Black Lightning – Lawanda: The Book Of Hope
By: Jessica Wolff
As news footage shows Reverend Jeremiah Holt (Clifton Powell) questioning the motives for Black Lightning’s return, Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) struggles to get out of bed as his body sparks with electricity. He makes it to the bathroom and collapses on the floor, waking Lynn Pierce (Christine Adams). She grabs hold of him, assuring him as she helps him sit up. As she massages his shoulders, she reminds him of how cool she initially thought his powers were.
Lynn admits that she feels selfish for forcing him to suit up to get their daughters back, and Jefferson assures her that Black Lightning is not back since the girls are safe. He tells her he misses her and they kiss before he declares that he’ll take the couch while she’s staying with them.
Jefferson draws inspiration from news footage as he addresses his students the next morning. He insists that they are fighting for the minds of the students, and not for the streets. A Father (Cedric Greenway) stands up and declares that Jefferson’s pretty words aren’t going to stop the 100 gang. Jefferson attempts to quote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but the father responds that he was assassinated.
Lawanda White (Tracey Bonner) shows a picture of her daughter and expresses frustration with the police for being unable to rescue her from the gang. Jefferson gives her his condolences and tells her that she can reconnect with her daughter now that the motel has been shut down. Lawanda tells him that motel wasn’t shut down, and Jefferson asks Inspector Henderson (Damon Gupton) for confirmation. Jefferson apologizes, and Lawanda asks why Black Lightning only rescued his daughters. He lies that he doesn’t know and Lawanda tells him that until all of them are free, none of them are.
Tobias Whale (Marvin ‘Krondon’ Jones III) asks LaLa (William Catlett) to crack down on every business to find out who is impersonating Black Lightning. LaLa responds and Tobias gags him before telling him that he can’t have this imposter giving hope to the people of Freeland. Lawanda tells Jefferson about her husband’s death and how hard it was for her daughter. He asks how he can help, Lawanda asks him to rescue her. Jefferson says that he can’t, and Lawanda replies that he has so much power in the community that they call him Black Jesus. He attempts to comfort her, but Lawanda says that nobody cares enough to fight for her.
Jefferson yells at Henderson for allowing the motel to reopen, but Henderson says that there was nothing he could do once the crime scene was cleared. Despite Jefferson’s insistence that LaLa is behind his daughters’ kidnappings, Henderson believes that his daughters’ police statements aren’t enough to arrest him. Jefferson asks Henderson about getting Will (Dabier) to testify against LaLa, but he replies that they don’t know where Will is.
When Jefferson questions how Will was able to walk away after a two-story fall, he lies that his daughters told him about it when Henderson questions how he knows that. Henderson tells him that Will escaped during the trip to the hospital, and Jefferson is enraged that both Will and LaLa are still out here. Henderson assures Jefferson that he has his family under surveillance and they are working to arrest both.
Jennifer Pierce (China Anne McClain) video chats with Khalil (Jordan Calloway) from her porch. Khalil asks when she’s returning to school, and then if he can visit her later. Malik (Caleb T. Thomas) approaches the house with a box and tries to sell Jennifer some candy. As Jennifer asks what candy he has, Malik pulls out a water gun, declares that LaLa says hi, and sprays her with red colored water before running away. Lynn consoles her shaken daughter as one the cops watching the house chases after Malik.
Jefferson walks through several motorcycle tricks in a parking lot as he approaches LaLa and warns him to stay away from his family. LaLa refuses to back down, and Jefferson reminds him they had a deal. However, LaLa tells him the deal changed once Jefferson’s daughters reported him to the police. A couple of gang members attack Jefferson and point guns at him as Jefferson tries to get to LaLa, and Jefferson stops himself from using his powers. He stands up and warns LaLa not to mistake his patience for weakness.
Jefferson informs Peter Gambi (James Remar) that the gang went to his house. Gambi tells him that he needs to give hope to the city, but Jefferson insists that he’s only focused on protecting his daughters. Gambi tells him to get back in the suit, and they can find Will and bring down LaLa as well as whomever his boss is. Jefferson tells him that he’s done once he takes down LaLa.
Anissa Pierce (Nafessa Williams) lies in bed with her girlfriend, Chenoa (Shein Mompremier). After some teasing, Chenoa tells Anissa that she wants more from their relationship. Anissa insists that she’s busy, and Chenoa admits that it’s not a good time for this discussion. She asks Anissa how she’s coping, and Anissa admits that she wants things to be back to normal and mentions her breaking of the sink. Chenoa recommends she talk to a therapist, and believes that the sink was easily breakable.
Henderson checks in on Jefferson on his walk, and Jefferson thanks him for the protection. He asks if Lynn is there, and comments how happy Jefferson must be that she’s back with him. Jefferson tells him that she’s not back yet, and Henderson tells him that Lawanda is sitting outside the motel with a camera. LaLa waits in his car in an abandoned lot as a car pulls up with Will tied up inside the trunk. LaLa remarks that he doesn’t like hiring family and tells Will that he’s become a liability before shooting him.
