Monday, May 31, 2021
Sunday, May 30, 2021
For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.
Clark works to help Jordan master a new power, while working to help Lois with her investigation, leading to a fateful encounter.
Man of Steel (Jordan's coping with super-hearing mirror a young Clark's problems), New Krypton (reality where Kryptonians declare war on Earth) and Reign of the Supermen (Superman's black costume, John Henry's origin resemble how he became Steel in the original comics, only acting in response to an evil Superman rather than following the example of a heroic one.)
Wolé Parks does some wonderful silent acting in the montage flashbacks showing his armor being built.
The sound editing to show Jordan's powers going out of control is quite effective.
The fight between The Stranger and Superman is great and the technology of the Steel hammer is realized perfectly.
This episode was directed by David Ramsey, who played John Diggle on Arrow.
The big revelation of this episode is that The Stranger is an alternate universe version of a man named John Henry Irons. In the comics, John Henry Irons was the secret identity of the superhero Steel - an ally of Superman, who was one of four heroes to emerge following the Death of Superman storyline.
In the comics, John Henry Irons was a weapons engineer for a corrupt company, who faked his own death and worked as a construction worker in Metropolis after learning that his designs had fallen into the wrong hands. After Superman saved his life during a construction accident, he became inspired, following Superman's death, to create a suit of armor that allowed him to replicate most of Superman's powers.
The Stranger is revealed to have been married to Lois Lane on his Earth and to have a daughter nickname Nat-Bug. In the comics, Natasha Irons was John Henry Irons' niece and assumed the Steel name for herself at one point after designing her own armored costume. The Arrowverse version appears to be similarly brilliant, helping her father with his inventions.
The Jor-El hologram confirms that Jordan's mechanosensations have become significantly enhanced. This has resulted in an allodynic response, which will continue until he learns how to focus what he hears.
The Stranger's hammer harnesses kinetic energy, creating more energy the further it travels. From 20 feet, it can stop a car in motion. From 30 feet, it can stop a truck. From 60 feet, it can destroy a tank. Beyond that, its power rivals a blow from Superman.
While working on his armor, Nat notes that the tracking inlay is still glitchy, though she doubled the output on the reflex modules.
The Stranger: Lois Lane.
Lois: Hello, guy who is not Marcus Bridgewater.
The Stranger: How about you come inside, and we talk about it?
Lois: Yeah, that’s a hard pass on me entering your creeper mobile.
The Stranger: That’s unfair and pretty hurtful.
(Clark and Lois are following one of Edge's trucks.)
Clark: What do you wanna do?
Lois: Just keep following. I wanna see where they’re taking the X-Kryptonite.
(Clark looks ahead and sees the Stranger, holding a high-tech rifle, standing ahead of the truck.)
Clark: I don’t think that’s gonna happen.
Lois: What is it?
Clark: I’m definitely starting to think your new friend is a Luthor.
(Superman enters the machine shop with a woosh. The Stranger is waiting for him, his RV parked in the back.)
Superman: Interesting place for a meet.
The Stranger: I’m a builder. Always felt comfortable in places like this… Surrounded by scraps and parts.
Superman: Building’s a noble profession.
The Stranger: Been a while since anyone’s paid me to do it.
Superman: Any chance one of those people was Lex Luthor?
The Stranger: It was a different life.
Superman: Why are we really here?
The Stranger: Because the world’s about to be destroyed unless I save it.
Rosetti: You say this guy’s been creeping around Smallville?
(Cut back to Superman and The Stranger.)
Superman: And how exactly are you planning on saving the world?
The Stranger: By eliminating the threat.
Superman: And you think that threat is Morgan Edge?
The Stranger: Edge is involved, but he won’t be the main source of destruction.
Superman: Then who will it be?
The Stranger: (speaking in Kryptonese) I think you know who, Kal-El.
(Cut back to Lois and Rosetti.)
Rosetti: The thing is, the prints you had us pull are from a guy who died six years ago, and his name’s not Luthor, it’s John Henry Irons.
Lois: (To Chrissy) Give me your keys. I need your car.
(Cut back to Superman and The Stranger.)
Superman: You’re the Stranger.
(Superman tries to rush him, but the lights on the RV and in the shop suddenly click on glowing red. Superman suddenly falls to the ground.)
The Stranger: I had a feeling you might try that. So I set these solar flares to a motion detector.
Superman: (pained) Why are you doing this?
The Stranger: Like I said, I’m here to save the world. You see, Kal-El, you’re not the Man of Steel.
(The Stranger raises his hand. A massive war-hammer flies across the room into his gauntleted hand.)
The Stranger: (angrily) I am!
(Jordan knocks on Jonathan's bedroom door.)
Jordan: Hey, I just… I wanted to apologize for spying on you and Sarah earlier. I… I’m really sorry you have to lie for me like that all the time.
Jonathan: Actually, this time, I kinda told the truth. I mean, not, like, all of it, obviously, but… But somehow it… It almost felt worse this way, ’cause it was, like, um, it’s, like, I don’t know. Like, intentional.
Jordan: It feels like everything since we got here has just been a big secret. I just… I want it to go back to normal so bad.
Jonathan: To be fair, Jordan, I mean, I’m pretty sure normal people have stuff that they’re hiding too.
Jordan: Tonight’s probably been the most scared I’ve ever been in my life.
Jonathan: (grinning softly) But gotta say, it was also pretty awesome.
Jordan: (laughing) Yeah, okay, you did total that truck. Pretty sick.
Jonathan: Bro, I don’t even have a learner’s permit.
Jordan: Or know how to drive!
Jonathan: I know!
(The two laugh as Clark enters the room, with Lois behind him. They fall silent as Clark raises his voice.)
Clark: Which was incredibly reckless and dangerous and irresponsible and absolutely… necessary. (lowering his voice.) You both saved my life tonight, so I think I owe you a pretty big thank-you.
Lois: Listen, we know that you two must have a lot of questions about what’s been going on around here.
Clark: Look, we’ve taught you not to keep secrets from us.
Lois: So we’re not gonna keep secrets from you anymore.
Jonathan: Isn’t most of that stuff, like, like, classified though?
Lois: Yes. Which is why none of what we tell you can ever leave this house. Is that understood?
(Jordan nods as Jonathan looks to him.)
Jonathan: Definitely. Yeah.
Lois: All right, who wants to go first?
Jordan: What was that deal with the guy tonight?
The episode opens where the previous one left off, with Jordan and Clark arriving at the Fortress of Solitude.
Jor-El confirms that Jordan's super-hearing has developed and that he will continue to feel pain until he learns to focus it, as Clark did.
Clark says it took him a couple of weeks to learn how to control his super-hearing.
Clark says he'll speak to Principal Balcomb about Jordan missing school, so Jon doesn't have to worry about making up excuses.
Lana calls Lois to ask what she should be looking for while spying on Morgan Edge.
Lois finds a picture of the real Marcus Bridgewater, who is visibly older than The Stranger. She also determined that The Stranger erased all photos of Marcus Bridgewater from the Internet, somehow, but thankfully her old editor Maxy knew someone at Reuters who had a photo of him.
Clark makes reference to both times someone working for Morgan Edge manifested Kryptonian powers and tried to kill Lois, in 103 and 106.
Clark thinks they should tell Jordan and Jon about Lois' investigation and the people manifesting Kryptonian powers. Lois wants to learn more about what Edge is planning and how The Stranger is connected to him first, saying the boys already have enough going on.
According to Lois, Jon hasn't made any real friends since coming to Smallville.
Morgan Edge has been unable to identify The Stranger since he and Lois snuck into his mine. This confirms that he has no idea who The Stranger is either and isn't working with him.
Leslie Larr suggests sending a small shipment of the X-Kryptonite out of the mines and seeing who goes for it, so they can gather intel on their enemies and how they are being watched. Edge agrees, but warns Larr he will not tolerate any more failures.
Edge asks Lana to develop a leadership program, to find passionate people with untapped potential who want to become their best selves. He suggests five people to start.
Clark starts training Jordan on focusing his super-hearing.
Lois confronts The Stranger on his lying and asks him to meet her at Victoria May's in one hour, ready to tell the truth.
The Stranger recalls his past, being married to Lois and having a daughter he nicknamed Nat-Bug and the day that Superman apparently went bad, with many Kryptonians attacking Metropolis.
Jordan wears headphones to muffle the sounds of the outside world.
Jon noticed that Sarah skipped lunch and asks her about it. She, in turn, asks him about why Jordan is missing school again.
Jon denies that there's anything weird going on with Jordan and tells her that he knows about Tag's powers and that the truth is Tag attacked Jordan.
Clark goes to explore The Stranger's trailer while Lois talks to him. The AI addresses him as Captain Luthor.
Lois' favorite drink is trenté green tea with a splash of almond milk.
The Stranger claims that, apart from his name, he's never lied to Lois about anything.
The Stranger claims that Morgan is trying to build an army of super-powered people to take over the world and that Metropolis will be the first city to fall.
Chrissy Beppo calls Lois and tells her that she has a contact (an ex who never got over her) who works the shipping department at the mines and a shipment of something big is about to go out.
The Stranger tells Lois he needs to speak with Superman. She says maybe that will happen once she knows his real name.
Clark tells Lois about the AI in the trailer and how the Stranger is apparently a Luthor.
The AI tells The Stranger about Clark's break-in and shows him a picture of him. The Stranger dismisses Clark as not being a threat, while recognizing him as Lois' husband in this reality.
Lana interviews a woman named Emily about what has been dubbed the Young Executive Program. She has a son named Avery who is in high school.
Clark believes the Strange to be an alternate version of Luthor, mentioning the Multiverse and how anything is possible. Lois thinks it is more likely he's related to Lex somehow, possibly an illegitimate son. They both agree his claiming to work for LuthorCorp can be a coincidence.
Lois says she'll ask Chrissy to investigate the possibility of the Stranger being a Luthor family member.
The Stranger attacks the van transporting the X-Kryptonite and takes it.
Clark moves the van carrying Edge's security team to a plateau in the nearby wilderness, so there will be no chance of violence.
Lois and Clark confront the Stranger immediately afterward. Lois complains that now they won't know where Edge is taking the X-Kryptonite. The Stranger claims it is more important to stop Edge from getting more X-Kryptonite, but agrees to talk with them elsewhere.
