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first_imgStay on target Top Movie and TV Trailers You Might Have Missed This Week’Black Lightning’ Season 2 Finale Recap: Preparing for War Now the the Pierce family is all on pretty much the same page regarding their powers, the show is getting back to one of its biggest strengths. What really separates Black Lightning from the rest of the CW superhero fare is the family. We never had to watch Jefferson learn to be a superhero. He’s already been one for decades. Our origin story is instead one of a superhero family. Of Jeff’s daughters discovering their powers and learning how to live with them. Of Jefferson trying to balance the stress of being a father with the added responsibility of raising two superpowered daughters.This episode is all about that struggle. It’s the last episode before next week’s season finale, and the Pierces are firmly a superhero family. The episode begins with them sitting around the table and talking out how to move forward. Jefferson would rather not have his daughters rushing into danger like he does, but he recognizes that ship sailed long ago. Instead, he has some rules. The first two aren’t that controversial. Don’t go anywhere without backup (Gambi counts) and keep your secret identities secret. No one has any arguments there. The disagreement comes with the third rule, and if you’ve seen any superhero story before, you know what that is. No killing. That immediately draws questions of, “OK, but what about Tobias?” Jeff understands better than his daughters know what Tobias has done. He still believes that as superheroes, they have to be better than him. That means no killing.Nafessa Williams as Thunder and Cress Williams as Black Lightning — Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CWFor the first episode of a two-parter, there’s really not a ton happening in this episode. It’s pretty much all setup for what’s sure to be a much bigger season finale next week. What feels a little off here is there’s not much going on in addition to the setup. Usually, this show hides its story setting inside fun standalone episodes. It’s one of the things that makes Black Lightning so consistently fun to watch. This time, we’re left waiting for payoffs that won’t come until next week. Lynn is continuing to deal with her disagreements with the ASA’s plan for the pod kids. This week, it’s made slightly worse by Agent Odell’s callous attitude toward the idea that the stolen pod kids might be dead. Odell is also monitoring the Pierce family, but that story doesn’t go anywhere this week. At least we know he has to common decency to not watch Anissa change.There is an interesting parallel being set up here that I hope the show capitalizes on. The ASA and Tobias Whale have essentially the same goal. Lynn knew from day one that she was working for, if not the bad guys, then some seriously compromised people. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Agent Odell has more in common with her husband’s worst enemy than she thinks. Both are willing to kill the people who help them the second their usefulness ends. Both aim to turn the pod kids into weapons of war. The only difference is what side they’ll be used on. Odell is open to the idea of letting the rehabilitated metahumans life normal lives for now. It’s clear though, he expects them to be weapons for the United States military before too long though. Tobias, on the other hand, is building his metahuman weapon empire right now. He lets three powerful metahumans out of their pods and prepares them for sale. First though, he needs a demonstration of their capabilities.China Anne McClain as Jennifer and Nafessa Williams as Anissa — Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CWLike pretty much every cliffhanger episode on TV, this episode is full of stories that ramp up slowly and cut off right as things start to get going. What really makes this one work despite that is Cress Williams’ performance. His worried, sentimental father act injects genuine, heartfelt emotion into the episode. He gets a few good dad scenes here as he tries to convince Jenn that it’s possible to stop Tobias permanently without murdering him. Then, there’s that moment of both fear and admiration as he watches Jenn try on her new suit. He’s always gonna be worried for her, but he’s proud too. That montage of her growing up hit hard, especially when little girl Jenn asks why her dad came home bleeding so much. Black Lightning is really good at making you feel things when it wants.It wasn’t all sentimentality, though. Tobias launches his demonstration on the streets of Freeland. A metahuman with firepowers goes on a rampage, burning people waiting at bus stops. His target though, is the announcement of a mall project by Councilman Parker, the guy who refused to work for Tobias. The meta starts attacking the press conference, burning Parker and his bodyguards. Black Lightning shows up to fight Tobias’ new weapon, and we get a seriously cool Fire vs. Electricity battle. So many of this show’s fights have been electricity vs bullets or super strength. Jeff’s lightning is usually the flashiest thing on screen. It’s a great change of pace to see two elemental superpowers launched at each other onscreen. It gives the scene a coolness usually reserved for late season anime fights.Kearran Giovanni as Cutter — Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CWThough the individual stories were left unconcluded, a battle scene that cool definitely makes up for it. After Black Lightning and Thunder force Tobias to withdraw the meta, Gambi has some more news. He’s been tracking the radiation found on Todd’s body after his car exploded. He’s figured out where Tobias is hiding out and sends Jeff the address. Of course Jenn here’s all this, and uses her powers to get the address herself. She goes after Tobias alone. Unfortunately for her, she’s not the only one with the idea. Lala showed up too. Cutter tries to kill him, but her knives barely slow him down. She runs to Tobias to give him a heads up and they escape along with Dr. Jace just as Jenn gets there. Even worse, her suit isn’t done yet. Her powers cause it to heat up, eventually making her pass out. And that’s where the episode ends.Though one cool battle and some touching moments made up for it, this episode was a whole lot of waiting around. The bright side is, it’s all stuff that’s almost guaranteed to be resolved next week. If Black Lightning can capitalize on everything it set up, we’re in for an explosive season finale. I do wish more had been done with Cape Man at the beginning. The episode started like it had something to say, with the Freeland Police shooting an innocent Black man (with his hands up) who had meta powers he couldn’t quite control. He hadn’t hurt anyone even accidentally. There’s a ton of opportunity there a show like Black Lightning is perfectly suited to take advantage of. But they just don’t. It’s forgotten as soon as it happens. The man’s death is treated like decoration. Some minor worldbuilding that doesn’t have anything to say. It’s possible that either the finale or Season Three will revisit Cape Man’s murder, but for now it feels like a real missed opportunity.Black Lightning airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on The CW.Previously on Black Lightning:Black Lightning Season 2 Episode 14 RecapBlack Lightning Season 2 Episode 12 RecapBlack Lightning Season 2 Episode 11 Recaplast_img read more

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