Black Lightning - season 2 (The CW)

Adam Lenhardt

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Season 1 thread

"Black Lightning" will return Tuesday, October 9th at 9/8c.

BlackLightning_S02_001.jpg

"Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is a man with many faces. He is a former Olympic athlete, respected educator and a father of two. He is also Black Lightning, superpowered protector of Freeland with the ability to sense and harness electricity. Jefferson is not the only one with powers and multiple faces. His oldest daughter, Anissa Pierce (Nafessa Williams) is a medical student, part-time teacher and dedicated social activist. She is also the super hero known as Thunder who possesses the ability to drastically increase her density, giving her invulnerability and super strength for as long as she can hold her breath. Finally, Jefferson’s youngest daughter, Jennifer Pierce (China Anne McClain), is a fiery teen who inherited her father’s athletic gifts but not his desire to be an athlete. Jennifer also inherited super powers. Her body generates pure electrical energy and she possesses the potential to be more powerful than Anissa or Jefferson. Lynn Stewart (Christine Adams) is Jefferson’s ex-wife but they are still very much in love in addition to sharing the load as co-parents. She’s also an accomplished medical researcher who is fast becoming an expert in metahuman medicine. Together, the Pierce family faces the challenges of the declined urban community that is the fictional city of Freeland, including corrupt officials and a menacing gang that calls itself The 100. Worse, Tobias Whale (Marvin Jones III), an infamous gangster, plagues this city and increasingly, metahumans with superpowers will prey upon the city, too. Fortunately, the family has allies in their fight, Jefferson’s surrogate father and a former covert superspy, Peter Gambi (James Remar), as well as Jefferson’s friend and neighbor, the committed and scrupulously honest Deputy Police Chief Henderson (Damon Gupton). Based on characters from DC, Black Lightning was created for television by Salim Akil. The show comes from Berlanti Productions and Akil Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television with executive producers Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter (“Arrow,” “The Flash”), Salim Akil & Mara Brock Akil (“Being Mary Jane,” “The Game,” “Girlfriends”) and Eric Wallace. Black Lightning was created for DC Comics by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden."

Jordan Calloway, who plays Jennifer's ex-boyfriend Khalil aka superhuman henchman Painkiller, has been promoted to series regular.

Season 2 Promo:
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Sofia Vassilieva joins "Black Lightning" Season 2 as DC Comics' Looker

This is interesting on a couple levels.

To my knowledge, it's the first time the same actor or actress has played different characters on different CW DC shows. Vassilieva recurred last season on "Supergirl" as Olivia, a young woman in thrall to a Kryptonian-worshipping cult who briefly turned herself into a powerful world killer.

It thus resurrects the question of where "Black Lightning" falls in the Arrowverse multiverse, if it's part of the Arrowverse multiverse at all. It's pretty clear that the show doesn't take place on the main Arrowverse Earth, Earth-1, since Supergirl has been mentioned multiple times on "Black Lightning" and Supergirl isn't widely known on Earth-1 (nor the existence of aliens in general, for that matter). But those same mentions gave some credence to the argument that "Black Lightning" is set on Earth-38, the home dimension of Superman and Supergirl in the Arrowverse.

But this casting would argue seem to against that, since having the same actress play two different characters would be unnecessarily confusing. On the other hand, they never gave her "Supergirl" character a last name, so it's possible they could make her Olivia Briggs and make Looker the same character or a sibling/cousin of the "Supergirl" character.

It's also interesting because Looker was namedropped in the third episode of the first season -- as a comic book character. The Outsiders appeared as a comic book title more than once in the first season, so it's interesting that they're bringing them into the reality of "Black Lightning". In the universe of Black Lightning, are comic books just the fictionalized exploits of real superheroes, the way they were in Logan?
 
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Adam Lenhardt

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I like how this show uses "Book of..." to tie together story arcs and thematically related episodes, and I appreciated the stylized title at the beginning of this season premiere. And I'm amazed a show on a CW budget could afford "Redemption Song".

Jennifer's story is interesting, because she's the most powerful of the three of them but she also has the least control and the least desire to use her powers.

Surprised about what happened with Syonide in tonight's episode. I wonder if Charlbi Dean got another gig. She was a great, Bond movie-esque hench(wo)man.

I like that the "green baby" metas here are treated more like mutants in X-Men than metas in Central City on "The Flash", where 90 percent of them seem to turn evil.
 

NeilO

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I like how this show uses "Book of..." to tie together story arcs and thematically related episodes, and I appreciated the stylized title at the beginning of this season premiere. And I'm amazed a show on a CW budget could afford "Redemption Song".
.....

Surprised about what happened with Syonide in tonight's episode. I wonder if Charlbi Dean got another gig. She was a great, Bond movie-esque hench(wo)man.
I also liked seeing the new story titles.

