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Black Lightning - S1E2 - Lawanda: The Book of Hope

Previously on Black Lightning, “The Resurrection” 

Images: The CW

Maybe because he’s been out of the game for nearly a decade, but Jefferson Pierce is genuinely shocked (no pun intended) to learn that Black Lightning’s brief return did little to make a difference in the war for Freeland’s soul. The Seahorse Motel is back to serving as the venue for teenage sex trafficking, Will escaped custody, and Latavious (I’m not calling him LaLa) has witnesses who dispute the Pierce girls’ claim that he was involved in their kidnapping.

On top of that, the community isn’t comforted at all. Reverend Jeremiah Holt (Clifton Powell) claims it’s cruel of Black Lightning to make a one-time appearance if he’s not willing to commit to saving the community full time. And Lawanda White (Tracey Bonner) wonders why only Jefferson’s daughters were saved while hers is still being forced to sell her body in the motel. As a former student, Lawanda appeals to Jefferson for help, but he’s torn because of the promise he made to Lynn, who seems poised to reconcile.

Meanwhile, Tobias Whale increases the pressure on Latavious; if people think this “fake” Black Lightning will save them, they’ll no longer fear him. And without fear, he has no control. Properly motivated, Latavious sends a threat of violence to Jennifer, literally to her doorstep, and kills his own cousin, Will, to make sure he doesn’t snitch. Latavious gets a little too bold though when he shoots and kills Lawanda after she confronts him about her daughter. She meant it when she said she’d do anything for her child, and that included dying for her: she set the whole incident up to be recorded on her phone. The police arrest Latavious after Black Lightning suits up once more to bring him down. But this much violence in a community doesn’t exist without the indifference of the police and/or their corruption. A cop lets Tobias into Latavious’ jail cell so he can quiet his henchman for good.

Photo: Guy D’Alema/The CW

Even though Will and Latavious are gone, don’t expect things to go back to normal for the Pierces. Jefferson has decided to go back to being Black Lightning, which pushes Lynn away; Jennifer, perhaps jolted (no pun intended) by Latavious’ threat, begins to act out by drinking at school, which threatens to push away her new boyfriend, Khalil (Jordan Calloway); and Anissa’s powers are getting stronger as she singlehandedly, literally, takes down an armed robber.

It’s Lit

Anissa becomes the first Black, lesbian superhero on television when it’s revealed she has a long-time girlfriend. Though, she does seem a bit commitment shy. Let me find out Anissa a fuckboi!

Tobias Whale remains downright frightening. I can’t believe they gave Latavious the Cottonmouth treatment two episodes in. He was so delicious to hate! Still, at least the villain who remains is actually compelling. *side-eyes Luke Cage*

Khalil is cute, nice, and has a good head on his shoulders. He’ll be dead before the season’s up.


Not sure what to make of Lynn. Her fear is understandable, but she’s actively refusing to listen to what Jefferson is telling her. Her confrontation with Gambi proves this. I want to like her. I do like her. But I feel like they’re about to make her annoying.

As much as I loved seeing Anissa neutralize the robber, her reaction afterwards was just silly.

What are your thoughts on this week’s episode of Black Lightning? Leave them below or on our Facebook post for this review, and we’ll read them on tonight’s podcast. 

Black Lightning S1E2 Review Score
  • 8.5/10
    Plot - 8.5/10
  • 8.5/10
    Dialogue - 8.5/10
  • 8/10
    Performances - 8/10

"Lawanda: The Book of Hope"

Starring: Cress Williams, China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Christine Adams, Marvin ‘Krondon’ Jones III, Damon Gupton, James Remar, William Catlett, Gregg Henry | Director: Oz Scott

User Review
5 (1 vote)
About Nina Perez (1391 Articles)
Nina Perez is the founder of Project Fandom. She is also the author of a YA series of books, "The Twin Prophecies," and a collection of essays titled, "Blog It Out, B*tch." Her latest books, a contemporary romance 6-book series titled Sharing Space, are now available on for Kindle download. She has a degree in journalism, works in social media, lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves Idris Elba. When not watching massive amounts of British television or writing, she is sketching plans to build her very own TARDIS. She watches more television than anyone you know and she's totally fine with that.

