TV Review: Black Lightning (Season 1, Episode 9)
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What makes Black Lightning such a fantastic and standout show in the genre is that it chooses, over and over, to prioritise emotional authenticity and family relationships over mere plot devices. Jennifer finding out about her powers and her father and sister’s secret identities was at the core of ‘The Book of Little Black Lies’. The show so far has done exceedingly well in exploring the nuanced effects of secrets being revealed. Anissa discovering her powers is handled incredibly differently than when Jennifer finds out, as are Lynn and Jefferson’s reactions to each girl.
Not only is this week about the fallout of emotional betrayals – Jefferson and Gambi, and Jennifer and her entire family – it’s also about Jennifer coming to terms with what powers mean for her future. A beautifully written scene between Jennifer and her mother highlights the contrast between her and her sister. She doesn’t want to save the world, she wants to live her own, normal life and on her own terms. She wants to go to prom, go to college, get married and have kids, but this life-changing revelation puts her life plans in question. Jennifer bares it all, and seeing what superpowers have done to her parents’ marriage, questions if anyone will love her.
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