The results of the Syonide battle was quite a surprise, though since we've already seen one characters resurrected by whale it doesn't mean that it is final.

Just how long was he waiting there in his darkened office?

How can the board justify shutting down a school? Was the school damage beyond repair? Do they have plans on where to send the children and can those schools handle the load? It just doesn't make sense.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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How can the board justify shutting down a school? Was the school damage beyond repair? Do they have plans on where to send the children and can those schools handle the load? It just doesn't make sense.
Like most fictional DC cities, the show is vague about where Freeland is located. But it does seem to be somewhere in the Southeast. It's common in the Southeast to have county school districts, and if Freeland is in a populous county there might be several other high schools within the district, with far more pliable administrations.
 

NeilO

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Like most fictional DC cities, the show is vague about where Freeland is located. But it does seem to be somewhere in the Southeast. It's common in the Southeast to have county school districts, and if Freeland is in a populous county there might be several other high schools within the district, with far more pliable administrations.
It is now a moot point as they accepted Jefferson's proposal to replace him instead of completely shutting down. I would have like more give and take discussion, but the assembly in the second episode went very well. It will be interesting.
 

Sam Favate

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I love that this show embraces its blacksploitation roots, from the music to the action and the graphics on screen.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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The new principal is not off to a great start. The tone deaf nature of his hiring has me again wondering how a seemingly majority black city has an overwhelmingly white school board. School boards are usually elected by the residents of the school district. Sometimes they're appointed, but again by politicians elected by the residents. Perhaps the areas served by Garfield High are only one part of the city, not characteristic demographically or economically of the city as a whole. But the show hasn't painted that picture so far.

Not sure where they're headed with Khalil. He's burned a lot of bridges.

Also not sure why Tobias has made such a show about destroying evidence related to the murder of Jefferson's father. It was a cold case, and it seems like letting sleeping dogs lie would have been the smarter call.

I love that this show embraces its blacksploitation roots, from the music to the action and the graphics on screen.
It gets some great music. The first episode opened with Bob Marley's most famous song. Tonight's episode opened with David Bowie. I don't know any other show with a CW-sized budget that gets this level of music.

But also its action sequences have a musicality to them. It doesn't match the fight choreography of "Arrow" at its most intense, but it doesn't have to because it achieves a stylization that "Arrow" can't match.
 

Sam Favate

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Finally catching up on this season, and I've enjoyed it a lot. Looker is a cool adversary, and this show never shied away from hot button topics. The Book of Blood three-parter might be the best in the series yet.

I also see the second season seems to have increased to 16 episodes (I thought it was 13?). I admit it's a challenge to keep up with all these DC shows (nearly 100 hours a year) but Black Lightning is something unique and is worth the effort.
 

Robert Crawford

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I have to admit that I have slacked off as I'm watching more movies. I'll try to catch up between now and first of the year.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Looker is a cool adversary, and this show never shied away from hot button topics.
White supremacist vampires are so blaxpoitation, I loved it. The interesting thing is that Jefferson and Looker are around the same age, because they got their powers around the same time, but she aged much more slowly being the head vampire in charge.

I also see the second season seems to have increased to 16 episodes (I thought it was 13?). I admit it's a challenge to keep up with all these DC shows (nearly 100 hours a year) but Black Lightning is something unique and is worth the effort.
I think it's on a similar path to "Legends of Tomorrow": Never going to be a full-length season, but the exact episode count will fluctuate from season to season.

I loved Jennifer's de facto superhero debut as Lightning. Reminded me a lot of Batman's unveiling down at the docks in Batman Begins.

Right now I'd rank the DC/CW shows as follows:
  1. "Legends of Tomorrow"
  2. "Black Lightning"
  3. "The Flash"
  4. "Supergirl"
  5. "Arrow"
 
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NeilO

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I think it's on a similar path to "Legends of Tomorrow": Never going to be a full-length season, but the exact episode count will fluctuate from season to season.
....
Right now I'd rank the DC/CW shows as follows:
  1. "Legends of Tomorrow"
  2. "Black Lightning"
  3. "The Flash"
  4. "Supergirl"
  5. "Arrow"
As possibly mentioned earlier, Black Lightning did so well last season that they moved it to the fall and increased the episode count slightly.

That ranking of DC/CW shows matches mine. I still haven't finished the previous season of Arrow. The next episode of that show I probably will watch will be the crossover one.
 

Sam Favate

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Nice wrap-up to the season. No spoilers, but a satisfying season finale.
 

NeilO

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FYI, the creator of Black Lightning in the comics, Tony Isabella, had this to say: "The Black Lightning season finale exceeded my expectations. Even the scenes I watched being filmed were better after the editing. So much action, heart and story in the episode. Next season can't get here soon enough." He visited the set for some of the shooting of the finale. I believe he is planning on writing a detailed blog discussing the finale, possibly comparing what he saw when visiting with what made to the screen.
 

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