Black Lightning 4×13 Review: “The Book of Resurrection: Chapter Two”
“The Book of Resurrection: Chapter Two” is a satisfying conclusion for the Pierce family and the story of Black Lightning.
Black Lightning’s series finale, “The Book of Resurrection: Chapter Two,” concludes the story of Black Lightning and his family while providing a hopeful ending for the series. After being led to believe that Tobias (Marvin “Krondon” Jones III) murdered Jefferson (Cress Williams) at the end of “The Book of Resurrection: Chapter One,” the episode reveals that Jefferson has instead been buried alive.
The rest of the family, believing Jefferson to be dead, is distraught and even more determined to put an end to Tobias. Gambi (James Remar) locates the emitter and works with Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Grace (Chantal Thuy) to break into the heavily guarded building. The three working together is an exciting sequence, particularly when Gambi blows up the emitter and Anissa and Grace are finally able to use their powers again. Anissa and Grace continue to make a great team and Anissa’s banter with Grace is cute.
Meanwhile, Jennifer (Laura Kariuki) travels once again up to the ionosphere and is swallowed by the remaining particles. Once she escapes, the real Jennifer (China Anne McClain) breaks out of the particles and reveals that the other Jennifer, a sentient part of the ionosphere, stole her identity. This is an interesting twist and a bold way to explain Jennifer’s appearance change in a storyline necessitated by McClain’s exit from the series. Kariuki has done a great job in the role, but it’s great to see McClain come back and literally reclaim her role for the series finale.
Once the real Jennifer takes care of the fake Jennifer, she goes to confront Chief Lopez (Melissa De Souza), who has become power-hungry on the meta booster she injected into herself. It’s satisfying to see Jennifer finally take down Chief Lopez and the gratitude from Detective Shakur (Wallace Smith) afterwards is sweet. While Black Lightning has made a lot of commentary about the police and its relationship with the Black community over the course of the series, this felt more like a character moment rather than additional social commentary.
As Jefferson struggles in the ground, he flashes back to a conversation he had as a teenager with Gambi (James Remar) where he expresses guilt for killing a gang member in self-defense. Jefferson and Gambi’s relationship has been one of the best emotional threads throughout the series and Gambi calling Jefferson his son continues to highlight the emotional resonance of this relationship. Jefferson also reconciles with the ghost of his father (Keith Arthur Bolden), who gives him the strength to finish his decades-long battle with Tobias without sacrificing his own humanity. This provides a satisfying conclusion with Jefferson’s struggle with his father’s death while spurring him to do what is necessary to stop Tobias.
After the emitter is destroyed, Jefferson uses promethium underground to charge his powers and escape from his grave. While the idea of there being so much promethium underground and that close to Jefferson is very convenient, the image of Jefferson rising out of the ground is a powerful one and it’s a relief to see him survive. After contacting his family, Jefferson flies through Freeland to confront Tobias. A fight ensues and Tobias prepares to throw Jefferson out the window. However, Jefferson gains the upper hand and Tobias is impaled on a giant spike outside the window. While it’s disappointing that the audience doesn’t get to see the entire Pierce family team up one more time to take down Tobias, seeing Tobias getting a well-deserved death after all he’s done over the series is satisfying.
TC contacts Khalil (Jordan Calloway) and tells him that he has a way to remove the orders to kill the Pierce family from his brain, but that he will lose all memories of Jennifer and the Pierces as a result. Khalil and Painkiller argue about it, and they both decide to go through with it. It’s unfortunate that the audience doesn’t get to see one last moment between Jennifer and Khalil, especially now that the proposed spinoff is not going forward.
The series concludes with a party at Anissa’s loft and it’s a great way to end the series. Anissa and Grace celebrate their marriage, Jefferson and Lynn (Christine Adams) announce that they plan to remarry, and Jefferson and Gambi pass on the duties of keeping Freeland safe to Jennifer, Anissa, Grace, and TC. The sequence is emotional and it’s great to see everyone get their well-deserved happy ending. Jefferson’s decision to retire as Black Lightning while passing the torch to his children is a great resolution to his arc while providing potential for more stories to be told in Freeland.
While this emotional scene would work well as the final image of the series, the series makes the bizarre choice of ending instead on Lala (William Catlett) coming out of his concrete prison, which was broken in the fight between Jefferson and Tobias, and laughing over Tobias’ body. While it’s cool to see Lala one more time, it’s a strange final image to end the series on.
Black Lightning was revolutionary for being the first live-action show centered around a Black superhero family. It has been enjoyable to watch the Pierce family over the past four years and the show’s social commentary about being Black in America has been essential. While there were some things that the show could have done better over the years, the show was a great addition to the CW’s lineup of DC superhero shows.
It’s sad that there probably won’t be more of the characters on screen, especially Jennifer, Anissa, Grace, and TC. While the show is still connected to the rest of Arrowverse, the characters have not crossed over as frequently as others and it most likely won’t happen now that Black Lightning is over. Thankfully, the show ends on a hopeful note and a satisfying conclusion for its characters while teasing possibilities for the future.
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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