Leslie Larr listens in on the conversation from a distance with her super-hearing.
Jon is approached by a popular girl named Tegan Wickhem. Sarah tells him she is way out of his league.
Jordan, trying to focus his hearing on one thing, looks at a picture of Sarah and tries to listen to her. This leads to him overhearing Jon talking to her and telling her how special she is. While Jon's intentions are friendly and made in response to Sarah's apology about thinking he and Jordan were lying to her or hiding something, Jordan presumes Jon is flirting with the girl he has a crush on.
Again, the Stranger asks to meet with Superman, saying he's the only one who can stop what Edge is planning.
Lois agrees to set up the meeting, but only if she is allowed to keep the X-Kryptonite.
The Stranger has another flashback, remembering seeing his version of Lois (who was a television reporter) die on-screen at the hands of Superman, as she was trying to tell the world about Kryptonite and how it could weaken Kryptonians.
Lois reveals she asked for the X-Kryptonite case so they'd have a fingerprint sample for the Stranger. Clark takes it to the Department of Defense, figuring that the Strange is military, as he was addressed as Captain by his AI.
The Stranger has another flashback, making his armor with his daughter and building weapons into an RV. She inscribes a bug onto the chest piece, so she will be there with him in spirit. Many of the parts he uses come from boxes marked LuthorCorp.
Jordan confronts Jon over his conversation with Sarah. Jon becomes angry that Jordan was spying on him.
Lana picks out four people for the executive program. Edge notes this and wonders if Lana was intending for one space to be reserved for Kyle. Lana says he'd be thrilled, but she isn't quite done with the interviews.
Chrissy Beppo spoke with Lex Luthor's biographer and confirmed that Lex never had any children and that there's no one on any branch of the Luthor family tree who was currently in any branch of the US Military.
The Stranger meets with Superman in an abandoned machine shop and sets up an ambush there.
Leslie Larr hears the fight between Superman and the Stranger and tells Edge to move the X-Kryptonite now.
Jordan overhears the fight as well, and tries to get Jon to help him do something.
Jon winds up driving Clark's truck while Jordan tries to zero in on their father's location.
Jon has only ever driven Lois' car before.
Jon and Jordan save their father by smashing the lights.
When asked about why John Henry Irons came back from the dead to kill him, Superman remarks it wouldn't be the first time one of his enemies did that. This seems to be a reference to Lex Luthor's resurrection during Crisis on Infinite Earths and the cross-reality killing spree which followed.
The Stranger is held until General Lane comes in the next morning, with Superman noting he wants to be there as well.
Emily thanks Lana for getting her the job, even though Lana hadn't actually picked her. Her other child is named Duc.
Edge says the X-Kryptonite was delivered safely, but there's no guarantee the Subjekts Lana found will be receptive hosts. He also notes that Leslie Larr is the only person who hasn't shown any signs of rejection to the bonding process.
Jordan apologizes to Jon for yelling at him and for him having to lie on his behalf all the time.
Clark thanks the boys for saving him and he and Lois agree they will all be totally honest with each other about everything from now on.
The Stranger recalls his going off to confront his version of Superman. This was apparently the last time he saw his daughter before he wound up on Earth-Prime.
The Fortress of Solitude
Metropolis in an unnamed alternate Earth.
Through The Stranger's flashbacks, we see more of a world where Superman apparently went bad and led an army of evil Kryptonians, created by Morgan Edge, against the people of Earth.
The Bottom Line
Another fantastic episode with a brilliant twist that is well-played regarding The Stranger and his identity.
Friday, May 28, 2021
Thursday, May 27, 2021
For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.
The Forces go to war, with Central City caught in the crossfire and the world facing a second Big Bang unless Barry Allen and Iris can find a way to unite their "children."
The Flash comics of Joshua Williamson (concept of Strength, Sage and Still Forces)
The plot of this episode doesn't even try to make sense, with character motivations changing from scene to scene and it being totally inconsistent as to the Forces being children in host bodies or the hosts seeing themselves as Barry and Iris' children.
Again, the power level of the Forces is inconsistent, as the Speed Force is apparently capable of destroying the other forces by itself, but it needed Barry's help to kill Alexa in 708.
Also, Nora threatens to destroy the city, only to reveal that the storm threatening Central City is due to the other forces, not her.
It also doesn't make much sense that the Speed Force can't go back in time to when it didn't exist, but Barry can using his powers.... which come from the Speed Force.
Granting that Iron Heights may not be in Central City's district (Pre-Crisis, it was halfway between Central City and Star City) why weren't Kristen Kramer and her meta-cure bullets there trying to do something about the escaping criminals? Jurisdiction didn't seem to matter when she showed up in Keystone City with a CCPD riot team to capture Frost in 707 and this would seem to be an ideal time for her to make her point about removing the powers of meta-criminals.
Why, apart from needing to give Team Citizen something to do in this episode, are Allegra and Kamilla tasked with getting people off the streets when Barry could do the job faster and more effectively?
It beggars belief that the DA's office agreed to commute Frost's life without parole sentence just days after her conviction, purely because The Flash put in a good word for her and her response to being broken out of prison was to start capturing the escaped meta-criminals, given the pressure Kramer was putting them under and her apparent grip on the CCPD. (This also raises the question of why Barry didn't testify on her behalf along with Joe at her trial.)
Trite as it is and as many times as he's given similar speeches, Jesse L. Martin nails his speech on the difficulties of being a parent.
You can see where most of the season's special effects budget went, with the various lighting and storm effects in this episode.
Central City's population is said to be 3 million. This is roughly the same as the greater St. Louis, Missouri area, which is about 2.8 million.
Barry gives Iris a transmat orb full of hyper-tachyon particles that will pull any organic matter in the immediate vicinity to Central City.
The storm created by the Forces generates Category 3 winds and over 22 lighting strikes a minute.
Chester rebuilds the isotopic sensor, enabling Barry to use it while sweeping through the city at super-speed. It is accurate to within 100 yards.
Cisco says an Einstein-Maxwell gravitational trap could hold the Speed Force, but the coils would need enough current to power Las Vegas to do it.
The Speed Force can be detected by the presence of kinetic isotopes in the atmosphere.
The lightning that struck Cecile is revealed to be made of electrochemical isotopes - the energy of the Sage Force.
A collider reaction over Central City threatens to achieve enough atomic mass to trigger a second Big Bang, as the four Forces return to their original state, like when they were born. To save reality, Barry must keep the Force Event from reaching optimal expansion, preventing the Forces from snapping back and destroying all existence.
Every thrice damned speech about The Forces being family and needing to come together.
It is revealed that Iris, Bashir and Alexa's deaths at the end of 710 were the result of Bashir reflexively creating an illusion - something he didn't know he could do with the Sage Force.
Iris thinks Nora attacked her because she sees her as competition for Barry's affections. (This is not exactly news since Nora tried to kill her in 709 and said as much.)
Barry decided to hide Iris, Bashir and Alexa in the dead Speed Force subspace following Crisis, saying that the Speed Force can't go there.
Joe and Cecile see a news broadcast on a mass escape from Iron Heights after lighting took out a wall. Most of the escapees are metahumans. There is no word on the news about Frost being one of the escapees.
Cecile is stuck by lightning. Joe takes her to STAR Labs for treatment.
The Speed Force confronts Barry and demands it bring the other Forces to her so she can kill them. She threatens to destroy Central City if he doesn't do this.
The Speed Force was able to sense Barry going someplace she could not follow.
Cisco fixes the isotopic sensor so Barry can look for Deon Owens.
Frost did escape prison, but decided to recapture the fugitive metahumans. She's in full costume when she goes after Chillblaine, who just stole some biotech interfaces.
Caitlin treats Cecile and Joe says he is going to stay with her.
Bashir talks to Alexa telepathically and convinces her to work with him to steal the transport sphere from Iris, saying they need to confront the Speed Force and kill her before she kills them.
Barry finds Deon at Central City Stadium. Deon apologizes for killing Iris, Bashir and Alexa, but Barry tells him that he was faked out.
Deon wants to kill the Speed Force and teleports away after Barry says they're going to find another way to stop her.
Barry tells Cisco and Chester to man the coms while he keeps searching for Deon. He also says to get Team Citizen on the street to start evacuating people to storm shelters.
Joe suggests that maybe killing the Speed Force is the only way.
Allegra asks Joe to come help her with the evacuation. She also tells Joe that he's a good man even if he isn't a cop anymore and that he helped her fulfill her dreams of becoming a reporter.
Joe declines her offer, saying he needs to be there for his wife.
Bashir and Alexa overpower Iris and take the orb, transporting them all back to reality.
Barry has no luck finding Deon and meets the Speed Force again.
The Speed Force claims that she isn't responsible for the storms destroying Central City - it's the other Forces. She points out that the Earthquakes are generated by the Strength Force and those are also a part of the storm.
Iris returns to STAR Labs having wound up halfway across town.
Frost brings down Chillblaine.
Joe tells Barry and Iris that they are good parents and are doing the right thing in trying to wrangle the forces.
Barry says maybe they need to bring the Forces together rather than keeping them apart.
Deon meets with Alexa and Bashir and they agree to work together to kill the Speed Force.
Barry meets wit the Speed Force, who knows he was plotting against her.
Barry, Bashir, Alexa and Deon are drawn into the Speed Force and an all-out fight breaks out.
Everyone is forced out of the Speed Force because of a collider reaction forming over Central City.
Chester estimates they only have three minutes before the isotopic forces return to their original state, triggering a second Big Bang.
The other Forces unite against the Speed Force to give her a vision of her worst fear - which turns out to be being alone. This caused the Speed Force to join with them all, as they help Barry to calm the storm and prevent disaster.
The Four forces join together inside the Speed Force subspace that looks like Barry and Iris's childhood home, which has now been restored to a pristine state.
Barry says he feels more powerful now that all the Forces are working together in harmony.
Cecile wakes from her coma and is expected to recover fully.
Baby Jenna was being watched over by Rob and David Singh.
Allega says she wants to refine her powers to be more than a human glowstick.
Kamilla and Cisco indulge in a public display of affection while getting coffee with Allegra and Chester. This causes Allegra and Chester to look at each other for a moment and look away quickly. This is apparently meant to hit that the two are starting to develop feelings for one another, despite having barely interacted.
Chester built an electric sock warmer for his grandmother.