17 Comments on Black Lightning - S1E2 - Lawanda: The Book of Hope

  1. Hello Nina, Donnie and John. This is my first time leaving feedback, although I have been listening to your free/premium podcast for the last year to get me through graduate school. I just wanted to comment about the addiction line Lynn keeps dropping. I am wondering if there is more to this and if there is a story line they are setting up. Addiction to anything is defined by receptors in the brain being continuously activated to produce some stimulating and/or rewarding feeling to the person. We see at the beginning of the episode that Jefferson’s electrical powers traverse his veins up to his brain. At the end of the episode we see Anissa at the drug store to get what I assume is tylenol for her head. Right after she uses her powers on the mugger, she seems to feel better like she got some type of brain stimulus from the reaction. Another point that could not be involved, but Tobias’ seems to have super strength, but the moment in which he uses it to kill Latavious his head movements are like someone getting a ‘high’. Suffice it to say since we now know Lynn is a neuroscientist, she may have an intimate scientific idea on the way the powers in the show work. It may not actually be an addiction, but the brain chemistry of those with powers may come into play later in the season that will help us understand Lynn’s POV more. I hope that was not too long. I tend to be wordy.

  2. FOR THE PODCAST: What up. Just stopping by to leave a few comments on this week’s Black Lightning. Man, I really like this show so far. Of course I love the blackness of it, but I really dig how well made it is. Well made black television is exactly what we need to see. As I said last week I like the fact this isn’t an origin story for Black Lightning. The fact that he was able to retire for 9 years is ill. Think about that. Shit was wild enough for his city to need him there to help out. But at some point he was able to shut shit down far enough for the local super hero to fall back and let the regular people handle things. And the fact he decided to become a principal is cool as fuck too. Being able to hang up the costume and put on a suit and help the community in that way for almost a decade is good loot. And now that shit is getting crazy again he’s gotta go back to the superhero life. And from what we’ve seen he’ll eventually get some help from Anissa. Speaking of her, I feel like this show is going to serve as an origin story for her superhero alter ego. I’m looking forward to that. Finally, I want to say that Lynn is fine as hell and I like that she’s smart, and a good mother. I just hope they don’t have her be the Debbie Downer of the show. Although it is interesting to delve into the impact of Jeff’s superhero shit has on his family. Oh, and can we talk about Latavius for a second? This dude was a wild cowboy! I didn’t expect him to buck mutha fuckas on here. Krondon aka Tobias straightened his ass out tho. Aight, I’m out. Peace!

  3. For the podcast:

    1. So this is my new favorite show. I have faith it won’t go too CW because us Black folks have too much to prove. And they KILLING NIGGAS! YASSSS!
    2. Clifton Powell ain’t shit. Not that he’s done anything in this show but he always plays ain’t shit men so I can’t trust this bald headed nigga off top!
    3. This is better than Luke Cage. The villains are everything in this show! Latavious was stone cold and Mr. Whale has my attention.
    4. THEY USED NEGRO! This is a Black ass show. And these Black folks make it feel like a grown ass show as well. It’s so damn GROWN.
    5. We knew LaWanda was going to do what she wanted right? Women will do anything for their kids. But the more pressing thing was that DJ Jazzy Jeff was acting like LaWanda was his student. Nigga y’all the same age! If not, then how old is he supposed to be? Cause SHIIIIID. Thanks for podcasting this.

  4. For the Podcast

    I love this show! Just had to get that out.

    Jefferson & Lynn are hot af together! Let him be a superhero Lynn! Then get some good loving when he comes home.

    I understand Jennifer was traumatized but I’m not feeling her acting out. And why the hell was she talking to Will when she got that fine ass boy waiting in the wings?

    So Tobias is scary af! Is he a meta human too? If so, any physical fight between him & Black Lightning is gonna be 🔥🔥🔥

    That’s it. Bye bye Latavious & LaWanda. Ain’t nobody gonna miss Will’s sorry ass tho. Smh.

    Can’t wait to hear the podcast!

  5. For The Podcast:

    Hey Nina Donnie, and John… Ima make this quick …… Are y’all jamming with the music selection?! Cause I was having a solo concert with them tunes they was playing throughout the show lol


  6. Hey, here’s my take for the podcast.

    I’m a bit annoyed that Black Lighting thought his one time show up to the hotel to save his children was going to shut the whole thing down. Naw, if it didn’t just come back up in 48 hours it would be moved to a new hotel in 48 hours. And like LaWanda said what about everyone else’s children. This is a problem in their identity both he and Lynn have. I get it but I don’t like it.

