Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Black Lightning Episode Guide: Season 1, Episode 8 - The Book Of Revelations

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


With Black Lighting blamed for the death of Lady Eve, Anissa and Jefferson work to clear his name. Meanwhile, Jennifer begins interning for Lynn as Gambi finds himself in a most precarious position as Tobias Whale moves to increase his influence among the criminal underworld in Freeland.


The Black Lightning comics of Tony Isabella (implications of Gambi's secret life.)


Lynn is a little quick to jump to the conclusion that Gambi's refusal to talk about Green Light means he was involved in the creation of the vaccine from 30 years earlier.


More than in any other episode to date, the chemistry between Cress Williams and Nafessa Williams really sizzles.


The coordinates of the grave that Jefferson and Anissa are 33, 47, 84, 43. Translated into standard map coordinates, this makes them  33' 47" Latitude, 84' 43" Longitude. In the real world, this would place them in the middle of nowhere due west of Atlanta, Georgia, which is the real world city Freeland is modeled on.

The idea of Gambi raising Jefferson Pierce after causing the death of his father is taken directly from the classic Black Lightning comics. There, Peter Gambi was a hitman who accidentally shot Alvin Pierce while trying to take out another target. He retired from the assassin game and took care of a young Jefferson Pierce and his mother.

The experiments being conducted by The ASA seem to be based in part on the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study, in which the CDC falsely claimed they were treating African American men in rural Alabama for syphilis as part of a study to chart the effects of untreated syphilis.


Gambi's holographic "Hogan's Alley" set-up also has "urban mix" and "urban crowd" modes, which Jefferson uses to train Anissa in close-combat fighting with civilians in the way.

Lichtenberg Scarring is the tree-shaped pattern left behind by an lighting strike or when electricity passes through an insulating material. It looks quite different than the marks left behind by a burn. The lack of Lichtenberg Scarring on the bodies of Lady Eve and her henchmen prove that they were not killed by Black Lighting's electrical powers but by a high-voltage flash.

Gambi estimates that the weapons used to kill Lady Eve and her henchman required a billion joules. That is as much energy as is found in a lightning bolt. Generating that much power in a portable weapon would require nuclear weapon.

Gambi has the means to track something by following a radiation signature by hacking a satellite.

Lynn asked for the power that Anissa discovered to be analyzed with an x-ray crystallography.

Lynn determines that the powder from Alvin Pierce's storage unit is a vaccine made with the same active ingredients as Green Light.

Dialogue Triumphs

(Anissa sees a hologram with a man wearing a Confederate flag on his shirt. She pounds the ground near his ankle and he screams in pain, grabbing his head.)
(The hologram stops moving.)
Anissa: Freeze?!
Jefferson: He might be racist, but he wasn't a threat. And you probably broke his ankle and... maybe gave him a concussion.
Anissa: The flag on the T-shirt!
Jefferson: No. I know why it happened. You looked and you assumed he was a threat. So you didn't actually see that he wasn't.
(Anissa sighs and stomps off in annoyance.)

Martin Proctor: I'm sick of this neighborhood, Peter. They don't take care of it. The food is all fried. The only thing the people here are good for is experimentation. They should be happy we're here!  Green Light will give their lives purpose. Direction! We're doing God's work, Peter. God's work!

Lynn: How do you train someone to be what they're not?
Jefferson: She has her mother's brains. It won't take her long to realize that if she wants to change the world, she has to change herself.

(Anissa stares at the wall between the hallway and the morgue. She raises her hands to the wall, takes a deep breath and gets ready to shove it.)
Jefferson: Woah, woah, woah!
(Anissa stops in mid-shove.)
Jefferson: How much force do you need?
Anissa: Uh.. enough to get through the wall?
Jefferson: And how much is that?
Anissa: ...I don't know.
Jefferson: Tap it with your finger.
Anissa: Okay.
(Anissa braces herself, takes a deep breath and taps the wall. The one stone shifts maybe half an inch inward but nothing else happens.)
Anissa: Okay. Clearly that wasn't it.
Jefferson: (sighs) Do whatever you think.
(Anissa clears her throat, takes a deep breath again and shoves the same block with one hand. The entire block disintegrates as several other stones go flying into the morgue room, leaving an opening big enough to walk through and kicking up a lot of stone dust.)
Anissa: (quietly) Okay. Maybe I could have used a little less.
Jefferson: (dryly) You think?