Cisco gets a text, which he ignores. It is from Chip Cooper, saying that he needs an answer.
Frost shows up at Caitlin's apartment, claiming she was given probation on her life sentence after the DA's office saw her on the news catching the escaping metahuman criminals and after Barry put in a good word for her as The Flash.
Frost tells Caitlin about her crush on Chillblaine.
Barry and Iris decide to start trying to have kids.
The Speed Force.
The escape of multiple metahuman criminals from Iron Heights occurs off-camera.
The Fridge Factor
Frost falls hard for Chillblaine, despite his repeated attempts to kill her and frame her for his crimes, because women love bad boys. I guess. Hopefully this is building to her making a statement about how she doesn't need a boyfriend because it sort of stinks to see this sort of thing after Danielle Panabaker put her foot down about Caitlin getting a new love interest every season, despite being a recent widow.
The Boomerang Factor
Joe West spends the entire episode sitting with his wife instead of trying to lead people to safety (like the rest of Team Flash) purely so he can be there to give Barry and Iris a speech about what it is to be a parent.
The Bottom Line
Without a doubt the worst episode in the series' history. Lazy writing buoyed by strong performances it doesn't deserve. The only good thing is that can be said about this episode is that it ended the Forces storyline. Unfortunately, that may just be temporary as there's still another eight episodes to go and no clear plotline for what comes next.
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Black Lightning Episode Guide: Season 4, Episode 13 - The Book of Resurrection: Chapter Two: Closure
: For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.
Daredevil: Born Again (hero returns after almost being killed and having his life ruined by his crime boss archenemy) and Batman and The Outsiders (The new Jennifer's background is somewhat reminiscent of the origin of Halo.)
There's no resolution regarding Gambi's romance with Lauren.
Marvin "Krondon" Jones III absolutely slays during his death scene.
Even by the standards of this show, this episode has some fantastic music and it is well used throughout the episode.
The switching between young and current Jefferson as he speaks to his father is a nice touch.
The scene of Jefferson emerging from his grave is pure comic book magic made real.
On the day this episode was originally aired, The CW formally announced that it was not picking up the Painkiller spin-off.
As he dies, Tobias quotes Moby Dick and Ahab's last words- "To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell's heart, I stab at thee; For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee."
Also on the same day this episode originally aired, Cress Williams revealed that he was in talks with the showrunners on The Flash to appear as Jefferson Pierce in a few episodes of The Flash Season 8.
Will Catlett improvised the final line of the episode and the series, with the approval of director Salim Akil.
The new Jennifer is revealed to be an energy being who replicated Jennifer's body and replaced her. This seems remarkably similar to the background of Halo, a member of the Outsides in the comics, who was revealed to be an energy being that took over the body of a young woman named Violet Harper. The key difference is that Violet Harper was not a good person and Halo's spirit was good, whereas here we have a malevolent spirit taking over Jennifer Pierce's life.
With the Promethium energy, Jefferson's electrical blasts can overcome Tobias' grounding, at least enough to throw him around though he doesn't seem to suffer any heat damage from the electricity.
Gambi: You don't worry about this. Forget it ever happened.
Young Jefferson: I'm as bad as Tobias.
Gambi: Don't say that. Don't even think it. Put it out of your mind.
Young Jefferson: I still see his face when he died. I'm a monster.
Gambi: Stop. That guy was a known killer, and a One Hundred gang member. He pulled a gun on you, and he was gonna kill you in cold blood. You reacted instinctively, Jeff. It was self-defense. Nothing more.
Young Jefferson: Never again. I don't want these powers.
Gambi: I'll teach you. You'll learn how to use them, how to control them for good.
Young Jefferson: No.
Gambi: You're hurting right now, son. But don't give up. Learn from this. Your powers properly used can give hope. Hope to your city and its people. All you need is a code, Jeff. Together, we'll find you one.
(Alvin Pierce and Jefferson Pierce sit on the steps of Jefferson's boyhood home. As they talk, Jefferson shifts between his adult self and his tween self.)
Jefferson: Even with powers, I suffered the same fate.
Alvin: No, you've made your fate, son. Starting with a code to keep you from losing your way and becoming like him.
Jefferson: You know?
Alvin: About the One Hundred boy you killed?
(Jefferson makes a face remembering it.)
Alvin: See, that there, what you're feeling? That's shame. Tobias doesn't feel shame. And that's why you'll never be like him, and why you're the one to stop him.
Jefferson: I tried, Pop. I tried for years. He won. He killed me. I don't have what it takes to stop him.
Alvin: No, you have everything you need. No more hiding under the bed, son. In order to accomplish what you've never done, you have to use what you never have. So go get it, and get it done.
(Tobias and Black Lightning are fighting, but neither is doing much damage. Finally, Tobias is able to knock Jefferson Pierce down.)
Tobias: You need somethin' that hurts your nappy-headed neon ass. Let me introduce you to my favorite word.
(Tobias picks Black Lightning up and lifts him over his head, carrying him towards the window.)
Tobias: It's called "defenestration".
(Black Lightning shocks Tobias, forcing him to drop him. He then focuses a blast and sends Tobias flying out the window as he is moving in on the fallen Black Lightning. Once he's standing he moves to the window, only to find Tobias, impaled on a decorative spike, and slowly sliding down it as it comes through his chest.)
Black Lightning: Tobias, hold on!
(Choking on blood, Tobias struggles but the spike is too far down for him to grab it for leverage. His struggling is only accelerating how quickly his own weight is pulling him down the spike.)
Tobias: "To the end, I grapple with thee. From the bottom of hell's heart, I stab at thee".
Black Lightning: Tobias, don't.
Black Lightning: Stop! We don't have to do this! There's another way!
(Tobias begins firing wildly at Black Lightning, but Jefferson easily puts up a shield to block the bullets. He then aims the electrical wave at Tobias, but there is no anger or malice in it. It is mercy, as the lighting quickly kills Tobias and ends his suffering in this world. Jefferson looks at Tobias corps in disgust, as it begins to rapidly age to his true age.)
(TC sits down at his computer and activates his power. He's suddenly in the psychic headspace dojo that Khalil and Painkiller share.)
Painkiller: Oh, you must be crazy bringin' your ass here.
Khalil: I invited him.
Painkiller: (To Khalil) Don't think I won't kick your ass, too.
TC: What if I come with good and great news?
TC: Tobias Whale is dead.
Painkiller: Damn. I wanted to kill him. (To TC) That's not good news. (To Khalil) Let me kick his ass just a little.
Khalil: TC, what is your other news?
TC: I've isolated the system code for the kill order. I can free you.
Painkiller: Good. Let's do it.
TC: Well, there's a catch. It's linked to everything you know and love about the whole Pierce family. If you break the kill order, you won't remember the Pierces at all.
Painkiller: So what? Pains in the ass anyway.
Khalil: (To Painkiller) Shut up, and sit your Black ass down.
(Khalil pauses and looks back to TC.)
Khalil: TC, there's gotta be another way around.
TC: Well, there's not. I've checked and I've double-checked.
Khalil: Damn. (To Painkiller) You won't stop, will you? Sooner or later, you're going to kill Jen and all of the Pierces.
Painkiller: Best believe. But I'm not nobody's puppet. Cut the damn cord.
(Khalil gets up and turns away from them both, looking troubled.)
TC: If you need more time, I can...
(Khalil raises his hand, cutting him off.)
Khalil: Always known I'd give my life for that girl. Never thought I'd have to forget her. Do it.
(Lala sees Tobias' corpse, still impaled on the spike. He laughs.)
Lala: Somebody finally stuck it to your ass.
Jennifer shows everyone the photo of Jefferson that Tobias sent her. Gambi determines it is not a fake.
Gambi is unable to trace Jefferson's phone.
Gambi is still working on locating the energy emitter, but thinks he should have it traced soon.
Gambi apparently spoke with Detective Shakur and he's getting the Meta Task Force to stand down on pursuing Blackbird, Thunder and Grace, so they should be able to move on Tobias without police interference.
Gambi also confirmed that Looker is in the process of clearing Jefferson and Lynn's names.
Detective Shakur goes into Chief Lopez's office and finds the used meta booster. He also determines that the power she gave herself was energy absorption.
Detective Shakur tries to call Jefferson to warn him and leaves a message on his voice mail.
It is revealed that Jefferson has been buried alive somewhere in the woods outside Freeland.
Gambi finds the emitter in an industrial park in West Freeland, which holds Tori Whale's tomb and the headquarters of Drakestone Security - a Blackwater-style firm that Tobias owns, only they use more high-tech weapons, like the new brand of DEG.
Jennifer goes back into the ionosphere to absorb more power. As she's there, something in the mass of particles tries to grab at her. She just barely gets away from it. A face also forms with the energy, along with hands.
Lynn insists on running some tests on Jennifer since she's a little dizzy after her trip.
A flashback to 30 years in the past shows Gambi and Jefferson burying a dead gang member in the woods - one whom Jefferson accidentally killed with his powers in self-defense. This leads Jefferson to make his vow against killing.
The particles in the ionosphere form into a second Jennifer - the original Jennifer.
Grace, Anissa and Gambi raid Tori Whale's tomb.
Gambi disables the emitter, restoring Grace and Anissa's powers just in time for them to save him from the Drakestone soldiers.
Jennifer confronts the new Jennifer, who reveals herself to be an energy being who lives in the ionosphere.
The fake Jennifer refers to the Ionosphere as The Glaze and says there are many intangible beings there who long to have physical forms.
Jennifer absorbs the fake Jennifer as they fight.
Jefferson seems to have a vision of his father as he is on the verge of death, praying to God that his family will be protected and that he will be allowed to go to Heaven.
Alvin Pierce apologizes to Jefferson for not being there to raise him, but tells him he can still beat Tobias by using what he never has before.
Detective Shakur gets a call about Chief Lopez drawing power out of an alley behind the power plant, which is starting to effect the city grid. He gathers every cop he can from the station and takes them to confront her.
Jefferson feels the energy from all of the newly-created Promethium under Freeland and uses it to recharge, emerging from his grave in costume.
Anissa was hit by several DEG blasts and requires medical attention after the fight at Tori Whale's tomb but is still conscious when Jefferson calls in.
Tobias' office is located in Tori Towers.
Lightning helps the police to bring down Chief Lopez.
