Jennifer and Khalil hit the road, but Tobias has put a bounty on the head of his protege. As they lay low at Khalil's aunt's house, Black Lightning and Thunder hit the streets looking for the runaways. Will they get to them before Tobias' problem-solver Cutter does?
The Black Lighting comics of Tony Isabella.
The sequence of a drunk Lynn tearing apart Jennifer's room is a little too over-the-top.
Marvin "Krondon" Jones III steals the episode. He usually gets the best speeches as Tobias Whale, but his performance here is a high-water mark even for his usual high standards. He perfectly achieves what the tropers call Affably Evil, putting on a kind face and pleasant tone even as you can sense the menacing undercurrent implied by his body language.
China Anne McClain continues to impress as Jennifer. Despite being far out of her element in this episode, McClain perfectly captures Jennifer's confidence and intelligence as she stands up to Khalil when he starts to overstep his bounds in stressful moments.
The first sequence in which Khalil tries to rob Club 100 to get some cash for his and Jennifer's escape is a fantastic bit of work all around. Great music. Wonderful lighting design inside the club. Good fight choreography.
The effects work for Jennifer's ball-lighting is fantastic.
This episode introduces a mercenary named Cutter who Tobias hires to track Khalil. There is a villain called Cutter in DC Comics, but he is a man named Austin Phelps who is a master knife-fighter who appeared in one story in Detective Comics.
The show's version of Cutter is a black woman who is a master knife thrower and fighter. She has no metahuman powers - just skill and training..
One of the Zip Codes for Freeland, GA is 31148. This is not a real Zip Code in the USA, though the 300XX to 311XX are reserved for Atlanta, GA.
The best Gambi can do in tracking Jennifer's cell phone is to determine the tower she was using. Since each tower had a broadcast range of 40 miles, this is not helpful.
(Nichelle Payne enters into her apartment. Tobias Whale is sitting in a chair in her living room, reading Moby Dick.)
Tobias: Late night?
(Nichelle turns, sees Tobias and shivers.)
Tobias: (cheerfully) Perhaps what you need is a good read. Always puts me right to sleep. (holds up his book) Moby Dick? One of my favorites.
Nichelle: I guess you're here to put me to sleep?
Tobias: (chuckling) Actually, I have a strict "no mama" rule. I believe a man has to have principles. But I do need you to contact your son. Tell him to keep his thick lips shut.
Nichelle: I thought he was with you.
Tobias: Hmm. He left town with that Pierce girl. Boy knows a lot about my business. I have plans. I'd surely hate to have to change those plans.
Nichelle: (determined) I don't have no way to reach him. Even if I did, you'd have to kill me first.
Tobias: (nodding and smiling) I respect that. You're a strong black woman, I can tell.
(Tobias heads for the front door but stops and turns around as he gets to it.)
Tobias: How did you wind up with such a weak-ass son?
Khalil: I'm sorry, okay? I shouldn't have yelled at you like that before.
Jennifer: Yeah, you should be sorry. What the hell was that?!
Khalil: Something just came over me. Okay? Jen, the things Tobias did to me, hitting me, burning me... I just didn't want him to find us. I snapped.
Jennifer: Well, you snap at me like that again, and Tobias is gonna be the last person you're gonna have to worry about. I will light your ass up. You need to remember that.
Khalil: I know.
(Tobias is sitting at a table in his office, playing chess against himself. He turns to a painting of his sister and begins speaking to it.)
Tobias: Our plan failed, Tori. That boy... he was supposed to make Black Lightning his enemy. But he's weak. He ran away. Now he's our enemy. (pauses) I should've known. Can't trust a Negro as far as you can throw him. I knew his ass wasn't a killer but I kept giving him chances.
(Tobias pauses as if pondering this and nods.)
Tobias: You're right. That is my problem, isn't it? I get stubborn and try things over and over again. Well, not anymore. From now on, if something ain't working, I'm gonna change it. (nodding to himself) Yeah, I'mma change it.
(Tobias stands and regards the painting of Tori.)
Tobias: You were the best person in my life.
Jefferson: You should have said something.
Jefferson: Khalil's text, you should've told us. We could've talked to her before it was too late.
Anissa: Are you blaming this on me?
Jefferson: What? No. But if you had told us, then maybe we-
Anissa: Wow, wow! Okay. (pauses) Did you ever stop and think why she was talking to Khalil in the first place? Hmm? Maybe it had something to do with the fact that, I don't know you and Mom never let her out the house? That you treated her like she was some kinda prisoner?
