’s face. Lynn later confronts Jefferson about his secret, and he calls her out on her hypocrisy.

Jefferson is right about Lynn’s hypocrisy in this situation, while Lynn is right to question what Henderson would think about all that Jefferson has done in the wake of his death. While this argument was necessary for both of them, it feels like the two have been having similar arguments for the entirety of the series. While it’s clear that the two still care about each other, it would be great to see a permanent reconciliation between the two of them to end the series.

After the argument, Jefferson realizes the effect that his actions have been having on his family. He and Lynn end up apologizing to each other and Jefferson promises to Jennifer through her closed door that he will try to become a good man once again. Jefferson’s speech to Jennifer is one of the more poignant moments of the episode and a great progression for his character.

While Jefferson still refuses to return to the Black Lightning suit, he hears Detective Shakur (Wallace Smith) make an impassioned argument that Black Lightning saved Freeland during the ASA and Markovian conflict and deserves respect. While it’s disappointing that Jefferson continues to refuse to be Black Lightning, hopefully he will realize that Freeland needs Black Lightning soon enough.

Elsewhere, Anissa (Nafessa Williams) brings Grace (Chantal Thuy) home from the hospital, but the two quickly have an argument about bringing Grace’s belongings out of storage. The initial conflict is confusing and seems a little contrived. While it makes sense there would be some adjustments for Anissa and Grace to make once Grace moved back in, the two just got married at Anissa’s urging and had been living together last season. It doesn’t make sense why Anissa would insist that they get married and then have an issue with Grace bringing her things back into their home.

Thankfully, the conflict is soon resolved as Anissa apologizes and gives Grace a copy of the comic book Grace had been reading when they first met. It was a nice callback to their first meeting and the two making up and declaring their love to each other once again was cute. In addition, the two of them teaming up again with Jennifer later in the episode and Grace’s invention of her own superhero identity were satisfying moments for Anissa and Grace as a couple as well as for Grace as a character.

With the help of TC, Gambi (James Remar) stalls the launch of the anti-metahuman guns or Direct Energy Guns for a couple of days by implementing a defect into the design. Caruso (Elena Varela) thanks him for his help and shows him an energy project she is working on in secret. It’s not fully clear where this relationship between Gambi and Caruso is headed, but Caruso’s secret project in addition to the guns will likely have a huge impact once they are officially introduced into Freeland.

After encouraging Mayor Black (Reginald C. Hayes) to speak to the homeless people of Freeland, Tobias takes advantage of the situation to stage Mayor Black’s assassination. Thunder, Lightning, and Grace attempt to save him, but are unable to prevent the assassination. Chief Lopez (Melissa De Sousa) blames the three of them for preventing the police from saving Mayor Black and declares that the metahumans must be stopped. Chief Lopez and the Freeland police officers under her command will no doubt remain a thorn in the Pierce family’s side throughout the season and will hopefully be dealt with in a satisfactory manner.

Black Lightning: “The Book of Reconstruction: Chapter Four”

The most shocking development of the episode involves Jennifer. After ignoring TC’s warnings throughout the episode to not fly up to the ionosphere, she once again floats up there. To her and TC’s horror, she finds herself overheating due to the pressure of the atmosphere and ends up seemingly evaporating into thin air. Jennifer and TC’s friendship has been a strong part of these past two episodes and the grief of TC is palpable as he can only watch Jennifer’s potential demise.

This accident appears to have killed Jennifer and transformed her into particles. Jennifer has been a vital part of the show and the Pierce family since the beginning of the series, and the family’s already precarious grief will no doubt worsen with this loss. There is still hope that Jennifer can be recovered from her current predicament, as Black Lightning is notorious for having seemingly dead characters being resurrected.

Despite this, it doesn’t bode well that actress China Anne McClain had already stated that she wouldn’t have returned to Black Lightning past this season if it had been renewed for additional seasons. Regardless of what happens, the potential loss of Jennifer is heartbreaking and will have a huge impact on everyone moving forward.

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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