Black Lightning Season 1 Episode 1 Review: The Resurrection

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Jefferson Pierce is a man of many talents, and he wants to keep the mean streets of Freeland safe. 

On Black Lightning Season 1 Episode 1, Jefferson was forced back to his superhero past when the tension around town boiled over to an all-time high. 

Black Lightning Poster

Off the bat, it was shocking to me just how fresh this series is. It does not have cheesy dialog and scenes that would put it in the same wheelhouse as the likes of Arrow, The Flash and the other superhero series on The CW. 

Instead, the series is more in the vein of the Netflix Marvel TV Universe. The CW is becoming oversaturated with shows that focus on those who are gifted, so the different storytelling technique works well. 

That's why it's great for the network to have launched a new superhero show that is set well away from the Arrowverse. Five-show crossovers would be a little too difficult, and tonally, this show is just too different to mesh with any of the other four universes. 

Black Lightning was the savior who kept our streets and our schools safe. He was hope personified. But he was also Jefferson Pierce, my father.


Black Lightning's darker take is invigorating. Jefferson has been suffering for a long time, and part of that is down to the way he wants to make the city safe for those closest to him. Everything he does, he does for his daughters and ex-wife. 

He gave up his crime-fighting days because he was getting injured every time he suited up. Lynn was right to let him go. You could tell she still loved him, but she was too worried about the prospect of her man dying. 

A Retired Superhero - Black Lightning

After all the years apart, it seems the spark between them has only been growing ever since they first parted ways, and that may be their ultimate undoing. Lynn already questioned whether Jefferson was back on the streets.

What's noteworthy about their relationship is that they should be winning all the awards for co-parenting. Despite their issues with each other, they can come to agreements about the wellbeing of their kids. That's commendable. It's challenging to be amicable with an ex because, well, they're an ex for a reason, and it's usually a good reason. 

It may take a while, but Lynn is going to put two and two together and find the truth. I would love to be a fly on the wall for the words she has with Jefferson when she inevitably confronts him. 

Anissa: I'm not afraid of The 100.
Will: Bitch, you should be.

The 100 sure seem like a nasty bunch, and Will's demeanor changing when the heat was turned up on him solidified as much. Looks can be deceiving because I first pegged Will as a nice guy. Then Jennifer was taken into that room. 

I cheered when Jennifer turned violent towards Will because of the way he thought the teenager was expendable and that could work off his debt for him in a seedy motel. Who even does that?

Knee Action - Black Lightning

Will attempting to turn the gun on Anissa at the school was shocking, but it's an occurrence that's all too common these days. It would have had much more of an impact, though, if one of the students had been hurt during the melee. 

Will returning to kidnap Jennifer and Anissa was completely and utterly uncalled for. Will was ridiculed by Anissa, so it was only natural that he would want to return and cause some drama, but still, the dude had some nerve. 

It was difficult to buy the actor in the role of Will as a villain, but maybe there's a case to be made that he was a good kid doing what he needed to to get by. The violence at the school further reiterated to Jefferson that returning to his old ways may be best. 

There was only so long a peace treaty would work, and with the gangland crime making its way to the school grounds, it's going to be difficult for things to go back to the way they were. 

Black Lightning also highlighted the everyday racism that black people face, and it was heartbreaking to watch. It was no wonder that Jefferson lashed out at the police officers who were racist towards him. 

He had been stopped multiple times without any good reason, and it was all down to his skin color. This is the world we live in, and it's utterly outrageous that stuff like that is happening. The way Jefferson was manhandled during one of the opening scenes before being let go was horrible. 

Man Down - Black Lightning

"The Resurrection" was a solid opening episode of this new drama series. It's unlike anything The CW has ever aired, and it's fascinating. 

The casting is on point, and the episode managed to spin a web of storylines that will intersect dramatically as the series continues. 

Other tidbits from the episode:

  • Jennifer is struggling because of all the achievements Jefferson and Anissa have under their belts. Will she be able to reach her goals or will she forever be relegated to her sister's shadow?
  • Anissa with powers is exciting. The character was badass enough without having to add the powers to the mix. What would Lynn think if she witnessed her daughter in one of the sorry states Jefferson was found?
  • There wasn't nearly enough of Tobias Whale. I get that it was the series premiere, but the character had very little to do aside from taking down those who got on the wrong side of him. He is a man of few words. 

Okay, Black Lightning Fanatics! What did you think of the series premiere? 

Hit the comments below!

Remember you can watch Black Lightning online right here via TV Fanatic. 

Black Lightning continues Tuesday nights on The CW. 

The Resurrection Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0 (36 Votes)

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Black Lightning Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

Black Lightning was the savior who kept our streets and our schools safe. He was hope personified. But he was also Jefferson Pierce, my father.


Lynn: You've been on the streets fighting The 100 for years. Let someone else do it. The girls need a father.
Jefferson: Baby, I promise. No more.