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Black Lightning Season 2 Episode 13 Review: Pillar of Fire



Tobias has made his move for the Green Light pods on Black Lightning Season 2 Episode 13.


He is sitting in a prime position to get everything he wants and make his attack on Freeland. All he has to do is call up the right fighter to do his dirty work.


If only they had taken the briefcase away from him sooner. Everything could’ve been different at this stage of the conflict.


Everyone seems to want the Green Light pod kids nowadays. There’s a lot of money in metahumans, and between Tobias, the A.S.A., and the Markovians, the threat level is looming for possession of the assets.


For the first time in weeks, Agent Odell finally came clean about how serious the situation was in Freeland.


His shocking truthfulness answered some of the burning questions we as viewers had about the recent metahuman kidnappings. And, it explained why Lynn became a valuable target for those involved.


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This exposition was something we desperately needed to hear to better our understanding of how the bigger picture would play out.


Agent Odell kept a lot of secrets close to his chest. But, after the pod kids’ storyline got seemingly dropped after Black Lightning Season 2 Episode 5, we couldn’t shake the feeling that the plot would eventually come roaring back.


Plus, Lynn kept working on a cure. Something was getting being teased that would tie things together.


If there’s one thing that stayed painfully obvious since the beginning, it’s the fact that Dr. Jace could never be trusted.


The maniacal doctor only looked out for herself. Even by “helping” Lynn and Wendy during the lab break-in, she helped herself in the process. She came out more as the victor than ever before.


Tobias will keep her around for a very long time, especially as more metahumans need scientific help. She’ll make tons of money, and Tobias will get the power, money, and authority he wanted by making these deals for the pod kids.


Agent Odell is going to one day regret his decision to keep Dr. Jace in the lab.


He allowed Tobias to get contact, and he gave the opportunity for her to escape. None of this would have happened if he hadn’t prepared for his Plan B in case Lynn got taken.


Marcus Bishop (aka. Shakedown) has an impressive ability that could pose a potential threat.


With one of his vibrational attacks, he trapped and incapacitated a group of security guards. On top of that, he stopped one of Cutter’s throwing knives. That’s a pretty powerful ability if you think about it.


How could that measure up to electricity?


He might be able to stop Thunder’s acrobatic attacks, but Black Lightning’s electricity could break through. I can’t wait to watch their first battle once they get face-to-face.


Shakedown served as a good first introduction to the villainous metahumans working for Tobias.

Agent Odell: Dr. Stewart will not be joining us, Dr. Jace. She wants you nowhere near the pod kids.
Dr. Jace: But it was my suggestion to bring her back in! This is the thanks I get? Ungrateful little b****.
Agent Odell: You’ll remain in A.S.A. custody at this facility to keep you safe from the Markovians. And also, since you’re moving the pods, I’m going to need your expertise … just in case.
Dr. Jace: In case of what?
Agent Odell: In case the Markovians kill or abduct Dr. Stewart.


Speaking of working for Tobias, Black Lightning amplified the romance storyline between Tobias and Cutter.


A romantic backstory first got introduced on Black Lightning Season 2 Episode 12, but that plotline seemed like it happened in the past. Now, old flames burned as new again. I didn’t see this romantic reunion coming.


I’m not sure if the couple has long-term potential, especially since they’re both supervillains and the Green Light fight is heading their way. However, it’s nice that Tobias found happiness outside of his criminal activities.


Even supervillains need affection too.


Jennifer had a lot of rage burning inside of her.


Tobias took away the one person she truly romantically loved (Khalil) and she made a promise that she would kill him as revenge. So, it’s not surprising that she jumped at the first opportunity to hunt him down when she got the chance.


However, she acted too much like Anissa as Blackbird. The recklessness came out in full force.

Jennifer: I know what you’re gonna say. You’re gonna side with Dad and say that I need to be responsible.
Anissa: Hell no! Look, Tobias has to go! But what I do agree with Dad is that Tobias is dangerous and we can’t be running around half-cocked with no plan. We cannot take Tobias down if he kills us first.
Jennifer: Wait, did you just say “we”?
Anissa: You thought I was going to let you go out there alone?


Jennifer shouldn’t have rushed into battle without the proper training, strategy or backup. Just because she had the abilities, it didn’t make her invincible. There was no telling what repercussions could’ve happened by using her powers in succession.


