By Marc Watkins

“The Resurrection” or The Beginning

The show begins very powerfully with Billy Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” playing in the background as our protagonist, Jefferson Pierce, waits in a police department lobby as the narrator, his daughter high school student Jennifer, speaks. On a tv we see local television legend Amanda Davis, recently deceased, discussing the turmoil in the city. Jefferson & Jennifer are waiting on his oldest daughter Anissa  -a medical school student – to be released after she was arrested while protesting gang violence.

After Anissa’s release, the trio drive to a fundraiser at the school where Jefferson is the principal. During the ride, Jefferson expresses his disappointment with his daughter as any concerned father would. While quoting black civil rights leaders to each other, Jefferson is pulled over by law enforcement.  Immediately the officer instructs Jefferson to exit the car in the rain then brusquely searches him which causes his daughters to become agitated.  Other officers then pull their weapons on the girls as Jefferson tries to calm the situation down all while being handcuffed.

Jefferson is then marched over to a squad car where a witness says he’s not the one the cops are looking for. The cops then release him with not so much as an apology or explanation as to what was going on. When Jefferson presses the issue, the cop informs him there was a liquor store robbery. Jefferson, wearing a tuxedo driving a luxury automobile WITH his daughters is incredulous. Suddenly, his eyes glow white and there’s a brief power surge which affects the street lights and the squad car. This is our first indication of Jefferson’s power.

When they finally make it to the school, during his introduction, we learn that Jefferson is an Olympic level athlete although we don’t know in which sport. We also are introduced to his ex-wife Lynn. While Jefferson is speaking and glad-handing, daughter Jennifer is missing. Anissa finds her in the bathroom with a girlfriend as the pair get gussied up to supposedly attend a house party. Acting as the de-facto mother figure, big sis gives Jennifer a curfew which pleases the teen.

Turns out that Jennifer was going to a club frequented by gangs. When Jefferson gets home and sees that Jennifer isn’t there, he uses the GPS on her phone to track her down. Inside the club, Jennifer is sitting at a table flirting with a boy named Will when several other young men join them uninvited. The pair are then ushered in to a back office just as Jefferson shows up.

In the office we meet Lala, a tough as nails hood who seems to be Will’s boss. Lala wants money owed to him by Will and proceeds to slap him around. Lala then tells his subordinate that he needs to take Jennifer to a hotel so that she can prostitute herself in order to help Will paydown his debt. Of course Jennifer isn’t down with that even though Will wants to acquiesce.

Outside the office, Jefferson tries to gain entry when a guard stops him by pulling a gun. Bad move. All the lights in the club suddenly go out. From inside the office we hear gunshots. When Lala and his crew go to see what’s up, most of them get electro-punched which allows Jennifer to escape unharmed.  As Jefferson exits the club, police arrive and again seek to put him in cuffs. He’s even tazed which doesn’t go so good for the cops. Jefferson returns the electrical current on them and blows up their squad car and walks off.

We’re next introduced to Peter Gambi, the owner of a tailor shop, when he returns to his place of business and finds a passed out Jefferson. Seems Black Lightning took a bullet and he turned to his life-long friend Gambi – who knows his secret identity – to stitch him up. During their conversation we learn why Black Lightning retired 9 years before, because of the strain it was placing on his home life. We also learn that Jefferson’s father was murdered by someone named Tobias.

The next day at the school, Will shows up to try to have a conversation with Jennifer.  When he gets handsy Anissa, who teaches part time at the school, promptly puts Will on his backside. Pride hurt, he gets up and just as he’s about to pull a gun, Jefferson shows up and stops him. Will slinks off but not before letting those assembled know it’s not over.

In order to stave off violence, Jefferson goes to see Lala who’s actually one of his former students. There has been a détente been Jefferson and the gangs with the school  being off-limits. Jefferson wants to preserve that peace. Lala flexes his muscles by intimidating a small kid at the community center where they’re meeting and when Jefferson tries to step in Lala pulls a gun on him.

Back at the school, Will shows up with a crew and kidnaps Jennifer and Anissa in front of a room full of witnesses.  Jefferson’s friend, Inspector Henderson of the police department, promises to help, but of course he doesn’t wait. Jefferson goes to Gambi’s for assistance and the tailor has created a super-hero outfit for him.

The girls are being held at the gang-controlled hotel. Lala tells Will to kill the girls and disappear or worse can happen to him. In full regalia, Black Lightning shows up and begins to wreck shop! He uses his power over electricity to make short work of the henchmen; the electrical charges he emits makes him almost bullet proof.

Black Lightning makes it to the room where the girls are being held just as Will is trying to leave. When BL confronts Will he gets shot, but the new suit he has is bullet resistant. BL then uses his power to envelop Will in an electrical field as he tries to get the whereabouts of Lala. But Will is no Snitch so BL has to just singe him a little bit.

Speaking of Lala, after he left the hotel he is himself kidnapped while at a stoplight and taken before the Big Boss Tobias who’s none to pleased. After shooting Lala with a spear gun, Tobias tells him to solve the Black Lightning problem or he’ll kill Lala and take care of it himself.

As the show ends, Anissa, is having flashbacks to what she’s been through and wakes up in the middle of the night. As she goes to the bathroom to collect herself, she inadvertently breaks the sink as it seems she’s manifesting her own powers.

As a premiere episode it was pretty good. What did YOU think? Be sure to tune in next week for an all new Black Lightning. And follow @ATLCW & @ATLBlerd on Twitter to live-tweet the show.

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