Jefferson accidentally kills Tobias after reflexively shocking him and knocking him out a window, causing Tobias to be impaled on a decorative spike outside his office. He does try to save Tobias, but, defiant to the end, Tobias tries to shoot Black Lightning to keep him from saving him.
When Tobias dies, his corpse ages in an instant, his de-aging serum apparently wearing off.
TC tells Khalil and Painkiller about Tobias' death. Painkiller isn't happy, as he wanted to be the one to kill Tobias.
TC also tells Khalil and Painkiller that he found way to turn off Painkiller's kill order, but it will require him to erase all of Khalil's memories of the Pierce family, as the order is too firmly embedded in those memories to remove by itself.
Khalil and Painkiller both agree to this and TC removes all their memories of the Pierce family.
Sometime later, the family organizes an official wedding ceremony for Grace and Anissa.
Grace officially adopts Wylde as her superhero name.
Lynn apologizes to Gambi for blaming him for Jefferson being a superhero.
Neither TC or Jennifer drink any of the champagne at the party.
TC decides to wait on telling Jennifer about Khalil.
Jennifer says she's disturbed that nobody but her father seemed to have any idea she'd been repalaced by the fake Jennifer.
Jefferson and Lynn announce that they are getting remarried.
Jefferson announces that he is retiring from being a superhero and will leave protecting the city to Jennifer, Grace and Anissa.
Gambi announces that he is retiring too and that TC will be taking over his role on the team.
In Tobias' office, Lala, last seen in 406, finally frees himself from the concrete Ishmael trapped him in.
The Bottom Line
A largely satisfying conclusion that resolves most of the storylines of the season, though the return of Jennifer comes out of nowhere and the Painkiller resolution is bittersweet in the wake of the revelation that - baring his jumping to another series or some other network picking up the show - this is it for Khalil. Still, it could have been far worse, and at least Lala got the literal last laugh.
Monday, May 24, 2021
For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.
The good news is Mick's plan to lead the team to Sara does result in their finding an important alien with information that can help them. The bad news is it also throws them into the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis and threatens to start World War III!
Dr. Strangelove (Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb) - comedy about nuclear war and the end of the world.
Shayan Sobhian is a pretty good guitar player and gives a great rendition of Cat Stevens' "Peace Train."
This is probably Dominic Purcell's strongest episode in a season, as Mick gets some honest conflict and we see the cunning, if not exactly smart, crook he was when the series started.
The montage of soldiers preparing for war set to "Peace Train" is a fun bit of ironic composition.
Trivia Of Tomorrow
This is the first episode of the series not to feature Caity Lotz.
During the battle to recover the nuclear football, John Kennedy injures his back and has to be helped to a chair. Kennedy suffered from back problems throughout his life - a fact that was largely kept secret until after his death.
The nuclear warhead Mick accidentally stole is a Soviet SS-4 medium range ballistic missile.
The alien turbo-charges the Waverider engine using plutonium.
(Nate is walking down the hall and freezes up when he sees Zari. They are both still in their night clothes.)
Zari: Oh, you're not used to my nighttime makeup. I mean, no makeup. Sorry to ruin the illusion.
Nate: No, you, um... you look just like her.
Zari: Oh. You mean the other Zari.
Zari: I could change my hair if it would help.
Nate: Help what?
Zari: Whatever's happening down there.
(Nate looks confused for a second and then discretely covers his manhood region with his hand.)
Nate: It's not my fault!
Zari: (smirking) Mm.
Nate: I was sleeping!
Nate: It's natural!
Zari: Whatever you say, Steel.
(Mick is rushing everyone out the door after arriving in Cuba.)
Spooner: Okay, hold up, I thought this was a time machine. Why not bring us back an hour earlier? That way, y'all can change out of your PJ's?
Zari: Oh, girl, we don't ask those questions.
Mick: Cover me.
Zari: With what? I'm wearing slippers.
Behard: Look, Captain. Authoritarian leaders, secret bunkers, nuclear missiles, I'm just not feeling the energy of this mission.
Ava: Too bad, because I need your energy, okay? (looks at Mick) Can't afford any hotheads starting a nuclear war.
Mick: Hey, I'm just trying to help you find your girlfriend.
Ava: You know what you can help me do is get the missile back to the people that we stole it from.
Spooner: Wait, the Russians?
Mick: That defeats the purpose of stealing!
Ava: Our job is to protect history. Remember that next time.
Nate: This reminds me of the 1942 Princeton game.
General Kilgore: Refresh my memory, son, I was too busy fighting a World War.
Nate: Thank you for your service. It was a tie. A defensive stalemate. Neither team put the ball in the air, and neither got close enough to kick a field goal.
General Kilgore: What a terrible game. Both sides lost.
Nate: But... when we're talking about lobbing nukes at one another, that is the only way both sides win.
(Mick and Spooner are walking through the Cuban camp. Suddenly, Spooner cries out and clutches her head.)
Mick: Headache, huh? That time of the month?
Spooner: Very funny.
Mick: No, I'm being serious. My daughter, she has the same...
(Spooner grunts in pain.)
Spooner: Oh, that's very sweet of you then. But it's not my period. It's the alien.
Behrad: Guys, thought you might like a little update on El Comandante.
Ava: Wait, you're with Fidel Castro?
Behrad: Yeah, we're super tight, but the problem is, he thinks the alien was sent to kill him.
Ava: Why would he think that?
Behrad: Because it tried to kill him.
Ava: Okay, sounds like you're up, Rory.
Mick: Thought I was in the doghouse?
Ava: That's when we were trying to finesse the situation. Plans change.
Mick: You want us to kill the alien?
Ava: We don't have a choice, okay? Spooner, I need you to help him track it. We need to deescalate the situation and get history back on track.
Mick: Screw history! You kill the alien, you kill any chance of finding Sara.
Ava: And if we don't kill it, then Castro starts a nuclear war, and Sara doesn't have a home to return to, okay? I do not have time to game this out with you, Rory. We will find another way to find Sara.
Mick: Right. Lot of big brains on this ship. I'll just stick with what I know. You should never have cleaned me up. I'm better off doing what I do best: being a goon, killing people.
(There is a long pause as Ava just stares at Mick.)
Ava: That's exactly what I need.
Mick: Right. Least I know what I'm here for.
(Mick grabs his flamethrower on the way out of the room, clearly pissed off. Spooner follows after him.)
Spooner: You know, it wasn't right for Ava to try to pin this all on you.
Mick: I don't give a rat's ass.
Spooner: You were just trying to find Sara.
Mick: No, I was pretending to be somebody I'm not.
Spooner: So you're just gonna go back to being a dumb drunk? That it?
Mick: You said your job is to protect history.
Ava: I also said your job wasn't to think for yourself, but had you listened to any of my orders, we'd have absolutely no hope in finding Sara, so I... I guess you got this.
Mick: Stop saying nice things.
Zari: I hate that I'm a reminder of everything you lost.
Nate: You're not. I mean, I guess at first. But now? Now you just remind me of you.
An alien pod lands in the mountains of Sierra Maestra on October 16, 1962 and is discovered by Cuban soldiers.
Rory sounds the alarm to wake the rest of the Legends.
Nate is stunned by the sight of Zari without make-up as it reminds him of Zari 1.0.
Spooner works-out to hip-hop music.
Behrad has Gideon making edible marijuana candy for him to help him sleep.
Using the sketch he drew in 603, Mick was able (with Gideon's help) to find a photo of the alien in question among some redacted KGB files.
According to Gideon, Vladmir Putin was ousted from power in Russia in 2044.
Mick moves the Waverider to go after the alien, leaving John and Astra behind in the present at John's house.
Mick commandeers a Cuban military vehicle he thinks is holding the alien. In truth, it contains a nuclear warhead.
Nate forgot to set the cloak on the Waverider before leaving, resulting in the ship showing up on photos taken by an American spy plane. This leads them to believe that the Russians have some form of advanced bomber.
Nate wrote his doctoral thesis on John F. Kennedy and his use of diplomacy during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Nate and Zari go to Washington DC to find some way to infiltrate the White House and ensure JFK doesn't start a nuclear war.
Spooner is able to find out where the alien is listening in on the Cuban army's radio signals.
Ava takes Behrad with her, posing as a Russian scientist named Yevgania Shostenko who is an expert on aliens, while he dresses as a Cuban soldier.
The Cubans believe that the United States has invaded them with mutant soldiers, leading them to commandeer the truck with the nuclear missile before Mick and Spooner can return it to the Russians.
Zari is presumed to be a secretary and has no issue getting into the Oval Office. Nate pretends to be a former Harvard man, whom JFK pretends to recognize from the class of 1940.
Nate is introduced to the rest of JFK's inner circle - Bobby Kennedy, Rober McNamara and Douglas Dillion - all former Harvard men.
General Kilgore is an Army general who is advising JFK to take the country to DEFCON 3, based on the pictures of the Waverider. Nate dismisses the pictures as obvious fakes.
When General Kilgore questions Nate's credentials, he attempts to win over JFK with a football metaphor involving the 1942 Harvard vs. Princeton match.
Ava discovers the Cubans intend to vivisect the alien, which is sedated.
Behrad cannot stand the sight of blood and leaves the operating field to throw up.
Ava is able to delay the surgery by cutting the hose for the anesthetic and knocking out the other medical technicians.
Behrad is mistaken for Che Guevara and, when asked about it, claims to be his cousin Jay Guevara. He is then taken to meet with Fidel Castro.
The Russian Ambassador calls the White House demanding an explanation for the stolen nuclear missile and why the United States is attacking them with a man made of Steel.. JFK has none to offer and says it sounds like the ambassador is drunk and rambling.
General Kilgore shows JFK spy photos of Nate, in his Steel form, fighting Cuban soldiers.
Nate once again tries to dismiss the photos as obvious fakes, but is informed that DARPA had been working on a serum that could turn a soldiers' flesh into metal and had successful secret tests.
General Kilgore believes one of the test subjects of the steel soldier project went rogue and urges JFK to launch a pre-emptive strike on Cuba.
JFK gives the order to go to DEFCON 3.
Castro tells Behrad that he is sick of being a pawn of the Russians but that he now has a nuclear missile that will let him destroy Washington DC on his own.
Behrad shares his edibles with Castro when he asks about the candy.
Spooner's powers seem to be getting stronger. Beyond sensing the presence and emotional state of aliens, she can now almost understand what they are saying.
