Black Lightning – Black Jesus
By: Jessica Wolff
Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) hears screaming as he walks through the high school and two students tell him it’s coming from the boy’s bathroom. He gives them instructions and goes to the bathroom, where he finds Bernard Lewis (Michael King) on the floor. Jefferson gets his attention and Bernard admits he doesn’t know what’s going on. Suddenly, Bernard becomes angry and throws a sink at Jefferson. Bernard charges at him, but Jefferson knocks him out by zapping him. Upon searching Bernard’s pockets, Jefferson finds a bag of drugs and stashes it as the Security Officer (Aaron Quick Nelson) arrives.
As Anissa Pierce (Nafessa Williams) drives, she spots two drug dealers, LaShawn (Al-Jaleel Knox) and Bam (Darone Okolie), selling on the street corner to Lisa (Taylor Polidore) and Neema (Kat Logan). She pulls over and orders that the students get in the car before yelling at the dealers. One of the dealers shows her his gun, and Anissa walks away. She hears one of them call her a bitch, and restrains herself from attacking them as she gets in her car and drives away.
Jefferson shows Peter Gambi (James Remar) the drug, and Gambi identifies it as a drug called Greenlight. Jefferson gets frustrated that he seems to be fighting a losing battle, but Gambi tells him he can’t save everyone. They speculate that the 100 gang is behind the drug, and come up with a plan to investigate. Black Lightning interrogates Block (Alex Phipps) and zaps him when he doesn’t answer. Block refuses to snitch, but Black Lightning threatens to zap him until he talks. Block surrenders and tells him talk to Frank ‘2-Bits’ Tanner (Jason Louder) and gives up his location. Black Lightning thanks him before punching him.
Lady Eve (Jill Scott) talks to Tobias Whale (Marvin ‘Krondon’ Jones III) as she performs an autopsy on a live subject. She tells him that albinos were considered magical and their ground bones were sold as magic dust. Eve reminds him that he became a leader of the 100 due to claiming he killed Black Lightning and tells him that he essentially lied on his resume. Tobias assures her that he plans to kill Black Lightning for good, and Eve questions how she can believe him. She tells him that he’s creating problems for her and orders him to take care of the problems or else she’ll turn him into dust.
Jefferson meets with Bernard and his father, Mr. Lewis (Derrick LeMont), and tells Bernard that he scared him. After Bernard apologizes for his actions, Mr. Lewis asks Jefferson to not expel Bernard and give him a second chance. Jefferson assures him that he will not expel Bernard, and Mr. Lewis thanks him. Bernard is hesitant to give up the source of his drugs, but Mr. Lewis orders him to. He tells Jefferson that a man named Ronald Wright gave him the drugs, promising him that the first taste is free. After Bernard and Mr. Lewis thank Jefferson and leave, Ms. Fowdy (Skye P. Marshall) warns him that the board won’t allow Bernard to stay at the school, but Jefferson insists it’s his decision. He tells her to tell the board that it’s his decision, but she reminds him that she’s not his secretary.
Jefferson calls Gambi, and tells him about Wright. Gambi tells him that he’s watching Wright’s body being moved from a scene, having died from a drug overdose. Jefferson tells him that the dealer identified his supplier as 2-Bits, commenting that he grew up with him. Khalil (Jordan Calloway) struggles with his physical therapy while Jennifer Pierce (China Anne McClain) supports him. They hear the nurses talking about the impossibility of Khalil walking, and Jennifer tells them that he can hear them. Jennifer checks on Khalil, who is confident in his ability to walk again. However, she breaks down in the hallway.
Tobias punches a coroner (Estes Tarver), yelling at him for lying about Black Lightning’s death. He explains that he made an assumption by how far Black Lightning fell. Tobias asks if he personally saw Black Lightning burn, and has his associate kill him. Jennifer comes home to find Jefferson and Lynn Pierce (Christine Adams) waiting for her. They confront her about not answering her phone and blowing off track practice. She insists that the coach wouldn’t let her visit Khalil, and Jefferson tells her she has too much on her plate. Jennifer insists that Khalil needs her, and declares that she’s quitting track. Lynn tells her to wait two days before making a permanent decision, but Jennifer insists that she won’t change her mind.
At dinner with Inspector Henderson (Damon Gupton) and his wife, Veretta (Karen Ceesay), Anissa defends Black Lightning’s efforts to protect the city. Henderson believes that Black Lightning doesn’t care who he hurts, and Anissa argues that he’s doing a better job than the police. Anissa and Henderson continue to argue, and Lynn jumps in and says that it must be hard for Black Lightning’s family. Anissa declares that Black Lightning’s family must be supportive of him because he’s heroic. She insists that something needs to be done about the city’s problems since the current methods aren’t working. Anissa excuses herself and insists to Jefferson that she’s okay.
