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Recap / Black Lightning 2018 S 1 E 12 The Book Of Pain

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Martin Proctor tasks Tobias Whale with capturing Black Lightning — alive!


  • Action Girl: Syonide took Thunder on in a fight. Managing to hold her own, even laying in a few licks of her own when she figured out Thunder's weak-point. That is until Thunder ends her momentum with a brutal thunder clap.
  • Adult Fear: So, not only is a school attacked, but it's attacked by a former student (who fell in with bad influences). This episode also aired a few weeks after the Parkland shooting, though it was doubtless written long before.
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  • And I Must Scream: Lala seems absolutely shocked at how out-of-control he is when subjected to his Trigger Phrase.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Syonide tries to shoot Thunder, which fails. She tries to hit her with nightsticks, which fails. Then they go at it hand-to-hand, which still favors Thunder, until Syonide susses out the Kryptonite Factor; Thunder needs to breathe and focus to use her Psychoactive Powers.
  • Back from the Dead: Khalil unintentionally stops Jefferson's heart when he hammers him in the chest. Luckily Jennifer is able to defibrillate him with her powers.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Unlike Jefferson, who's Shock and Awe abilities are akin to a battery that requires feeding off energy, Jennifer's metahuman powers allow her to generate electricity. When he gets knocked out by Khalil and is left with no pulse, Jennifer brings her father back by becoming a walking defibrillator.
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  • Even Evil Has Standards: Syonide is a remorseless killer and horrible person in general, but she at least has the decency to tell the kids in the classroom she's in to leave before she starts shooting.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Khalil is back, and he's grown dreadlocks, thanks to the regeneration treatments.
  • Face–Heel Turn: This episode makes it clear that Khalil is in Tobias' clutches and he's not coming back from the dark.
  • Internal Reveal: Tobias finds out the truth about the ASA, Green Light, and the return of Lala.
  • Ironic Echo: Once Lala is brought to Tobias again, the latter asks him whether he still believes in the resurrection.
  • Magical Defibrillator: Jennifer uses her powers to shock her father, which restarts his heart. Given that Jefferson's heart wasn't beating, the shock shouldn't have done anything.
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  • Never My Fault: Khalil calls Jefferson out on how he was "abandoned" after his accident, ignoring how he himself alienated himself from his friends and family. Looks like Tobias' conditioning is successful.
  • No-Sell: Tobias brought a special vest that made him immune to Black Lightning's electricity stream. This meant Jefferson had to go melee. Oddly enough, it doesn't occur to Jefferson to shoot him in the face. Or it did, and he decided to beat Tobias old-school anyway.
    • Thunder No sells everything Syonide throws at her, while her powers are active.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • When Jefferson sees Khalil walking again, he knows somebody with less than benevolent motives made it happen — the ASA.
    • Syonide gets two of these in a row, first when she realizes her bullets are not phasing Thunder at all, then another when she tries using nightsticks and they break when hitting Thunder, Syonide realizing her weapons are useless against Thunder and she's gonna have to rely on fighting prowess only.
  • The Reveal:
    • All of the metahumans in the tubes are either dead or dying.
    • Khali's ability to walk is restored.
  • Signature Style: Bad guys on The CW shows often demonstrate their Super Strength by throwing someone across the room (in a survivable way) instead of simply snapping their neck or something. Khalil does it with one of the school's teachers, straight into the case of sports trophies he once cared about. Justified in this case since his goal isn't actually to kill anyone, just to draw out Black Lightning.
  • Shout-Out: Lala's Trigger Phrase is a line from "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." Since the show films in and around Atlanta, may also count as a Development Gag.
  • Sole Survivor: Jefferson is the only metahuman created by the ASA's serum that never died.
  • The Starscream: Tobias reveals to Lala that he wants to bring down Proctor so that he can be the sole power of the Shadow Board.
  • Trigger Phrase: Lala seems to have one, issued by Tobias: "The Devil deals the cards."
  • Villainous Breakdown: Martin Proctor has what is effectively a tantrum when he's informed that Tobias failed to capture Black Lighting and might've killed him.
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