Spoilers Black Lightning - Season 4: The Final Season

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by TREK_GOD_1, Feb 7, 2021.

  1. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    At long last, Black Lightning returns tomorrow for its fourth--and unfortunately--final season.
     
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  2. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Black Lightning - The Final Season
    Season 4 Premiere - "The Book of Reconstruction - Chapter One: Collateral Damage"


    One year later...

    Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning / Lynn: Jefferson's going deep by talking to his father, still occupying his subconscious mind, but even that side of himself cannot convince him the Black Lightning needs to "die"...at least the costumed side as it did not stop him from using his power to stop two abusive police officers:

    "I'm so tired of this."

    Statement of the centuries.

    Lynn extending her use of the drug appears to be an addiction of another stripe; she can say its about isolating the meta-gene, but she is finding more reasons to enhance herself.

    The marital problems between Jefferson and Lynn--painful stuff. Open disrespect...and utter lack of intimacy. It is little wonder Jefferson has leaned on liquor over the past year.

    Jennifer / Anissa: Grace still comatose after a year...do not expect anything good to come from that. Anissa openly admitting she, Lynn and Jennifer have all killed was rare and sobering for a superhero series--and the idea that considering an outright murder (of Tobias) is a necessary evil. However, their aggressive war on crime has now set them up to be killed by Lala, and as a result of the attack, has made Jefferson a brutal enforcer exposing his true identity.

    Jennifer passes out while flying. No matter the cause, if she should fall into the wrong hands, or end up paralyzed from the fall...

    Gambi: Lauren offering him a position as a "corporate assassin," but its good to see his loyalties are with Freeland, since he thinks her company will do noting but fleece the city through its rebuilding efforts.

    About Jefferson--he's right: his family may have a harder edge about the fight for justice, but they still respect him, but they need to see him...broken for his humanity's sake.

    Oh, and the new HQ....great design.

    Khalil: Gone with no word on his whereabouts. Spin-off or no spin-off, I feel he's likely a 4B surprise appearance.

    Gravedigger: Also M.I.A., and considered a threat, so I think its pretty clear he will pay another visit to Freeland.

    Tobias: The lustful deviant set his sights on the Green Light-addicted Lynn, and still had plans for any surviving metas through her own research; he believes his knowledge of all things Pierce protects him from any sort of retaliation, but the expression on Lynn's face was one of confusion, as if she was a moment away from contacting her daughters.

    Lala /Devonte Jones: Importing meta-weapons and more Green Light, I see. As noted last season, despite the help provided in the war, he's still a base criminal who needs to be brought down. His assassination plot against Lightning would seem to be to break the Pierce family with the death of their youngest...or push them into a reckless stab at revenge, only to fall into another trap.

    Chief Ana Lopez: Yeah, she seemed distasteful from moment one, and for good reason. The new chief wants to initiate a tagging program for the metas ASAP, so one can expect the meta to go underground, probably to be exploited by...?

    Knowing Jefferson's secret, so it can only be a matter of time before she either tries to conscript him into serving her for legitimate reasons, or she's plotting against Jefferson--as sort of he figurehead for all metas. I suspect shes working with someone else.

    NOTES:
    Excellent, very tight start to the season, with a wealth of promise in its numerous sub-plots. As set up in S3, the Pierce family is rather fractured along personal and ideological lines, with Anissa and Jennifer still being far too hot-headed to be anything other than the target of something far darker than anything the Markovians were doing.

    Its a damn shame / crime that such a marvelous TV series has been cancelled, while the rest of the CW-DC shows--most of them absolute garbage--just roll on.

    GRADE: A+.
     
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  3. The Realist

    The Realist Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It was kind of an odd premiere, I thought. The audience is asked to play a lot of catch-up with the one-year time jump. After the ambitious sprawl of last season's narrative, the show seems to have retrenched to something a lot smaller and more personal. The cast (at least for this episode) feels shrunken: no Kahlil, no TC, no Erica, no Brandon, no Lady Eve, etc. It was solid -- this show doesn't know how to misfire -- but it felt very different. Wonder if the season is going to continue in this vein, or if there's resurgent comic-book craziness waiting in the wings?
     
