Black Lightning (season 2)

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Black Lightning (season 2)
Black Lightning season 2.jpeg
Promotional poster
Starring
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes13
Release
Original networkThe CW
Original releaseOctober 9, 2018 (2018-10-09) –
present (present)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 1
List of Black Lightning episodes

The second season of the American television series Black Lightning, which is based on the DC Comics character Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning, premiered on The CW on October 9, 2018 and will consist of 16 episodes.[1] The season continues to follow Jefferson, now a high school teacher who recently re-emerged from retirement as the superhero Black Lightning, as he fights against the rising crime and corruption propagated by the local gang called The 100 in his community of Freeland. The season is produced by Berlanti Productions, Akil Productions, Warner Bros. Television, and DC Entertainment, with Salim Akil serving as showrunner.

The season was ordered in April 2018 and production began that June. Cress Williams stars as Jefferson, along with principal cast members China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Marvin "Krondon" Jones III, Christine Adams, Damon Gupton, and James Remar also returning from the previous season, while Jordan Calloway was promoted to the principal cast from his recurring status in season one.

Episodes[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
141"The Book of Consequences: Chapter One: Rise of the Green Light Babies"Salim AkilSalim AkilOctober 9, 2018 (2018-10-09)T43.100511.16[2]
Garfield High is shut down pending the school board's investigation into Jefferson's whereabouts during the assault. Board of education member Dr. Napier Frank visits his old friend Jefferson stating that the board is wanting him removed as principal. Meanwhile, Lynn is questioned by A.S.A. agent Percy Odell, who realizes that she's lying about not knowing what happened to Proctor or his team. Syonide confronts Kara Fowdy regarding Tobias' briefcase, only to end up dying by her hand. Kara makes a deal with Gambi to bring him the briefcase in exchange for her safe passage out of the life. Deputy Chief Henderson summons Black Lightning and informs him that he knows his identity. Jefferson removes his mask and Henderson leaves feeling betrayed. Families of the Green Light babies learn they must sue the government in order to see their loved ones. Jefferson tries to convince Anissa to let the system work, but Anissa decides to help the families by stealing money from drug dealers and giving it to the families for their legal fees. Jennifer's powers begin acting out and Lynn suggests to Jefferson that they both see a therapist. As Kara searches for the briefcase, Tobias harpoons her for killing Syonide, but Kara escapes through a window. Instead of letting the school close down, Jefferson decides to resign as principal.
152"The Book of Consequences: Chapter Two: Black Jesus Blues"Oz ScottCharles D. HollandOctober 16, 2018 (2018-10-16)T43.100521.02[3]
A freed pod child kills an A.S.A. scientist, as well as himself with his electrokinetic powers. When another pod is opened, Lynn and the other scientists try to keep the frightened girl calm, but she uses her aerokinetic powers to escape. Lynn tells Jefferson, and Gambi reveals that her name is Wendy Hernandez. Lynn takes in Issa Williams, a young metahuman who was killed by police and subsequently rejected by his loved ones following his resurrection. When the Pierces start snapping at each other, they realize that Issa's powers force people reveal their darkest thoughts. Khalil visits Jennifer, who pushes him off the roof. Black Lightning confronts Wendy without Thunder, whom he feels isn't being humble, but is forced to shock her out of a psychotic episode. With everyone she knew 30 years ago long gone, Wendy opts to go back into the pod until Lynn can find a cure for the metagene. Faced with the same choice, Issa instead decides to live for however long he has left. Jefferson officially resigns as principal, but tells his students that he will remain a teacher, with the students chanting his mantras in support.
163"The Book of Consequences: Chapter Three: Master Lowry"Rose TrocheJan NashOctober 23, 2018 (2018-10-23)T43.100531.18[4]
