Khalil is too deep in his Tobias mess to get out. That internal conflict was made perfectly clear on Black Lightning Season 2 Episode 3.
He may have adopted the moniker of "Painkiller," but if he had a choice, he wouldn't be Tobias' enforcer. Khalil is no Syonide. This life wasn't something he asked for in exchange for getting the ability to walk again.
It's a shame that he didn't believe he had a way out.
Painkiller could free himself from Tobias' grasp!
He feels honor-bound to the criminal, but he can make a decision that protects his future. Even with the dedication, Tobias kept hitting and burning him to toughen him up. And, with Syonide dead, he's going to push Khalil to be just as heartless.
Khalil fully regrets joining ranks with Tobias. You could see it in the way Painkiller reacted after strong-arming the men at Club 100.
Enforcing orders and reclaiming debts wasn't something he wanted to do. Plus, he had no intention of accidentally murdering the dealer. Whereas Syonide would've relished at the moment, Khalil had some guilt on his face.
That's not to say he isn't a villain; Khalil is unquestionably a villain for killing Black Lightning and committing illegal acts. However, just like Jefferson, I agree that there is potential to redeem the character.
Painkiller wouldn't have given his mother a phone to contact him. He wouldn't have reached out to Jennifer if he wasn't miserable. And, he wouldn't be talking back to Tobias if he wasn't completely loyal.
Painkiller needs the right push. Jefferson should keep at it.
Their battle at the warehouse, while visually stunning, did provide a lot of character building between the hero and the villain. The pair finally had the chance to talk about the reality of their situation and what could be done to save him.
Khalil is still in that villainous mindset, but if Jennifer spoke to him, I think it would work. (Just imagine a battle between Painkiller and Jennifer once she embraces her alter-ego Lightning. That fight will be incredible and such a big character moment!)
Peter: They’ve been trying to find Tobias for 30 years. Energy might not be the problem.
Jefferson: So it’s still on us? Nothing has changed.
Peter: Well, not nothing. Tobias has got Painkiller, and he’s got that A.S.A. briefcase of Proctor’s which according to your Ms. Fowdy contains hell.
Jefferson: You know, your pep talks need work.
Speaking of the fights, "Master Lowry" exposed an issue that has nagged me for a while about Black Lightning's fight choreography. In particular, Jefferson's victories are too easy because of his electric powers.
As shown through the fight with the green light woman and Painkiller, Jefferson quickly took down his foes with a simple blast.
All Black Lightning has to do is shock his enemies and they'll either pass out or come to their senses. This technique has happened the last two episodes on Black Lightning Season 2 alone.
Anissa (as the hoodie or Thunder) fights her enemies in hand-to-hand combat to defeat them. Plenty of attention is placed into her choreography to stretch out the fights to make them interesting. The same was done to Painkiller, Kara, and Syonide with their weapon assaults.
Black Lightning only needs to flick his wrist for powerful blasts to incapacitate his enemies.
Sure, we can't blame his superpowers because he is a powerful metahuman, and electricity will defeat almost anyone. However, the stakes of his battles have decreased significantly because of it.
There's no point to worry when we know Jefferson could easily defeat a petty criminal or a green light foe with electricity in a one-on-one fight.
Black Lightning needs a season-long villain (or a weekly enemy) that could match him in combat and powers. This imposing force would heighten the tension and cause all of the characters to bring out their full strength to save the day.
The weekly encounters should have stakes against the main heroes.
Jennifer: Woah! You’re dating Zoe B?!
[She flashes the phone]
Jennifer: Yo, that’s crazy! You’re gonna get crushed though; she gonna love you one minute, forget you the next.
Anissa: I can’t believe you’re following my dating life on social media!
Jennifer: Okay, first of all, ain’t nobody following your dating life, okay. It just popped up. And second, what else do you expect me to do when the only freedom I have is to walk around the block for exercise?
I loved Anissa and Peter's partnership to take down the real estate criminals!
There's something scandalous about the fact they both went behind Jefferson's back to do some superhero business. They're doing their work for a good cause, and it stops an evil criminal from causing more harm in the community.
Sometimes all it takes is a common motivation to bring people together.
Her fight choreography was a stellar scene thanks to the seamless transition between fighting moves and the camera angles. Plus, the choice of accompanying music suited the upbeat tone of the fight. Good job!