    LaWanda dying shakes Pierce but not Lynn. A mother willing to die to save her daughter? She couldn’t identify with that? See this is why she is annoying to me. I get she wants her family safe, I get that she thinks her ex is actually addicted to saving people but she didn’t return when he stopped for NINE years. Was she always expecting he would relapse but was ok with the “addiction” to save her daughters? Yeah, I’m not feeling this part. I said Lynn needs a reality check, though she said she sounded selfish, I really think she needs to be shaken until she wakes the F. up. I feel like the end of School Daze and I want everyone to scream in the camera to Lynn “WAKE UP”

    Will and Latavious are gone. ( there is no way this show would work if they called a drug dealer La La more than two episodes.) I am curious if Tobias is actually a metahuman, but to see him walk into the police department yeah that explains the start of episode 1 and his friend saying those are NOT my cops.

    Now Lynn being a freaking neuroscientist, that’s what’s up. I’m guessing there is more to it but I’m glad they made her highly intelligent. I also liked that she and Alfred had a quality debate. A bit annoyed with Jennifer acting out or even messing with Will when Khalil was literally in the wings too. I guess they wanted to show her wanting a bad boy over having to be a “role model” like her sister. Glad Khalil seems to have his head on straight.

    Now Anissa is about to come into her own as a woman. And yes that includes her powers and sexual identity. Don’t get it twisted they dropped one more piece of eye candy in this part too. I’m still looking for the numbers to be even out. What? replacing Will with Khalil is supposed to be a win in this department? Hell Nah, fix this ratio!

    Overall I’m in. This is a great show that is well written yet covering difficult topics. Looking forward to everyone else getting out of the way while Tobias and Black Lighting go at it. but not Anissa of course.

  7. For the podcast:
    Another great episode. Though it’s early this show is like soul food: tasty/filling/satisfying!! 😁
    Some thoughts:
    How is it that folks close to Jefferson, other than Lynn, not recognize him asBL? He doesn’t wear a mask or helmet other than those special shades.When Henderson ran into BL, I thought he recognized him but it may have been shock @ his return after all these years.

    Villains are cold blooded mfs-lala Another great episode. Though it’s early this show is like soul food: tasty/filling/satisfying!! 😁
    Some thoughts:
    How is it that folks close to Jefferson, other than Lynn, not recognize him asBL? He doesn’t wear a mask or helmet other than those special shades.When Henderson ran into BL, I thought he recognized him but it may have been shock @ his return after all these years.

    Villains are cold blooded mfs-lala(I refuse 2 call this punk ass by his govt name) shot LaWanda w/o thought then dumped her like trash. Krondon walked into that police station like he owned it, lectured LaLa then strangled his ass w/his bare hands. Brutal!!

    That black love is strong-Lynn/Jefferson, Anissa & her gf even fast behind Jennifer got a good looking ambitious bf. So is Karen aka ms. Thirsty cause she’s sending those “I want u” vibes to Jefferson? I know he loves Lynn but is feeling some of it?

    The music was awesome! Al Green……yes lawd!! 😄

    Lynn vs Jefferson/BL: I liked the standoff by her & gambi. I think Lynn loses this battle for now-Jefferson is going 2 follow that BL pth-I am enjoying the reality of the back/forth in this relationship.

    Anissa is feeling those powers; she was feeling that WHAT! vibe after licking that would be robbers ass! 😄 I take it she’ll partner w/BL at some point-I was already spoiled as to her alter ego(I guessed correctly)😎

    That’s all I have this week.

  8. First time leaving feedback been listening to the podcast since yall started covering The Flash. Can we just take a moment to recognize that the Jamie Foxx Show playing in the backgrond lol this show is black asf and im here for all of it. (P.S Anissa and her boo was hooking it up like a tow truck.) Love you Nina & Crew

  9. For the Podcast:

    Hey Nina girl, Donny and John! This show is black AF and I love it, especially the beautiful sex scene between Nissa and her girlfriend. That scene was super grown and I can’t believe that showed all of that beautiful brown skin like that on the CW! Well, maybe I can, this show did air Gossip Girl and they had sex scenes on that show too. Anyway, Ralph Angel gone wrong (Lala) is dead. I thought he’d last longer.

    So when are Lynn and Jefferson gonna hit the sheets? I’m gonna say episode 3. My only problem with the show so far is the big lightning bolt on the front of the suit. It just looks a little cheesy to me.

    Can’t wait until episode 3! Btw, that dude the youngest daughter is dating is fine too. Don’t worry, I looked him up and he’s 27 and older than me.
    Thanks for recapping!