Black Lightning helps the police stop a Green Light victim who developed super-strength. Afterwards, Jefferson and Gambi discover that the security footage didn't pick up Tobias Whale or Syonide as Jefferson plans to get some information from Painkiller. After seeing metal detectors set up at Garfield High, Jefferson meets the new principal Mike Lowry. Jennifer begins psychic therapy with Gambi's old contact, Perenna. At the persuasion of Agent Odell, Lynn enlists convicted criminal scientist Dr. Helga Jace to help with the pods. When the police find the burnt remains of Detective Summers and his car, Henderson has Jefferson look in on it as Black Lightning. In light of Syonide's death, Tobias forces Painkiller to work harder to fill the void. After looking into the arson case, Black Lightning informs Henderson that the culprit was hired by Tobias Whale. Gambi assists Anissa on a raid of a building owned by Zlovic to save a church-sponsored clinic from being shut down and Gambi finds Kara Fowdy badly wounded. While Black Lightning tries to reason with Painkiller, Tobias visits his sister's crypt, where Henderson arrests him. Henderson visits Jefferson to notify him that Tobias Whale has finally been apprehended.
174"The Book of Consequences: Chapter Four: Translucent Freak"Salli Richardson-WhitfieldAdam GiaudroneOctober 30, 2018 (2018-10-30)T43.100540.97[5]
During her therapy session with Perenna, Jennifer has a vision of fighting Painkiller, and later meets with Khalil in person. Henderson interrogates Tobias while Gambi advises a wounded Fowdy to come forward with what she knows about Tobias' briefcase. Jefferson confronts Anissa after hearing about what she was doing for the clinic from Gambi, and Anissa decides to move out. Jefferson breaks up a fight between two students, but Principal Lowry expels the one that started it and suspends the other; causing a disagreement between them. Smuggled in by Tobias' lawyer, Steven Connors meets with Tobias and they come up with a plan to bomb the clinic. A cryokinetic pod child suddenly dies under Lynn and Dr. Jace's watch. While Black Lightning and Thunder reduce the bomb explosions, Gambi confronts the woman who planted them in a fight, but she gets away. The next day, District Attorney Mendez asks Jefferson about his experience of the day Alvin Pierce died. Before dying of her wounds, Fowdy gives her phone to Gambi. As Tobias is released from police custody, Jefferson and Lynn opt to have Jennifer home-schooled. Tobias tells the 100 "I'm back" as they celebrate this victory.
185"The Book of Blood: Chapter One: Requiem"Michael SchultzLamont MageeNovember 13, 2018 (2018-11-13)T43.100550.90[6]
Gambi is driven off the road and apparently killed. A grieving Jefferson, refusing to believe he's dead, starts investigating who attacked him. Anissa takes a job at the clinic at Reverend Holt's suggestion and becomes entangled in a conspiracy surrounding one of her patients; a pregnant young woman named Anaya. Tobias starts using the contents of the briefcase to his advantage, bringing city councilman Kwame Parker under his control, as he was previously assisted by Martin Proctor. After a night with Anissa, Grace starts to develop spots on her skin. Councilman Parker holds a press conference to say that the clinic has received an anonymous donor, but is forced to dodge questions about the source being Tobias. Anaya's boyfriend Deacon collapses at the clinic, begging Anissa to save the unborn child before dying and emitting a metal-like substance. Later on, Tobias has dinner with Painkiller, as he now considers him the only family he has left. Lynn believes she's found a way to save the pod children, but is double-crossed by Dr. Jace, leading to the deaths of 14 patients. After talking to her father, Anissa heads to South Freeland where she runs into its sheriff, but leaves after seeing something crawling under his skin.
196"The Book of Blood: Chapter Two: The Perdi"Oz ScottPat CharlesNovember 20, 2018 (2018-11-20)T43.100560.99[7]
Gambi is revealed to be alive, albeit in hiding, as he kills one of his attackers. Lynn shares the news of the deceased pod children to their angry families. In South Freeland, Anissa meets Anaya and her family, and learns they're of the Perdi, a group of black people that live in the woods of South Freeland. The other residents are the Sange, white people who are under the control of Looker via her Element. Anaya gives birth to twins: one black and one white. After Councilman Parker is unable to get Reverend Holt to relocate his clinic, Tobias sends Painkiller to take out Holt, though he doesn’t go through with it. Tobias also reveals to Khalil that he was the one who paralyzed him. Khalil visits Jennifer, suggesting this could be their last meeting. Painkiller attacks Tobias, but is overpowered. When the Sange attack the Perdi, Black Lightning helps fight them off. As Anaya gets away with Anissa and one of her babies, Black Lightning follows the Element hoping to find Looker and the other baby. At Looker's home, her attempts to remove the substance from the baby she's taken fail.
