Spoilers Black Lightning - Season 2

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by dodge, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. The Realist

    The Realist Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Well, that seems fair enough. I have noticed the show (this season more than last) appears to have little concern with episodic structure; we just mostly rejoin an ongoing series of characters and events week to week, instead of being served a story with any kind of beginning, middle, and end. All the CW DC shows are serialized to some extent, but structurally they still tend to have an identifiable storyline of the week that reaches some kind of resolution at the end of a given episode. Black Lightning seems just to stop each week because its hour is up, and then simply picks up again where it left off the following week. (The one time the show did feel compelled to reach some kind of narrative resolution, last season's finale, ended up feeling rushed and contrived to me.)

    It works well enough for me, since I find most of the characters and storylines in the mix to be interesting, even if there are a lot of them at any given time. And there's something to be said for a show that has too many ideas instead of too few. But I can see where it would seem unfocused and maybe directionless to some.
     
  2. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Black Lightning
    Season two / episode 7--"The Book of Blood: Chapter Three: The Sange"

    Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning:
    Loved his steadfast mockery of Looker and her thugs. He seemed to enjoy how their preconceived notions of his only being a "suit" allowed them to restore his powers through what they thought would be the means of his death.

    ..and about this exchange:

    Anissa: "Doesn't the ASA experiment on metas?"
    Jefferson: "That's her problem."

    Cold decision form BL, but handing Looker over to the ASA...recipe for disaster.

    Looker & The Sange: Looker's false "proud white American" / Confederate flag defense certainly finalized the image of her group as white supremacists...that, and the stark visual message of Perdi members hung from trees in the American legacy manner.

    Gambi:
    Jefferson's "you gotta know by now.. you ARE my family!" --very satisfying moment / reward for his unwavering belief in Gambi's survival.

    BTW, sketching a motorcycle....something new (and/or enhanced) for himself?

    Anissa & Lynn: One of the best things about this series is how involved most of the family is--direct or indirect--in the business of being heroes, but their personalities are all so grounded, so the characters are still relatable, and not hollow, super-just-to-be-super types that hurt so many comic adaptations. Another realistic element is the family's love for each other cannot be denied, but like real families, rifts can form (see the next episode), where there's not always going to be comforting grinning at each other at the end of 42 minutes, which separates this from almost every other superhero series.

    Khalil & Jennifer
    : The series still breaks any preconceived notions about Khalil as he expresses his hopeless situation to Jennifer. Despite Khalil's working for Tobias, the reverend sees a truth others in society (including some viewers of this TV series) refuse to see. With Jennifer finally breaking out of her shell (where her powers are concerned), and running away...ugh...one can hope she does not give into to typically emotion-driven teenage feelings and make what would be a terrible mistake at this point in her life.

    Looker & The Sange: Looker's false "proud white American" / Confederate flag defense certainly finalized the image of her group as white supremacists...that, and the horrifying visual message of Perdi members hung from trees in the American legacy manner.

    NOTES: Henderson is now in so deep, that it should not be long before he has too many "eyes on him", assuming he has certain connections.

    GRADE: A+
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm puzzled about the geography here. "South Freeland" seems like some deep-woods rural community, but it's close enough to Freeland that Anissa was able to get back to her clinic (I think) while Black Lightning was following the silver goo through the woods. Although I guess he could've been following it for an hour or two. He did say he was running low on charge.

    It's weird that they turned Looker into a villain, given that she's one of the Outsiders in the comics. When she started talking about admiring BL, I wondered if maybe they were setting her up for a redemption arc... but bam, she's a racist with a huge Confederate flag on her wall, so redemption seems unlikely.
     
  4. The Realist

    The Realist Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Putting people on "ignore" is an excellent way to find oneself repeating shit they already said last week. :p
     
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  5. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm glad this trilogy is over. Even though there was some nice character moments along the way, this trilogy often felt like a slog to me, and it feels like this season is not as focused as last season. I do think the trilogy ended on an interesting note, with Jennifer and Khalil running off. The development of Jennifer and Khalil's relationship was one of the high points of the last three episodes for me.

    I was thinking Anissa murdered Looker, but the dialogue explained it away that she is alive. At first I was like, she just murdered someone and Anissa's lack of reaction or Jefferson's didn't fit the moment, but when Jefferson said he would hand her over to the ASA that explained it for me.