Anissa hides herself under a hood and approaches LaShawn and Bam. She attacks them, and then fearfully checks for a pulse before calling 911. Jefferson visits a bar and is spotted by 2-Bits. They greet each other and 2-Bits asks Jefferson why he’s there. Jefferson tells him that his student overdosed on Greenlight, and tells him to stop dealing before he is arrested. 2-Bits asks what else he’s supposed to do, and that he has a family to take care of. Jefferson offers his help, but 2-Bits rejects it.
Gambi asks Jefferson how his conversation with 2-Bits went, and tells him that Greenlight is highly addictive and powerful. He questions why the overdoses aren’t on the news, and Jefferson argues that Black kids overdosing have never been considered newsworthy. Gambi comments that the 100’s operations have become more advanced since Black Lightning returned. Jefferson decides to visit 2-Bits again as Black Lightning and returns to the bar in full costume.
Black Lightning fights off 2-Bits’ associates and grabs 2-Bits. He requests that Black Lightning not knock him out and call the cops like he did to Block, but Black Lighting tells him that he shouldn’t be dealing. 2-Bits tries to negotiate, and Black Lightning promises not to call the come in exchange for information. 2-Bits gives him the drop-off location and asks for a selfie with him. Black Lightning knocks him out as he tries to take the picture.
Jennifer visits Khalil, who tells her that a reporter wants to interview him. He admits that he doesn’t want people to see him like this, and asks for her opinion. She tells him that she quit the track team, and he decides to do the interview after declaring that he wants to show that it takes more than a bullet to keep him down. He asks her to be his ride and die, and she agrees.
Rose Litchcut (Jennifer Van Horn) tells Jefferson that the board should have final say in Bernard’s expulsion. Jefferson argues that she doesn’t know his students like he does, and senses that the decision is already final. After she leaves, Jefferson complains to Fowdy about the board. Fowdy tells him that he can’t save all of his students, arguing that discipline is necessary. He points out that the board will eventually fire him if he doesn’t follow their orders, and she tells him he has a choice to make while offering her help.
Tori (Edwina Findley Dickerson) drives through town and visits her brother, Tobias. They greet each other and she asks him how they’re going to kill Black Lightning after they embrace. Black Lightning observes the Greenlight facility from the roof, impressed with the new electric vision ability Gambi added to the suit. Anissa and Grace Choi (Chantal Thuy) walk together and Anissa asks her if she’s ever felt she had to keep a secret from her parents. Grace reminds her that she’s bi, and Anissa questions whether she needs her parents anymore.
Black Lighting reports to Gambi that the Greenlight operation seems to be bigger than the 100, stating that no street gang is this organized. Anissa tells Grace that she’s grown and can make her own decisions. Grace admits that she has a bad relationship with her parents, and wishes that she could still go to them for advice. A homophobic man and his associates harass them, and Grace threatens to call the cops. The man pushes Grace and Anissa attacks the man and his associates.
Black Lightning hears a noise that sounds like an explosion and reports it to Gambi. Despite Gambi’s warning that he can’t lose sight of the supply truck, Black Lightning insists on investigating the explosion. He sees the three men lying on the ground and asks Gambi to check the security camera. Gambi watches the footage, but the camera goes out quickly. He lies to Black Lightning that he didn’t see anything, and tells him to be safe as he goes back to the warehouse. Gambi grabs a gun and goes to the scene. Anissa tends to Grace inside a building, and asks if it’s a good thing if she was able to make bad people pay for what they did. Grace agrees and Gambi takes a picture of a footprint that Anissa left.
Tobias and Tori watch the news story on Khalil, and Tobias turns off the footage. He tells Tori that he can’t openly kill Black Lightning, but Tori suggests turning public opinion against Black Lighting so they will kill him for them. She suggests starting with Khalil, and Jennifer is surprised to find Khalil playing with video games donated by an anonymous donor. Khalil tells her that the donor also paid his medical bills as well as his family’s rent. Jefferson and Khalil’s Mother (Yolanda T. Ross) come in and inform Khalil that he will never walk again due to the complete severing of his spinal cord.
Fowdy tells Jefferson that the board has agreed not to expel Bernard in exchange for Jefferson counting as one vote in all future decisions. Jefferson admits that he doesn’t like it, but agrees to the terms. He calls Lynn and admits that he’s bothered by the Khalil situation. Jefferson admits he used to be better at handling collateral damage, but Lynn tells him she can’t talk at the moment. He then gets a call from Mr. Lewis, who tells him that Bernard went to a drug house. Mr. Lewis gives him the address and Jefferson promises to help. Black Lightning bursts into the building, fights his way to Bernard, and carries him out.
The next morning, Jefferson assures Mr. Lewis that Bernard is in the best treatment facility and that he will get back to himself. Mr. Lewis thanks him and Jefferson listens to a voice message from Lynn. She tells him that she’s angry with him, but she still loves him. Khalil wakes up to find Tobias in his room, who asks how he likes his gifts. Tobias introduces himself and attempts to convince him that Black Lightning is the cause of his paralysis. He pretends to be a fan of his athletic career, and tells him that he’ll find that pain makes him stronger. Tobias offers him a way to kill his pain, and Khalil considers it.