Anissa: Dad, you know how I feel about the woods.
(Jefferson scoffs)
Anissa: No. Black people die in the woods!
Jefferson: Yes. In horror movies.  But only after the monster kills the white nerd. And we don't have one of those with us, so you're good. (chuckles)

(Jefferson is telling Anissa about his early years as Black Lightining.)
Anissa: So why did you stop all those years?
Jefferson: That's complicated.
Anissa: Mom, right?
Jefferson: That's between me and her.
Anissa: Which is a yes. But an "ask your mother" yes.

Black Lightning: (into phone, to Inspector Henderson) You're welcome. (pauses) I know you didn't say "thank you." It's implied in your loud-ass questions.


Jefferson refers to Anissa destroying the Confederate statue in 106.

Gambi meets with a man named Martin Proctor who is the head of the ASA in the region around Freeland. He puts a price on Black Lightning's head, despite Gambi's insistence that capturing Black Lightning alive could lead to the ASA making a break-through in understanding metahumans. Martin says the ASA has dissected enough Metahumans and still isn't any closer to creating their own.

Lady Eve was the liaison between The 100 and The ASA.

Martin is an elitist (probably a racist as well) who believes the only value the people of Freeland have is as test subjects for the ASA's experiments.

Green Light is part of an ASA experiment.

Anissa was once suspended in the second grade for kicking a teacher she thought had made her friend cry by being mean to her.

Lynn has both a PhD and MD.

The yellow legal pad notes with the odd equations go missing from the box of Alvin Pierce's papers.

The lab Lynn used to analyze the powder that Anissa discovered in Alvin Pierce's storage unit was also burglarized.

Jennifer's friend Kiesha is involved in student government, on the grounds that whoever controls the money controls the school.

Jennifer manifests her powers for the first time, inadvertently generating lighting from her hands and having sparks light up in her eyes when her friend Keshia falls off a scaffold. She burns a poster in one hand and fries her phone with the other.

Lala is having visions of LaWanda White who he talks to... much to the worry of his henchmen.

Anissa does not know if, when she is powered up, if she is immune to radiation, chemicals or if she can swim or if she'll sink like a stone.

Lynn determines that the powder from Alvin Pierce's storage unit is a vaccine made with the same active ingredients as Green Light.

Anissa has a fear of walking through the woods at night.

Jefferson and Anissa discover a dead body and the lighting gun out in the woods.

The coordinates of the grave are 33' 47" Latitude, 84' 43" Longitude.

Gambi moved to Freeland 30 years ago at around the same time Alvin Pierce died.

Gambi never told anyone about his past before he moved to Freeland.

The dirty cop sent to retrieve the weapon accidentally blows it and himself up. Anissa is able to determine by observing him that he had no clue what he was doing to the weapon would trigger a self-destruct mode.

Gambi reveals that his real name is Peter Esposito.

Peter Gambi worked for a government agency called the ASA. He moved to Freeland 30 years early as part of an experiment to drug the people of Freeland and make them more compliant and docile. The vaccine inadvertently created metahumans. Gambi was tasked with finding the metahumans.

Gambi leaked this information to Alvin Pierce when he realized that the vaccine was killing children. This investigation is what prompted Alvin Pierce's murder. Gambi then tried to make up for what happened to Alvin by training his son to use his powers in secret to help people.

Jennifer tells Anissa about how she broke her phone.

The Bottom Line

A fantastic episode that does much to expand the world of the series and begin explaining some mysteries. Of course it also leaves us with the mysteries of what the heck is going on with Lala, so there's still something to wonder about. Most enjoyable.

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