Spoilers Black Lightning - Season 1

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by dodge, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2001
    Location:
    Mr. Adventure
  2. The Realist

    The Realist Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2001
    So in addition to establishing shots of the Atlanta skyline and street scenes featuring recognizable city landmarks (which I suppose is no different than the many Vancouver locations used in the various Arrowverse shows), I noticed that this week's episode clearly showed a passing Georgia State University bus when Tobias's sister was driving into town. So I guess Freeland is definitively a Georgia city on Earth-Whatever. Is Atlanta called Freeland on this Earth? Or is Freeland just a borough or community within this Earth's Atlanta?
     
  3. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Lancaster, PA
    I think Jefferson was just smiling because his daughter had been defending Black Lightning in the conversation. He has no clue about her powers yet.

    As for the video footage . . . the last time Gambi deleted footage it was to keep BL from finding out that Whale was still alive. Why he did so is still unclear.

    As nearly as I can tell, both Whale and BL came away from their final battle thinking that they had each killed the other. (Some kind of Reichenbach Falls scenario?) But now Whale knows that BL is still alive, but BL had yet to find out that Whale is back.

    (Here's hoping we get a flashback to that "final" battle nine years ago at some point.)
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Yes, of course. He appreciated his daughter's support. Given how much he's been fighting with Lynn over being back in action, it's bound to feel good to have at least one family member supporting him, even if she doesn't know it's him.


    I don't think it's been established that Jefferson thinks Whale is dead. There was a wanted poster showing Whale on the wall of the police station in the pilot's opening scene, on the same bulletin board as the Black Lightning wanted poster, so as far as the cops are concerned, at least, Whale is still at large, whereabouts unknown. I don't recall any statements to the effect that Jefferson thinks differently.
     
  5. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Escaped from Delta Vega
    Sociopolitical commentary used at all is not the issue. Its using it in a realistic, reasonable manner that counts, and Black Lighting speaking to a number of realities in the black community (without constant put-downs of say, white people who would be thought to be the source of certain problems said community faces) is a solid way of dealing with issues.

    It should go in that direction--to hammer home the point that Jefferson's BL revival has caused problems in every corner of his life--including crushing any hope of reconciling with Lynn / Jennifer's life threatened or actually being hurt, so it would be realistic for Jefferson to consider quitting BL again, or facing off with Henderson when public outcry against BL boils over.

    If you're referring to the mortuary scene, she was using an embalming tool, but based on the "corpse" opening his eyes, it suggests she used some sort of chemical to revive him--possibly Green Light, considering the physical enhancement benefits it provides.

    If he knows about Anissa, I would not be too surprised if he tries to enlist her help (without telling Jefferson) to do what morally solid Jefferson will not. After all, Anissa is a bag of anger and resentment, and constantly mocks following peaceful/traditional ways of overcoming crime and/or oppression. She could the perfect tool for Gambi to end the 100/Lady Eve/Tobias' reign while preserving Jefferson's moral outlook (in other words, keeping him from crossing into the point of no return by abusing his powers). Then again, if Jefferson does not know Anissa is the other metahuman running around, he might end up trying to stop her

    I like the potential tension between Jefferson and Gambi--and I would not mind a season-long rift, only if they (bother serving the best interests of the community) mend the fence when both have their backs against the wall.
     
  6. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Lancaster, PA
    On the embalming scene, I just took it to mean that she was torturing the guy, using the tools of her trade..

    It was a fake-out. We think she's just working on a corpse, then "Oh, crap! That guy's not even dead yet!"

    Although clearly not long for this world . . . :)
     
  7. dodge

    dodge Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2003
    If you look around the internet, like the imdb reviews for Black Lightning for example, you'll find plenty of complaining that the show "puts down" white people. Those people come across to me the same way as people who complain that Supergirl "puts down" men. :shrug:

    Just something to consider...
     
    The Realist likes this.
  8. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Glad to know I wasn't the only one confused by the embalming scene.

    I've been keeping up with the show, even though I fell behind on the thread, and it's been great.
    I'm curious why Gambi didn't tell BL about there being another Meta (Anissa) around? You'd think he'd want to warn him there's someone else with superpowers running around Freeland. We already know Anissa gets a costume and everything, so I'm curious how she's going to end up working and whether or not her father will know when she does.
     