  10. For the podcast
    Yaaasss to this brown sexy lovin. The CW is going there! Jefferson and Lynn.
    Anessa and her boo.
    I has short lived lust for Jennifer’s boyfriend as they panned up his body… then it was him…. in high school….light skinned… no facial hair… lust gone.
    Assistant Principal chick is thirsty adjacent. I’m not really excited for that love triangle to form.
    Jessica needs to find her mind because she’s clearly lost it since before episode one. Her little lightweight drunk friend too. What kind of school is this where the principals daughter just skips class drinking?
    I love this show for being so black but I also hate when they seem to get the blackness wrong. I think it’s a director/actor combo. Old dude at the meeting delivered his lines like a stuffy Harvard grad attempting a southern hood accent. Lawanda had a few of those moments too. I was annoyed when they kept saying Negro instead of what would more likely be nigga. I know it’s the CW but it’s still annoying. Especially when Light Bright was basically doing his own Black people and Niggas bit.
    Question: when BL hits people is it an electric shock? Is it extra strong? Or is it just his human strength with fancy sparks because none of the dudes he fought in the stairwell went down very quickly.
    Ok that’s all. Can’t wait to listen and thank you so much for podcasting this one. I’ve missed y’all since TWD ended and Queen Sugar ruined the recording schedule.

  11. For the podcast

    I don’t feel like y’all are paying the proper respect to all this black ass music. So i’m going to list all the songs in my feedback.

    Simply Beautiful by Al Green
    Let’s Straighten it out by Latimore
    Make me wanna say by John Lay
    Am I black enough by Billy Paul

    Quick Hits:
    Ex-wife was about to help herself in that opening scene

    They killed Cottonmouth off in the second episode your fav could never.

    The Whale walked in that prison like he was worth a million bucks and i’m here for it

    We haven’t seen this kind of blackness on network tv since, what, New York Undercover? I honestly can’t think of another non comedy that was this black.

    Thanks guys!

  12. Hey Nina Donnie, and John.
    Two episodes in and I am gagged like this one-armed harpooned bitch LaLa … I still can’t believe this black-assed show is on the CW! Holy Shit it’s so GOOD AND BLACK!!!! Love the LGBTQ representation & my homosexual ass has never wanted to see two straight people bang so hard in my life, Jefferson and ex bey are fire with that on-screen chemistry (refraining from saying electric lol). LawWWD the men on this show have me with the vapors… I can’t wait for Black Panther & Black Lightning is getting me 100% together! Love the podcast & the fact the black magic starts in The Flash podcast <3 keep it up this too long already


    Hope I made it. Just a couple brief thots!

    I love how no hold barred Black this show is! They are putting everything out there and I love it! I hope the show can keep building on the good will of the community and the momentum of these first two episodes.

    Favorite Black Ass Moment: When Tobias Whale said I love Black People but I can’t stand wide nose, thick lipped, scratch where it don’t itch niggas like you! That shit was hilarious!

    Keep giving me my Black ass life Black Lightning!

    Peace out!

  14. Hey yall. I’m just going to say it: Alfred is in love with Black Lightning. He had Heart Eyes Motherfucker all episode for him, and even went toe to toe with the ex wife. I wouldn’t be surprised if Alfred either constantly measures Jefferson for new suits just so he can get all up in dat, or is actually dressing up as the bad guy every night to bring back Black Lightning to the streets. All I’m saying is, get you a man that looks at you like Alfred looks at Black Lightning. HE’S GONNA RISK IT ALL, YALL.

  15. They are doing a great job with this show every scene matters -no fillers. I love the way the story is unfolding-I’m interesting in seeing how Anessa will learn about her powers and how her parents will react . I hope the writers don’t lean on Jennifer being the kid with something to prove because her dad is the authority figure. The music is Fantastic, I hope even Donnie is enjoying it. Thanks for the podcast!!!

  16. For the podcast:

    This shows is sooo fucking a real I love it!! The actually shot a bedroom scene like normal!! I hate when shows show women covering their titties after sex… it always takes me out of the scene!! That’s my realest moment of the week, my blackest moment is this nigga coming home after a long day of work and they got the Jamie Foxx show playing in the background(that dude is the most talented brother in Hollywood don’t @ me)!!! I loved that a nigga named lala shot his cousin then shot a momma before he eventually get got in prison!!! Got damn I love this show, I felt Wells was teaching me who to phase through walls the entire episode!!! That’s all I got can’t wait to hear the podcast!! Thanks for texting me nina!! Even though it took a catastrophic event for u to do so it’s still appreciated 😘😘!! Oh and Donny and John I fuck wit y’all niggas too 💯💯✊🏾✊🏾

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