Pictured: James Remar as Gambi

Black Lightning Finally Gives Anissa Her Costume in “And Then The Devil Brought The Plague: The Book Of Green Light”

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Pictured: James Remar as Gambi

While I can understand why this episode could be seen as boring or too info-dumpy for some, it gave me some much-needed development for Tobias as both a villain, but also a human being. Plus it had Anissa in that costume which in this week of celebrating black excellence, was a welcome addition.

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For the first time this season we are truly seeing the limitations of Jefferson’s body when it comes to being Black Lightning. It is super unrealistic for a man who hasn’t fought crime in nine years to get back into it and have no side effects. Especially since, as we are shown, Jefferson’s powers are still evolving, he learns how to fly this episode, which means pushing his body further and further at an older age.

We see his powers making him irritable and violent, but we also see him, essentially, short-circuit and collapse mid-conversation with Gambi. Lynn once called Jefferson’s attachment to his powers an addiction and this is the first time we see the side of things that lean towards her assessment.

Still, Jefferson, despite his own rage is trying to de-escalate situations. Whether it is protecting a kid high off of Green Light from getting shot by the police to telling Jennifer to not meet violence with violence. Still, that is challenged heavily when an old associate of Tobias Whale named Joey Toledo is found to be in connection with Green Light distribution. We’ve known that Tobias was aware of Black Lightning’s return, but now Jefferson is aware of Tobias.

The episode ends with Jefferson losing on screen for the first time as Black Lightning and it’s a powerful moment because it is a reminder of his humanity. There are limits to this and if this had happened with someone more trigger happy then Jefferson could be dead right now. Whatever it is that is hurting him, it’s a real tangible threat.


This was a good episode for Tobias as a character as we finally get some insight into his young life. His father, Eldridge, was an abusive man who hated Tobias for being albino and running up medical bills. When Toni mentions his name we get a flashback where Eldrige tells Tobias “You ain’t black. You ain’t white. You ain’t nothing” and then smacking a young Toni when she tries to defend her brother.

I am glad that Tobias’s albinoism is being brought up, while it is very cliche to have him be a villain because of his disorder, we see that it was very much a nurture issue from his father’s abuse. Toni suggests getting revenge on dear old dad in order to help Tobias deal with his frustrations about Lady Eve. Apparently, because of Black Lightning being back, the fact that he was top earner no longer matters. He is now part of a problem needed to be fixed.

Seeing Tobias break his father’s back, leaving him to a slow and painful death was beyond powerful. One the one hand it is an abused child acting against their abuser, but it’s also a son killing their father out of revenge and a need to torment. We saw Tobias feeding a live rat to piranhas last episode and it is because of his father’s cruelty that he learned to be this way. Eldrige is killed by a beast of his own making.

We also learn this episode that Tobias and shady Gambi have a history together. Gambi used to work for an organization called the ASA and they pumped Tobias and his sister with an anti-aging serum with side effects yet to be clarified. Gambi has been playing both sides for a while and there is only so long this can go on before Jefferson finds out. The fact that Tobias feels bold enough to ask Gambi who Black Lightning is point blank is a sign that something is rotten in Denmark.


My favorite storyline this episode was Anissa’s journey into backstory land paired up with her finally pulling together a superhero outfit.

Anissa is researching human abilities and comes across some online conspiracy videos, as you do, which bring up a string of missing kids in Freeland from years ago. One of the people investigating the story was her grandfather, Alvin Pierce, who was then murdered (we know by Whale). When Anissa tries to talk to Jefferson about Alvin, she gets the “He always did the right thing. Always.” This brings Anissa to go to her grandfather’s old office to speak to his editor David Poe. Poe eventually, and very reluctantly, gives Anissa the files her grandfather was working on warning that whoever killed Alvin “they’re watching.”

While this episode was very heavy in exposition, it set up much better than Khalil’s episode, the growing conflicts in the show. Jennifer is still on the sidelines, but she is starting to do more than just be sad all time time. Anissa is really coming into her own as determined to be a superhero and Whale is finally a more complex villain. I’m here for what comes next.

Stray Observations:

  • I’m Team Jennifer in terms of the fight, you don’t roll up on somebody, start beef, and then go cry to your mother when your wrist is broken. Should Jennifer have held back a little? Maybe. But as far as I’m concerned don’t start nothing, won’t be nothing.
  • Inspector Henderson has decided to take the stick out of his butt and work with Black Lightning. I’m glad to see their relationship taking a Gordon/Batman style shift.
  • Lady Eve manages to be so threatening without doing much.
  • I forgave this episode a lot for all the good Anissa stuff…including this song as she rocks her costume

What did you think about this episode? Highlights? Low points? If your daughter took down two girls in a fight would you be hella proud?

(image: The CW )

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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.