Black Lightning 1.7 Recap: Jefferson And Tobias Finally Come To Blows & A Surprising Return

by Gary Catig

Anissa is healing at Gambi’s after the beatdown her dad gave her. She calls out the hypocrisy of her father spouting words of non-violence and Martin Luther King while also being the vigilante Black Lightning. Upstairs, Jefferson is losing his confidence in his mentor. He is still fuming over how Gambi never told him Tobias was still alive.
[**Spoilers for 1.7 Ahead!]
Lynn is at the police station describing her assailants from last episode. Detective Henderson thinks The 100 is targeting Jefferson because of his positive work within the community.  First, his daughters were kidnapped and now the break in with his ex-wife.
Learning of Anissa’s powers has opened up a whole new can of worms for the Pierce Parents. What if Jen, their other daughter, is enhanced as well? In addition, someone has to protect Anissa from herself. She’s on a crusade to be a superhero and take down The 100, but she is still new to the scene and doesn’t fully comprehend the repercussions of using her powers.
One of those consequences from pursuing her powers was the death of David Poe. Her grandfather’s old editor died by suspicious means when he was run over by a car. It can’t be coincidental that shortly after giving her all of Alvin’s old files, he meets his demise. Anissa is struck with grief and guilt knowing that she is partly responsible.
At least Lynn wants to make her daughter’s transition to hero as easy as possible. She knows that Anissa is as stubborn as her father and she’ll never be able to prevent her from fighting crime. In order to better prepare her baby for what’s to come, she convinces her ex-husband to train Anissa. She even has Gambi make her a proper suit with all the bells and whistles like Kevlar and state of the art neurointerface technology.
Meanwhile, Tobias is prepping for a showdown with his arch nemesis. He brawls with a formidable looking street fighter. Though he makes short work of him, he is surprised when he is actually hurt by a punch. After searching a duffel bag, he finds that the fighter was under the influence of Green Light. The crime boss feels the new street drug is bad for business. There aren’t many repeat customers since people tend to die from its use.

Behind the scenes, Gambi and Lady Eve meet again to discuss their Tobias problem. Though the head of The 100 is supposed to keep a low profile, he has become more brazen recently strutting around town like he owns the place. Seeing the value in keeping Tobias, she offers up his right-hand man, Joey Toledo, to send a message. Gambi dispatches Toledo and leaves a message behind for his boss, more ground up albino bones.
Receiving a tip from Inspector Henderson, Black Lightning finds out where his rival is staying. He sets an ambush at the opening of Tobias’ new night club. During the altercation, Tori, Tobias’ sister, catches a stray bullet and succumbs to her wound. Though the gang leader is able to escape, he loses one of his top strategists and a loved one.

At the same time, Tobias has planned a trap of his own. He’s had enough of Lady Eve’s threats and sent his men to take care of her. When it appears Lady Eve has successfully fought off her attackers, one more appears out of one of her own coffins and fires a fatal blow using a special firearm that shoots electricity. By using such a weapon, Tobias hopes to frame Black Lightning for the murder.

With all the death of this episode, we receive a surprising return at the end. Waking up in a hotel, we see LaLa alive and well. He sees LaWanda, the woman he shot in cold blood, ask him if he believes in the resurrection. She then transforms into smoke that brands the gang member with her very face.
The Pierce Family dynamic became more interesting now that another member has powers and some of their secrets are revealed to each other. Lynn can’t stand by and be complicit as Jefferson goes out as his alter ego. On the other hand, she’s more protective with Anissa and wants to provide as much help as possible. It is also fascinating to see Jefferson’s actions towards his daughter are only to protect her from herself, but he becomes enraged when Gambi does the same for him.
I was surprised to see Lady Eve go. I really enjoyed her character and thought she was a better villain than Tobias. I was intrigued by the uneasy alliance she had with Gambi on how they kept Freeland in the balance. I understand the idea of framing Black Lightning for her murder, but I think the execution of the plan doesn’t work. Though I know he couldn’t plan for it, if you’re trying to set up someone, make sure they don’t have an alibi. There’s no honor amongst criminals and word can spread through the grapevine. Jefferson can’t be attacking Tobias and Lady Eve at the same time. Maybe the cops can’t figure it out, but I’m sure the Shadow Board, the secret criminal organization they work for, can.
At least we get the return of LaLa. It has been teased in a previous episode that Lady Eve’s embalming fluid can bring people back to life. Maybe this was how he was resurrected. Now that he’s back, is he going to be the wild card that can ruin everyone’s plans? Will he get revenge on Black Lightning, the man who arrested him or will he go after Tobias, the man who killed him? I’m excited to find out in the second half of this first season.
Black Lightning airs Tuesday nights at 9:00 pm on the CW.

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