  4. Morpheus 02

    Morpheus 02 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    @The Realist , I agree... the new set, while cool looking, seems kinda outta the blue. Like, who's funding it/ set it up? Gambi's previous HQ made sense... this one? Not sure about

    @TREK_GOD_1 , surprised you didn't mention Hassan. Interesting new character. I am sure it was on purpose, but i have no idea where he will land. He's Henderson's protege, and Jefferson should know to trust him, so sometime in the near future there should be a reveal, though i wonder when Jefferson does, Hassan will say "I know". Hassan talking to his chief about Jefferson... is he telling her because it would be too obvious for him NOT to say anything? Just wondering what's going on with him.. and how does Chief Lopez fit? The one thing (other than the timey-wimey stuff) that bothers me about the show is that they makes things too obvious ... from TObias' "Make Freeland Great Again" to Lopez essentially likening metas to the undocumented (and having "Lopez" being the one to say it).

    Marvin Jones III -- "realisitically", Tobias should have been dead long ago. But that actor does SUCH an amazing job, it's hard to NOT have him involved. ANd this episode, Jones is at the top of his game. Making Whale look like a good guy to the outside world, when we all know how villainous he is. He portrays such manipulation so masterfully.


    Jefferson and Lynn -- painful, but realisitic portrayals of relationships. Now, does the therapist have any idea of their real identities? Because she seems really good -- but being good, i would think she could tell if they are holding something back (which they would need to).

    And i am disappointed that Lynn is still using the drug...though realistic. She has that drive to use her "powers" of scientific knowledge to be a hero like her family, just in her own way. And also realisitic to me when she talks to Jefferson in the end, that her admission of not looking at things through Jefferson's point of view.... that being a scientist, she thinks logically, and sometimes forgets the emotions that need to be addressed, and sometimes in a unscientific way.
    And i definitely agree -- Black Lightning should NOT be cancelled..... i just feel like they didn't market it right

    And regards to Lala....i still miss the very early part of Season 1, pre-death. THAT Lala to me came across as a smart villain...and the kind that would eat away at Jefferson -- a former student who had a lot of potential, and actually learned some things from Jefferson, but twisted it into a crime empire. He kinda had that, but still comes across as that semi-comatose post-death Lala

    And with Grace -- wondering if her being comatose is because they can't think of any good storylines to include her in (at least for now). She too might be a Season 4B plot. Did we ever find out how she came to get these powers? I thought she had been around for a long time..


    OK.. i think that's it for my random thoughts.
     
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  5. The Realist

    The Realist Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Speaking of Henderson, I was disappointed that the letter voiceover wasn’t Damon Gupton (at least didn’t sound like it to me).

    The news broadcast on “GBS” was a cute Easter egg — probably a post-Crisis effect.
     
  6. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I thought it was a decent opener. It's hard for me to really judge it because I'm an infrequent viewer of this series. I did look at the season three finale, but skipped most of that season and a good portion of the second season too.

    I've liked Melissa De Sousa since I first saw her in The Best Man so I think she's a good addition to the show and is starting out, at least, as an antagonist, and I like that changed relationship, from Henderson. Jefferson has lost a brother and also a powerful ally inside the police department, which adds to his isolation. For now, though I guess Hassan will come to trust BL more and also will eventually learn that Jefferson is BL, if he doesn't already know. After all he's been through, Jefferson being reckless in protecting his identity makes sense, even though I wish he wouldn't do it out of concern for him. Plus I want to see him in the BL costume.

    I thought the action scenes were done well, but the character development has long been a stronger part of this series and is here as well. I enjoyed the marriage counseling session and also the family discussions.

    Tobias is still one of the best villains in the Arrowverse, and I would say DC live-action. Overall a promising start to the final season, and even leaving us with a cliffhanger of a seemingly unconscious Jennifer falling to earth.
     
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  7. The Realist

    The Realist Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Tobias is an amazing villain. In the Arrowverse, I would say only Jon Cryer's Lex Luthor gives him any competition.
     
