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Black Lightning: The Book of Reconstruction Chapter Three: "Despite All My Rage..."

Maybe your rage will kill your whole damn family.

When one of his teaching staff is being crushed by life, Jefferson makes it his mission to help. Meanwhile, Jennifer tries to up her social media game, and Lynn experiments more deeply with meta powers.

Black Lightning is firing on all cylinders this season. Compared to the previous two episodes Chapter Three seemed much less confusing in terms of how the plot lines are intersecting and overlapping. Or maybe I'm just starting to catch on. This episode's a Jefferson story, but everyone gets a storyline.

Gambi is making progress with his investigation into Monavista and the new gun. I've been pretty sure he was conning Lauren for the past two episodes – Gambi is nothing if not singleminded in his support for the Pierce family – but this episode just confirms it – it has to be a con. Unless this is one of those the best cons are entirely genuine things and he really likes her and is using his genuine liking to get under her skin? Regardless, those guns are scary and I really don't want to see Lightning, Thunder or any of our folks with a brand new spanking sizzling wound.

Jennifer is frustrated by her bad press as Lethal Lightning from journalist Larson. She's definitely growing into her Pierce heritage. Anissa wants to help the homeless and rescue her love, Grace. I can't forget Lynn's passion to save the Green Light kids. As a whole, the Pierce family want to help others. This is her first time experiencing the negative side of the media, and Jennifer is hurting. I liked seeing TC serve as support by setting up her SM accounts – but in my experience, social media rarely lets you control the narrative. I have a bad feeling that we're going to see a twitter war next episode.

Lynn, Lynn, Lynn. OMG, Lynn. I really love this character. I don't feel she's getting treated fairly right now in this fight between her and Jefferson over his use of his powers and her engagement in research. I have zero problem with her doing superhero studies, and I understand the motivation – if I could make serum shots and protect myself from supervillains, I would. I understand Jefferson's point that she's not a meta, but Lynn, like the other regular humans in Freeland, gets caught up in plenty of violence. Nobody cares about Gambi frolicking around with superspy games, but Lynn can't use her one legitimate superpower, her brain? Her therapist seems to be suggesting that Lynn devalues herself. I would agree, and say that if she does, there might be a reason! The dinner date note from Jefferson was a lift for which I had such high hopes, but then it turned out to be Tobias – and Lynn, for some reason, decides to stay. Part of me isn't surprised – Tobias Whale is the only person who seems to, without reservations but with a dinner reservation, want to spend time with Dr. Lynn Stewart.

Except maybe for Jefferson, but he has a hell of a time getting there. First, he's subject to dreams of powerlessness where, in the end, his power essentially turns against them. Then, he goes on a path of self-redemption by trying to save his teacher, Marcel Payton, who's falling into poverty and – thanks to that attack which nobody was able to prevent – has lost his oldest son to violence and his children to the system. He's selling his body in online fights run by Lala, and Jefferson steps in with his body, as Jefferson Pierce, when he sees how badly Payton's losing.

The fight was pretty well done, the Behemoth was pretty scary. It was over too fast to be convincing considering how much they built up the Behemoth in the process – but the point is the impact on Jefferson, who's now helped someone as Jefferson. I think on a deeper level the process also connected Jefferson to the core of his identity as Black Lightning – the desire to help the people of Freeland when they struggle or face oppression. He's spent last season fighting a war in Markovia and dealing with wild government meta business. At heart Jefferson is the kind of person who wants to help real people. Reconnecting with that root has to feel fantastic.

It's like the therapist said. For a whole relationship you have to have whole people. With Jefferson now in touch with himself he thinks it's time to meet up with Lynn, and finds the note – and finds Lynn with Tobias. I have no idea where the show is going to take this, but on top of Tobias telling Jefferson how he's going to take away each piece of his life, well, it's gotta feel like that's a prophecy coming true.

Which makes me worry even while going OMG Anissa gets married! I have to admit, this part felt really rushed and forced to me. Anissa is on the edge – then Grace somehow starts shapeshifting and she's awake with perfect makeup. Like I said, the show's firing on all cylinders; the man she met two episodes ago officiates at Anissa's wedding today. When Anissa said "nothing is gonna tear us apart," I winced, because with this show that might just be next episode.

In Sharp Relief

"Suit yourself," said Jefferson during the initial argument with Lynn. Who knows, maybe she will wind up shoot herself Meta-wards in a coming episode?

I loved Mayor Billy Black and his resistance in this episode, but I hope it doesn't come crashing down on his head.

TC also gets another scene with Gambi checking out Lynn's dress for the dinner. I thought she looked incredible.

I love Jennifer's haircut more and more. The hair is just totally on point this season.

Tobias is really evolving as a villain. I can see him playing more and more chess here – by distracting Lynn from meta research and putting her on ALS he deprives Black Lightning of one of his strongest weapons and protections.


This episode was a mixed bag – at times really poignant and insightful, at times a bit cheesy and rushed, and I always want more Thunder! but a good episode. 4 out of 5 gut-blasting guns.

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