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Recap / Black Lightning (2018) S2E1 "Rise of the Green Light Babies"

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Proctor's operation is foiled, but Freeland is far from being peaceful and things still aren't normal for the Pierce Family.


Tropes:

  • All Therapists Are Muggles: Lynn refers to Jennifer and Jefferson having this problem.
  • Art Shift: The episode begins with 1970's inspired title card, evoking Blaxploitation.
  • Being Evil Sucks: VP Fowdy finds this out the hard way — she wants out of the ASA and into a normal life.
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  • Bullying a Dragon: After killing Syonide earlier in the episode, Fowdy breaks into Tobias' office to steal Proctor's briefcase. Instead, she finds Tobias waiting for her, thoroughly pissed off at her for killing Syonide. He then proceeds to harpoon her stomach.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: Issa's power apparently inflicts this on people, forcing them to reveal their deepest, darkest feelings. Unfortunately, his first sign of this is making his mother say she was glad when the police killed him.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: A triple whammy!
    • Jefferson accuses the only black school board member, Napier of being this, for siding with the white members on possibly removing him as principal. Napier resents the implication that he's their "house nigger".
    • Henderson when he works out that Jefferson is Black Lightning.
    • Jefferson when he finds out that Kara Fowdy was the ASA's spotter.
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  • Fantastic Racism: Jefferson realizes that rise of the Green Light Babies means the city will soon begin to turn on people with powers — Black Lightning and Thunder included.
  • Happy Ending Override: Any sense of hope that came with the season one finale is quickly and brutally dispelled:
    • There are scores of teens with latent powers thanks to Green Light ... and the police are killing them on sight; and Fantastic Racism is beginning to ferment.
    • The real ASA has taken custody of the pods and refuses to release them to their loved ones or let any outside scientist examine them. The man in charge — Agent Odell — isn't happy when Gambi pulls strings to have Lynn examine them.
    • Jennifer's powers are manifesting themselves in ways she can't control — which causes tension between Jennifer and Lynn on how to deal with it.
    • The recent attacks on Garfield mean the School Board is seriously considering closing the school and firing Jefferson. In the end, Jefferson resigns to keep the school open.
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  • Heroic Sacrifice: Non-lethal version — in order to convince the School Board to keep Garfield open, Jefferson offers to step down as principal.
  • I Warned You: Lynn told Jefferson there'll be consequences.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • Henderson figures out that Jefferson is Black Lightning, and Jefferson admits it.
    • Jefferson learns about Kara's involvement with the ASA.
  • MacGuffin: The briefcase Tobias stole. Everybody is after it, but the only thing revealed about what's actually in it is that it's "probably worse than we think".
  • Mythology Gag: The term "Green Light Babies" is eerily reminiscent of the Bang Babies from Static Shock.
  • Police Brutality: The episode begins with a young black man being killed by police because he's a suspected "Green Light Baby"; the black community rightly see it as another smokescreen to kill with impunity.
  • Power Incontinence: Jennifer accidentally blasts Lynn.
  • Properly Paranoid: Turns out that every member of the congregation packs heat — they know that not even the House of God is safe.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Henderson may be Deputy Chief now, but by and large the Freeland PD are still as racist and corrupt as ever.
    • Even with Green Light off the streets, it still left scores of junkies with latent powers.
    • Jefferson's Black Lightning activities coming into conflict with his principal duties in addition to all the attacks on Garfield High, plus Jefferson's seeming blasé attitude towards security means the School Board is no longer giving him the respect they once did, and are seriously consider having him removed from his job.
    • A detective as competent as Henderson eventually connects the dots that Black Lightning shows up whenever Jefferson is absent and deduces that they're one and the same.
    • Jennifer and Lynn used lethal force while fending off the assault on the cabin, and whether self-defense or not, they both mention to Jefferson that they've struggled with the implications of it.
  • Secret Chaser: Agent Odell is determine to learn how Lynn and her family are involved.
  • Spotting the Thread: How Henderson works out that Jefferson is Black Lightning. Why would Jefferson, the model Papa Wolf principal leave the school when it was attacked? Why would Black Lightning attack the Seahorse Motel just to rescue the Pierce Sisters? Answer: Jefferson is Black Lightning.
  • Supering in Your Sleep: Jennifers powers manifest even if she is sleeping, causing her to levitate.
  • Token Minority: As suspected, the School Board is entirely white save one token black member.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The press release already revealed that Jefferson would be replaced as principal this season.
  • We Used to Be Friends: The implication when Henderson figures out Jefferson is Black Lightning. He walks away in anger when Jefferson takes off his goggles.
  • Wham Episode: Henderson finds out that Jefferson and Anissa are Black Lightning and Thunder.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Napier accuses Jefferson of caring more about his job than his students. He's forced to eat his words when Jefferson resigns to keep the school open.


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