Jefferson: Wait, we didn't treat her like a prisoner. We were trying to protect her.
Anissa: No, you were just trying to control her. You acted like she was some kind of freak or a monster! All your rules, your quotes, and all of your phone check-ins - It was too much, Dad. Too damn much! You drove her away just like you did me.
(Cutter enters Tobias' office.)
Tobias: I see you found the place. I also see your price has gone up.
Cutter: You get what you pay for. I thought you were against hiring black folks.
Tobias: No. Just thick-lipped, incompetent darkies like the one I want you to find. Thought I'd get a discount, considering our past.
Cutter: Hmm. If I factored in our past, I wouldn't be here.
Tobias: (chuckling) Yet here you are.
Cutter: Sorry to hear about Tori. I know what she meant to you.
Tobias: It was just yesterday she was telling me I'm too stubborn. Need to try new things.
Cutter: I thought she was dead.
Tobias: So, history or not I better get my money's worth.
Cutter: (scoffing) Okay. All right, here we go with the threats. I see you haven't changed. Ain't nobody scared of your pale ass, Tobias, so you can stop right now with your bad guy act. Just tell me who this person is you want found.
(Tobias pulls out a tablet with a tracking app on it.)
Tobias: Him. But I want him alive.
Cutter: If you have a tracker, what do you need me for? You can nab him yourself.
Tobias: Have you not seen the news lately? I'm an upstanding citizen now. I can't risk doing it. But it's got to get done. Besides, my people tried already. Sometimes it's best to leave things to the professionals.
Khalil robs Club 100 to get some quick cash for his escape. Jennifer covers his escape by blowing the power in the club with a ball of lightning.
Lynn and Anissa discover that Gambi is alive.
Gambi determines that Jennifer is trying to get away by car or on foot since there's no sign of her at the bus stations or airport.
Anissa tells Lynn and Jefferson that she saw that Jennifer had gotten a text from Khalil but she didn't think anything of it since she said she wasn't responding.
Inspector Henderson files a missing person's report for Jennifer despite her not having been gone that long. He confirms they already have an arrest warrant and APB for Khalil.
In his haste, Jefferson blows out the front windshield of a young couple he mistakes for Khalil and Jennifer.
Khalil has an aunt in Henley Heights he thinks will let them stay the night with her. Henley Heights is a rural neighborhood near the peach farms.
Khalil yells at Jennifer when she asks about calling her parents, saying that Tobias will be watching them.
Gambi notices the power outage that Jennifer caused as he's checking the security cam footage from around town.
Tobias goes to Khalil's mother and asks her to get a hold of him. She says she has no way to call him and no idea where she is.
The news is reporting that Khalil kidnapped Jennifer.
Khalil's aunt agrees to let them stay the night after Jennifer confirms she hasn't been kidnapped.
Khalil apologizes for snapping at Jennifer. She accepts the apology but says if he ever uses that tone again, she will shock him. He agrees and gives her a burner cell phone as a peace offering.
Jennifer calls Anissa to tell her she is okay and wasn't kidnapped but she hangs up before Gambi can trace the call.
Jennifer cuts Khalil's dreadlocks off. While she is doing that, she finds a bump on his neck when she thinks is a tracking chip.
Khalil's mom tells Lynn about her sister's house where she thinks Khalil might be hiding. The address is 5038 Franklin Avenue, Freeland, GA 31148.
Gambi got Anissa her own vehicle for traveling as Thunder - a motorcycle.
Cutter gets to Jennifer and Khalil first. They make a break for it when Black Lightning and Thunder show up. Cutter stabs Khalil deep enough that he won't be able to get far on foot.
Jennifer shorts out the drone Gambi is using to track them.
Jennifer is able to short out the tracking chip in Khail's neck.
Jefferson and Anissa, in costume, go into the woods after Khalil and Jennifer.
Cutter calls Tobias and complains that Black Lightning showed up and that she doesn't fight metahumans without warning. Tobias then recalls how Black Lightning came back into action at the same time "The Pierce Girl" was in Club 100 with one of his men and later when she was being held hostage at The Seashorse Motel in 101.
It seems that Tobias Whale may have guessed that Jefferson Pierce is Black Lightning.
The Bottom Line
A rather nice chase episode that resets the players after last week's rather lackluster offering. Still, while most of the cast spend this hour spinning their wheels (particularly Jefferson Pierce, shockingly enough), all the scenes focused on Tobias Whale and Jennifer Pierce make it worth watching. And that cliffhanger... next week will be a shocker, one way or another.