Outside the motel, Jefferson attempts to talk Lawanda out of staking out the motel. Lawanda asks if Jefferson would be willing to die for his daughters. Jefferson requests that she give him forty-eight hours to rescue her daughter, promising that he will get the police to listen to him. He warns her that her daughter’s rescue won’t matter if she dies before they can reunite. Jefferson convinces her to let him help, but she refuses to leave the motel, promising to stay in her car. He agrees to the compromise and promises he won’t let her down.
Khalil joins Jennifer on the roof of the house, and she thanks him for coming. He can’t believe she met Black Lightning, and she admits that she was scared and that looking into his face was like looking into a spotlight. He tells her that he’s wanted to ask her to be his girlfriend for a while, and she says yes. He gives her a necklace and they have their first kiss. Jefferson checks on Lynn, who gives him an update on their daughters. He tells her he’s glad she’s there, and they start kissing. Jefferson tells her that he loves her and their daughters more than anything, and Lynn requests that they take things slow.
Lawanda observes LaLa drive up to the motel and sets up her phone camera on the dashboard. Pulling out her camera, she gets out of the car and confronts him. She is restrained as she demands to have her daughter back and LaLa shoots her before his associates drag her body back to her car. Henderson calls Jefferson and tells him about Lawanda’s murder. Jefferson hangs up and rants to Lynn that he should have done more to help her.
Lynn attempts to comfort him, but he declares that he can never have a normal life with her and the girls. She tells him that he’s addicted to being Black Lightning, but he replies that there’s no addiction. He reminds her that she initially called his powers a gift and a blessing, and tells her that they still are. Jefferson declares that he needs to use his powers for everyone who needs him, and declares that people need to know that Black Lightning is back when Lynn tries to talk him out of it.
Ms. Fowdy (Skye P. Marshall) welcomes Jefferson back to school, and asks how he and the girls are holding up. She tells him that she hopes someone is helping him like he helps everyone else and offers that he can talk to her if he needs to. Jefferson gets a call from Gambi who tells him that he found Will’s body in a dumpster and that he’s taking his phone to help them catch LaLa.
Jennifer and Kiesha (Kyanna Simone Simpson) drink wine together in the gym and talk. Jennifer then goes to the gym where Khalil is running on the treadmill and drinks from the bottle of wine. Khalil stops his workout, grabs the bottle from her and chastises her for drinking at school. He tells her that he’s had a rough life, but intends to use his track skills to escape. Khalil asks her to come with him, but not as an alcoholic. She tells him that she sees the world differently now, and he comforts her.
Lynn visits Gambi and warns him that Jefferson going back to being Black Lightning will be bad for him. Gambi questions whether he would be happy just being Jefferson, and Lynn asks him to make sure he doesn’t get addicted again. He responds that Jefferson wasn’t addicted to being Black Lightning, but he was addicted to her. She points out that he is blaming her for the city falling apart in Black Lightning’s absence, and he tells her that he is a little bit. Gambi tells him it’s Jefferson’s choice what he does with his powers, and she walks out of the shop.
Gambi calls Jefferson and gives him LaLa’s address that he found on Will’s phone. In full costume, Black Lightning gets the attention of passerby as he storms to LaLa’s address. The Doorman (Herman Baaqar) and Elevator Operator (Swift Rice) are so happy to see him that they let him through as he fights off gang members with his lightning. Black Lightning tells the operator that he’s taking the stairs, as he needs the exercise.
He fights his way up the stairs and marches into LaLa’s apartment. LaLa attempts to fight him but Black Lightning throws him around the apartment and punches him. As he is about to strike again, Henderson arrives with other police officers and orders him to put his hands in the air. Black Lightning complies, quips that it’s been a while and then jumps out the apartment balcony. In custody, Henderson shows LaLa Lawanda’s cell phone and tells him that her murder was recorded on tape.
Jefferson arrives home and tells Lynn that the girls are safe and the motel is shut down. Lynn asks what it means for Black Lightning and Jefferson suggests that they can handle it better now that their daughters are older. Lynn closes her laptop and walks out of her apartment. Anissa spends the evening with Chenoa, but sneaks out of bed in the middle of the night and goes to a drugstore for sleep medicine. As she approaches the counter, she sees that it is being robbed and the Gunman (Billy Bussey) tells her to get on the ground. As the gunman grabs her, Anissa picks him up and throws him into another aisle, knocking him out.
Tobias and his associate arrive at the police station and are allowed inside by Deputy Chief Zeke Cayman (Anthony Reynolds). He leads them to LaLa’s cell and the guard unlocks the cell door. Tobias reminds LaLa that he killed somebody’s mother and that it proves that he has no principles. Tobias picks him up and strangles him to death before Tobias and his associate leave.