Comics On TV

5 Lingering Questions From Black Lightning’s Season 2 Finale

Will the Pierces take to being ASA assets? What is Grace Choi? Will Tobias run the Pit by the season 3? And more questions surrounding the finale.

by | March 22, 2019 | Comments

Black Lightning -- "The Book of the Apocalypse: Chapter Two: The Omega" -- Image BLK216c_0386b.jpg -- Pictured: Cress Williams as Black Lightning -- Photo: Josh Stringer/The CW -- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

Black Lighting wound up its second season this week on The CW. And while the show is notable for its remarkable cast, led by Cress Williams, and a top-notch villain in the form of Marvin “Krondon” Jones III’s Tobias Whale, its storytelling can get a little odd.

Tobias ended up his own best enemy, for example, setting himself up for his biggest fall yet. The absolutely wonderful Lala (William Catlett) returned from the dead, but ultimately posed no threat. And the briefcase from season 1 may have led Tobias to the Masters of Disaster, but it never quite coalesced into more than a (admittedly cool) fight in the season finale.

Nonetheless, we still enjoy the show and tuned in every week to see some plot lines advance and others fall by the wayside. The season finale was no different with its seeming resolution to Tobias’ story, while setting up its next phase. Which means there are plenty of questions lingering as Black Lighting enters its long hiatus until next fall. Here are five of the questions the finale left us asking.



Have The Markovians Been the Real Problem All Along?

Just ahead of Black Lightning’s first season debut, executive producer Salim Akil suggested the story would slowly expose the real corruption in Freeland. So far, we’ve gone from The 100 gang as pushers of a metahuman street drug, the ASA as a government agency responsible for developing the drug after a history of experimenting with a vaccine to keep the predominately black populace docile, and the suggestion that a metahuman conflict has been brewing between the US and the Eastern European nation of Markovia for decades.

The country, which debuted in a 1983 Brave and the Bold issue, has strong ties to Black Lightning via the early ’80s Batman and the Outsiders comic book. Both Black Lighting and the prince of Markovia, an earth-bending hero known as Geo-Force, served on the team. The country’s political climate, which often veered toward an authoritarian bent, often became the focus of Outsiders missions. Most recently, the country was seen in the DC Universe series Young Justice: Outsiders as a hotbed of metahuman trafficking and experimentation. It is an interpretation which tracks with the Markovia teased so far on Black Lightning.

But is it possible Markovia’s ties in Freeland are deeper than we know? While The 100 deal in Greenlight, the ASA is not their supplier – Agent Odell (Bill Duke) is more interested in the kids from the original 1980s operation in the stasis pods – which means they are either cooking the drug themselves or getting it from a well-financed source. Considering the Markovian interest in collecting metas as weapons for a future war, they would certainly want to make sure as many underprivileged Freeland kids as possible become powered assets they can later co-opt.

Of course, that assumes Tobias was working the Markovian agents from both sides — he planed to sell the Masters of Disaster and the other Pod Kids on the dark web arms market — and not just making Greenlight himself. But considering the amount of connective tissue Black Lightning skips in regards to The 100’s operations and Tobias’s direct involvement in them, The Markovian Connection is a strong possibility.

It also tracks with Akil’s overall metaphor. Outside of the Pierce family, superpowers have been analogous with drug use. In the first season, the show made pretty strong allusions to the introduction of crack cocaine by the CIA in the 1980s. During the first year, it seemed the ASA would be more directly linked to The 100 and continue that allusion, but perhaps Akil’s greater point was always about a foreign power.

Then again, the executive producer’s personal problems — he allegedly engaged in a 10-year abusive relationship with actor Amber Dixon Brenner and stole her script; re-purposing it into the OWN series Love Is — may eventually prevent his Black Lightning plan from coming to fruition.


How Long Has Odell Been Reviving Kahlil?

Black Lightning -- "The Book of the Apocalypse: Chapter Two: The Omega" -- Image BLK216d_0242b.jpg -- Pictured: Bill Duke as Agent Odell -- Photo: Annette Brown/The CW -- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

(Photo by Annette Brown/The CW)

During the final montage in the second season finale, the viewer can clearly see Khalil (Jordan Calloway) encased in one of the stasis pods back at the ASA bunker. In the scene, Odell looks at his prized Pod Kids with considerable interest. While it is clear he has a plan for Khalil, we wonder how long he waited before digging the poor kid out of the ground.

Since resurrection is a fairly easy thing on this show – just ask Lala – all that remains to be known is the timetable for Khalil’s return. As it happens, timelines area tricky thing on Black Lightning with large gaps in the story occurring constantly and new ideas paying off before they are really set-up (i.e. Lala’s quest for revenge). While the show locked itself into a pretty clear timeline for “The Book of Rebellion” across the winter break, everything following Khalil’s funeral happens across an imprecise span of weeks or months. Did Odell wait until he was sure Jennifer or Khalil’s mother wouldn’t be holding a vigil over the tombstone, or did he devise some late light grave robbing?