    I do think Looker is beyond redemption, which is unfortunate they went this route for an Outsider. That character didn't have to be Looker or have a nickname or code name at all. One of the very few times I've seen villain/character mismanagement on this show, unlike Flash and Arrow, the biggest offenders.

    I am curious to see where they are going with Grace's abilities. If she has powers similar to Looker or what.
     
  6. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Vice Admiral Admiral

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  7. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Season two / episode 8 --"The Book of Rebellion: Chapter One: Exodus "

    Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning:
    Its easy to understand his anger about Jennifer running off with Khali, but he's never considered how or why Khalil ended up with Tobias, or how he feels he has no hope/future.
    Though not uncommon for a parent to get tunnel vision about his child's welfare, he should have considered that Jennifer--impulsive but not stupid-- must know something else about Khalil--enough to agree to run off with him.

    Anissa / Thunder: Ehh...she's half right about Jefferson driving Jennifer away, but by now, she has to know it was for Jennifer's own good in a world where metahumans are hunted / exploited by their own government.

    Gambi:
    Glad to see the family reunion, but he did deserve Anissa calling him out on his secretive nature.

    Lynn: Her leaning on alcohol since the ASA lab deaths is pretty disturbing; she cant just put that crutch away....

    Khalil & Jennifer
    : I thought Jennifer would end up using her powers to save Khalil, and being sensible, she attacked in a non-lethal way. Fascinating how Jennifer asserts herself--letting Khalil know that she's not to be mistreated in any way--or else. But at least Khalil explains (in part) how his world--his only chance at a future was destroyed by that bullet.

    Well choreographed, brutal fight at Khalil's aunt's home. By sheer luck, Jennifer was prevented from revealing she's a metahuman by the intervention of her family, temporarily protecting her from the interests of Tobias and the ASA.

    Jennifer or her family would not know that her being on the run is actually giving her the training of her powers that all other measures failed to do. ..but that's just a guarantee that she will be willing to jump into action, especially in the wake of Khalil being injured.

    Tobias: "tell him to keep his thick lips shut..." / "can't trust a negro as far as you can throw 'em". He's a stream of self-hatred...and now, his wheels are turning about Jennifer....

    NOTES:
    The underwear superhero at the police station. Now that was funny.

    Next week--the mid season finale.

    GRADE
    : A+
     
  8. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Season two / episode 9 --"The Book of Rebellion: Chapter Two: Gift of the Magi" - Mid-season finale


    Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning / Gambi: Great tension between the two, but Gambi was right about Jefferson not risking his life going after Jennifer without the suit. Yes, Jefferson does not want to lose yet another family member to Tobias,

    Anissa / Thunder: Cool bike. Interesting how the back and forth between father and daughter had Anissa now being the level-headed one in the search for Jennifer, pulling her father back from rash decisions.

    Lynn:
    Once again, desperate times call for desperate measures; seeking Khalil's father...using Gambi's weapons--a new look for her, and I'm guessing this angle will come up again in 2B.

    I appreciate how Khalil's father was not left in what could have been a stereotypical "ex-con" box (on any other series), and still cared about his son.

    Khalil & Jennifer: So Khalil had a brother who was killed in association with The 100. This adds another dimension to Khalil's desperate. pre-bullet struggle to escape the city, and how a few, thankfully only a few audience members completely mischaracterized his life, and motivations before and after his enhancements / work with Tobias.

    Jennifer seems to have inherited some of her mother's talents in science, but applying it to the application of her powers is something her father and sister cannot do.

    Bold of a teenager to effectively interrogate Tobias' would-be killer with enough torture tactics to find the antidote for Khalil. In a sense, she mirrors the tactics of her uncle, and again, its something her sister and father would not do, yet she has not lost her faith in God throughout it all.

    Green: Having his brilliant qualifications tossed aside because of his race / lack of the right benefactors (in the eyes of this society) is setting up another look at what happens to the Khalil's of the world (even with a when there's a void in opportunity, the wrong elements step in to take that life away.

    Tobias: "Without the benefits of being white, or rich, you'll never be better than second best" Manipulative on Tobias' part, but he's actually speaking to a grim truth about black life in America, no matter how qualified one is.

    NOTES:

    A season and a half in, and this continues to be the uncontested jewel of all CW/DC series. Nothing else comes close to the tight, consistent arcs for characters and plot.

    The new, enhanced villain...interesting for a series that has not lost a step.