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  8. The Realist

    The Realist Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Pretty in-depth interview with Salim Akil about this final season:

    https://ew.com/tv/black-lightning-season-4-trauma-is-the-big-bad/

    Seems my feeling of the scaled-down and refocused approach to the premiere was exactly the plan:
     
  9. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hassan could be one of two things: loyal to the chief and using Jefferson's friendship/grief about Henderson against him (to do the chief's bidding), or he knows something about the chief (possibly tied to anyone who would want to exploit / kill all metas), but is playing along with her until he uncovers enough information to use against her in the official capacity, or through meta-justice.

    Until we learn more about her, one could guess naming her "Lopez" but having her be of some clear black ethnicity is a nod (or stab at) the current vice president. Lopez wanting an immediate meta tagging program (in a predominantly black town like Freeland) could be the showrunner's way of addressing the VP's history (while as a prosecutor in California) of unapologetically pushing incredibly harsh laws that punished black people / sent them to prison with no recourse in the justice system. That would be a great angle for the Lopez character--how all who "look" like you are not always those you can trust, and not in obvious cases such as Tobias and Lala (criminals), but those in legitimate seats of authority.

    Agreed; he--and the currently absent Odell are easily the strongest, best developed villains of any DC TV series.


    I do not think she knows about Jefferson's other life, but might assume if anything is being held back, it would fall into the categories she commonly faces as a therapist. That said, if she does know--but pretends she does not, she could be an enemy "in the back yard" so to speak, as Jefferson and Lynn believed they were safe in exposing their most personal issues to what is essentially a stranger.


    She had them slowly building in her, if memory serves, but as far as her fate is concerned, don't find yourself too shocked if Lynn's treatments to revive her lead to catastrophic effects, which might be possible, considering the fact this is the series' final season.
     
  10. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Black Lightning - The Final Season
    Season 4 - Episode 2 - "The Book of Reconstruction - Chapter Two: Unacceptable Losses"


    Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning / Lynn: Lynn admits she does not have friends--that's an open wound that might be the gateway for exploitation...by Tobias, as one might expect. Realizing that with no strong connection to her husband and children, she only lives for work. Accepting that lonely fate--and feeling as if she's inferior to her meta family--it was predictable to see her taking even deeper dives into the experiments on herself.

    I thoroughly enjoyed Jefferson's potentially fateful argument with Gambi:

    Gambi: "...she told me she found you passed out on the porch last night. You were out there, using you powers without wearin' the suit, weren't you? I picked up your energy signature--you're screwed up, Jeff! You don't wanna be Black Lightning, but you're willing to light up a couple of cops, and intentionally cripple a man's arm!"

    Jefferson: "I don't want to hear it--"

    Gambi: "You're gonna hear it!! Because you're not just some...thug running around getting payback! You have to hold yourself to a higher standard! Man, you're a symbol of justice for a city that badly needs--"

    Jefferson: "You're singing the same song! Where did it get me? Or Freeland?"

    Gambi: "Freeland would be lost without Black Lightning!"

    Jefferson: "Freeland IS lost! When Henderson died, all 'Black Lightning' could do was watch! Tobias is walking around, and he's shock proof now! Well, this whole Black Lightning thing is a waste of time, but that shooter is NOT walking away from this!"

    Gambi: "You're wrong, Jeff--you're wrong. Between your grief for Henderson and using your powers without the suit, you're not thinking clearly!"

    Jefferson: "No..no, I'm thinking clear as day! Find the shooter!"

    Gambi: "No."

    Excellent, mature dialogue mixing real world consequences with fantasy. Both men made strong points, but in the end, Jefferson's misplaced guilt has transformed him into the very thing Gambi said he was not: a thug getting payback.

    Jennifer / Anissa: Jennifer is ready for the SATs...only she does not care about it. At first, I thought college would be the way to close the chapter on the character (since there were rumors that actress China McClain wanted to leave the series), despite Jennifer expressing no rush to take the SATs.

    Anissa rebuffed the interests of Darius (her colleague), but with one look at Grace's bizarre state, she changed her mind. Hmm...