The alien wakes up as Ava is escaping with it and it almost attacks her. Thankfully, the alien is driven off by Mick and his flamethrower.
Behrad sings Cat Stevens' "Peace Train" to Castro, inspiring the stoned leader to call Washington DC and tell JFK they should live in peace.
The alien almost gets Castro at this point, making him paranoid and spurring him to order they launch the nuclear missile now.
In Washington, the Army has learned that the Cubans now have their own nuclear missile and are preparing to launch it at Washington DC.
JFK gives the order to go to DEFCON 2, but Zari (who is tying up the order) instead gives all of Strategic Air Command a three-day weekend, effective immediately.
Behrad is forced to flee Castro's bunker after Che Guevara calls and confirms he doesn't have a cousin named Jay.
Ava sends Mick and Spooner to kill the alien before the timeline is disrupted any further.
Spooner senses that the alien is looking for something. She and Mick find it next to the nuclear missile as it is about to launch.
Mick angrily tells the alien that the rocket is not a spaceship and can't get them off the planet.
Mick tells the alien it can help it get back to its spaceship if it helps him find Sara.
General Kilgore gives JFK the nuclear football and tells him they can use it to get all their nuclear sumbarine captains to fire an all-out strike on the Russians. When JFK wants to call Khrushchev, General Kilgore takes the nuclear football and gets ready to order the strike himself.
Nate reveals his powers and says he didn't go rogue but was working to protect the world from people like General Kilgore.
General Kilgore takes Zari hostage.
JFK leads Nate and his cabinet in a football charge against the army men with General Kilgore.
JFK injures his back during the play.
General Kilgore leaves the White House, firing his gun at the missile, which crushes him as it lands on the White House lawn. It does, not, however, explode.
It is revealed later that the nuclear missile didn't explode because Mick and the alien removed the plutonium from it.
Mick commanders the Waverider, leaving the rest of the team behind, while he goes into space with the alien to find Sara.
Zari's phones were all on the Waverider when Mick took it.
The rest of the Legends decide they can operate out of John Constantine's house for the time being.
The alien puts on a ring which gives her a human form and allows her to be understood in English.
Sierra Maestra Mountains, Cuba - October 16, 1962
Washington DC, USA - October 16, 1962
The Crisis Factor
Even by the standards of this sow, JFK and the Harvard men in his cabinet playing football with the nuclear football is a bit much.
The Bottom Line
A fun episode that gives Mick and Spooner some much needed character refinement, though it does go a bit too far in its comedic take on nuclear war. Even Stanley Kubrick thought twice about ending it with a pie-fight.
Sunday, May 23, 2021
For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.
Clark reconsiders his decision to let Jordan play football, as Jordan prepares to face his former bullies on the field, as Superman and General Lane come into conflict over how to handle the disappearance of Tag Harris. Meanwhile, Lois finds an unexpected ally in her efforts to investigate Morgan Edge's mining operation
Smallville (high-school slice-of-life drama, with teens getting powers from Kryptonite)
Presuming that Metropolis is on the east coast (as in Cisco Ramon's map of Earth-Prime from The Flash) and Smallville is in Kansas, there's no way Smallville High and Metropolis High would be playing against one another in a regular season football match.
Tyler Hoechlin cements his status as this generation's Superman with the scene where Clark holds back his heat vision while pulling the Kryptonite from his wounds while still acting as a shield. The anger on his face is clear, but his anguish is not directed at the soldiers - it's at the fear he might lose control and hurt someone and Hoechlin makes that clear without saying a word.
Another great bit of non-verbal acting comes from Wolé Parks, who says so much with a single tear drop after Lois Lane tells him off.
The sequence of Superman chasing Tag Harris and working to save a derailed train is fantastic.
The original title of this episode was "Smells Like Teen Spirit," in a reference to a classic Nirvana song.
The Stranger has a hand-held laser that can cut through solid rock. It can be recalibrated to act as an energy weapon that can knock out a Kryptonian with one shot at close range.
X-Kryptonite is also known as X-K.
The Department of Defense has some means of tracking Tag Harris by his unique energy signature, but it is inexact.
The Department of Defense is armed with guns that can shoot Kryptonite shards.
Lois: Who is it?
The Stranger: Your new best friend.
Lois: What are you doing here, Marcus?
The Stranger: Still open to sharing a byline? Friend of mine got hands on a couple inspector badges. One’s for you, if you want it.
Lois: (skeptical) You somehow get not one but two inspector badges and you’re just gonna give me one of them to be nice?
The Stranger: They’re working around the clock to get those mines ready. Right now the tunnels are packed with inspectors. Security is stretched thin. A lone Black guy might look suspicious, but the two of us together, it’ll seem more legit. So… are you in… or out?
(Clark, Jonathan and Jordan are in a hotel room. Jordan is sprawled out on the bed. Clark is standing over him while Jonathan is making an ice pack.)
Jordan: For the hundredth time, I’m fine.
Clark: No, you’re not. You just detonated like a bomb in the middle of a high-school football game in front of a crowd full of people.
Jordan: I could have controlled it, all right? I just let it go ’cause you were there.
Clark: Yeah, but what if I wasn’t? Jordan, sit up and look at me.
(Jordan sighs and sits up.)
Clark: Do you understand how dangerous this could be? Tell me exactly what happened. Were there–were there any symptoms, any signs, something that would have made you think that this was coming?
Jordan: Look, Dad, you’re thinking about this too much. I just–I had a moment, all right?
Jonathan: (quietly) Jordan… that’s not 100% true.
Jonathan: Jordan, he needs to know. Look, the first time that he had one of these... episodes or whatever, I mean, it stopped. It seemed fine.
Clark: The first time?!
Jordan: I had a migraine at school. It wasn’t a big deal.
Clark: Jordan, I know. I know. And I get it, okay? I know what it’s like to be picked on.
Jordan: Yeah, but you get to grow up, and you get to be Superman. Who am I? I’m a weird kid with headaches. I just–I wanted to be good at something–that was all.
Clark: That’s not what your powers are for. Jordan-
Jordan: Dad, I’m not you, okay?!
General Lane: I don’t know what you’re upset about. The girl’s safe and on her way home. The subject’s back in custody. Let’s take this as a win.
Clark: His name is Tag.
General Lane: I wish I had your trust in people, I really do.
Clark: So do I.
General Lane: You put me in a bad position tonight.
Clark: You know, I thought about all the ways you might try to stop that boy. Never occurred to me you would actually use live rounds, let alone ones fitted with Kryptonite.
General Lane: My job is to protect the American people by any means necessary.
Lois: You are armed to the teeth with the kind of weapons that would put you high on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. And this security badge–I sent a photo to a friend of mine, and she said it’s one of the best forgeries she has ever seen. So why don’t you tell me who you really are and why you are in Smallville, ’cause I don’t buy that you came to write a story.
The Stranger: I can’t tell you why I’m really here. But I can promise you, like you, I am trying to prevent something bad from happening.
(Lois is fuming as her cel phone rings.)
Lois: Hey, babe, can I call–
(We don't hear what Clark says but it makes her go quiet.)
Lois: How bad? I’m on my way.
The Stranger: (concerned) Are you okay?
Lois: (angrily) To be continued!
(Lois gets into her truck and starts to drive off. As she does, a single tear duns down The Stranger's cheek.)
(Jonathan has gone to bed, angry about not being able to be quarterback anymore after finally getting a chance to play again. Clark and Lois are trying to help Jordan cope with what he did by accident.)
Clark: I told you, your powers come with responsibility, and I need you to get that.
Lois: Honey, we know it was an accident. We know you’re sorry. Jon knows, too. He just needs a second. But your dad is right. Things are different now.
Jordan: Yeah, I know. I know they’re different.
Clark: Do you? Because you made a big point at the hotel of saying you’re different from me. But you’re not. That anger you felt that made you want to use your powers the way you did tonight? I have those feelings, too.
Jordan: You do?
Clark: Yes. But I keep them in check. Otherwise, I risk losing the trust of the very people I’ve sworn to protect. When I first showed up in Metropolis as Superman, there was a lot of talk about what the world should do with someone who had powers like mine. And it took me a minute to realize that other people were more afraid of what I could do than I was. So what I had to do, more than anything, was earn their trust, prove to them that, no matter what, I would never use my powers to hurt them. 20 years later, every time I use my powers, that trust is tested, every time. Just today, in fact. The thing about trust, Jordan– once you break it, it’s take a lot longer to heal than a wrist.
The episode picks up where 105 ended, with Tag Harris chasing Jordan after seemingly having knocked him out at the end of the last episode.
Tag says that he saw a video of the rave at 101 and that Jordan was right there before the keg explosion that seemed to trigger Tag's powers. He also says he knows Jordan has something special about him too, though he doesn't say how he knows this.
Jordan uses the special pager his dad gave him.
Tag runs and Superman goes after him after checking to make sure Jordan is okay.
Tag is astonished to see Superman, implying that he doesn't know that Clark is Superman or that he's related to Jordan.
Tag Harris can run faster than Superman can fly.
Superman is able to mend a broken train rail in seconds, stopping a train from derailing.
Clark says that Jordan seems to be healing faster than a normal human, but he's still vulnerable.
Clark says that Sam Lane called to assure him the Department of Defense is searching for Tag and that his escaping was a fluke as he was much faster than they had measured, suggesting his powers had suddenly increased.
Lois thinks whatever gave Tag Harris powers came from the mines.
Morgan Edge's mines are now lined with lead fiber, so Clark can't use his X-Ray vision to see what is in them.
Clark offers to help Lois investigate the mines, but she says he should focus on the boys until Tag Harris is caught.
Lois thinks there is a connection between Morgan Edge and The Stranger, saying it can't be a coincidence someone who knows Superman's real name showed up at the same time Edge is giving people Kryptonian powers.
Jimmy Cutter was one of the bullies who picked on Jordan in Metropolis. He's apparently been talking smack about an upcoming game between Metropolis High and Smallville High on social media.
Jordan has an intense reaction to Jonathan scraping his spoon against a cereal bowl, as if he had a migraine. Clark notices this, but Jordan says he just has a slight headache.
Clark asks if Jordan wants to sit this game out, but Jordan says he's good to go.
Morgan Edge appoints Lana Cushing to a new role managing his company's efforts to revitalize Smallville.
