“Lawanda:The Book of Hope” or Loose EndsBy Marc Watkins

Our show begins with our hero Jefferson Pierce in pain on his bathroom floor. During last episode he used his powers for the first time in 9 years to rescue his daughters who were captives of the street gang The 100. He’s not the young man he once was and as he’s writhing in agony on the floor after fighting gang members. His ex-wife Lynn, who’s temporarily back at the family home, comes in to comfort him. The two reminisce over the old days and Lynn wants him to put aside his alter ego now that their daughters are safe.

The next day at Garfield High School where Jefferson is the principal, a PTA meeting is held where parents express their concerns over gang activity in the neighborhood. Present also is Jefferson’s good friend, Inspector Henderson. Jefferson is informed – and confirmed by Henderson – that the hotel where his daughters were held, a known gang operation, was back up and running in less than 48 hours.

One of those in attendance at the meeting is Lawanda, a former student of Jefferson’s who is now a widowed mother of a daughter who’s fallen prey to The 100. Lawanda explains that after the death of her military husband, her daughter fell in with the gang who has her prostituting herself.

Meanwhile, Jeff is concerned about his daughters since the gang leader Lala and his hapless cousin Will who kidnapped his daughters are still on the loose. Henderson has a marked patrol unit sitting guard outside of Jefferson’s house as Jennifer, Jeff’s youngest daughter, sits on the steps Face-Timing a potential suitor. As this is happening, a cherub faced boy, about 8 years old, walks right past the officers up to Jennifer with a large container in his hands that supposedly has candy. When Jennifer approaches him, the rapscallion pulls out a gun and shoots Jennifer in the chest and says “This is from Lala”. THANKfully it was just a water pistol filled with a red liquid.

The boy, who we saw last episode being tortured by Lala, takes off running and gets away. In order to protect his daughter, Jefferson goes to confront Lala after the attack on Jennifer but it doesn’t go as planned. Lala let’s Jeff know in no uncertain terms that if his daughters talk to the cops they’ll be dealt with. Permanently. Then Lala’s goons rough up Jeff which almost makes him lose his cool and display his power which would NOT have been a wise move since it was broad daylight and he was surrounded by dozens of witnesses. He kept his cool though and leaves unharmed.

We next see Lala as he sits in a car in an empty warehouse when two of his goons drive up. They hop out  of their car and go to the trunk and remove a trussed up Will. Lala has had to deal with a lot the past few weeks all thanks to his cousin’s incompetence so family ties aside, Lala puts a bullet in the back of Will’s head leaving his goons to clean up the mess.

Anissa has been dealing with recent events by spending time with and confiding in her girlfriend. She tells her about the incident with the sink but the girlfriend just brushes it off as if it were easily explainable. Jennifer, however, is not dealing with recent event as well as her older sister. She’s outside her bedroom window on the roof smoking weed when her suitor shows up. The two talk briefly about Jennifer’s experience in the fell clutches of The 100 and her subsequent rescue by Black Lighting. Jennifer explains that looking at Black Lighting is akin to looking at a spot-light and that his image is distorted. Although we, the viewers, see him normally when he’s electrified, those in his presence see something different.

Back at the gang hotel, Lawanda is pulling her best Nancy Drew by surveilling the comings and goings of the gang members and anyone else who arrives. Jefferson is tipped off by Henderson and he shows up to try to convince Lawanda not to do that because she’s putting herself in harm’s way.  Lawanda tells him that she’s wiling to do anything to get her daughter home safely but Jefferson convinces her to give up her sleuthing for 48 hours to give him a chance to make things right.

Unfortunately for her, however, Lawanda didn’t have the patience to wait 2 days. As she sat outside the gang hotel in to the night, Lala shows up and Lawanda goes to confront him with a video camera. Before she does, however, she sets her cell phone in the dash to record. When she approaches Lala he tries to waive her off but she’s persistent. Too persistent. Lala had enough and shot Lawanda dead. His goons place her in her car accidently knocking the phone that had been recording down leaving it unseen.

Henderson arrives at the crime scene and knowing Lawanda’s relationship with Jeff, he calls him up to let him know of her murder. This is the final straw which lets Jeff know Black Lightning is needed. The “Alfred”  or “Lucious Fox” for Jefferson is Gambi, a tailor who is a tech wiz on the side. He finds Will’s body and he still has his phone. Gambi uses it to track down Lala and gives the intel to Jefferson.

Suited up, Jefferson goes to Lala’s high-rise to have a showdown with him. The building is CRAWLING with The 100 gang members and floor by floor Black Lightning has to clear them out of the way so he can get to the big boss.  When BL does make it to Lala, he proceeds to beat him senseless. Before any permanent damage can be done, the police show showup causing a brief standoff. BL, however, makes his escape.

Lala isn’t so lucky. Although the police arrived just in the nick of time for Lala not to be beaten to death, he was saved to be placed under arrest to face the murder of Lawanda; the cops found her phone and the video of her own murder.

In the middle of the night Anissa leaves her girlfriend in bed as she winds up at a 24 hour pharmacy to purchase pain meds for her head. As she approaches the register, a masked gunman is robbing the place and tells Anissa to get on the floor. When she doesn’t move fast enough the gunman approaches her and puts the gun to her head but with a sudden burst of strength, Anissa picks the gunman up and throws him across the store. Not only did she save her life in that moment, she also cured her headache.

As the show ends, we see Tobias Whale arrive at a police precinct accompanied by two henchmen; he’s shown in a back door by a police officer and is directed to the cell where Lala is being held. Another cop opens it so Tobias can confront his underling. Tobias tells Lala that a man who would kill a mother is liable to do anything – like snitch against his own boss. So with his bare hands, Tobias kills Lala right in the jail cell and leaves. No loose ends.

Did you like the show? 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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