Spoilers Black Lightning - Season 4: The Final Season

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

  1. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    ^ I was just trying to offer a story explanation for the disparity between JJ and Jen you mentioned. How Jen actually works is a question for better minds.
     
  2. cylkoth

    cylkoth Commodore Commodore

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    After a successful recast, seeing it undone this way was disappointing for me. I wish McClain hasn't left, but they caught lightning :whistle:(see what I did there), in a bottle with her replacement- now slash, imposter. With no hints or seeding that JJ wasn't who we thought she was (Lynn's concern over her instability never leaned hard into this not being her real daughter, only potential danger over JJ's results). And the JJ vs Real Jen fight made little sense story wise. This 'Prophet' leaves the Celestial Temple and assumes the life of her human template only to shed herself of those pesky human emotions and experiences in microseconds! Wasn't she devastated over the murder of 'her' father just minutes earlier? She was alone in last week's cliffhanger as Whale gleefully told her, so no one around to pretend for or put on a show. She similarly grieved for almost love interest Uriel. But Jen shows up and now it's ''Jen is enemy...JJ smash enemy''. She dun gone full Pah-wraith. :brickwall: Jen-as angry as she was over being trapped, should've tried appealing to her, since she was apparently connected- how strong that mental connection was is unclear, just that she was in JJ's mind all along.

    A rushed season unfortunately, and this finale crammed in too much, making it a messy, uneven ending. I would've been happy if a couple of earlier episodes could've been dumped, in order to set things up here a bit better.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2021
  3. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly. Moreover, Lopez obtaining metaboosters from Tobias was under the table (nevermind the illegality of having that in her possession), and her use of it, draining city property and attacking law enforcement...that--along with the viral video of her promising to end Lightning and any like her, and she would not have a legal or public relations leg to stand on. Lopez was always painted as a self-serving woman who obsessively despised metas in the way a racist hates his victim group of choice, so the series had her take that obsessive route to its natural conclusion--from arming the FPD with next-gen DEG rifles, to spearheading a propaganda campaign against Lightning, to her using metaboosters and attacking her own officers.

    At best, she would face a number of charges leading to a sharp attorney trying to sell the idea that past trauma (her husband's death) made her obsess over eliminating metas to the point where she became irrational (including making deals with a known criminal), so she would end up in a psych ward instead of prison, but her career was clearly over to anyone watching her rapid, self-inflicted fall.

    I would have enjoyed that too, but running time being what it is, there was only so much that would be covered in the episode--unless they expanded it to "90 minutes" (more like 78).

    True--Red and Looker already had enough dirt on them to lead to serious prison time, so plea bargaining would be the expected course, with all of their evidence pointing right back to Tobias.
     
  4. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    A pretty good finale, but not quite as big as I was expecting.
    I agree that the whole JJ thing did feel kind of random. Like you guys have said, it would have been nice if there'd been more of a set up than what we got.
    Painkiller getting the Pierces wiped from his memory was unexpected. I had assumed if Painkiller got picked up, they would have found a way that resolved the kill order, that left the possibility of future teams ups open. I guess we could still have Pierces show up on Painkiller if it does move forward at HBOMax, but it's not going to be the same if he doesn't remember them.
    Tobias's end was a bit underwhelming, the fight was shorter than I was expecting, and him getting impaled on the spike felt a bit random.
    It turns out the Covid pandemic put an end to plans that they were making for The Flash and Batwoman crossovers. They had wanted to do a scene with Barry and Iris having dinner with the Pierces that would have dealt with the fact that Barry was raised by a black family, and they was also thinking about having Thunder and Lightning team up with Batwoman.
     
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  5. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    I think having JJ not being malicious and having two Lightnings would've been more fun than them fighting and could've served as a neat coda to the Painkiller saga. Imagine two Lightnings rolling up on Lopez!
     
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  6. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    EW has posted their post finale interview with Cress Williams, and in it he says that he has been talking with The Flash people about possibly appearing in a couple episodes next season.
    And one with Salim Akil, one interesting thing he reveals in it is that they had originally planned to end with Season 5, so they had to kind of make up this ending as they went along. He says in the end of the interview that Season 5 would have resolved all of the tension among the characters, and we would have seen them together to finally clean up Freeland. I'm disappointed now, because I really would have liked to have seen that.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    They only just passed on the pilot the other day, so the finale was no doubt filmed well before then. This was always going to be the plan, whether or not the pilot got picked up. They apparently wanted to start Painkiller with a clean slate, to let it be its own thing without the BL baggage.

