Jefferson Pierce is going to need a miracle to bring his family back together.
Family tension was the underlining theme that spread throughout the first half of Black Lightning Season 2. Jennifer ran away from home with her criminal boyfriend, his father/daughter relationship with Anissa is frosty at best, he thought his father-figure died, and the love of his life is suffering through a traumatic breakdown.
Life is rough, to say the least.
With the future still unknown, things can only go up from here. But, did the season start off at a low point? What were the hits and misses from Fall 2018?
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We're taking a look back to answer all those questions!
Check out the midseason report below, and share your thoughts in the comments. And don't forget, you can watch Black Lightning online via TV Fanatic to get caught up on all the past action.
Black Lightning Season 2 returns Monday, January 21 at 9/8c on The CW.
Best Episode: Rise of the Green Light Babies
Black Lightning Season 2 Episode 1 started the story on a high note. Green Light left Freeland in limbo as more people began turning into metahumans; no one could trust their friends or family. And that paranoia left our favorite family reeling with the stress of the situation. Jennifer couldn't control her powers, control over the Green Light pods was up in the air, and Anissa used her abilities to give back to the people. Plus, we can't forget that Tobias returned to town!
Worst Episode: Gift of the Magi
Jennifer and Khalil made all the worst mistakes, and we were left watching them do it for all of Black Lightning Season 2 Episode 9. Instead of reaching out to her family for help, she took matters into her own hands to save Khalil from Cutter's poisonous attack. Luckily, she saved his life, but her poor decisions could've made things even worse. What if the medicine didn't work? What if Cutter found them sooner? The right thing to do would've been to contact her family. Instead, they ran away again to continue their misadventure.
Best Twist: Dr. Jace Killing 50%
We knew Dr. Jace was evil, but her lies left us blindsided in the most shocking way. Lynn was determined to find a cure for the Green Light pod people; she wouldn't rest until they were all safe. And part of the reason for working with Dr. Jace was to figure out the solution. Unfortunately for Lynn, her scientific partner happened to be a sociopath. Nothing could've saved the lives of the patients once Dr. Jace manipulated her results. Poor Lynn, she really did care!
Worst Twist: Gambi Faking His Own Death
Gambi's fake death is a case of lazy writing. While his murder was initially shocking, you couldn't help but question its legitimacy. He is a big character with an emotional connection to the Pierce family; his surprise murder didn't suit the send-off you would expect for an essential role. So, fan theories abounded that maybe Gambi didn't actually die in the car crash. Let's just say no one was surprised when it was revealed that he faked his death.
Best New Character: Perenna
Why did it take this long for Perenna to be introduced? The wise and telepathic metahuman strolled onto the scene with all the needed advice and subtle shade for the main characters. She had no ulterior motives in helping out Jennifer; she only wanted to ensure that the future Lightning would be safe and ready for the future. Hopefully, we get more appearances of her! Perenna seems to be the only person who can knock some sense into Jennifer, Jefferson, and Lynn.
Character That Needs Improvement: Anissa
Anissa has been showing off her other side lately and it's ... less than stunning. Egotistical, jaded, a player, she has let the power get to her head a bit. Whether it's picking fights with her father or fully messing with Grace's heart, the supposed "perfect daughter" is the embodiment of when pride goes too far. Anissa isn't a bad character; in fact, she's a great character, and Thunder is taking down these baddies in style. She just needs to align her priorities and treat her loved ones with respect again.
Worst New Character: Principal Lowry
Principal Lowry is the worst. (Point. Blank. Period.) He barely appeared during Black Lightning Season 2, but he left his negative mark upon the story. Sure, no one can live up to the infamy and positive reputation of Jefferson Pierce; it's a mantle that many will never achieve. However, Principal Lowry had enough salty attitude (and low-key racism) to overstay his welcome. The happiest day will be when his character gets written out.
Storyline That Has Potential: Jen's Growth
Based on the DC comics, Jennifer Pierce's future will involve donning a superhero costume and becoming "Lightning." This reality seems to be the path that the character is taking. Jennifer is making headways with Perenna's counseling; she's adjusting to being a metahuman and she's controlling her abilities. With a bit more practice and confidence, Jennifer could be ready to assume her position. There's plenty of potential for the character to grow and develop beyond her initial character archetype.
Storyline That Fell Flat: The Green Light Pods
After Black Lightning Season 1 built up the Green Light children and the mystery of the pods, the result in the following year came down to ... nothing. Sure, Dr. Jace's betrayal was a shocking twist, but the storyline felt like it was finished abruptly. The metahuman children barely had any impact on Black Lightning's journey before they were extinguished in the faulty experiment. At most, he had a short fight with Wendy Hernandez before she went back into her pod willingly. Let's hope the inclusion of the pods will have a bigger payoff between the characters in the future.
