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Recap / Black Lightning 2018 S 1 E 13 The Book Of War

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"They call us heroes, but the real heroes are you, the people who, despite the everyday struggles of life, continue to find hope, meaning, and purpose in what can be a challenging world. We've been given a gift, a blessing from God, and we intend to use it to protect this city and its people."
— Jennifer Pierce

Black Lightning prepares for his final showdown with the ASA.


  • Action Bomb: Tobias has Lala stuffed with detcord and deliberately found by the ASA. Once inside, Lala detonates himself and the blast is the beginning of the attack on the ASA.
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  • Badass in Distress: The ASA temporarily catches Thunder. It doesn't last.
  • Bad Boss: Proctor interrogates Lala in a room with four other agents. When he realizes Lala has a bomb in his stomach, he leaves the room with two of the agents, while the other two try to restrain Lala. Then he stops in the hall outside and has a chat, without the slightest bit of concern for said men.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Killing an unarmed man, even one as loathsome as Proctor, would be a bit much for heroes like the Pierce family. Gambi, however, already considers himself a monster, and has no problem shooting him and disposing of the body.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Proctor is dead, and the full extent of his illegal experiments are exposed to the world. But Tobias is still at large and is now the undisputed head of Freeland's underworld. He also has the contents of whatever is contained in Proctor's top-secret suitcase.
  • Book-Ends:
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    • The season ends as it began with a voice-over narration from Jennifer.
    • And this plays over a scene of Jefferson and the girls on a morning run, framed up very similarly to their morning run in the first episode.
  • Borrowed Biometric Bypass: Tobias uses Proctor's severed thumbs to open the biometric lock on the briefcase.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Proctor being openly snide and racist about his deadly metahuman experiments in front of three black metahumans that are the results of said experiments. Even they seem a bit stunned at how stupid it is before electrocuting him.
  • Cyborg: Jennifer wonders if Tobias's crew are metahumans like the Pierce's, Gambi explains they're something else. They got their powers through implants and other means. Tobias uses a serum that slows his aging and makes him stronger over time- he's now as strong as 3 men. Syonide has carbon-fibre implanted under her skin, while Painkiller (Khalil) has a liquid metal spine that produces neurotoxins that he can shoot out in darts.
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  • Death by Secret Identity: Proctor finds out first-hand that Black Lightning is Jefferson. Naturally, Gambi kills him.
  • Deal with the Devil: Proctor is delighted to find out that the Pierces's abilities have become hereditary and offers to work with them, they get to use their DNA to stabilize the four survivors and Proctor will let them live once the government starts flooding the project with money. Naturally no one takes him up on this.
  • Disappointed in You: Khalil apologizes to Tobias for killing Black Lightning. Tobias is a bit disappointed...at Khalil apologizing when he's now Painkiller. Black Lightning's "death" just means Tobias will have to take down Proctor a little earlier than planned.
  • Easily Forgiven: In the previous episode, Jefferson wasn't happy when he finds out Lynn was working on a "cure" for his and their daughters' powers (even if it's their own choice to take it). But it's mostly forgotten.
  • Generation Xerox: Flashbacks revealed that in his youth, Jefferson was much like his daughters and his dad, Alvin was much like the way he is now — stern, but affectionate and honestly invested into seeing that his son has a bright future ahead of him.
  • Honor Before Reason: Alvin knew quite well that his reports would get him killed. He considered it a necessary sacrifice to make Freeland a better place for Jefferson.
  • Karma Houdini: Kara Fowdy gets away scot-free for being Proctor's stooge and selling her own kids out.
  • Karmic Death: Proctor gets killed by Gambi, a former member of the ASA.
  • Mama Bear: Turns out Lynn hunted with her father. She puts that experience to use by blasting an attacking agent with a shotgun.
  • The Reveal:
    • Tobias was the one behind Lala's resurrection or as he calls it "reanimation". The visions of LaWanda and Will are side effects of the process; eventually, everyone Lala ever killed (or will kill) will come back to haunt him.
    • Proctor's operation isn't officially sanctioned by the ASA, it's an entirely rogue operation.
    • Where did Jefferson get the mantra for Garfield High? Alvin used to say it to him.
  • Ray Gun: Gambis said the ASA will be bringing weapons capable of taking down Thunder. Some of the agents that attacked had energy rifles that shot out a beam that immobilized and depowered Thunder.
  • Rogue Agent: Gambi determines from Proctor's lack of calling for reinforcements that his entire operation in Freeland has been without authorization.
  • The Starscream: Tobias completely cuts ties with the ASA, storming their command center in order to wipe them out.
  • Stupid Evil: Proctor's insistence that the ASA go full commando on Gambi's hideout naturally draws attention and the police soon get involved and the agents are promptly arrested.
  • Take That!: Proctor, a blatantly racist and corrupt government official, says "Make America Great Again" twice in this episode.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The Pierces catch Proctor, and he knows he can't beat them all, so he tries being arrogant. Unfortunately, he doesn't actually manage to suppress his racist tendencies. And he threatens them. He's basically begging to be killed, but he thinks they don't do that. He completely forgets about Gambi, who is a killer, by his own admission.
  • That Man Is Dead: Gambi tries to get Jennifer to see that Khalil is no longer the same person she fell in love with. It's unclear whether or not Jennifer is convinced.
  • Wham Episode: Martin Proctor's illegal experiment is revealed to all the world.
  • You Have Failed Me: Proctor wants to pull this on Tobias for failing to bring him Black Lightning alive. Unfortunately, Tobias is much too smart for him.
  • You Monster!: Gambi calls Proctor a monster. When Proctor says that's rich coming from him, Gambi agrees - and shoots him dead.
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