“The Book of Reunification: Chapter One” shows the Pierce family grappling with the fallout of Lynn’s arrest and the loss of their powers.
Black Lightning closed on a cliffhanger in “The Book of Ruin: Chapter Four” and picked up right where they left off in “The Book of Reunification: Chapter One.” After putting Jefferson (Cress Williams), Anissa (Nafessa Williams), and Jennifer (Laura Kariuki) in peril, the three are thankfully able to escape serious injury thanks to help from Gambi’s (James Remar) suit upgrades and Grace’s (Chantal Thuy) incredible timing.
As they try to figure out what happened, Detective Shakur (Wallace Smith) calls Jefferson regarding Lynn’s (Christine Adams) arrest on civil rights violation charges and sneaks Jefferson into the police station, allowing him to have a brief conversation with Lynn. Detective Shakur’s support of both Jefferson and Black Lightning has been a bright spot in this series and a good way of carrying on Detective Henderson’s legacy in the show.
While the conversation between Jefferson and Lynn starts out great, with Jefferson promising to do what he can to get her out, it quickly takes a turn as Jefferson becomes jealous of Lynn’s lawyer and ex-boyfriend, Keith (Will Blagrove). While Lynn does share a moment with Keith in the parking lot after Keith gets her out of jail on house arrest, Jefferson’s jealousy seems a little over-the-top, and Lynn calls him out for being ungrateful. Jefferson’s prioritization of his jealousy of Keith over the fact he is able to get Lynn out of jail is frustrating.
While conflict is good in a drama series, it feels like the writers are generating unnecessary conflicts for drama’s sake and having an argument every episode between them is tiring. The Pierce family knows how much of a threat Tobias (Marvin “Krondon” Jones III) poses, and hopefully, they will realize soon that it will be easier to succeed if they work together rather than fight amongst themselves.
Jennifer, struggling the most with the loss of her powers, is desperate to regain the one piece of her original identity she still has left and decides to shock herself despite Anissa’s protests. Jennifer’s struggle with losing her powers shows how much she’s grown since first learning of them and tying it to her identity is an interesting way of continuing to address her change in appearance spurred on by the recast.
The shock attempt works, and Jennifer decides to regain her full power by flying up to the ionosphere despite an argument with Anissa. Though Jennifer succeeds in regaining her powers despite overheating again, a few of her particles remain in the ionosphere when she returns to Earth. The loose particles are concerning, and it remains to be seen if the regaining of her powers will last or if it will have any negative effects on her.
Anissa’s concern for Jennifer shows the strength of their relationship and their bond continues to remain a strength of the series. Anissa also struggles with the loss of her own powers and is unhappy when Grace questions if they should use the opportunity to live a normal life. It’s easy to understand both Anissa and Grace’s sides of the argument, but hopefully, the disagreement won’t last for too long.
Elsewhere, TC (Christopher Ammanuel), without the ability to use his powers, enlists the help of Philky (Alexander Hodge) to decrypt the flash drive that Anissa and Grace recover from Darius’ place. Philky helps and encourages TC by telling him that he’s still capable without his powers. Later, Philky teases Khalil (Jordan Calloway) about his claustrophobia over an earpiece as Khalil crawls through a vent into a room in order to retrieve Tobias’ ledger. The show has done a good job of tying the elements of the proposed “Painkiller” spin-off into Black Lightning and Philky is becoming a good addition to the universe.
Using the information on the hard drive, TC, Anissa, Grace, and Jennifer are able to figure out that Monovista is extracting the metahuman gene from unborn babies and conclude that Tobias must be involved in the operation. The four of them working together was one of the more enjoyable moments of the episode and there will hopefully be more of it in the remaining episodes. In addition, Gambi checking up on Jefferson and Lynn and figuring out that the energy emitter combined with Val’s nullification powers are responsible for the loss of the family’s powers is another great moment.
Meanwhile, Tobias is thrilled everything is going to plan and starts to implement Phase Two of his scheme. He buys out Ishmael (Rico Ball) as he assumes control of Destiny’s (Teesha Renee) Cobra Cartel. Later, Tobias reports his success to a mysterious board of directors that he accesses through a hologram. Tobias continues to remain formidable, but this meeting brings up questions of the full extent of his plan and what it has to do with this mysterious board of directors. With only a few more episodes left, it will be interesting to see how the Pierce family finally stops him once and for all.
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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