"Pain & Anger" or Family ReunionBy Marc Watkins

Our show begins with Black Lightning standing on the ledge of a building in the middle of the night while talking to Gambi on their communication device. BL asks Gambi “Will this work” to which he replies, “In theory”. With that, BL jumps off the building and a moment later we see him levitating using his powers. He’s Mary Poppins ya’ll!

Black Lightning then takes his new abilities for a spin around the city. As he does, he notices two police officers fighting with a young man who’s exhibiting super strength and is obviously high on drugs. One of the officer’s pulls out his gun and just as he shoots, Black Lightning jumps in and stops the bullet. After a brief tussle, he’s able to use his powers to subdue the boy and admonishes the officers to use their tazers first next time.

Back at Black Lightning’s de facto HQ –let’s call it the “Power Station” – Gambi notices on the monitor in his hidden room Tobias Whale, BL’s main nemesis, in the main show room of the tailor shop. After arming himself, Gambi goes up to talk to him. We learn that the two have a shared history and not always as enemies perhaps. During their conversation we learn that Tobias has an anti-aging serum coursing through his veins and that Gambi works for a secret organization called “ASA”. Tobias was there hoping to get Gambi to divulge Black Lightning’s secret identity, but of course he doesn’t snitch. Not getting what he wants, Tobias leaves peacefully.

Meanwhile, Jefferson’s youngest daughter Jennifer is hanging at the skating rink with a friend when she is accosted by two female rivals. When one of the girls throws the first punch, Jennifer easily and quickly dispatches both of them. Jefferson, however, isn’t having such a good night. We next see him standing in line at a drug store behind a young man with a child who was having issues with the clerk after he was sold some expired medicine. As Jefferson attempts to intercede, he suffers from almost debilitating headaches. When he recovers, Jefferson buys the medicine for the young man’s child and tells him to just pay it forward at some point.

Jefferson’s oldest daughter Anissa is in medical school and has recently moved back in to her father’s home. She has herself developed super powers and has been investigating others with enhanced abilities. While watching a video online, her grandfather Alvin’s name was mentioned in connection to a story he was working on as a journalist that involved missing kids who may have been experimented on prior to their disappearance. The video said that not long after Alvin wrote that story he was murdered which of course lead Nissa to want to know more.

Last episode Black Lightning investigated a new street drug called The Green that the gang The 100 were pumping out. He found a clue he asked Gambi to follow up on that lead to a location of where some of the chemicals used in the drug manufacturing may be stored. When BL went to check it out, he encountered a rather surly, shotgun-toting man who threatened to shoot Black Lightning. Of course that didn’t go over so well and lead to him getting zapped. BL questioned the man under threat of electrocution and he dropped a name Black Lightning hadn’t heard in a while: Joey Toledo, the known right hand man to Tobias Whale.

When he returned to the Power Station, Jefferson was in mid-rant about wanting to catch Toledo when he suddenly passes out. Knowing he can’t take Jefferson to the hospital, Gambi calls Jefferson’s ex-wife to look after her husband considering she’s a doctor. After a bit, Jefferson awakens no worse for wear.

At Tobias’ HQ, he’s ranting and raving as well; he feels he doesn’t get the respect due him from Lady E and whatever cabal she runs with. Since Black Lightning ISN’T dead as previously thought, Tobias believes this is the reason he’s not bumped up to the big table and is relegated to baby-sitting The 100. His sister Tori tells him to calm down and be smart. She also gives him news that will make him feel better: she found their father. In flashback scenes we see that their dad will not be winning any father of the year awards as he was very abusive to both of his kids.

Still in investigation mode, Nissa asks her dad about Alvin, her grandfather. Initially Jeff doesn’t wnt to discuss him, but gives her an answer just to placate her. Not satisfied, Nissa next goes to the paper where Alvin worked when he was murdered and spoke with the editor. He was initially friendly and cordial but when she broached the subject of the missing kid story Alvin worked on, he suddenly became cold and kicked her out of his office.

A day or so later, Nissa goes back to the paper to see the editor again. Knowing her lineage, he realises she’s not going to give up or go away so he brings her to his office where he has a box of her granddad’s belongings waiting for her that he’s held on to for 30 years. When she leaves he lets her know that “they” are watching and to be careful.

The Whale siblings make their way to their father’s residence and it’s readily apparent that he’s a bitter, broken man. Tobias’ initial response is to punch him in the jaw the minute he opens the door which sends the elder Whale sprawling.  When he gets off the ground he tells his kids they should be grateful that he stayed, fed & clothed them unlike their mom who left in the middle of the night. Tobias thinks about it for a moment and says he’s right, then opens his arm for a fatherly hug. Whale the Elder embraces his son which was a monumental mistake; Tobias begins to squeeze, crushing his back letting out years of hurt and anger.  When Tori goes to finish him off with his gun, Tobias stops her so the Elder Whale will die a slow, painful death and they leave him a literal broken man on his bathroom floor.

When Nissa goes through her granddad’s belongings she finds a key that she learns goes to a storage unit. Before she goes to check it out, she buys a costume to conceal her identity from the “They” that are watching. The key doesn’t work on the ancient lock so she breaks in to the unit finding a safe that contains a mysterious looking vile, the contents of which we’ll learn later.

Jefferson, with the help of Detective Henderson, is able to track down Toledo through his girlfriend. Before he can confront him he suits up but it doesn’t contain the power pack. Gambi is withholding it because he discovered the reason Jefferson was experiencing headaches is due to a suit malfunction. Jefferson won’t give him time to fix it and over Gambi’s silent objection goes out to face Toledo.

Jefferson confronts the girlfriend as she goes to enter a club and takes her phone so he can send Toledo a message to meet him outside. Instead of finding his girlfriend, Toledo finds an angry Black Lightning who wants to know where Tobias is. Being a good soldier, Toledo says nothing and receives the beating of his life until BL drops to the ground in pain due to the headaches he’s been having. Toledo uses this to his advantage and begins to get the best of Black Lightning. The two go back and forth with Toledo realizing discretion is the better part of valor and goes to make his escape. Black Lightning tries to zap him but his suit was damaged too much in the fracas with Toledo and he gets away, leaving a battered and bruised Black Lighting in an alley.

Will Gambi be able to fix Black Lightning’s suit and stop his headaches? Tune in in two weeks to find out and also, follow @ATLCW & @ATLBlerd on Twitter to live-tweet the show.

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