    Darius feeling powerless to really be effective as a doctor...and working in a lab studying meta-genes could lead somewhere...

    Gambi: Monovista International--the company interested in Gambi's talents--are working with Lopez, providing then with D.E.G. pistols designed to stop metas. Lauren Caruso's wheels continue to turn in her efforts to draw Gambi in, but you would have to believe her interests are operating on several levels. I was wondering if he would feign ignorance and attempt to infiltrate the company, or the showrunners are using his argument with Jefferson as misdirection to lead audiences to believe Gambi might leave the series.

    Marcel Payton: Tragic: the Markovian/A.S.A. war destroyed his home, sending his family to the streets--the very reason his son was murdered. SEE NOTES.

    Tobias: Threatening Jefferson out in the open, using the cover of bought respectability for protection. He's rather bold informing Jefferson that he's going to go after all he cares about, as if he's already anticipated any countermeasures Team Black Lightning may try. Sound strategy.

    Chief Ana Lopez: Lopez initiate a mass "law and order" campaign--targeting Lala and Lady Eve's successor, Destiny. ...next generation Directed Energy Guns to kill metas. She's another Odell of a different stripe--the stripe of being a so-called legitimate public servant.

    NOTES:
    Payton is a very rare, serious look at the of how superhero battles have consequences--but unlike some productions where deaths are merely one-offs with characters the audience never knew to be used as a convenient catalyst, this series' supporting characters have added flesh to the plot's bones, so the city and its residents play as real. This handling of even minor characters is head and shoulders above the majority of superhero productions. No surprise there.

    Effective use of James Brown's "Public Enemy #1" track from 1972's There it Is LP; perfectly applicable to the scene of Jefferson's attack on the shooter.

    GRADE: A+.
     
  11. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This season is off to a great start.
    We're definitely starting off with Jefferson in a very dark place. I'm very curious to see what kind of shape he'll be by the end.
    Lynn's not doing to good either. Once again we her good intentions are leading her down a path of addiction.
    After the Pierces ended up such close allies with Henderson, I can see the appeal of bringing in a new, more antagonistic police chief.
    I'm a little confused to see how easily Tobias was able to pretend to go legit, I thought it was pretty much common knowledge that he was a criminal and used to be the leader of The 100.
    I'm curious how this whole thing with Jennifer not wanting to take the SATs is going to lead to her reduced role in the season.
    Annisa's big meeting with Lala and Lady Eve's successor was a pretty badass moment for her.
    Not sure yet what to make of Gambi's new lady friend.
     
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  12. The Realist

    The Realist Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If Grace-as-tiger from last night's episode had shown up on Supergirl, we would have never heard the end of how cheap and video-gamey the CGI was. ;)
     
  13. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Isn't she a leopard?
     
  14. The Realist

    The Realist Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Right you are. Got my big cats confused.
     
  15. Morpheus 02

    Morpheus 02 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Jennifer / Anissa: Jennifer is ready for the SATs...only she does not care about it. At first, I thought college would be the way to close the chapter on the character (since there were rumors that actress China McClain wanted to leave the series), despite Jennifer expressing no rush to take the SATs.
    .[/QUOTE]
    This again is my "major" nitpick with Black Lightning -- they way they disregard "realistic" use of time. How many years in-show has Black Lightning been taking place? Assuming Jenn was a freshman in Season 1... she SHOULD be taking the SAT in her Junior year. Considering how on it Lynn would be, taking the SAT in senior year is REALLY late. Now, i am not sure how the Markovian war disrupted education in Freleand... like if students get a "do-over" year with no penalty.

