Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Black Lightning Episode Guide: Season 1, Episode 6 - Three Sevens: The Book of Thunder

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


Jefferson hits the streets to hunt down Tobias Whale as Anissa takes action after a local protest of a Confederate monument turns violent thanks to a group of White Nationalists. Meanwhile, Gambi turns to Lynn for help in stopping Jefferson from going over the line and becoming a killer as Jennifer makes a fateful choice regarding her relationship with Khalil.


The Green Arrow and Outsiders comics of Judd Winick. (Jefferson Pierce being portrayed as willing to kill.)


Why didn't the base of the statue collapse along with the statue itself? Thunder's shockwave should have passed through it into the statue when she stomped the ground.


The sequence of Thunder destroying the statue is a powerfully shot and directed moment.

The flashback sequences of Alvin Pierce's murder are suitably horrific.

The fight between Black Lighting and Thunder is well choreographed and a great use of special effects.


The scene of Black Lightning looking down at Tobias Whale, ready to strike him down, mirrors a similar scene from Judd Winick's run on Green Arrow where Black Lighting struck down the businessman responsible for arranging the murder of his niece.  A later retcon changed it so that instead, Deathstroke the Terminator killed the man in away that made Black Lightning think he was responsible for the death, even though he only mildly electrocuted the man.


Lynn uses a portable CAT Scan machine to check Jefferson for brain damage. She determines that his powers are still overcharging his ability to heal, noting he still heals twice as fast as a normal person even though he's slowed down from when he was younger.

The brain scans of the Green Light addicts are unusual, being "lit up like a Christmas tree" where the grey-matter should be dark.

The research Anissa found in her grandfather's storage unit is scientific research into human mitochondria and how they provide energy in human cells that can be altered in various ways to potentially create super powers.

Gambi says that Jefferson's powers are largely neurological and that his brain picks up and uses electricity the same way a normal person might pick-up any other tool.

The Black Lightning suit prevents Jefferson from blowing out his nervous system by using his powers. When the resistance is set too high, it causes feedback (i.e. the headaches that Jefferson had been having)

Albinos suffer from eye problems and skin ailments far more than most people. This requires them to seek regular medical treatment.

Dialogue Triumphs

Jefferson: (To Anissa) Let me ask you a question. Should I have you committed? Because you've obviously lost your damn mind.
Anissa: That statue, Dad, is an insult to black people, glorifying a national traitor.
Jefferson: You broke the law, Anissa. That gives the police an excuse to hurt you. And on top of that, you used guns. Guns!
Anissa: They were water guns.
Jefferson: They looked enough like real guns to be the end of you. All it takes is for one cop - one cop - to see your color instead of your humanity and decide "better dead than sorry". (sighs) Look, you're a black woman. You don't have the luxury of being naive.
Anissa: I know. I know. You've said that a thousand times-
Jefferson: Then hear it!
Anissa: Okay!.
Jefferson: And I will stop saying it!
Anissa: Okay!

Gambi: Jefferson? I don't know what you're up to, but there is a difference between you and Tobias. You need to keep it that way.

(One of the burglars raises his gun on Thunder. She holds her breath and he empties his gun into her. She grabs it from him, throws it away, then throws him across the room. The second burglar, clearly shaken, raises his gun, hands shaking as he stares down Thunder.)
What? You thought he missed?

(Jefferson, looking down at the injured, costume-clad Anissa.)
Jefferson: What the hell was she doing?
Lynn: What you do! She has powers, Jeff!

Gambi: Evelyn.
Lady Eve: Peter Gambi. How did you get past all my security?
Gambi: Evelyn, I taught you everything you know. Not everything I know.


The episode opens immediately where 105 ended, with Jefferson passing out after fighting Joey Toledo and the police en route to catch him.

Gambi is able to get to Jefferson and saves him before the police find him.

Tobias Whale once again makes reference to Lady Eve's threat regarding the magical properties of albino's bones from 104.

Tobias Whale has a protection squad watching his sister Tori in the face of Lady Eve's threat.

Jefferson says he was there when Tobias Whale killed his father, Alvin Pierce.

Anissa is arrested for vandalizing a statue of a Confederate general with a super-soaker full of red paint along with a group of other activists.

Jennifer says she's the only one in the Pierce family who is bad at math.

Jennifer says that she's reconsidering her relationship with Khalil in the face of his paralysis but feels guilty about that.

Jefferson gets the feeling that Gambi is reluctant to see him go after Tobias Whale.

Anissa asks Lynn to help her with researching the data Alvin Pierce uncovered.

Lynn's research assistant seems to be in the employ of The 100. We see him going to make a phone-call after he sees Lynn comparing the Green Line users brain scans to Jefferson's. Gambi also seems to go out of his way to talk to Lynn before her assistant shows up.

Jefferson begins investigating doctors in Freeland who specialize in treating albinos to try and find Tobias Whale.

Khalil begins joining in with the girls cyber-bullying Jennifer, now blaming her for his paralysis since he only went to the rally in 103 to be with her.

Anissa puts on her new Thunder costume to destroy the statue following a White Nationalist driving his car into a group of student protesters, killing one 19 year old woman.

Anissa was born on June 28, 1994

Jennifer was born on October 7, 2001.

Anissa is bullet proof when she braces herself.

Anissa also proves to be immune to her father's electrical attacks, though she still develops a concussion, bruises and burns once he starts magnetically throwing her against the floor and ceiling instead of just trying to shock her.

Jefferson and Lynn discover that Anissa has super powers.

Tobias Whale and Syonide take Khalil on a ride, saying that he will walk again very soon and learn what it is to be a wolf among sheep.

Lady Eve's real name is Evelyn.

Gambi claims to have taught Lady Eve everything she knows. They were part of the same Agency before they both retired.

Apparently there was some kind of deal Gambi negotiated that made The Pierce Family off-limits. Lady Eve says the bargain is still in place, but that Lynn Stewart had been engaging in some off-limits research. The burglars were just supposed to steal her research. They were not expecting her to be there or the metahuman who attacked The Plummer Crew (i.e. Thunder).

This is the first episode in which metahumans are mentioned, suggesting the term is not unknown in the universe of Black Lightning.

Gambi says he could have outed Tobias Whale in the past but didn't. Lady Eve says that if anything happens to Tobias Whale, Gambi's dirty laundry will be revealed as well.

The Winick Factor

Portryaing Jefferson Pierce as a man capable of killing in cold blood is a Winickian conceit.

The Bottom Line

Not the most well-written episode. There's not a lot of snappy dialogue and there's way too many subplots starting out. As a result, nothing seems like it gets very well developed up until the third act when the Anissa, Jefferson and Lynn subplots all come crashing together. This still leaves Jennifer's bully subplot just sitting there and everything with Khalil comes out of left field after his absence last week. Still, hopefully the disjointed feel of the show over the past two weeks will get better now that Anissa and Jefferson know each others secrets.

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