‘Black Lightning’ S1E4 Recap: “Black Jesus”

Black Lightning continues to not only excel as a superhero show operating independent of the rest of the Arrowverse, but also a socially relevant TV show dealing with many important issues.  Previous episodes have shown the perils of gang violence and police brutality.  This week focused primarily on drugs within the community as well as the bureaucracy within the urban school system.

The episode begins with students at Jefferson’s school running in terror.  At first, you could think that The One Hundred have broken into the school again.  Instead, it’s a student going through a really bad trip.  The young man is spasming off of a new dug that’s flooding Freeland called Green Light.  The young man manages to rip a sink out of the wall and try to attack Jefferson.  He’s forced to use his Black Lightning powers to stop the young man, twice.  Lucky for Jefferson, the kid was tripping and probably won’t remember being lightning blasted, which could be explained away as him being high on drugs either way.  Jefferson will have to tackle this spread of this drug on two fronts: as the principle as well as Black Lightning.

Meanwhile, Tobias is not having a good week.  He is once again summoned to Lady Eve where she confronts him on the fact that Black Lightning is still alive.  It’s revealed that she gave him the One Hundred because he “killed” Black Lightning 7 years ago.  His entire criminal reputation (as he once was a local politician) was built on the fact that he supposedly killed Black Lightning.  Lady Eve addresses his albinism with yet another historical fact about the treatment of albinos throughout history.  If he doesn’t address his Black Lightning problem, she will lose faith in him.  The weirdest thing about that entire scene is that Lady Eve was performing an autopsy on a body, but at the end, the body opened its eyes.  Tobias is visited by his sister Tori visit him from Miami.  Because Tobias is too high profile, he can’t kill Black Lighting, but the two of them come up with the idea to turn the public against him and that will cause someone else from the community to want to kill him.

As principal, Jefferson is speaking with the young man Bernard in the aftermath of his drug episode.  The school district has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to infractions, which means he’ll be expelled, even though he’s receiving college acceptance letters.  Jefferson, who believes in his school kids, tells Bernard that he will not be expelled.  A conversation with his vice-principle reveals that it’s not that easy.  While he has the final say when it comes to disciplinary issues, this is going to be something he will have to fight the school board with.

Bernard told Jefferson the name of the drug dealer who gave him the Green Light, even though it was against the “no snitch” policy of the streets.  As Black Lightning, Jefferson roughs up many local drug dealers as he realizes that he doesn’t know that many big players above street level.  Jefferson learns that a childhood friend is a mid-level manager.  At first, he approaches “2 Bits” as Jefferson Pearce, but doesn’t get any luck with that, so he then approaches him as Black Lightning.  2 Bits gives up the goods, but not before asking to take a selfie with Black Lightning before getting knocked out.

Anissa is continuing her own heroic origin story.  She is still learning about her new powers and decides to put them to the test.  She’s tired of kicking washing machines, and goes after some drug dealers who she caught selling Green Light to her students.  When confronting them, she dispatches them with ease, but she realizes that she will need to dial her powers down as she almost kills them with one simple kick and punch.  When she’s later out with Grace, a few people harass them for being lesbians at Grace’s bar, and she once again uses her powers to deal with them.  This fight causes such a commotion that Jefferson thinks a bomb is going off and stops surveilling The One Hundred’s drug warehouse.   Gambirewinds views the security footage and sees Anissa, but he lies to Jefferson about what happened.  This is the second lie in as many weeks.

Khalil, who find out that he will never walk again, gets a new benefactor.  All his hospital bills are paid for and she gets all sorts of gifts from him.  Tobias later comes to Khalil’s hospital room telling him that Black Lightning is responsible for his pain, and he will help him get through it.

Next week, it looks like Jennifer might be getting powers soon.