Jordan has another reaction to Jonathan closing his locker door.
Sarah Cushing tells Jordan that she plans to come watch the game tomorrow night to cheer him on.
Jordan starts to lose control, his eyes glowing red as he clutches his ears, as the class bell rings.
Jonathan gets Jordan into the bathroom and talks him down.
Jordan says he's been hearing high-pitched noises.
Jonathan tells Jordan they need to tell their dad what is happening. Jordan says he will after the game, because he needs to show the kids who bullied him - Woodrum, Cutter and Campana - that they can't bully him anymore. Jonathan reluctantly agrees to say nothing.
Kyle Cushing admits he's a little jealous Lana is getting a job working for Edge instead of him, having hoped maybe there would be something for him after all he did acting as Edge's advocate in Smallville. Lana tells him her new job benefits them both.
Lois tells Kyle and Lana that she thinks Morgan Edge is engaged in illegal and dangerous activities and that she wants their help to get into the mines to prove it. They both refuse, even after Lois says Superman is looking into Edge as well.
Kyle says he has a friend who hasn't worked in eight months who has a job thanks to Edge.
Clark tries to train Jordan on how to control his strength by getting him to punch a thick tree trunk. He hurts his hand trying to go by instinct, leading Clark to try and teach him how to throw a punch. Jordan is able to throw the punch and crack the wood after Jonathan tells him to pretend it is Cutter's face.
Tag Harris is so fast even the DoD satellites can barely catch a glimpse of him and then only when he's stopped moving.
Sam Lane tells Clark that Tag Harris has been seen in Metropolis, but that Clark should stay with the boys as his squad can bring Tag down. Clark says that Tag seems more like a scared kid than a menace.
Sarah changes her mind about going to the game after learning Lana can't get a sitter for Sophie.
Tag is revealed to be spying on Sarah.
Jordan is sent into the game and told to tackle player 55. This turns out to be Cutter.
Jordan has another attack spurred by the referee whistle, which Clark notices. His failure to tackle Cutter leads to Smallville High's quarterback being injured.
Jonathan asks their coach to send him in, as he knows all of Metropolis plays and can counter them, having been planning to be their quarterback.
Cutter tells Jonathan that he's dating his ex-girlfriend Eliza now and that she wanted him to know that.
Jordan brings down Cutter and talks smack back to him. Clark notices and pulls him from the game.
Lois calls a contact with "the Post" to try and get a press pass with access to the Shuster Mines.
The Stranger, still posing as Marcus Bridgewater, approaches Lois with two forged Inspector Badges for the Shuster Mines.
The Stranger talks his way past security, but the guard seems to recognize Lois Lane.
Sophie doesn't like live-action movies.
Tag tries to speak with Sarah, saying she was always his friend and stuck up for people who weren't treated fairly.
Everyone in Smallville was told Tag Harris went to live with his dad.
Tag accidentally knocks out Sarah when he has a spasm.
Cutter leads the Metropolis players in ganging up in a charge on Jordan. While this is going on, Jonathan runs a play and scores a touchdown.
The attack triggers Jordan's powers, which Clark helps him hide by having Jordan discharge his heat vision into Clark's hands.
Kyle and Lana return home to find Sarah is missing and Sophie has no idea what happened to her.
Jonathan tells Clark about Jordan's earlier episodes.
Lana calls Clark to ask if Sarah went to the game at the last minute. He confirms that she didn't. As the are discussing Sarah disappearing, Kyle finds footage on their home security system of Tag Harris ringing their front doorbell.
Clark goes to look for Tag Harris, telling Jordan and Jon to stay in the hotel room.
The Stranger lies to Lois about how he got a hold of schematics for the Edge EnerCopr mine project, saying a friend helped him find them.
Tag took Sarah to an abandoned building in Metropolis.
Tag has a small pile of worn-out shoes in his hide-out.
Lois notes that she is suspicious of The Stranger's story, given his claims to be an ex LuthorCorp employee who quit to become a journalist.
The Stranger shows Lois a cache of X-Kryptonite, which he identifies as the rarest form of Kryptonite.
Lois is not familiar with X-Kryptonite.
Leslie Larr finds Lois and the Stranger and attacks them with her heat vision.
Clark scans Metropolis with his super-hearing trying to find Sarah and Tag.
Some of the other players from the Smallville team come by the room to check on Jordan and invite him and Jonathan to go out and get some beers to celebrate their win. The other players talk them into it, saying they are only going up the street to a liquor store.
The Stranger does something with his laser that makes it into an energy weapon that knocks out Leslie Larr, allowing him and Lois to escape.
Tag shows Sarah the video of the rave and how the flare which ignited the keg came from Jordan. He asks if Jordan had told Sarah anything about what happened that night.
Clark arrives and tells Tag not to run, saying he's come to help him.
A group of Metropolis players, led by Cutter, show up and start trying to pick a fight with the Metropolis players.
Cutter provokes Jordan into taking a swing at him, but Jonathan steps in and catches the punch, which breaks his hand.
Tag has a speed-spasm as the Department of Defense soldiers arrive loaded for bear. Clark steps in to block their bullets, only to be shot by a soldier armed with a gun that shoots Kryptonite shards.
Clark starts to lose control of his powers in the same way Jordan did, but holds his heat-vision in check while plucking the Kryptonite shrapnel from his shoulder. He then unleashes the flame to melt the Kryptonite once it is in a corner.
The DoD forces stand down after Clark tells them to.
Clark tells Sam Lane, in no uncertain terms, how disappointed he is.
Lois says she had a friend look at the security badge The Stranger gave her sand she said it was one of the best forgeries she had ever seen.
Lois asks The Stranger who he really is, because she knows he isn't a reporter. He says he can't tell her but that, like her, he is in Smallville to try and stop something bad from happening.
Clark calls Lois and tells her about Jon's injuries.
Johnathan's arm will be in a cast for six to eight weeks. It's still unknown if he'll get the full range of motion back, however.
Clark has never heard of X-Kryptonite either, when Lois asks him about it.
Lois tells Clark that Leslie Larr has Kryptonian powers too. She also tells him about "Marcus Bridgewater" and how he has a ray gun no journalist should have.
Sarah talks with Jordan about Tag having powers and how he was focused on Jordan. She also tells him about the video of the rave and how Tag thought Jordan had something to do with what gave Tag his powers.
Jordan lies and says he has no idea what Tag is talking about, even after Sarah says that he could tell her if there was something weird going on with him.
Lana talks to Lois about what Sarah told her about Tag and says she now believes Lois is right about the mines being involved. She agrees to help Lois investigate Morgan Edge and what he is up to.
Jordan has another episode along with what a seizure. The episode ends with Clark flying him to the Fortress of Solitude.
The Bottom Line
Another great episode which rebuilds the momentum lost during the two month break. This is Superman done right, plain and simple.
Friday, May 21, 2021
For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.
Barry enacts a training program for Alexa Rivera, as Iris seeks out Psych. Meanwhile, Joe and Cisco both make big decisions about some changes in their lives.
The Flash comics of Joshua Williamson (concept of Still, Strength and Sage Forces) and The Incredible Hulk (Fuerza basically becomes this to Alexa's Bruce Banner, Alexa quotes the "Don't make me angry." line.)
The Speed Force's motivation turns on a dime after the cliffhanger last week, suddenly deciding to turn on Barry and Iris rather than killing the other Forces.
The weapons delivery form Kristen Kramer uses is dated May 18, 2021. This matches the original air-date of the episode. However, given the sequence of events in The Flash Season 7 continues on directly from the finale of Season 6 and that only 17 days passed between the events of 703 and 709, it should be sometime in 2020.
Cisco says his worst fear involves being trapped in the same job in 40 years. This contradicts 705, where he was clearly hallucinating something happening to Kamilla when Psych attacked him with his worst fear.
Iris says that Lucas Sharpe is driving north on I-95. When Barry catches up to him, the ocean is on the left (or western) side of the car. This doesn't match the real world I-95, which runs along the east coast of the United States. (It's possible Iris meant US Highway 95, which does run north to south through east Oregon and Washington state, though this is still quite a distance from where Central City is meant to be in the Post-Crisis Arrowverse and not on the coast. Alternative, the highways are just different in the Arrowverse.)
The only thing that makes Joe's scenes with Kristen Kramer tolerable is Jesse L. Martin's performance.
Psych's real name is revealed to be Bashir Malik. In the original The Flash comics which introduced the Sage Force, Psych's first name was Bashi, but he was never given a last name.
Alexa was biologically dead but now her biometrics are stable.
Barry, Iris and Alexa share the same bio-kinetic genome sequence. This is, on a cosmic level, like how a parent and their children share the same DNA. This connection gives them some ability to sense one another on a quantum level.
Chester and Cisco work on a way to track the temporal isotopes generated by Deon Owens across multiple timelines.
The billionaires attacked by Psych all exhibited signs of mental distress and symptoms consistent with narcolepsy. These symptoms do not match the experiences Barry and Iris had facing him.
Cisco has reinforced the force field inside STAR Labs with inverse surge capabilities. In theory, this will make it stronger the more force is pushed against it.
The motto of the League of Lions is Felicitatem esse virtutem. - Latin for Prosperity equals Power.
Psych's telekinesis manifests as red tentacles and can move as fast as The Flash in close quarters.
Cisco and Barry try to use isotopic arc radiators to bring out Fuerza in a controlled state.
The mental activity dampener uses neural pathways to connect multiple consciousnesses.
The Flash: Bashir, listen. Iris and I know what your parents did to you, but you can't keep punishing the world for it.
Psych: Actually, yes, I can.
Kristen Kramer: I do things by the book, Captain.
Joe West: Maybe. But it's gonna take a whole lot more than that when it comes to protecting the people of Central City. Only, you can't see that. And since your "by the book" is nowhere near mine...
Kristen Kramer: Do you realize what you're doing?
Joe West: Yeah. I'm staying on the right side of the line.
The Speed Force refers to Deon Owens as her younger brother and recruits him to fight their "parents."
Barry and Iris explain the other Forces to Alexa, although they have no idea how they brought her back to life.
Barry wants to start training Alexa to harness the Strength Force.
Iris, Kamilla and Allegra go to work on trying to track down Psych and figure out who he was before he became a host for the Sage Force.