    GRADE
    : A+
     
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  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm afraid I'm just not enjoying the show as much this season. The story rhythms are too unfocused, too piecemeal. It's like it's being made for binge viewing rather than week-by-week, so the episodes just go along for a while and then stop without any real climax. I guess the "Book of..." format is broken into mini-arcs that tell one big story each, but that contributes to the sense of inconsistent focus -- e.g. whatever happened to Garfield High and the new principal, or the aftermath of what happened with the Green Light Babies?

    I did like seeing Jennifer prove to be so resourceful on her own, though the fact that her family has so little faith in her ability to survive just proves her point that they shelter her too much.

    There seems to be a bit of a continuity glitch. Last season, I'm pretty sure it was established that Black Lightning's flight ability was something Gambi had built into his suit, something that let him channel his electricity in a new way. Now he was doing it without his suit. I guess it's possible he could've learned to channel it that way on his own, but it seems inconsistnt.
     
  10. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    A pretty good episode, but there really didn't seem to be a ton of story movement here.
    It is cool to finally see Jennifer start to use her powers more.
    So are Cutter and whoever this teleporter guy are our first Metas who weren't created through Green Light or the ASA's experiements?
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Are they? Freeland probably wasn't the only black community the ASA experimented on.
     
  12. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Good point, I didn't think of that.
     
  13. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The series carefully lets the running plots grow, rather than jumping from one problem to another. They're all intersecting storylines, and will reach a head in 2B, so there's time for pacing. This season has--in part--been about Jennifer coming into her own, much like one of season one's major sub-plots was Anissa's discover of/use of her powers as a crimefighter.

    One would imagine they are connected. Cutter's assumed age would place her in the timeline of when the first generation (and a half) were experimented on by the ASA. Unless there's a second organization that's run parallel experiments--one Tobias had been taking advantage of--this could be the continued work of the ASA, only they have a division where successful experiments have been fully indoctrinated into some killer / agent program, just as well trained as Jefferson in the use of powers.
     
  14. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Vice Admiral Admiral

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  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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  16. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Cool costume. It takes influences from her father and sister's costumes, while her removing the weave indicates that she's made a psychological change from the kind of girl she was as the "princess" of her high school. In other words, after all she's had to face (and growing into the idea of having super powers), she's turned the corner to maturity...up to a point.
     
  17. Morpheus 02

    Morpheus 02 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Overall, it has been a good season. i especially like Khalil's struggle and where they are going with that.

    i hope we find out more about Tobias Whale and what is going on with him and his power(s)?

    I agree that the time is still an issue (minor -- but still obvious)... and i think it is even worse for Jefferson now. As a principal, he could make an excuse why he isnt in school (and make up for those days at other events, days)...but as a teacher , how many sick days could he credibly take without medical documentation?

    and it seems NO ONE has missed the former assistant principal???

    Trek_God_1 - i am curious why you had so many episodes as A+ / Now dont get me wrong..i cant think of an episode i would rate as B or less...but i save my a= for something that is just so good or significant...like the Pilot episode and the one where Jefferson tells the students he is no longer principal... it is an excellent show nonetheless
     
  18. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What's unique about Khalil's journey is that he is exactly as he described himself--"caught up" in a situation beyond his control, which was his only hope after being robbed (by Tobias, ironically enough) of the one thing he had to escape a life of poverty and societal barriers based on who he is. He has been misjudged all along (by some audience members), while he's taken every opportunity to stand up as the decent young man he was since his introduction.

    I think the series has done a fine job slowly revealing his powers, and I do think his full potential has not been revealed yet. Don't be surprised if that will be reserved for a showdown. Then again, considering his involvement with ASA experiments, perhaps he would seek a boost or "evolution" of his powers.

    We don't know how much time he's taking off--or is he burning the candle at both ends with his (largely) nighttime adventures? In any case, as a teacher, he would have some sick days

    They have rated A+ thanks to more-than-strong and consistent plot progression (still building from season one), the always spot-on performances from all involved, and no sign that has episode-to-episode drops in overall presentation, or the manner of how it crafts and delivers its message, as seen in other series. As I've posted before, its the far and way best CW/DC series ever produced and is certainly one of the best live action superhero TV series made since 2000, only rivalled by Daredevil and The Punisher. A class all by themselves.
     