207"The Book of Blood: Chapter Three: The Sange"Eric LaneuvilleKeli GoffNovember 27, 2018 (2018-11-27)T43.100571.06[8]
Black Lightning continues to follow the Element to Looker's lair, only to be captured. After getting a vision from the Element in Anissa's possession, Looker leads a small group of Sange to retrieve the baby; leaving Black Lightning to fend off his captors and rescue the baby they took. After a talk with Perenna, Jennifer decides to speak to Khalil, who's currently on the run after Tobias learns he still hasn't killed Holt. As Looker and her gang arrive, Black Lightning and Thunder fight them off, with the latter wounding Looker to the point where she "bleeds" the Element in her body; freeing the Sange from her control. After planning to hand Looker over to the A.S.A., Jefferson later tracks Gambi to a hotel, where he learns he faked his death to spare the Pierce Family from whoever is after him. After Jennifer saves Painkiller by revealing her abilities to him, they decide to run away from Freeland; causing concern amongst the Pierces and forcing Tobias to call in a professional to deal with his traitorous underling.
218"The Book of Rebellion: Chapter One: Exodus"Tawnia McKiernanJake WallerDecember 4, 2018 (2018-12-04)T43.100580.96[9]
Tobias has placed a bounty on Painkiller, but wants him brought in alive. Black Lightning, Thunder, and Gambi begin their search for Jennifer, with Henderson providing assistance. Tobias visits Khalil's mom, who states that she hasn't made contact with him. Khalil and Jennifer make their way to the former's aunt, where the latter calls Anissa to let her family know she's okay. Meanwhile, Tobias calls in a British mercenary named Cutter to hunt down Khalil. She catches up to them as Khalil uses his bracers to keep his aunt safe. Khalil tries his best to hold off Cutter until Black Lightning and Thunder arrive; with Jennifer and Khalil sneaking out during the resulting fight. Once they're far enough, Jennifer uses her powers to short out a tracker in Khalil's head so Tobias can't locate them again. As Black Lightning and Thunder continue their search, Cutter contacts Tobias to tell him Black Lightning got involved. This causes Tobias to start putting two and two together; remembering that Black Lightning came back only after Pierce's daughters were taken hostage.
229"The Book of Rebellion: Chapter Two: Gift of Magi"Benny BoomAdam GiaudroneDecember 11, 2018 (2018-12-11)T43.100591.13[10]
Due to a wound he received during his fight with Cutter, Khalil's health starts declining, so he and Jennifer are forced to hide out in a barn. Gambi finds blood at Khalil's aunt's house, leading to him, Black Lightning, and Thunder staking out the local hospitals. Lynn grows desperate to find Jennifer, leading her to reach out to Khalil's father, only to hit a dead end. Jennifer sneaks into a hospital and uses her abilities to get access to some medicine, unaware that Cutter's not far behind. Meanwhile, Tobias reaches out to Todd Green, a highly intelligent individual who has been constantly looked over. Gambi identifies the attacker as Giselle Cutter, who is rumored to be a low level telekinetic metahuman. Though Cutter locates Khalil, Jennifer subdues her and forces her to give her the antidote. Black Lightning and Thunder eventually locate the barn that Jen and Khalil were hiding in, only to find it empty. With Khalil fully recovered, he and Jen drive off to parts unknown. Elsewhere, an unnamed teleporting meta gets called to Freeland by an unknown individual.
2310"The Book of Rebellion: Chapter Three: Angelitos Negros"Salim AkilJan Nash & J. Allen BrownJanuary 21, 2019 (2019-01-21)T43.100600.86[11]