Her fight against the gang members proved that her “battery ability” isn’t endless. If she doesn’t recharge or conserve, she’ll collapse and the enemy will get the upper hand.


Hopefully, her training as Lightning will teach her to control and dish out her powers. The last thing we want is for her to pass out again … or, in the worst case, explode by pushing her powers too far.


Word to the wise: if Perenna is scared of something, you need to be scared too.


Jefferson made the wrong choice in regards to Principal Lowry at Garfield.


Don’t get me wrong, consistency is very important, and Jefferson has the free will to not fight for the principal job if he doesn’t want it. No one should force him to take the role if his priorities are elsewhere.


On the other hand, him not being able to be the principal shouldn’t have translated to Principal Lowry being the one to do the job. These two separate themes didn’t correlate as a solution.


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Principal Lowry had been proven to be an inconsiderate, thoughtless, and brash authoritarian who didn’t value the futures of his students. Plus, let’s not forget the blatant racism he’s mentioned to other characters.


Literally, anyone else could’ve done the job better than Principal Lowry.

Gambi: Like Perenna said, she is powerful. Extremely powerful.
Jefferson: With all she’s been through, I don’t think she’s stable enough to keep her powers in check.
Jennifer: Dad…
Jefferson: Yeah?
Jennifer: You know Anissa taught me how to read lips, right?
[Awkward silence]
Jennifer: So, thank you for your vote of confidence. I appreciate it.


Jefferson witnessed the dissatisfaction from students and faculty alike. He was even reminded this recently by his own student and Napier. And, he witnessed Principal Lowry expelling and removing students without a second thought.


Tried by the court of public opinion? Seriously … the judge, the jury, and the court stenographer had the case closed regarding the obviousness of this bad choice.


The right answer would’ve been to share the concerns from the faculty and students, then the bad decisions made while on campus. Jefferson could’ve politely declined the role but offered to help the replacement who could better fit the position.


Instead, we’re stuck with a terrible character that might show up again and suck up any happiness in the room. Thanks, Jefferson…


Regarding Anissa’s search for Grace, Jennifer was in the wrong here.


Firstly, her sister loved Grace and wanted to be with her. So, she shouldn’t have discouraged her from trying to find out what happened. Even if Grace ghosted her, finding out that she was alright and alive would be better than not knowing.


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Secondly, Grace’s apartment was ransacked and nearly emptied. Of course, Anissa had a right to be worried that something could’ve happened to the girl she was dating.


Did Grace take off on her own? Did she get kidnapped?


Leases are hard to break out of … and Grace simply “took off” in the middle of the night? Something seemed fishy about that situation. Paranoia would be in full effect for anyone.

Anissa: My gut is telling me she’s in trouble. I just want to know that she’s okay.
Gambi: It sounds a lot deeper than just dating.
Anissa: Well, folks always say, “You never know what you have until it’s gone.”
Gambi: That’s true.


Hopefully, Anissa finds out what happens to Grace. We need more answers about her past and the effects of the pill.


From the few transformations we saw of Grace, her body began to mutate in moments of stress/worry. Is that caused by one of her other personalities? Could it be all in her head?


Something about her past triggered these strange effects. Only Grace will be able to reveal the details since Gambi couldn’t find anything, except for the treatment.


Also, more importantly, we need her back for the relationship. Anissa and Grace’ couple photo looked so adorable!


Last Thoughts Lightning Round:


  • Todd’s death came across as very anti-climactic. It’s obvious that they didn’t have the actor anymore so they killed him off-screen.

     

  • Jennifer needs to keep training her powers. If her energy levels could match a nuclear bomb, her training is for the betterment of everyone.

     

  • Napier can leave just like Principal Lowry. The audacity of him to get mad at Jefferson for making a thought-out decision. Sure, his friend didn’t agree with him, but he made the decision that worked for him.

     

  • Tobias talking to the painting of his dead sister should be a HUGE dating red flag for Cutter.

     

  • Anissa’s need to investigate Grace’s pill was a bit of a stretch. Come on, she found a pill on the floor. That could’ve meant anything!


Now, over to you, Black Lightning fans!


What did you think of “Pillar of Fire”?


What new ability will the next villainous metahuman have? How will Anissa find Grace? Will Jennifer start taking her revenge more seriously?


If you missed the latest episode of Black Lightning, you can watch Black Lightning online via TV Fanatic. Come back here and share your thoughts in the comments.

Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.





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