  19. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Black Lightning
    Season two / episode 10 --"The Book of Rebellion: Chapter Three: Angelitos Negros" - Mid-season premiere


    Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning: His anger toward Khalil is understandable, but he seemed surprisingly calm about his secret identity no longer being secret. Still, with every reason to end Khalil away, his principal/dad mind understands that he's not responsible for his plight and the choices that forced him to make. Not the kind of understanding he would ever get from outsiders.

    Lynn: Everyone seems a bit put off by her being so proactive--and armed--but she did protect the family in this way not long ago, so they should be used to how family will motivate her, so its no surprise that she was the one to find Jennifer & Khalil, almost as if by instinct rather than the cell phone trace.

    Khalil & Jennifer: Thankfully, they were not only mature enough to not only understand what kind of danger they were facing, but avoid giving in to any physical desires.

    Once again, we see the ridiculously mischaracterized Khalil doing the honorable thing and taking Jennifer back home, but the price he paid was gruesome, with the only way he was ever going to leave Tobias would be in the same condition at the point he met the criminal.

    Even at the sight of Khalil's mutilated body, the reverend still comforts him with references from scripture. Nice to see and a reflection of real life.

    Todd Green: Intelligent, but he's feeling himself a bit too much In how he addresses Cutter. In Green...so far...we see the opposite of Khalil; both had hope, but one is diving into a life of crime with no regrets. He feels rejected by the white establishment (as seen in his first appearance), when a kid of hi intellect would be embraced under other circumstances (a different race), so in a sense, one might understand--but not support his no-questions-asked acceptance of Tobias' hand.

    Tobias: Ripping the artificial spine out of Khalil...absolutely vicious, especially for a regular network series.

    So, it seems he's not working with the A.S.A., since he's using Green to uncover their interest in the clinic (which is now known). I suppose that makes sense, as he had his own interests in controlling Green Light, but his end-game with that is still a mystery.,, or perhaps its no longer a mystery, but an altered purpose, now that Green has uncovered the "Masters of Disaster"/ super-meta program--one that has information from 30 years ago. Who would doubt its going to lead back to a certain couple of men?.

    ...and of course, there's the weekly dose of...

    "Americans and most negroes don't respect the impact jazz had on the culture..." - Tobias reveals a class / cultural bias harbored by some in the black community who lament--or are angered about the past couple of generations ignoring the magnitude of the cultural effect jazz had on the world, at a time when that was one of the most effective, barrier-crossing forms of social and artistic communication in the world.

    "One of the transformed vegan negroes.." -
    He's a confused mess; on the one hand, he routinely blasts black people for playing into stereotypes of race, but mocks others for going their own way--one some see as an attempt to "be white." There's no winning with him.

    "Open them thick lips and use your white voice.." - Acknowledging that in dealing with anyone in any professional way, they have the expectation of hearing a so-called "white voice", yet its still an insult to Green, who--in a perfect world--would not need a dominant cultural mask to get by.

    "...but you got the heart of a sharecropper--happy to spend the days tending to massa's land" - again, another (self-hating) insult based on his false perception that brutality, manipulation and force is the only way to "get over" and in not adopting that ideology, one must suffer from the "slave mentality."

    Giselle Cutter: Interesting how for such a confident, cold killer, she has zero tolerance for young Green mocking her. After singlehandedly killing an entire S.W.A.T. unit, she's just jumped to the top of the "what's her true story is" list.

    Henderson:
    We see how from his law enforcement, pragmatic, black survivor's world view, he does not see Khalil's choices (in the wake of his crippling injury) as justifiable at all, since both he and Jefferson did not have a Brady Bunch childhood, but still made the right set of choices. Thankfully, Jefferson was coming around to know that life is never so easy as a simple choice for one who was as hopeless as post-injury Kahlil.

    NOTES: Intense, powerful start to 2B, with the tease of the "Masters of Disasters" program, and just how Tobias might use it, and not just against the Pierce family. I don't see him using the "pod children" (or anyone else) for what amounts to a "turf war" between his organization and the A.S.A. There must be something bigger just around the corner.

    Horrifying at times, this series--once again--proves that it is speaking a language unlike any of the Arrowverse shows..

    As always, excellent cinematography, setting a strangely attractive, yet dangerous look for that world.

    GRADE: A+
     
  20. The Realist

    The Realist Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They've done an excellent job in recent weeks of "rehabilitating" Khalil as a character, only to pay it off with one of the more horrifying and wrenchingly sad fates I think I've ever seen on TV. This show definitely pulls no punches.