Gambi tracks Jennifer and Painkiller based on the radius of where they were. Cutter visits Tobias Whale and Todd Green, stating that she lost their trail. Jennifer and Painkiller get tired of running and return to Freeland so that they can stand up to Tobias Whale after being persuaded to by Lynn. At Jefferson's suggestion, they contact Deputy Chief Henderson to cut a deal where Khalil will turn himself over to the authorities in exchange for providing testimony against Tobias. One of the assistant district attorneys on Tobias' side informs him of this, so he sends Cutter to intercept. She kills the police officers in the convoy and makes off with Painkiller. Henderson informs Jefferson on what happened. Once Painkiller is brought to his lair, Tobias tears out his spinal implant and leaves him for dead; though he's found by Reverend Holt and the local churchgoers. Tobias is called down by Green, who cracked the briefcase's code, and find that the A.S.A. was developing metahumans for Project Masters of Disaster.
2411"The Book of Secrets: Chapter One: Prodigal Son"Rob HardyPat CharlesJanuary 28, 2019 (2019-01-28)T43.100610.93[12]
During a sermon, Reverend Holt dies from a poisoned handkerchief Cutter planted on him. Lynn enlists the A.S.A. doctors into helping treat Khalil after he's hospitalized. A civilian catches Jennifer composing on her SUV and calls 911, causing her to lose it and fry her SUV before Perenna intervenes. Todd finds info on his laptop about the A.S.A. and Dr. Jace. After being informed about Holt's death, Jefferson and Gambi brings Henderson into the latter's lair to find a way to expose Tobias. Jennifer's suggestions to get Khalil into a pod are turned down as Lynn says the toxins in him are too great. Henderson visits Tobias' apartment to ask him about Painkiller, with Jefferson and Gambi listening on Henderson's earpiece. Todd breaks into Dr. Jace's cell, deactivates her ankle implant, and sets up a hologram of her so he can take her to Tobias, as she developed his anti-aging serum after the A.S.A. brought her from Markovia. Jen and Nichelle share their final moments with Khalil before he passes away. Dr. Jace takes Tobias to the Freeland Clinic, where the remaining pods are, and breaks down a hidden door.
2512"The Book of Secrets: Chapter Two: Just and Unjust"Jeff ByrdCharles D. HollandFebruary 4, 2019 (2019-02-04)T43.100620.95[13]
Lynn and Anissa are attacked by gunmen, though Agent Odell and the A.S.A. drive them off. After Gambi notices the coincidence, Lynn speaks to Odell, who still doesn't trust her, just before he arranges for Jace's release. The gunmen target Perenna, but she repels them. Gambi identifies them as Markovian secret service and tells Jefferson so he can stop them. Unfortunately, Henderson is unable to arrest them because of their diplomatic immunity. While at school, janitors throw items from Khalil's memorial shrine away, so Jennifer retrieves them. However, Principal Lowry suspends her for it; greatly upsetting Jefferson. Elsewhere, Anissa tries to help a woman being abused by her boyfriend, a capo in the 100, only to get shot for it. This finally convinces her she's being too reckless, so she plans to put the money she claimed towards Khalil's funeral. The Pierce family attend said funeral, while being watched from afar by Odell. With some of the pods in their possession, Tobias and Dr. Jace plan to make a metahuman army.
2613"The Book of Secrets: Chapter Three: Pillar of Fire"Robert TownsendLamont MageeFebruary 11, 2019 (2019-02-11)T43.100630.94[14]
Odell tells Lynn that Markovia has been making metahumans, suspecting that the Markovians who attacked her want her expertise. He suggests moving the pods, much to her chagrin as she's close to stabilizing them. Tobias is informed of the impending transfer, which he thinks might affect the briefcase; so he awakens Shakedown from his pod and sends him with Cutter to intercept. Dr. Jace locks Lynn in a separate room, and though she's able to alert Black Lightning and Thunder, the heroes are too late to stop Tobias' henchmen. While investigating Grace's sudden disappearance, Anissa finds one of her pills and has Gambi analyze it; learning that it's used to treat schizophrenia and that "Grace Choi" is an alias. The incident between Lowry and Jennifer goes viral, which leads Napier to offer Jefferson his job back. Even in spite of Lowry however, he chooses to give his replacement another chance. Elsewhere, Anissa warns Jennifer to lay low, but she disobeys her to track down 100 members and demand Tobias' location. They nearly kill her, but Thunder rescues her. With Todd's usefulness runs out, Tobias has him killed by one of Cutter's car bombs.
2714"The Book of Secrets: Chapter Four: Original Sin"[15]TBATBAMarch 4, 2019 (2019-03-04)TBATBD