    .
    I think the interaction and Anissa's encouragement was real. but the conversation seemed too quick
    .
    i don't know about leaving the series... but as a way for him to end his character arc at the very end of the show? Maybe... but him sneaking into Monovista FIRST, and THEN agreeing to work for her? If she was ASA, it seems pretty sloppy that she wouldn't suspect him of damaging the security cameras (even if it "melted" later). So BOTH could be trying to play each other. Still early to tell
    .
    Bold? I was thinking more of just how masterfully manipulative Tobias is. He knows exactly what buttons to push on Jefferson. This is what makes him one of the best villains... the type of thing they ought to have Lex Luthor doing to fight Superman
    .
    Lala and Destiny seemed to get capturd waaaaaay too easily. I am not sure how they could have done that scene (i.e. getting the two to agree to something)
    .
    I had to think about that one for a second. I was focused on this week's tragedy of the death, and had to think about what you meant -- that they war that Black Lightining was involved with also had consequences for the citizens he was trying to save.

    TO me, the more powerful thing with Payton was how Jefferson as a principal was unaware of this teacher's dilemma. i think he would have been able to come up with something to help Payton's family. I think this, like Lala, is one of those things that i know many people in urban ministry face -- feeling guilt over something they could have done to prevent a tragedy/bad outcome. None of those were Jefferson's fault (certainly with the teacher, i know Jefferson created an atmosphere where Payton could have brought it up), but Jefferson takes on the guilt anyway.
    .
     
  16. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Black Lightning - The Final Season
    Season 4 - Episode 3 - "The Book of Reconstruction - Chapter Three: Despite All My Rage"


    Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning / Lynn: So, Jefferson has revealed everything to his therapist (See NOTES). He knows Lynn as well as she knows herself--calling her a hypocrite for asking him to quit being Black Lightning (a decade earlier), but uses the story of "protecting" their daughters as the reasons she should experiment on herself.

    Lynn finally understands that she's still trying to "fit in where I don't belong" with metas--the same way she tried with her military family, going so far as to suggest that emotional need (or weakness) is the root of her dangerous, addictive personality.

    Jennifer / Anissa: Yeah, there's sniping between the sisters over who is more of a menace (according to TV), but once can see how mature their relationship has become, compared to season one's growing pains. Speaking of pain, Jennifer's trips to he ionosphere has taken its toll on her, with her arm temporarily becoming pure energy. With her allies all on different pages, and Jennifer tending to blow off serious problems, she could be heading toward disaster--unless T.C. steps up and warns Gambi...

    Grace continues to be a problem with no end in sight, especially with Lynn--who was working on a cure--is too involved with proving herself as a pseudo-meta.

    Gambi / Monovista International / Lauren Caruso:
    Caruso's created upgraded D.E.G.'s designed to kill metas... Thankfully, Gambi did not buy Caruso's lies about the weapon's settings, but it is unclear how he will prevent them from being used against the Pierce family, especially since the weapons are set to be supplied to Freeland law enforcement headed by the anti-meta Chief Lopez...

    Lala / Marcel Payton: Once again, we see how his life has fallen apart, trying to earn enough money to reunite with his remaining children by being a not-so-successful cage fighter. In what must be one this series' most bizarre (disheartening) developments, Jefferson stepped into the cage to save his friend's life...still using his powers sans the suit...and gives into feelings of ego, or achievement he's lost in his regular life, no matter how he tried to sell Gambi on his ability to help people without the costume. While Jefferson winning the money for Marcel--and letting him stay at his childhood home was heartfelt, I just do not see Marcel's story having a happy ending--not with Tobias promising to destroy all Jefferson cares about.

    Tobias: Mayor Black shoved Tobias' transparent offer to "rebuild" by tearing down Garfield High down his throat. Good to see some officials are not painted as shady.

    The second Lynn received the invitation to dinner, I knew it was a Tobias set-up; his way of zeroing in on Lynn's insecurities about her value in a family of metas felt as if he's getting information only one other person would know (as of this episode)...

    Although Lynn called Tobias out on his manipulative ways, her ears did perk up a bit when he stroked her ego with the idea that she--a black woman--would be the one to cure ALS.

    As if the Pierce family did not have enough drama, Jefferson walking in on Lynn dining with Tobias was enough to convince him of her being unfaithful--that's how fragile their marriage is.

    Rebecca Larsen: Er...yeah. The DC-TV version of Laura Ingraham was more than obvious.