  9. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Escaped from Delta Vega
    If so...ouch...and yuck!
     
  10. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Escaped from Delta Vega
    Black Lightning
    Episode five: "And Then the Devil Brought the Plague: The Book of Green Light"

    Many things going on...

    Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning:
    Early on, I wondered if the "feedback" / pain / anger effect Jefferson is experiencing is some sort of control measure deliberately created by Gambi (despite his shock at Jefferson passing out). Jury is still out on that one, but whatever the cause--plus Jefferson's need for revenge-- is sending him into a brick wall, namely newfound ally Henderson.

    Anissa Pierce: Anissa uncovering the truth of her grandfather's death in association with the investigation of the missing kids with enhanced abilities...interesting, but I almost want that to be the work of another organization predating Lady Eve and The 100. With her finding everyone unwilling to talk, I'm hoping the showrunners do not have her "Scooby Doo-ing" in places she is not (yet) equipped to handle. Under normal circumstances, Poe's "get killed" warning and "they're watching" would scare off Joe Average, but TV dramas need characters to be sort of dense, so...

    Anissa tearing her outfit / trying to build a costume was sensible--heroine costumes don't just come off the rack, as some adaptations would have everyone believe. Oh, and I'm guessing this horrible outfit will be modified (by someone) once her father discovers who she is, and approves of her getting involved.

    Gambi: Seems like he is working two angles with his keeping whatever relationship he had with Tobias (and Toledo) from Jefferson. Moreover, Jefferson threatening Gambi pretty begs Gambi to reveal whatever hand he's playing, but not in the service of BL. I could imagine he had some connection to those who as created the drug BL is trying to stop.

    Tobias Whale:
    "You ain't black, you ain't white--you ain't nothin'!!" is yet another look into how color can turn some family members against each other, yet Tobias' relentless criticism of fellow black people hints at a racial preference, again making him less of a victim, and sicker than one can imagine, despite his affection for his sister.

    After the childhood flashback, I saw Tobias murdering his father coming a mile away. While patricide should be a shocking act, Tobias is so disgusting in his general way of being that the murder sort of lost its intended shock value.

    Joey Toledo: Like Tobias' sister, its nice that the "B" team actually pose a threat, and are interesting, instead of being evil for the sake of it (*cough*Hux*cough*).

    Henderson: I guess he's become the Commissioner Gordon of Black Lightning, now that he has the....er..."Black Signal"

    NOTES:

    AH-HA!! I knew it. Gambi revealing Tobias has a "serum running in your veins that prevents you from aging" along with the glow in his neck while killing LaLa proves he's has some metahuman properties. Its probably no surprise that the group Anissa is set to run into were behind his enhancements.

    Mr. Poe was portrayed by Antonio Fargas, in a role the polar opposite of those that made him famous, such as "Huggy Bear" the pimp from the Starsky & Hutch TV series, and horrid "Blaxploitation" movies such as Foxy Brown.

    Jefferson quoting Viktor Emil Frankl breaks the stereotypical Hollywood depiction of black characters only referring to other black people in history. Yes, Jefferson is an educator, and would know about Frankl's story, but I've seen many productions with black teachers only citing famous black people, as if that is their lone focus in life, or as an influence.

    The Black Lightning costume only works well in nighttime scenes.

    GRADE: B
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Anissa's costume and blond wig here are similar to Thunder's original costume in the comics, albeit with a whole lot less cleavage. But the costume also features a couple of the elements we've seen in the publicity photo of her final costume, like the "seismograph" pattern on the belt (hard to believe that was available off the rack) and the small rectangular details on the shoulders. Anyway, it was an odd choice on the writers' part to have her debut the costume in order to break into a storage facility, without any action involved.

    So Tobias doesn't age? That isn't part of the comics character's abilities as far as I know. Speaking of aging, though, it's interesting how they handled the flashback to his childhood, with the adult Tobias in full color in his office watching and reacting to the flashback in muted colors, both participating in the memory and watching it from outside at the same time. It's creative and visually distinctive, but it makes me wonder if they did it because they couldn't find a young albinistic black actor to play the role.