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

Recurring[edit]

Guest[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

On April 2, 2018, The CW renewed the series for its second season.[35] Executive producer and series developer Salim Akil returned to serve as the season's showrunner.[36]

Writing[edit]

In keeping with the "less procedural and more serialized" nature of the series compared to The CW's other superhero offerings, the second season features many of the same villains that were present in the first season, including Tobias Whale and Khalil Payne / Painkiller. Showrunner Salim Akil commented, "I don't want to introduce too many villains, I want us to settle in now that we know everyone. We [...] know who Tobias is, so now we can really tell some grounded stories about our villains, our heroes, the people in Freeland." He also said that there would be "other forces in Freeland and outside of Freeland" that would come into play. Meanwhile, Khalil presents "a much more compelling emotional storyline as Jennifer's ex-boyfriend as she [searches] for a way to redeem the love of her life."[37]

Akil stated that the season would be organized into smaller arcs known as "books" to mimic the style of the comic book source material, and that "consequences" would be the theme of the season's first book. "We’re going to deal with the consequences of having discovered the pod children; the consequences of Green Light hitting the streets; and the consequences of Jefferson’s daughters discovering they have powers."[38] Furthering the objective to "give a nod to comic books in a stronger way," Akil also said that the season would feature more metahumans.[39]

Akil also spoke on how the consequences of the first season would play out for the Pierce family personally. "I wanted to talk about black people and therapy. We don’t believe in that shit, but we’re the number one people who need it."[38] China Anne McClain praised the decision to give her character a therapist, "because as you can see in season one, Jennifer had so many psychological issues with getting these powers. She did not want them. She already felt like an outsider [...] so adding super powers on top of it just made things worse for her." Additionally, this season sees Jennifer's decision to avoid using her emerging powers put her at even greater odds with her sister, who also developed powers last season and decided to become a superhero. "It's gonna bring them together in certain ways and then push them apart in others," said McClain. "You're gonna see a lot of different ups and downs in their relationship this season."[40]

Casting[edit]

Main cast members Cress Williams, China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Christine Adams, Marvin "Krondon" Jones III, Damon Gupton, and James Remar return from the previous season as Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning, Jennifer Pierce, Anissa Pierce / Thunder, Lynn Stewart, Tobias Whale, Billy Henderson, and Peter Gambi, respectively. On July 21, 2018, it was announced that Jordan Calloway was promoted to a series regular for the second season after previously recurring in the first season as Khalil Payne / Painkiller.[41]

On September 5, 2018, Sofia Vassilieva was announced in the role of the DC Comics character Looker for the series' second season.[33] On September 21, it was reported that Kearran Giovanni would recur as Cutter, a British mercenary.[26] On October 4, it was revealed that Erika Alexander had booked a three-episode recurring role as Jennifer's telepathic therapist, Perenna.[21] On November 13, RJ Cyler was cast in the recurring role of "gangly and awkward tech genius" Todd Green.[27] On January 21, 2019, it was announced that Hosea Chanchez had been cast as Marcus Bishop / Shakedown.[28]

Filming[edit]

Production for the season began on June 26, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.[42][43]

Release[edit]

Broadcast[edit]

In May 2018, it was announced that Black Lightning, which served as a mid-season entry in its first season, would debut in the fall for its second.[44] The season premiered on The CW in the United States on October 9, 2018.[45] In November, it was announced that the series would move to airing on Mondays for the second half of the season after previously airing on Tuesdays since its debut.[1]

Marketing[edit]

