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Recap / Black Lightning 2018 S 1 E 5 The Book Of Green Light

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Black Lightning's attempts to stop the Green Light epidemic are hampered by his powers inexplicably fluxing out. Jennifer starts exhibiting powers of her own, while Anissa begins to question why she has powers, which leads to finding out old secrets. Secrets that got her grandfather killed.


  • Abusive Dad: This episode shows that Tobias' father Eldridge was one. He considered his son a freak because of his albinism, and hated the fact he had to spend a majority of his fixed income on medical bills.
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  • Actor Allusion: Antonio Fargas as David Poe, to whom Anissa turns for information about a crime, much the way Starsky & Hutch used to rely on Huggy Bear for street info.
  • Downer Ending: The episode ends with Jefferson's Power Incontinence manifesting at the worst time which ends Joey Toledo beating him to a pulp, and then leaving him on the ground.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Tobias is extremely annoyed that Lady Eve (and whoever else she's working with) haven't given him a seat at the table and are treating him like an underling, only giving him a street gang to run despite everything he's done for them.
  • He Knows Too Much: Alvin Pierce, Jefferson's father. It was previously implied he was killed by Tobias for exposing him as a Corrupt Politician. It turns out he was doing another story about children who were experimented on and then disappeared, that was never published because he was murdered, which scared the editor Mr. Poe so much that he buried the story.
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  • Dark Secret: Gambi is implied to have been a part of something shady... something that involved a serum that stopped Tobias from aging.
  • The Dog Bites Back: To relieve stress about Black Lightning, Tori encourages Tobias to maim their abusive father.
  • Flight: Gambi modifies Jefferson's suit to allow him to fly by directing electricity downward, sort-of like an ion engine. He gets the hang of it pretty fast. Fortunately, Jefferson works out, so he can support himself just by his arms for some time.
  • Most Common Superpower: Subverted, with Anissa's skintight catsuit not being able to handle her kicks. She fondles the broken seam and laments "Too much ass!"
  • Mythology Gag: Anissa's first costume has her sporting a blonde wig. Thunder has, on occasion in the comics, had dyed blonde hair.
  • Not So Above It All: Jefferson is so impressed that Jennifer fought two girls by herself and didn't receive a scratch that he would've let her off the hook had it not been for Lynn.
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  • Not Worth Killing: Tobias stops his sister from shooting their father. Not because he's being merciful, but because he just broke Eldridge's back and he's going to leave him there, helpless, until he either starves to death or dies of the injury.
  • Older Than They Look: It's revealed that Tobias had been given a treatment that stopped his aging so he's looked essentially the same for several decades. The same is implied about his sister.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: When Gambi tries to talk Jefferson out of going after Joey Toledo until they can fix Jefferson's Power Incontinence. Jefferson threatens to use his powers on him if he tries to stop him. The moment anything related to Tobias Whale enters the picture, Jefferson loses all caution, reason, and restraint. Small wonder Gambi deleted that picture of Whale.
  • Pet the Dog: In the end, Mr. Poe gives Anissa her grandfather's research into the missing kids, with the warning that if she follows through, she'll probably end up getting killed like her grandfather.
    • Subverted with Tobias' Abusive Dad, Eldridge. He claims that as bad as he was, he at least stayed for his children, unlike their mother who ran out on them. Tobias refutes it by pointing out that he wasn't driven by kindness or love, noting that it was born of selfish desires like having convenient punching bags for his own issues or to collect government money for looking after them.
  • Police Brutality: Jefferson stops a couple of cops from shooting someone high on Green Light.
  • Power Incontinence: Jefferson starts experiencing splitting headaches and unprovoked fits of aggression. At one point, he faints in the middle of a sentence. Gambi eventually finds the problem - his recent modification of the suit for flight has a faulty power converter. He begs Jefferson to wait for him to fix it, but Jefferson ignores him. The episode ends with Jefferson writhing on the ground, his powers out of control.
  • Reality Ensues: Anissa's first proper costume is a stereotypical skintight superheroine costume. So in order to carry a small pocket flashlight, she has to shove it in her boot because there's nowhere else to put it.
  • The Reveal: For all his public statements concerning Black Lightning, it turns out Henderson has secretly cooperated with him in the past.
  • Shout-Out: Jennifer reacts to her dad's unsolicited wisdom by calling him "Yoda", he replies by calling her "Padawan."
  • Spy Catsuit: Thwarted by reality. When Anissa's hoodie is unavailable, she grabs the catsuit she wore to the party. As it turns out, skintight suits are not suited for high kicks - when practicing, she almost instantly breaks a seam and decides she needs a different costume.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Black Lightning pulls one on Inspector Henderson.
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