Black Lightning: The Book of Reconstruction Chapter Two: "Unacceptable Losses"

Game recognizes game.

The Freeland Police step up their anti-meta game, but so do the gangs. Dr. Lynn Stewart goes to extreme measures to support her family.

Game recognizes game. This concept was the central theme of this episode. Again and again we see the matching of two opponents and the way respect is and isn't given impacts the Pierce family every. Single. Time. Is it any wonder Jeff literally blows in the beginning of this episode, sending sparks flying to the far reach of the atmosphere and passing out on the deck?

Let me start with Lynn. I love Lynn, but I think she's doing some really dumb things in this episode. She's clearly trapped feeling useless and unwanted by her family. The way Jeff interacts with her right after passing out only underscores how lost poor Lynn is. Her sessions with her therapist are semi-successful - the woman providing their therapy has some good insights, but Lynn keeps putting her own interpretation on things. Those digs about having a friend had to remind Lynn of Dr. Jace and those awkward attempts at making a friend. Lynn attempting to support her daughters as they combat crime with... I'm going to say it... an ill wind does nobody any good, and in fact harms more than it helps.

Anissa Pierce is still waiting for Grace to wake up, but she's not sleeping in the meantime. Blackbird standing her ground and demanding a free zone for the homeless in Freeland was one of the awesome moments of this episode, as Anissa Pierce faces down Lala and Destiny and their crews and god knows who else with nothing but a hoodie and the conviction in her heart – and gets them to back down and keep the space, and see the benefit to doing so. That this scene is entirely convincing from beginning to end – but still overwhelming when you realize exactly going down – is the epitome of Holy Whatsis Wow! It's paralleled by her trying – and failing – to save a young boy's life, and counsel a fellow doctor. This woman's superpower is far more than just thunder; Anissa seems like the most super-heroic of the Pierce family right now.

And Jefferson seems the least. When he finds out his daughters were caught by a double-cross, he completely loses control. This is made much much worse due to three confrontations: two with enemies he couldn't hurt, and one with someone he could. Throughout this episode the Freeland police are making themselves known with their high powered weapon. That's one. Two is Tobias. Marvin Krondon Jones III isn't a Thanos or a Loki, but the actor gives the character this steely persistence and constant, searching intelligence that makes Tobias Whale all the more terrifying now that he seems to be immune to Jefferson. Jefferson, seemingly powerless against the man who killed his father, now walking free, now a hero to Freeland, someone who knows his family's identity, is, well, bottled lightning. What he unleashes, finally, is full vengeance, presaged by the attack last episode, and was a really dark turn for the character. What will happen to Jefferson now that he's broken through these walls?

Charged Moments

I love that the psychologist is now seeing Jefferson and Lynn separately. I love how she wanted whole people.

Tobias Whale's serum was originally designed by Dr. Jace, but apparently is now upgraded.

Anissa and Jennifer telling Mom to stay home because she has no training seems like a fairly ironic ask given the things these two have done over the years. And have they forgotten how Mom stepped up in Season Three?

I think Gambi's 'romance' is totally him playing her, but I also see him getting involved. Hmm.

Overall

A complex episode – maybe too many things happening? Four out of five bolts of fine lightning.

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