    Crossovers would still be a possibility, just with Khalil not recognizing the Pierces, and not until after the show had established its own voice and focus.


    Those would've been interesting, especially the former. They could still be done next year, but the Barry/Iris dinner would probably have been more interesting within the context of BL, since The Flash tends to gloss over the race issue or deal with it through metahuman metaphors.



    Yeah... JJ wasn't really evil, she was just, basically, lonely up in the ionosphere and craving the experience of humanity. I wish they'd leaned into that more, the idea that she was fighting to hold onto her life out of sympathetic motives rather than menace, and maybe found a way for them to reconcile.
     
  8. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I thought the series finale was adequate. One of the hallmarks of the series overall has been its character development so I didn’t feel that any of the main characters particularly got shortchanged by the closing credits. Granted in the final episode Lynn didn’t get much screen time, but over the course of the season (and the series itself) her character did get that exploration.

    I was surprised how much Lightning dominated the finale, even getting two boss fights. I imagine it was a nice way to welcome China McClain back and acknowledge all she brought to the show, and to give her some make up screen time since she hadn’t been in many of the final season episodes. The reveal of J.J. as an evil entity was a nice surprise, and J.J. versus Jennifer was my favorite fight as well as scene in the finale, because it caught me completely by surprise. In the prior episode I had been thinking that the Lightning character was going to split for a moment during the confrontation with Red, and that was the way McClain would come back, but how they did it was better. I’m glad that Laura Kariuki got to make her mark on the series by being a separate character and giving Lightning a real neat personal nemesis.

    Chief Lopez was another potential great personal nemesis for Lightning, but her storyline was rushed. I haven’t seen every episode this season and didn’t know, until reading on this thread, that her backstory was only told in the penultimate episode. I think they wasted Melissa DeSousa. And how easily Lightning dispatched her reinforced that.

    I was surprised by how little screen time Thunder got, but when I look back over the series, Thunder got a lot of focus so perhaps it balances out. An aside, I didn’t recall hearing Grace’s codename until the series finale, and it just made me think again that they should’ve just made her a brand-new character instead of using the Grace Choi name. I read a good deal of the Outsider comics that had Anissa and Grace in them, and it’s just stuck in my head that Grace should be an Amazon like in the comics. Yes, I know changes are made when adapting stories, but still, there were few similarities between the characters, and it wouldn’t have hurt the series much to just introduce a new character. I thought the assault on the building holding the emitter was too easy. Whale can be very arrogant, but still it seems he would’ve had much more security than that guarding the emitter.

    I don’t know why they didn’t include Gambi’s love interest more in the action and especially at the wedding celebration, because she basically is part of the family now. During the fighting to get to the emitter I was wondering if Gambi was going to die if there was going to be a major sacrifice.

    I wasn’t super impressed by the final fight between Jefferson and Tobias, though I really liked how Black Lightning busted out of that grave. I thought the fight in the episode before the finale fight was quite good and brutal and the final fight didn’t really compare. I didn’t expect Whale to die. I was thinking that Jefferson was going erase his memories like he attempted to do the week before.

    By the end I think they tied enough of the loose strings that it gave me enough sense of closure. Jefferson’s journey was full circle, and I liked how they brought his father and the young Jefferson actor back. I was glad though that it left the door open to see these characters again.

    Overall, I think the series did very well when it came to character development and exploration of social issues. Also really liked a lot of the musical selections. The family drama aspects of the series were well done, but I also felt that was often at the expense of the superhero aspect of the show.

    Now that it’s over some of the things I wished I had seen:

    -Jefferson in a flashback episode in the more comic book accurate BL suit that was in the pilot.

    -An Outsiders team. Yes, there were Outsider characters on the series, but I wish we had gotten to see Black Lightning leading an Outsider team that was calling itself, or named by others, as the Outsiders.

    -More flair for the supervillains. I think the focus on making things more realistic, albeit for an Arrowverse show, took away from some of the fun of seeing the Masters of Disaster in costumes, etc.

    -Instant. What happened to that guy? He had a cool introduction and that seemed to be it.