Most Shocking Death: Gambi
Putting the fake death aspect aside, Gambi's murder was the most shocking. Nothing prepared us as viewers to see his car careen off the road and explode in fiery glory. The twist left us with more questions, but it delivered on the emotional impact. And when it became clear that the others were mourning the loss, we had to (even for a short time) accept the fact that he might truly be dead.
The Death We Didn't Need: Syonide
Why did Syonide have to die? The silent assassin had so much presence during her time on Black Lightning Season 1. Her fighting skills were top notch and she was a trusted ally to Tobias. Syonide could've been involved in more plots, but at least we have her epic final fight with Kara as her send-off. She died in battle; that seems so like her.
Villain That Needs To Take A Break: Tobias
Tobias is off his A-game. The powerful mob boss is a shadow of his former self ever since battling against Black Lightning and Thunder personally. He lost his most loyal assassin in battle, he failed to get Khalil under control, he failed to kill Khalil, and he nearly got sentenced to life in prison. Sure, he had a few lucky breaks, but his scorecard earned more failures than successes during the last few chapters. Tobias needs to take a break and leave Freeland to get his act together.
"WTF Just Happened?" Award: The Metahuman Babies
The South Freeland arc had a few surprises to it, like the discovery of another metahuman created during the time of Jefferson's contamination. Though, nothing prepared us for Amiyah's children. Looker left her negative mark on the citizens of South Freeland; her silver liquid controlled their actions and gave them enhanced abilities. But what does that mean for Amiyah's babies? The infants were born with silver DNA in them (the metallic eyes gave it away), and they showed special abilities when they held hands. Could this be a looming threat? Did their powers disappear once Looker was defeated? We need to know!
Best Fight Scene: Thunder vs. Looker
Black Lightning Season 2 upped its game when it came to the fight scenes. We had a few good conflicts, like Cutter vs. Painkiller and Syonide vs. Kara. However, the battle between Thunder and Looker took the crown. Both metahumans showed off their acrobatic skills with an onslaught of punches and kicks, and they utilized their powers to deliver major hits. Plus, with the backdrop of the abandoned mall, the fight suited Looker's creepiness and Thunder's fury. We need more fights between two equally-matched foes.
Best Couple: Jefferson & Lynn
The heads of the Pierce family are enjoying their season of bliss; their separation looks to be a thing of the past. Lynn and Jefferson shared plenty of passion since they established their reconciliation. The couple is going for round two, and from the way they can't keep their hands off each other, this time might be for keeps.
Worst Couple: Jennifer & Khalil
Jennifer needed to give up the bad boy. Everything about this relationship led to turmoil, pain, and more conflicts than ever before. The pain might have admitted their love for each other, but how long will they truly last? Tobias is sending the world after Painkiller, and Jennifer is dealing with her own struggles over her metahuman abilities. The chances for a happy ending don't look to be in the cards for them.
Most Shipworthy Couple: Anissa & Grace
Even with Anissa's player ways messing things up, Grace and Anissa can't quit each other. There's so much passion between them that it could melt ice and bring on an early summer. The couple is giving it another go since Anissa wants to establish a more serious relationship with Grace. Let's hope that she means it this time!
Continue It: Raising The Fighting Stakes
Black Lightning and Thunder are two very powerful metahumans. With a simple flick of their wrists, they could send any random petty criminal flying over cars; the easiness of their fights are bordered on boring. Thankfully, the pair were challenged with two dangerous foes who could match their level in combat. Continue bringing on all the Big Bads that will leaving their looming threats throughout the action.
Wait and See: Grace's Affliction
Not much is known about Grace's skin condition. Something biological or metahuman must be involved due to it being controlled by the medication. The mystery has slowly been teased, so we know that it will become a bigger issue later on in her relationship with Anissa. Could this drive them apart? Might it reveal a secret about her? We'll have to see how this turns out before we make our final judgments.
Stop It: Filler Plots
Black Lightning Season 2 is suffering under the curse of weak plots. With only 13 episodes making up the season, each chapter should be just as important as the last. There is no time to waste! A bigger focus should be placed on using the screen time to build out the characters, action, and overall story instead of extending meaningless plot threads. It's fine to fill some time, but the direction has to be going somewhere in the grand scheme.
Grade It: B-
Black Lightning Season 2A started on a good note, but soon the progression slowly fell into stagnant territory. The focus on family helped the individual development of the characters, and it reunited the PIerce family to where they needed to be (for a time). However, the overall story pales in comparison to the fast-paced action of Black Lightning Season 1. This time, the group had the same petty arguments, the characters made bad decisions, and time was wasted on storylines that went nowhere. There is potential here, but the direction needs to be refocused before the season ends.