TV Review: Black Lightning (Season 1, Episode 8)
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After failing to really strike true in the last few weeks, Black Lightning is back in full swing with ‘The Book of Revelations’. Where past episodes held back information to build up suspense, throwing off the show’s pacing, this eighth episode sets things right and answers those urgent questions.
‘Revelations’ centred on the show’s strongest and most subversive feature: we saw Jefferson being a superhero father. As he trains Anissa, teaching his daughter to harness her powers and use them the right way, the interactions between both characters firmly grounded Black Lightning outside the pantheon of other superhero television shows. After his knee-jerk reaction of wanting to keep Anissa out of the superhero/vigilante lifestyle – a reaction that is only normal for a father – he sees his mistake and decides instead to help and guide her to accomplish what she desires. Easily the best scene to come out of this week is when Jefferson excitedly tells Lynn how he had been looking at the situation wrong, and that Anissa had saved his life in the field. He recognises that some things his daughter can already do better than he can, and that they can learn from one another. Rather than seeing her abilities as a threat to his status or to his masculinity, he is ecstatic to have a daughter with such intelligence and ability. This all makes for a fantastic story arch that subverts typical depictions of not only superheroes, but masculinity more generally.
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