    NOTES:
    I'm wondering if this is the first superhero series where the main character has revealed much (or everything) about his other life to a therapist. Whatever the case may be, the therapy sessions have been a strong device to lay out the "gut" of the Pierces in ways they would not with each other (without it turning into yet another argument).

    GRADE: A+.
     
  17. The Realist

    The Realist Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not so sure Jefferson has revealed everything to their therapist. As the audience, we understand what he means when he talks about Black Lightning as his other/former self, but note there are no specific references to BL by name, nor to his meta abilities. Lynn also speaks of her alienation and sense of exclusion from the rest of the family, without mentioning their meta natures. Think they're still keeping those details to themselves, couching them in terms of more conventional family struggles and conflicts.
     
  18. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That was the way I read it too, when he was talking we knew he was talking about being Black Lightning, but he was clearly being careful to actually refer to himself as BL or use the m word.
    I'm curious if Jefferson is going to keep going with Lala's fight club, he did seem to be getting pretty into it.
    The DEG's lowest setting didn't look like much of a stun setting to me. If what we saw in the episode is the lowest setting, I'd hate to see what happens on the highest.
    I actually kind of like Jennifer using social media as a way to get her version of events out there. In this day and age, I have a feeling most superheroes would have Twitter and IG accounts.
    I'm glad to see the Mayor is actually aware of Tobias's history, and didn't buy his bullshit. But now I have to question how much longer he's going to live.
    I really can't see Lynn working with Tobias ending well, no matter how good her intentions are. I'm definitely curious how the confrontation that we know has to be coming with her and Jefferson is going to play out.
     
  19. Morpheus 02

    Morpheus 02 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That revelation about Lynn and her family -- that is helpful... i just wish she would talk to Gambi... he is also a genius (in his own field), but is not a meta. Lynn has the character of a superhero, and has the abilities to be part of the team, she just needs to "stay in her lane" (which does not have to be a marginal one).


    Family here, and how the actors play it out, is one of BL's strength. As the father of 2 daughters myself, their banter totally feels real.

    Now, the Grace thing... OK, so her co-worker became a minister in 20 minutes? Seems even more of left field than Diggle marrying Oliver and Felicity (or was that Barry and Iris). And what exactly is the rush? A wedding isn't like someone dying or something negative, right?
    Yeah, that scene kinda felt like a serious version of "Here COmes the Boom". Also, it felt a little weird with a guy who looks like he came formt he STreet fighter game...and the "virtual" audience...i wonder if it was originally intended as a "traditional underground cage match", but did the virtual thing as a COvid workaround...in which case was effective. ALso, were the audience members BL fans that got a lucky shot to appear?

    In terms of consequences of this segment.... this MIGHT be the end of Payton's story. By the way, i liked how when Jefferson gave Payton the money, that Payton immediately tunred around and paid Jefferson, saying it was first month's rent , which Jefferson still accepted to keep Payton's dignity.

    And while not this extreme, i think many principals, if their teachers were in simlar circumstances, would also do their best to find a way to help (and be informal when off duty).
    Yeah, but i think this will have some pretty immediate consequences for the mayor.
    Yeah, the thought that Tobias was behind the follows/dinner seemed pretty obvious, but still extremely well played out. (Far more realisitic than Thunder kidnapping 2 leaders of gangs).

    Once again, this season is showing what a strong villain Tobias is. He told her he wanted her to focus all her energy on ALS... in doing so, he could distract her from her "extracirricular activities"... and things that are actually VERY moral. This would be the best temptation... reminds me a bit of Satan's temptations to Jesus.

    Now was Jefferson walking in at the restaurant part of Tobias' plan, or coincidence/plot convenience?
    i wonder if the writers are purposely being vague about this themselves. Did they find a therapist they could actually trust? (Perhaps a friend of Erika Alexander's character) It seems like the therapist told Tobias about Lynn's need to fit in (the way Tobias used it subtly in the dinner). or that could be a red herring? This is a mystery worth following. Hopefully it won't drag out too long, but so far, it works for me.
     
  20. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Cartoon Premium Member

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    Fight Club. Minus one point.
    Lynn's brother is named "John". Plus one point.