TV Review: Black Lightning (Season 1, Episode 3)
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This week, ‘LaWanda: The Book of Burial’ sees Reverend Holt urge his community to take to the streets in solidarity and protest of mounting gang violence, as Jefferson and Gambi work together to protect the marchers from the 100’s inevitable retaliation. The episode lends itself to a wonderful exploration of organised religion and the community it can create, playing into the theme of acceptance and humility, and that one cannot control everything - as Jefferson painfully realises by the episode’s close. It’s a reality that many superhero shows, especially in the DC universe, largely ignore. While Black Lightning might have stopped a mass killing, he was unable to protect everyone at the march. It prompts a mature realisation that even superheroes are not omnipotent, something Anissa will no doubt have to recognise, herself. That extends to the other players in Freeland, those who are trying to protect their streets from the 100’s killing: a fantastic scene sees Jefferson, Holt and Henderson and their individual approaches to meeting the same goals. A reverend, a member of law enforcement, and a vigilante, all view their own approaches as the ‘correct’ ones, but the show thankfully doesn’t portray one as superior to the others. It opts instead for a more nuanced approach, portraying each man and his ideology as only a problematic part of a solution, rather than a silver bullet. Given Black Lightning is a superhero show, this is particularly commendable.
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