Kamilla asks Cisco how he feels about moving to Miami, having found a gallery on South Beach that is interested in her photos.
Cisco still hasn't told the rest of Team Flash of his decision to quit.
Psych attacks a tech billionaire named Caleb Fairwater in his home. Fairwater recognizes Psych, calling him Bashir.
Joe is told four billionaires, including Fairwater, were attacked by Psych.
Iris determines that all of Psych's latest wave of victims were members of the League of Lions - an Ivy League club for overachievers with money.
Joe is called away from the Fairwater crime scene because Kristen Kramer is still in Central City and wants to talk to him.
Kramer notes that there are multiple instances of metahuman criminals mysteriously disappearing. She specifically singles out the Rainbow Raider, who was "vanished" into STAR Labs illegal metahuman prison in 108. (He later escaped custody and went on the loose in 122.)
Kramer also notes that many of the CSI technicians who worked metahuman cases for the CCPD resigned under mysterious circumstances. She mentions Patty Spivot (who quit the CCPD in Season 2) and Julian Albert, who quit between Seasons 3 and 4.
Cisco tells Alexa that he named her Strength Force persona Fuerza.
Iris ambushes Naomi LaSalle at the LaSalle Building, asking her about the attacks. She was President of the League of Lions in college and she and another man, whom she hasn't identified, are the only people in the photo she found who haven't been attacked.
Naomi LaSalle identifies the other man in the photo as Lucas Sharpe - a do-gooder into apps and alternative energy.
Naomi LaSalle recognizes Psych's voice and also calls him Bashir. She says the last time she saw him, he was getting thrown out of her yacht club for being unable to pay the dues. She also says that she only allowed him in the League of Lions because the others thought he deserved a chance, but she thought he was a loser who would never fit in.
Barry thinks that Fuerza should be able to counter Psych's power, for some reason.
Team Citizen identifies Psych as Bashir Malik, the adoptive son of Adrita and Paul Malik, who owned the Malik Hotel chains. His parents died in a plane crash, making him an orphan two times over. To make matters worse, the Maliks were $5 million in debt at the time of their deaths and were fleeing the country to avoid tax evasion charges. They abandoned Bashir to try and save themselves and left him destitute. This matches what Psych said in 709 about hating his parents.
Iris decides she needs to look for more information on Bashir, thinking there's more to him attacking his rich college friends than a simple hatred of the upper crust of society.
Joe discovers that Kramer approved an armament delivery he didn't request. The delivery turns out to be bullets containing the metahuman cure. He notes that this ammunition is illegal, but Kramer says there is not a precedent for using them yet.
Joe threatens to go to the Governor, but Kramer says she is acting with the Governor's approval.
Alexa loses control and nearly overloads the force field when she is forcibly transformed into Fuerza. As a result, Cisco is thrown through a glass window and is knocked out.
Caitlin tries to talk to Alexa after she says she's done having anything to do with Barry of the Forces, telling her about her relationship with Frost and how they came to an understanding.
Alexa says it has been two days since the events of 708 and first finding out that she was connected to the Strength Force.
Joe discovers that Kramer has been making a number of purchases on behalf of the CCPD, along with requesting copies of case files from Keystone City, Gotham City and Coast City.
Joe tries to get Cecile to investigate Kramer's background, but she says she doesn't think she can do any better than she did in court.
Kamilla tells Cisco that the gallery in Miami wants to schedule an interview with her.
Cisco says he's qualified for 7,685 scientist jobs currently hiring in the United States and 83 of those are in Miami.
Cisco tells Kamilla that his worst fear is still being at STAR Labs in 40 years and being the only one who hasn't moved on.
Caitlin suggests that Alexa can use her mental activity dampener to communicate with Fuerza.
Iris is able to track Lucas Sharpe's car heading north on I-95 using the STAR Labs satellites.
Iris says she thinks she knows what to say to Psych to get him to listen if Barry can get to him before he does something to Lucas Sharpe.
Psych refers to Alexa as a baby sister.
Alexa respectfully asks Fuerza to help her. She transforms and Fuerza helps save Barry from Psych.
Iris tells Psych, through Barry, that his friends didn't abandon him. All of the League of Lions except Naomi LaSalle put together a trust fund to help him get back on his feet.
Alexa tells Bashir that she was abandoned by her family too because of her drug use but how she rebuilt her life and found friends who know her past and stand by her anyway.
Barry says that they can be the family Psych dreamed of.
Psych releases his hold on his victims and they all wake up.
Psych agrees to go with Barry and Alexa to STAR Labs.
Cisco gets a phone call from ARGUS Science Director of Science and Technology Chip Cooper, which he takes in private.
Joe resigns from the CCPD rather than follow any more of Kristen Kramer's orders.
Nora and Deon attack STAR Labs, apparently killing Iris, Bashir and Alexa in the process.
The Boomerang Factor
Joe's insistence that Kristen Kramer is a good cop doing a bad thing is perhaps the most idiotic aspect of this episode. This is even more nauseating given this is the same episode where Barry doesn't think that maybe the biologist who has some experience with dealing with a super-powered alter-ego should be consulted regarding his training Alexa and Iris going back and forth and whether or not she's the Mother of the Forces or not.
The Bottom Line
Another low-water mark for the series, with character motivations shifting from scene to scene and very little sense of drama with the cliffhanger, given we've already seen one of these characters come back from the dead once.
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Black Lightning Episode Guide: Season 4, Episode 12 - The Book of Resurrection: Chapter One: Crossroads
For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.
Jefferson tries to turn an admission of weakness into a show of strength, as Tobias prepares for his final confrontation with Black Lightning and his family.
Daredevil: Born Again (a crime boss villain masquerading as a legitimate businessman destroys the life of a superhero)
The trailers for the finale (which first premiered right after this episode aired) kill any sense of suspense regarding the ending of this episode whether or not Jefferson really is dead.
Jordan Calloway continues to impress as both Khalil and Painkiller. It will be a real shame if his spin-off isn't picked up, given the quality of his performances since the backdoor pilot episode.
The visuals of the scene where Painkiller and Khalil are talking to one another while sitting in the front seats of the van while transporting Looker is quite effective.
The Painkiller vs. Ishmael fight is another high mark for the show.
Gambi has a personal Pandora's Box of computer viruses dating back to the 1980s.
Gambi is able to duplicate the signal of Lynn's ankle monitor and place it on a feedback loop showing that she's at home, allowing her to roam freely.
Gambi theorizes that the bedrock of Freeland was infused with Promethium in the past year, as a result of the power surge released by Lightning taking down the ASA's energy shield in 315. The minerals were transmuted into Promethium by the radiation released.
Gambi set up a program to track Red's movement based on his unique magnetic signature whenever he used his powers. TC is able to use this to help Jennifer track him down and set up a confrontation.
Lauren thinks Lynn's idea to track the emitter based on Val Seong's DNA has merit, but it will require a new algorithm. Lynn says she thinks they can modify the original algorithm since Promethium acts as a carrier.
The memory-erasing device Gambi builds targets the lateral parietal cortex, allowing electricity to penetrate the hippocampus, disrupting the brain's ability to access long-term memories. Unfortunately, it's only good for one shot.
Anissa says the process which removed the metagenes from the young mothers Monovista experimented on is irreversible.
A half a milliliter dose of Painkiller's non-lethal venom every 12 hours can temporarily negate a metahuman's powers.
Shadow Board Leader: The Shadow Board does not tolerate failure. Your seat has been rescinded. Effective immediately.
(Tobias chuckles and hmmms. He then raises his right hand over his head and snaps his fingers three times.)
Shadow Board Leader: (scoffing) Am I supposed to be impressed?
Tobias: No. But they sure are about to be.
(Suddenly, a semi-transparent figure fades into view behind the Shadow Board chair and begins strangling him. His image cuts out a moment later as the rest of the Shadow Board look on, stunned.)
Tobias: My assassin was rendered invisible through a meta-power - chromatophores. A power I granted, and much like the good Lord, a power I can also take away. That's right. I now control who has meta powers and who doesn't. Freeland is just the beginning. Star City, Metropolis, anywhere a meta-freak dares to stand in my way will meet the same fate as this pixelated piss-ant. Now, it's past time you all bow down and pledge your loyalty to me. Or...
(Tobias raises his right hand and snaps his fingers again. All the Shadow Board members fall to their knees.)
Tobias: All hail the king.
(Tobias laughs wickedly as he cuts the connection to the Shadow Board. Red smirks as he regards him.)
Red: What's next, Your Majesty?
Tobias: Red, don't get cute. The endgame's upon us. And while I admit to no uncertain joy toying with my prey, the time has come to finally rid the world of Jefferson Pierce.
Jefferson: I think I found a solution to our problems.
Lynn: I'm listening, and which ones?
(Khalil is driving a van. Looker is in the seat behind him in handcuffs. Rap music is playing on the stereo.)
Looker: Can we listen to something other than this jungle jam? I prefer a little bit more treble to bass, if you know what I mean.
(Khalil sighs and turns off the stereo. Suddenly Painkiller is sitting in the passenger side front seat next to Khalil.)
Painkiller: Do you wanna tell Miss Daisy what I prefer to do to her, Khalil?
Looker: You do know that I work for Tobias Whale, right? And when he finds out what you've done with his most prized possession, he will rip your spine out and kill you.
Khalil: Hmm. Been there, done that.
Painkiller: Why can't we kill her?
Khalil: Look, we're takin' her back to Freeland to testify. Clear Mr. Pierce's name.
(Khalil is speaking to Painkiller. To Looker, however, it looks like he's talking to nobody.)
Looker: Third person much? What is that, Ebonics?
Painkiller: (scoffs) Okay. This chick keeps writing checks with her mouth that she can't cash. Now, we gon' find out if she's a beggar or a screamer, huh?
Khalil: Looker? You don't need the use of your arms, legs, or even your pretty eyes to testify. Am I understood?
(Looker pouts but shuts up. Painkiller leans back in the chair, apparently satisfied.)
Painkiller: Turn my joint back on.
(Khalil turns the music back on and keeps driving.)
Jennifer: Uriah deserves justice. Don't you think?
TC: Justice or revenge?
Jennifer: Does it matter?
(Jefferson gives Lynn a revised copy of his will.)
Lynn: Well, this is a little melodramatic. Even for you, Jeff.
