Thursday, January 18, 2018

Black Lightning: The Resurrection - Review and **SPOILERS**


Written By: Salim Akil

Directed By: Salim Akil


First Aired: January 16, 2018

I am not going to lie, I was a little skeptical going in, I wasn't expecting much, especially since the story line was going to be kept separate from the rest of the Arrowverse, but once I watched the first trailer my interest was sparked. After watching the premiere, I hope they never let the Arrowverse infect Black Lightning with the lames that make up their universe.

Black Lightning is about retired crime fighter Jefferson Pierce and his family and the premiere was fucking AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! 

Caught up?  Good, let's get to last night's episode.

Explain It:

Black Lightning takes place in the city of Freeman, USA. which like most predominately African American cities that populate Trump's syphilitic racist imagination, it is plagued by crime. News imagines show us a town that is on the verge of exploding.  It is run by a gang called the 100, and according to the news clips we are shown, the 100 have shot 125 people that weekend alone.  The gang violence has lead to the people living in this war zone to take to the street in protest, a protest that turns violent when the 100 show up and start shit.  Our hero Jefferson Pierce is picking up his oldest daughter Anissa at the police station because she was busted by the fuzz for her role in the protests.  

Jefferson, like most concerned dads is hella pissed off. Not only did Anissa put herself in harm's way, but she chose to do so on the night of the big fund raiser.  Jefferson is the principle of Garfield High, a school that he has completely turned around and now boasts graduations rates of 90%.  Anissa, who is a medical student, works part time at Garfield teaching 3 days a week. As we leave the station Jefferson spots the wanted posters and the camera lands on two in particular, one for his former alter-ego Black Lightning who is wanted for vigilantism and one for Tobias Whale who is wanted for MUUUURRRRRRDDDDDEEEERRR!!!!!  


On the way to the fund raiser the Pierce family are in the middle of an argument where they are trading quotes from civil rights leaders to prove their point when Johnny Law pulls them over.  The cops have Jefferson step out of the car (a sweet as Volvo wagon) and pull guns on Anissa and Jennifer who are taping them, because it is fucking 2018 and we have cameras to catch you fucks bring racist pricks. The cops are dicks (I know I could have left out the "are dicks" part and you would have done the math, but I think it is important to point it out) and treat Jefferson like he is a child which causes him to get lightning eyes - this is our first sign that Black Lightning is back on the scene muthafucker!!!!!
  
The fund raiser is a swanky affair, with all sorts of local luminaries in the spot. Anissa, who we will learn makes nothing but bad decisions, spots her younger sister Jennifer in the ladies room getting herself dolled up to hit up some house party with her girl who seems to be wearing a life jacket and a bra just so you realize that she is TROUBLE with a capital T. Jennifer begs her older sister not to say anything and promises to be home before the fund raiser is over. Anissa being a gullible fool let's her go. 

It turns out the party is not a house party but at a club called Club 100 which gets its name from, you guessed it, all the members of the 100 gang that hang out there. Jennifer, out of the watchful eye of her perfect family and the expectations that brings, cuts loose.  She hits the dance floor, takes a few hits off a blunt, and kicks it with Will, a low level member of the 100 that apparently has run afoul of the organization. Will is snatched up by some 100 soldiers in what appears to be a case of "wrong place, wrong time" Jennifer. 

Will and Jennifer are brought in front of Lala, the leader of the 100.  It turns out Will took some product on consignment and has yet to pay Lala what he owes him. Jennifer, who is caught up in some bullshit that is not her own tries to leave.  Lala assumes that she is Will's lady friend and suggests that he pimps her out at the hourly rate seedy fuck hotel the 100 owns. Jennifer quickly clarifies that she is not Will's girl and beats his ass. 


Anissa confesses to Jefferson that Jennifer is at club 100 and he sets out to get save one of his daughters for the second time that night.  At the club he runs into 100 solders and for the first time in a decade brings out the lightning. In doing so he creates enough of a diversion for Jennifer to escape. 

In the kerfuffle Jefferson gets shanked, and during his escape is his cornered by the cops which lead to an unfortunate altercation that left two officers in the hospital.  Before heading home Jefferson stopped by Peter Gambi's store for help with his wound., Peter is a local tailor and was the Q to Jefferson's Bond during the early days of Black Lightning. 

The next day Will and his crew show up at Garfield looking for Jennifer, Will gets a little rough with Jennifer and Anissa comes out and fucks his muppet looking ass up in front of the entire school.  Will gets ready to pull out and kill Anissa when Jefferson comes through and puts an end to it all that bullshit.  

Jefferson is forced to meet with Lala to discuss what is happening with Will.  The two have history together, it turns out that Lala is a former stand out student at Garfield.  The two explain pleasantries and Lala flexes and yokes up a 12 year old chubby kid to prove how hard he is to Jefferson.  Jefferson interviews and Lala shows him his gun.  He says he will deal withe Will but this better be the last he sees of Jefferson. 

Will and a group of street toughs show up at Garfield again and this time kidnap Anissa and Jennifer and bring them to Lala who is holed up at the 100's fuck hotel. This of course seals the deal. Jefferson heads over to Peter and tells him he needs to suit up. Peter has a new suit for Jefferson and just like that Black Lightning is reborn.  It should be noted that Black Lightning's suit is the worst thing about this show.  Shit is awful. 


Black Lightning shows up at the fuck hotel, completely destroys everything and everyone, saves his girls and breaks the fuck out.  In the may lay, Lala is snatched up by two YTs, and he is brought to the bigger boss of the season, Tobias Whale who is played with exciting intensity by Bay Area hip hop legend Krondon. He literally harpoons Lala and turns him into his bitch. 

Back at the Pierce household the family is back together, Jefferson's ex-wife is even feeling some kind of way about her ex-man and starts unbuttoning his shirt.  However, upstairs Anissa is having a panic attack in the bathroom, which causes her hands to glow red and destroy the bathroom sink. 

Black Lightning was fucking dope as shit. 

Pros: The character development was fantastic, the stakes were real, people fucking died, and you felt the energy of a city on the brink of exploding. The music in the first episode was stellar, none of that emo bullshit that they use on Arrow and Flash when Ollie or Barry are looking off into the distance.  Black Lightning has straight heat. I mean they fucking ended shit with this Gil Scott Heron classic!

Cons: The action could have been better, the Black Lightning suit was corny, and the Will character was soft batch. 

8/10
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2 comments:

  1. I was going to skip this one because I have a bit too much on my DVR plate as it is, and I never really liked Black Lightning in the comics, but with THAT review, I'm giving it a chance.

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    Replies
    1. Let me know what you think. It might end up turning into the same bs that we are getting with Arrow and Flash, but it might just be a unique enough world that it will maintain.

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