Though, will Jefferson ever find out?
With all the money getting funneled to the church, he's going to catch on eventually when they start their lawsuits. And, the criminals will probably catch on too. Anissa is going to need a lot more money to cover the costs for all of the people at the church.
Anissa: I am sorry that I dropped off without a conversation, but you and I weren’t in a relationship. It doesn’t mean I couldn’t have had better manners, but it also didn’t mean I couldn’t see other people.
[Grace adds alcohol to the drink]
Anissa: I sure hope you were seeing other people because you are too damn fine to be lonely.
Grace: Yeah, I was seeing plenty of people, not that it’s any of your business.
[Grace adds a liquid and stares at Anissa]
Anissa: No, no, none of my business at all. Grace, I take my work really really seriously. But, my sister pointed out that it doesn’t mean I can’t take other things seriously too.
[Grace adds an ingredient and they smile at each other]
Anissa: I’d like to try.
Were you happy to see Anissa apologize to Grace? This moment melted my heart!
I discussed during the review of Black Lightning Season 2 Episode 2 how shippable this relationship was, and how sad it was that they weren't together anymore. The pair had a lot of potential to make it work.
Thankfully, Jenn talked some sense into her sister. Only a sibling could get away with the perfection of combining both lowkey and high-key shade with sound advice!
Though, Anissa did have a point about the ambiguousness of their dating situation. Grace and Anissa weren't together in a relationship, and they didn't define anything so that they could date other people. However, ghosting someone is terrible all around.
Plus, Anissa's approach to Grace had this strange mix of flirtation, genuine apology, and being a smug player. The vibe felt very smarmy.
Now that they're going to take things a bit more serious, they need not to screw it up this time!
Jennifer's journey will be the best thing to happen for the character. Based on her past reactions, she's at a critical breaking point that could make matters worse if she doesn't come to terms with her powers.
Jennifer's monster comment was the equivalent of a flashing red sign warning Lynn and Jefferson that they needed outside help.
Them having the courage to comfort their daughter and reach out for help will do wonders in the long-run. Perenna seemed like a good advisor choice on their part.
Perenna talked to Jenn in a calm, non-judgmental manner, and she didn't try to force anything by pushing her.
I'm excited to see what other techniques are part of the therapy session. The cube exposed Jenn's fear about the extent of her metahuman powers, and she seemed hopeful about tackling her worries in this alternate reality environment.
But, what other fears could be holding her back?
You think I’m a monster!Jennifer
Lynn had sound reasons for being apprehensive of Dr. Jace.
For starters, the doctor conducted illegal experiments that caused 10 patients to lose their feet, and one to die. And, Dr. Jace's emotionless disposition was seriously creepy!
Her distant and cold tone rivaled that Hannibal Lecter, and she gave off an eerie vibe. All of the warning signs were flashing! At this moment, we should not trust this doctor.
Plus, another reason was due to Agent Odell.
She already had to deal with the fact that her main contact didn't trust her and actively conspired against her. But, now adding in a criminal doctor into the mix, the partnership would make her work-life even more complicated.
Lynn genuinely wants to help the children in the pods, but she has to deal with the friction between Agent Odell.
That is the type of toxic work environment that will only break everyone down. Let's wish Lynn all the luck; she'll need it.
Last Thoughts Lightning Round:
How long do you think Tobias will be held behind bars? The arrest was a shocking twist, but he's the most powerful villain on Black Lightning. He won't stay captured for too long.
Kara survived her jump from a building ... I don't believe it. Come on; she jumped from a skyscraper window! We need an explanation.
Is Zoe B entirely out of the picture, or will this be a love triangle?
The new principal had an attitude against Jefferson. He needs to be respectful and work collaboratively. It was his first day!
- Detective Henderson and Jefferson need to be friends again! The distance is tearing us apart.
Now, over to you, Black Lightning fans!
What did you think of "The Book of Consequences: Chapter Three: Master Lowry"?
Is Anissa genuinely invested in something serious with Grace? How long will Tobias stay behind bars? Is Dr. Jace to be trusted?
If you missed the latest episode of Black Lightning, you can watch Black Lightning online via TV Fanatic. Come back here and share your thoughts in the comments.
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.