Black Lightning Ep. 4: Black Jesus an A.I.C Review
February 7, 2018
In the episode ironically entitled "Black Jesus" we see a new drug unleashed on the city of Freeland exhibited first by a student of Jefferson Pierce going through several narcotic phases. The student, a promising college bound academic becomes unwittingly hooked by a former acquaintance of Jefferson.
The scene then shifts to Lady Eve lecturing Tobias Whale on his damaged reputation for not having killed Black Lightning. We witness her conducting this conversation while experimenting on a live human being as if were a mere oversight.
In the course of the conversation, Lady Eve remarks on how some African cultures believe Albinos have special significance in effort to motivate Tobias toward killing Black Lightning and reclaiming his damaged rep. He then after recruiting his sister, decides the best way to eliminate Black Lightning is to remove the hope he represents from the community. I find this personally effective, as this tactic has been used upon the Black community to deny social, political, and economic independence. Whether it be narcotics or the school to prison pipeline, all approaches have had catastrophic results.
Additionally, Anessa begins to not only use her powers directly to confront drug dealers, but indicates she definitively supports Black Lightning in his quest. Concurrently, Lynn indicates how angry she is with the Black Lightning quest, but still loves Jefferson and what he stands for as a man. For the second episode in a row , we are also shown Gambi continuing to hide information from Jefferson, possibly setting a story line for betrayal in the future. While all of this is occurring, the politics of running Garfield High whilst competing with its school board for power begins to take their toll on Jefferson.
The ability to merge the family dynamics that are common to many is a good mix with the daily struggles against the structural barriers to some of the progress we see all the characters working toward so passionately. This episode does a great job in showing the constant struggling dynamic of a conscious Black man who loves and honors his family, his community, and is willing to risk his life to help achieve social, political, and economic independence for his community.