Jefferson: Yeah, I mean, with everything that's been goin' on, it's got me thinkin', you know, about us and... our family...
Lynn: What is it, Jeff?
Jefferson: I'm sorry, Lynn. Yeah, I'm... so sorry about all the crazy things our family's been through. I never wanted this for us. Before I go see Tobias, I just wanted to make sure you heard that.
Lynn: I'm sorry, too. I've put you through a lot as well. But now we have three gifted daughters. We saved the world several times, and the multiverse, apparently. And even though it's been difficult, we're still standing. No one really gets the fairy tale they imagined, but I really love the one that I made with you.
Jefferson: I love you, Lynn.
Lynn: I love you, too. Now go do what you do best.
(Jefferson enters his father's house. Tobias is in the kitchen, waiting.)
Tobias: Where are the rest of your lackeys? Forgive me. I mean your family.
Jefferson: It's just me. Let's get this over with. Everything is here. Just sign the deed. House is yours.
Tobias: Is that it? I was expecting some grandiose last stand. All I see is a toothless dog waiting to be put down.
Jefferson: You took everything! My family, my reputation, my powers. Even Freeland. Just sign the damn deed!
Tobias: You know, I've been waiting a decade to hear you cry like that. It was well worth the wait.
(Tobias looks over the deed as Jefferson readies the memory eraser. He strikes, but Tobias counters the attack and catches Jefferson's wrist, squeezing it.)
Tobias: What do you got there? Huh?
(Tobias forces Jefferson to drop the device and steps on it, crushing it.)
Tobias: Not so toothless after all, eh? But I never thought you actually had the stones to kill me.
Jefferson: That was to wipe your memory. I'm not a monster like you.
Tobias: If you were the better man, you'd do what's actually necessary. Not this Tinker Tailor Soldier...
(Tobias throws Jefferson into the next room. Jefferson gets up and takes a swing at him, but Tobias dodges and counter-punches easily. He looks at Jefferson as he groans.)
Tobias: You know, I would've never admitted this. But seein' as that you're gonna die tonight, I might as well tell you, I killed your daddy... right over there!
(Tobias kicks Jefferson against one of the support beams. Jefferson continues to groan.)
Tobias: Get up.
Jefferson: (struggling to stand) I was there. I saw what you did from under the bed. And I dedicated my life... to bringing you to justice.
Tobias: You were there? You mean to tell me you've been trying your whole life to crawl out from under that bed and avenge your dead daddy? Damn!
(Tobias regards Jefferson and nods.)
Tobias: You know what? Take your best shot.
(Jefferson does. Tobias doesn't flinch but takes the punch. It splits his lip and draws blood. He side-steps the follow-up punch easily and walks past Jefferson who goes off-balance and is breathing heavily. Tobias smacks his lips, tasting the blood as he turns around to face Jefferson and starts punching him again.)
Tobias: I made you, Jefferson Pierce. Forged you in pain and anger, and look what you do with my gift!
(Jefferson groans on the ground as Tobias picks up the deed.)
Tobias: Oh, Jeff. You really are your father's son. And you're gonna die like him, too.
(Tobias begins strangling Jefferson while force-feeding him the deed pages.)
(Jennifer is fixing herself something to eat when her phone rings. She sees it is her father. She answers the phone.)
Jennifer: Hey, Dad, you are gonna be proud of what I did tonight.
Tobias: (on phone) Oh, for what? Turning Red in to Chief Lopez? I'm sure your daddy isn't too proud now.
Tobias: Mr. Whale to you. Didn't Jefferson teach you better manners? Lethal Lightning?
Jennifer: What do you want? I'm not playing games.
Tobias: Oh, no game, sweetheart. My city, my rules. I warned you. You made me do it.
Jennifer: What did you do? And why do you have Dad's phone?
Tobias: See for yourself. Jefferson Pierce is dead.
(Jennifer receives a photo. She sees her father' bruised and beaten. She screams and drops the bowl, which falls toward the camera as we fade to black.)
Jennifer is watching the same video of Uriah over and over in her room.
Jennifer tells Jefferson she is not going to school. Jefferson lets it slide.
Jefferson never told Anissa or Jennifer about how their grandfather died.
Jefferson tells Jennifer about how he saw Tobias Whale kill his father as a boy.
Jennifer says she wants to quit being Lightning, but Jefferson gives her back her costume, pointing out that she's the only hero left in Freeland right now.
Lauren helps Gambi hack into Monovista's servers.
Lauren once again asks Gambi how her emitter ties into promethium and the stolen metagenes. Gambi says he trusts her, but it isn't his secret to reveal.
Lauren determines that the Monovista servers were cleaned, but she's able to hack the CEO's personal files.
Monovista's secret metagene harvesting project was called Event Horizons.
Only one gene harvesting device was manufactured by Monovista. It, the schematics, and all of the harvested metagenes have been relocated into one building.
Gambi determines that the one building containing the stolen metagenes is owned by a shell corporation with ties to Tobias Whale.
Grace and Anissa plan to blow up the building.
Gambi offers Anissa the use of his Pandora's Box - a collection of viruses - to completely brick Monovista's computers so they'll be useless, even if they survive the explosion.
Red informs Tobias that Alvin Pierce's home will be his as soon as Jefferson Pierce signs the deed over to him.
The Shadow Board contact Tobias and are confirmed to be The Shadow Board.
Tobias is informed that since he failed to bring Lightning under control, his position on the Shadow Board has been rescinded.
Tobias reveals that he has the power to give metahuman abilities to whoever he wants, by having an assassin with chameleon powers kill one of the other Shadow Board members. After that, the rest of the Shadow Board literally take a knee to him.
Tobias says the time has come to finally put an end to Black Lightning.
Lynn theorizes they can track the energy emitter by searching for Val Seong's DNA signature rather than the energy signature of Promethium.
Gambi decides to introduce Lauren and Lynn so they can work together.
Jefferson comes up with the idea of erasing Tobias' memory of his and his family's secret identities, like he did with the cops who tried to arrest him in 401.
Gambi says he may be able to rig up a hand-held device that can replicate Jefferson's powers in the same way, but he's not sure how he could power it.
Lynn suggests Gambi could use his stolen Promethium to do it.
Chief Lopez tells Detective Shakur about the meta-boosters and bracelets she was given by Tobias in 411. She tells him to start distributing them among his task force and get them ready to go after Lightning once they are comfortable with the powers they get.
Detective Shakur refuses, saying that giving powers to police officers would just throw gasoline on the fire.
Chief Lopez says her job will be on the line if she can't bring in Lightning.
Detective Shakur, after asking permission to speak freely, discusses how Chief Lopez's husband developed metahuman powers, went crazy and killed her brothers. Given that, he asks if she's really sure she wants to risk poisoning good cops under her command.
Chief Lopez relents and agreed to give Detective Shakur until the end of the month to catch Lightning with traditional methods.
Khalil is in the middle of transporting Looker back to Freeland to testify against Tobias.
Jefferson calls Tobias and says he is ready to sell his father's house to him. Tobias asks to meet with him in one hour at Alvin Pierce's home.
Jennifer asks TC for his help in tracking down Red so they can get justice for Uriah.
Jennifer says she can fight Red if she charges up in the ionosphere first, even though the emitter is making it weird for her to use her powers.
Lauren knows of Lynn by reputation.
Lauren asks Lynn what Gambi has her working on and how he said that it wasn't his secret to tell.
Lynn tells Lauren that her family are all metahumans and they need to shut down the emitter so that they can save the city from Tobias Whale, who is secretly a criminal mastermind.
Lauren said she had guessed most of this, but she could keep a secret too until Lynn decided to tell her more.
Ishmael ambushes Khalil's van on the road, saying he had orders from Tobias to kill both him and Looker.
Looker, unbeknownst to her, has a subdermal tracker implanted in her body.
Painkiller cheats in the fight with Ishmael, poisoning the hilt of the sword he took from Ishmael during the fight, so that Ishmael doomed himself when he grabbed his weapon to finish the job.
Jefferson insists on facing Tobias alone, despite Gambi offering to go with him.
Anissa and Grace debate whether or not they should tell all the mothers experimented on by Monovista about what was done to them. Anissa finally agrees that no good can come of traumatizing these women.
Jefferson gives Lynn an updated copy of his will.
Anissa and Grace blow up the Monovista building with the metagenes.
Detective Shakur and Special Agent Kevin Mason meet with Khalil to take Looker into custody outside the Freeland city limits.
Khalil gives Detective Shakur a vial containing the non-lethal version of his venom to keep Looker under control.
Painkiller suggests going to Freeland but Khalil says Jennifer is better off without him in her life.
Jennifer attacks Red as he's in the middle of calling Tobias to let him know a perimeter has been secured.
Red's bracelet is broken after Jennifer throws him to the ground with her powers. He begs for mercy.
Lightning takes Red directly to Chief Lopez along with evidence, on a flash drive around his neck, that he was responsible for killing Uriah.
Lightning records the conversation with Chief Lopez and livestreams it, catching Lopez admitting her anti-metahuman vendetta.
Chief Lopez goes into her office and shoots up one of the meta-boosters.
Jefferson tries to use the memory-eraser on Tobias, but he blocks the attack.
Tobias confesses to killing Alvin Pierce.
Jefferson tells him he already knew, as he was hiding in the house and watched Tobias kill his father.
Jennifer calls Jefferson to tell him about how she caught and turned in Red. Tobias answers the phone and sends Jennifer a picture of Jefferson, apparently dead.
Somewhere on the road between wherever Looker was living and Freeland.
The Winick Factor
Chief Lopez's reasons for hating metahumans are revealed far too late in the season for it to make her into an interesting, sympathetic or effective villain. Had it been established earlier that she lost her family because of her husband being a metahuman who lost control of his powers or went crazy, she might be sympathetic or believable. As it stands, the 11th hour introduction of this motivation makes her into, to borrow a line from Frost regarding a similar character on The Flash, "Cicada with a badge."
The Bottom Line
Largely satisfying, though the story is all over the place thanks to the need to give every character something to do and some of the stories are far more uneven than others. Jennifer and Jefferson's stories are the best, while Anissa and Grace might as well not be in the episode at all and everything Painkiller is doing, while interesting, is completely disconnected from the rest of the narrative. Still, it's worth it for the confrontation with Tobias and the final scene where it looks like the show might be ending with Jefferson's death.