The main cast of the season as well as executive producers Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil attended San Diego Comic-Con on July 21, 2018 to promote the season.[46][41]

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

No. Title Air date Rating/share
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "The Book of Consequences: Chapter One: Rise of the Green Light Babies" October 9, 2018 0.4/2 1.16[2] 0.3 0.92 0.7 2.08[47]
2 "The Book of Consequences: Chapter Two: Black Jesus Blues" October 16, 2018 0.3/1 1.02[3] 0.3 0.67 0.6 1.69[48]
3 "The Book of Consequences: Chapter Three: Master Lowry" October 23, 2018 0.4/2 1.18[4] 0.3 0.72 0.7 1.90[49]
4 "The Book of Consequences: Chapter Four: Translucent Freak" October 30, 2018 0.3/1 0.97[5] 0.3 0.77 0.6 1.74[50]
5 "The Book of Blood: Chapter One" November 13, 2018 0.3/1 0.90[6] 0.3 0.69 0.6 1.59[51]
6 "The Book of Blood: Chapter Two" November 20, 2018 0.3/1 0.99[7] 0.3 0.79 0.6 1.78[52]
7 "The Book of Blood: Chapter Three: The Sange" November 27, 2018 0.3/1 1.06[8] 0.3 0.63 0.6 1.69[53]
8 "The Book of Rebellion: Chapter One: Exodus" December 4, 2018 0.3/1 0.96[9] 0.3 0.61 0.6 1.57[54]
9 "The Book of Rebellion: Chapter Two: Gift of the Magi" December 11, 2018 0.4/2 1.13[10] 0.2 0.57 0.6 1.70[55]
10 "The Book of Rebellion: Chapter Three: Angelitos Negros" January 21, 2019 0.3/1 0.86[11] 0.2 0.58 0.5 1.44[56]
11 "The Book of Secrets: Chapter One: Prodigal Son" January 28, 2019 0.3/1 0.93[12] 0.2 0.62 0.5 1.54[57]
12 "The Book of Secrets: Chapter Two: Just and Unjust" February 4, 2019 0.3/1 0.95[13] 0.2 0.57 0.5 1.52[58]
13 "The Book of Secrets: Chapter Three: Pillar of Fire" February 11, 2019 0.3/1 0.94[14] TBD TBD TBD TBD

Critical response[edit]

The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reports a 93% approval rating for the second season, with an average rating of 7.42/10 based on 8 reviews. The site’s critic consensus states: "Faced with the responsibility of aiding Freeland through trying times, the Pierce family takes Black Lightning back by storm."[59]

Reviewing for Den of Geek, Kayti Burt gave the premiere a rating of 3.5/5, explaining, "There's a lack of thematic cohesiveness in this season premiere that is probably a result of trying to reintroduce so many characters and storylines at once, but the energy and potential for a strong second season is definitely there. Black Lightning continues to be one of the best, most important shows on television."[60] IGN's Carl Waldron wrote that, "Black Lightning himself doesn't see much action in the Season 2 premiere, but the rest of the cast picks up the slack." He gave the episode a rating of 7.5/10, concluding that "Black Lightning continues to be an engaging character-led series."[61] Kyle Fowle of The A.V. Club gave the premiere an "A-" grade, noting, "One of the reasons the first season was so compelling was that the show made the political personal. That’s once again evident here, as there’s a wonderful sense of the larger community throughout the premiere."[62]

References[edit]

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  22. ^ Drum, Nicole (October 23, 2018). "'Black Lightning' Drops 'Bad Boys' Easter Egg With New Character Debut". Comicbook.com. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  23. ^ Petski, Denise (August 22, 2018). "Kim Dickens To Star In Showtime's 'Queen Fur' Drama Pilot; Five Series Regulars Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
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  28. ^ a b Petski, Denise (January 21, 2019). "'Black Lightning': Hosea Chanchez To Recur On Season 2 Of CW Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
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  33. ^ a b Mitovich, Matt Webb (September 5, 2018). "Black Friday Lightning Season 2 Casts Supergirl Foil as DC Comics' Looker". TVLine. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
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