    Black Lightning flying -- well, hovering -- is cool. I like it that we get to see him enjoying these new powers Gambi keeps giving him. Although it's disturbing to see that Gambi appears to be playing both sides and has some sort of deal with Tobias. Jefferson is not going to be happy about that once he finds out. I'm sure Gambi has some sort of good reason that won't fatally compromise him as a character, but it's sure to generate some conflict. We also learn that he's attached to some sort of intelligence agency -- was it called the ASA?

    And apparently the Bat-Signal is known to exist in the show's world, though they're still hedging on whether it's real or fictional.
     
  12. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2001
    Location:
    Mr. Adventure
    Jefferson’s going to get some cops killed telling them to try to taser these Green Light users next time when it’s a challenge for even him to subdue them with electricity. They did show them push him up against the car roughly though without context but like the Supergirl scene I criticized with the security guard I think it would’ve worked better setting the scene up a little differently. Like say, having drawn guns before they were being thrown ten feet through the air.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    White cops, black teenager. The teenager was the one in far greater danger of being killed. And he wasn't a monster, just a kid who'd been victimized by the drug dealers. He didn't deserve to die for that. BL is trying to protect his community from everything that threatens it, including the police's reflex to default to lethal force at the sight of brown skin.
     
  14. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2001
    Location:
    Mr. Adventure
    ^ Is that reflex not justified when officers are being thrown ten feet through the air? Who's to say that the kid is going to stop with them and not attack someone else?

    I totally understand the point they were making and the real world implications of it but I just thought the message didn't stick as well as it might have because it was at least somewhat justified by what was happening in the scene. I'm not saying the message wasn't worthwhile as I feel police are way too eager to use excessive force.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    So, what, BL should've just stood there and let the cops shoot? Sure, there are going to be situations where self-defense is necessary, but there are others where it's a grave overreaction. If BL's warning can get those cops to be a little less quick to overreact in the future, so much the better.
     
  16. dodge

    dodge Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2003
    We know so far that Lady Eve is a part of the higher ups, and Tobias used to be there but is now in charge of The 100 which are lower in the food chain. Whether those higher ups were behind the experiments, or was it a government agency like Gambi's one, or are they connected remains to be seen...

    Someone made a Kingsman joke earlier, but apparently it's true. :D

    There's an A.S.A. on the DC wikia listed under US goverment agencies, but it doesn't have a dedicated page. I guess they're just that super-secretive ;)

    I think Jefferson's actions in this episode illustrate why Gambi would think it's prudent to hide things from him. The way he went after Toledo with no regard for his personal safety on the off chance that Whale is also out there shows he needs to get his head a bit clearer before he's ready to face him.


    Anyways, it was a really good episode, lots of backstory and lore being set up and the plot moving forward at the same time. Loving Anissa's investigation (it's weird that she did more investigative work in this episode than Iris, an actual investigative journalist, did on The Flash in the last three years...) and the outfit's super fun, though it's obviously a poor substitute for a black hoodie if she was going for stealth. ;)
     
  17. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Lancaster, PA
    She grew up in a community where the resident superhero wears a glowing neon sign on his chest. :)
     
  18. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2001
    Location:
    Mr. Adventure
    That's just being needlessly reductive, I suppose I could say should the cops just sit and allow themselves to be attacked by deranged individuals with enhanced strength? I'm not against the message, I was speculating whether it could been delivered more effectively. I didn't get the sense that these cops learned anything about restraint that was going to make them think twice going forward.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Sure, I don't actually believe that BL's lecture will change anything. But I believe that he reacted in a plausible way. Think about who he is and what he's lived. When faced with a situation like that, his sympathies and concern are going to be with the kid first and the cops second. What matters isn't whether his words were objectively sound, what matters is if it's plausible that this character in this situation would've reacted in this way.
     
  20. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    After a bit of a slow start, this show is starting to grow on me. Still a little too tame for my tastes and the characters a tiny bit cliched, but it's heart is in the right place and it's starting to get interesting.

    Personally I got a kick out of her outright rejecting the black leather. As much as I am a fan of some of the darker comic book material, it's nice that superheroes are allowed to be fun and colourful again. For the sake variety if nothing else!