    -More involvement in the overall Arrowverse. I wouldn’t have minded seeing some of the heroes and villains from other series come to Freeland and vice versa. I’ve seen that one of the showrunners had wanted to do something with Flash and Batwoman and I think that would’ve been nice. I also heard that there had been pre-pandemic plans for Diggle to be on all the Arrowverse series, and I wish we had gotten to see that. I might be wrong, but I think that Lynn and Diggle, post-Crisis, are now related.

    -Living Single reunion episode. I do know that two Living Single alums were on the series, but it would’ve been nice if they had been able to find a way to get the cast together again in one episode.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2021
  9. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Though I liked what they ultimately did with JJ, I do think it could've been set up better. If they had planted seeds to her darker nature, or even had her working with Tobias. I did like how Jennifer was out of sorts that only Jefferson suspected something was off with JJ and the rest of her family more readily embraced the imposter.

    When JJ thought she had the upper hand and was pouring energy into Jennifer I was sort of hoping there would be some regret on JJ's part, a flicker of doubt or something in her eyes, but they pretty much went full villain there. I don't think her feelings for Uriah were contradictory because Uriah was someone who was into her and not Jennifer. It was a way to experience new emotions that didn't rely on Jennifer's memories or feelings.
     
  10. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Cartoon Premium Member

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    The JJ reveal kept making me think of Halo from the comics, who was also an energy being. Makes me wonder if they could have turned JJ into a version of Halo if the show had continued. ( And JJ wasn't a psycho)
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Ohh, interesting. I wonder if that's where they were planning to go. I was wondering if she was based on anything from the comics, and Halo makes sense. And they turned Looker into a villain, so they could've done the same with Halo.
     
  12. theenglish

    theenglish Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They would fit right in on Superman and Lois. Especially if they had a connection to Darksied and Intergang.

    I feel pretty bittersweet about this ending, as it only makes me want an Outsiders series. Grace, Anissa, and Jen deserve their own series. Bring in Halo (jj), Geo-Force, and a reformed Looker then all they are missing is Metamorpho.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2021
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's a cool idea. Of course, they'd have to do a Batwoman and the Outsiders team-up at some point.

    I don't think BL's super-racist version of Looker is redeemable, though. Bring back Katana from Arrow instead.
     
  14. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    Your quotes are broken. Is that you getting a dig in on someone (if so, tch tch), or are you quoting someone else?
     
  15. Morpheus 02

    Morpheus 02 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sorry about that. Thanks for pointing it out so I was able to correct it
     
  16. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That is still happening, we just got the episode of Superman & Lois David Ramsey directed last night, and his guest appearance in Legends of Tomorrow is coming in four episodes, and then he's also going to be making appearances in other shows in the weeks after that.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Lynn Stewart and John Stewart aren't related in the comics, or if they are, it's never been stated. Tony Isabella gave Lynn the maiden name Stewart with an eye toward potentially linking her to John, but no comic has ever picked up on the idea. The only continuity in which they're explicitly siblings is the "Earth-16" of the animated Young Justice. However, this season of BL definitely hinted that Lynn and Diggle are siblings in the post-Crisis universe; Lynn mentioned in therapy that she has a brother and that she came from an Army family, consistent with Diggle's Army background rather than John Stewart's Marine Corps background.
     
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  18. theenglish

    theenglish Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I would agree with you about Looker-- the original team had Batman, Black Lightning, Metamorpho, Geo-Force, Halo, Katana -- later versions had Lightning, Thunder, and Grace.

    A television version could easily have Black Lightning/Batwoman appearing occasionally with Thunder, Lightning, Grace, Painkiller, Geo-Force, Katana, TC, and Halo. Maybe introduce The Signal.
     
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  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Grace's official superhero name in the show is Wylde, which Jefferson mentioned aloud for the first time when he announced that he'd retire and turn the defense of Freeland over to "Thunder, Wylde, and Lightning." Grace's real name is Shay Li Wylde, and she's an amalgam of the Grace Choi and Charlie Wylde characters from the comics.


    That's that new Batman sidekick from the comics, right? Duke Thomas, I think it was?
     
  20. theenglish

    theenglish Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And Duke was in the most recent Outsiders comic, I believe. I just looked up Charlie Wylde as I'd never heard of him before--good catch.