As Jefferson and Anissa confront the strangeness in South Freeland, Tobias orders Painkiller to take out Reverend Holt. Meanwhile, Lynn must deal with the aftermath of the deaths of half the children in her care and Freeland's response to the news.
Romeo and Juliet (the conflict between two houses and the forbidden romance between children of both houses), the Black Lighting comics of Tony Isabella and the series Batman and the Outsiders (character of Looker).
The fight between Tobias and Painkiller may be the best in the show's history in terms of cinematography and sheer brutality.
Emily Briggs aka Looker first appeared in Batman and the Outsiders #25 in September 1985. A mousy, quiet bank-teller who lived an ordinary life with her husband, Emily was abducted by the people of an underground civilization known as Abyssia. It was revealed that Emily was the last of their royal line and that she was destined to undergo a transformation that would coincide with the passing of Haley's Comet. For some reason, this triggered Emily's metagene, causing her to develop immense psychic powers, peak physical prowess and stunning good looks. She would later be attacked by vampires and turned into one, though her powers protected her from the worst of the traditional vampire weaknesses. She could be exposed to sunlight and holy objects have no effect on her, but she still must ingest blood to survive and no other form of sustenance can sustain her.
The Arrowverse version of Looker seems to be a metahuman, whose powers are similar to vampirism in that she can infect other people with an element that makes them super strong and super fast. She is a racist who took over South Freeland, creating her own race of Sange with superpowers who took over the city and forced the black residents into the woods.
Mention is made of the nation of Markovia in a radio report Gambi hears while he is shaving. In the comics, Markovia is a fictional nation in the DC Universe and home to the hero Geo-Force, who was part of the Outsiders along with Black Lightning.
The names of the two groups in South Freeland- The Sange and The Perdi - seemed to be based on the French words for :"The Blood" and "The Lost".
South Freeland is made up of two groups - The Perdi and The Sange. The Sange are white folks with powers who terrorize South Freeland and call the other folks, mostly black folks, The Perdi. The Sange live in South Freeland proper. The Perdi live out in the woods. The Sange are also gun-runners and have been doing so for 30 years, shortly after a woman called Looker came to South Freeland.
Looker controls something she calls The Element - the silver substance that came out of Deacon when he died. It is this Element that turns ordinary people into Sange.
The Element can be transmitted to children at conception. This is why Looker senses that The Element wound up in Anaya's babies after Deacon impregnated her.
(Gambi questions the thug who was hired to kill him.)
Thug: I don't know who hired me! I got paid! I did the job.
Gambi: Obviously you didn't do the job. Or you wouldn't be sitting there.
Rev. Holt: If I'm wrong, you can take that money and buy your own clinic. Name it after your momma, for all I care. But you're not getting mine. Understand? Now, if I'm right - and I know I am - you can tell Tobias I said he can keep his money... and he can kiss my holy ass. You understand?
Tobias: (To Painkiller) Stop thinking. You're not very good at it. Just do what I tell you.
Painkiller: Yo, why are you even giving me the time of day?
Jennifer: This whole Painkiller thing is not you. We've all been through a lot. Plus, I don't want you to make any more mistakes. 'Cause you've made some bad decisions this year. Like, really bad.
Painkiller: I also made some good ones too.
Jennifer: Oh yeah? Like what?
(Painkiller takes her hand and kisses it.)
Looker is revealed to be a woman of power in South Freeland, who has built up a network of people who are "part of her." out of former drug addicts and local officials. One of them, Jake, refuses to do her bidding, saying that she is worse than The Drugs And The Perdi and has the "worms" crawling under his skin pulled out. This kills him instantly, leaving a dried out husk behind. The worms come out as a silvery liquid, like what came out of Deacon when he died in 205.
Looker asks her followers to "follow The Element."
Gambi is revealed to be alive. We see him torturing one of the men hired to kill him, before shooting him after figuring out he doesn't know anything.
Dr. Jace's actions in 205 resulted in the deaths of 14 Green Light Babies.
Reverend Holt is the pastor of the Freeland United Methodist Church.
Rev. Holt refuses to take Tobias' money, recognizing Councilman Parker as his stooge.
Tobias orders Painkiller to kill Reverend Holt.
Painkiller discovers that Tobias was behind the attack that saw him paralyzed in 103.
Lynn only has 18 patients left - 14 children injected with the original vaccine and 4 users of Green Light. A near-riot breaks out at the press conference where she announces this and tells a grieving father they can't announce which children are still alive yet.
A radio report mentions a war in Markovia following the mysterious death of King Victor and the battle not going well for the Royalists.
Gambi is revealed to have survived the assassination attempt on him by the use of a trap door in his van.
Anissa finds Anaya and informs her that Deacon is dead. Her father has no idea who Deacon is.
Lynn is ambushed by the grieving father from the press conference, rear-ended in her car as he runs out and starts pounding on the class while trying to show her a picture of his daughter.
Painkiller tells Jennifer that Tobias is why he was paralyzed and that Tobias asked him to kill Reverend Holt.
Jennifer says she will help Painkiller to figure things out after he says he's only staying with Tobias because he has nowhere else to go.
Anissa delivers Anaya's baby only to discover that she's having twins. She winds up having one light-skinned baby and one dark-skinned baby.
Jefferson discovers that Anissa went to South Freeland as he visit Gambi's shop and sees her tracker lighting up on the computer.
A man named Joshua is revealed to be Deacon's killer. He was jealous that Anaya chose Deacon over him, as they both apparently impregnated her at the same time.
Anaya's mother tells Joshua that by killing Deacon, he has started a war.
Painkiller tries to scare Reverend Holt into leaving Freeland. When that doesn't work, he shoves him down and leaves, after Reverend Holt isn't scared even after being half-strangled to death.
South Freeland is run by two factions - the super-powered Sange gun-runners and the Perdi farmers. A woman called Looker controls The Sange.
Anaya says most of The Sange don't want to be Sange and had it forced upon them by Looker.
Anaya says Looker hates the Perdi and will stop at nothing to get her babies.
Tobias beats up Painkiller and threatens to kill him unless he kills Rev. Holt and his own mother.
The Sange are revealed to have super speed and super strength and Looker seems to control them as if through a hive-mind.
Gambi assists in the fight with The Sange remotely using an armed drone.
Jefferson speculates that Looker is a metahuman and one of the original kids who got the Green Light vaccine like him.
Anaya gets away with to Freeland with the white baby.
Anaya's parents and the other baby disappear.
Painkiller visits Jennifer and tells her he is going to go away.
Anaya's black baby is given to Looker, who becomes determined to get the white baby as well.
The Winick Factor
The apartheid metaphor for The Sange and The Perdi is really clumsy and heavily forced.
The Bottom Line
Jefferson says it best. "This is some weird stuff." While it's easy to see how the show runners might want to avoid the standard vampire tropes in regard to introducing Looker, the silver liquid element is as weird as the fact that South Freeland is ruled by a metahuman gang and nobody knows it or had done anything about it despite the government being shown to he heavily invested in controlling metahumans. Hopefully this will get explained in more detail next week. As is, the best parts of this episode involve Jennifer and Painkiller and not the actually superhero stuff.