Another issue is the nature of resurrection itself. It took Lady Eve’s bizarre undertaker Lazarus (Michael Wright) almost a year to regenerate Lala from a clump of flesh. Presuming Odell is using a similar method – if not employing Lazarus outright – is Khalil fully healed and just in suspended animation or is there more work necessary to revive him? In fact, if Odell is using Lazaurs, will Khalil face the same sort of pain Lala endures every time he comes back?


What Is Grace Choi?

Black Lightning -- "Lawanda: The Book of Burial" -- Image BLK103a_0006.jpg -- Pictured: Chantal Thuy as Grace Choi -- Photo: Carin Baer/The CW -- © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

(Photo by Carin Baer/The CW)

Since right around the time the show debuted, it has teased comic book fans with Grace Choi (Chantal Thuy). She made a few early appearances before Anissa’s (Nafessa Williams) journey to become Thunder dominated her part of season 1. In the second season, Grace’s absence – or, more to the point, Anissa’s neglect of her – became a story point and the two were once again taking tentative steps to becoming a couple.

Then, over a handful of scenes dispersed across the last few episodes of season 2, we learned “Grace Choi” was not her real name and that she is some sort of meta shapeshifter who can take on the form of her adoptive brother and some sort of creature. Also, she may have an interesting diet to maintain her abilities. But as the final two episodes focused on Tobias, Jennifer (China Anne McClain) and Lala, Grace received little more than a name check in “The Book of the Apocalypse.” It leaves us to wonder who or what she might really be.

Back in the comics, Grace was introduced in 2003 as an Amazon who joins a new Outsiders team and, eventually, begins a relationship with Thunder. But since she’s an Amazon in the comics, her powers include super-strength, endurance and an improved healing rate and is a far cry from the Grace evolving on screen. As it happens, her apparent real name – Shay Li Wylde – suggests a connection to the 1990s Outsiders character named Wylde. He was, to a coin a term, a “werebear” and much like Grace (we’re going to use her chosen name for herself), had limited control of his powers as well. Hopefully, the third season will focus more time on her secret and offer her the opportunity to become more than an occasional guest character.


Will Tobias Be Running the Pit By the Season 3 Premiere?

Black Lightning -- " Shadow of Death: The Book of War" -- Image BLK113c_0192b2.jpg -- Pictured: Marvin "Krondon" Jones III as Tobias -- Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CW -- © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

(Photo by Bob Mahoney/The CW)

Watching Black Lightning and Lightning take down Tobias was a particularly satisfying moment of the program’s second season. But we’re already wondering how long it can last. Tobias is a slippery customer and subordinates are drawn to him – even if they should know better (R.I.P., Todd Green).

To us, it suggests Tobias will soon be running the ASA’s black site despite everything the watch commander told him in the closing moments of season 2. The Pit, more than anything else, looks like the sort of crucible Tobias Whale thrives in. It is just a question of time.

It is also a question of Tobias’s ill-defined abilities. While Dr. Jace (Jennifer Riker) created the serum which slowed his aging to a crawl, its side effects are not completely known. He seems to be bullet-proof and super strong, but it is unclear if these powers are derived from the serum – and therefore need a constant dosage to be maintained – or if they are inherent like Black Lightning’s abilities. If the latter, he will have no problem setting up a new empire from within the Pit. He may even find a new class of willing accomplices to throw at his arch enemy.


How Will the Pierces Take to Being ASA Assets?

Black Lightning -- "The Book of the Apocalypse: Chapter Two: The Omega" -- Image BLK216a_0221b2.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): James Remar as Gambi, Nafessa Williams as Thunder and China Anne McClain as Lightning -- Photo: Eliza Morse/The CW -- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

(Photo by Eliza Morse/The CW)

In the last moments of the finale, Odell deputizes Jeff, Jen, and Anissa into the ASA to fight the coming war against Markovia. Presumably, Freeland will be the battleground and the other surviving Pod Kids (and probably Khalil) will form a sort of ersatz Outsiders. Well, other Greg Berlanti–produced superhero shows on The CW would go that way, but Black Lighting eschews much of the Arrowverse’s rhyme and meter for its own storytelling style.

Nonetheless, it is clear the Pierces, now known to the ASA as metas, will have to deal with the agency in order to retain some modicum of their freedom. It is probably the very thing Odell believes will keep them in line. He used a similar tactic on Lynn (Christine Adams) throughout the second season. One imagines it will work for a time, even on Jennifer, but eventually Odell may find he needs more extreme measures; much in the same way he forced Wendy (Madison Bailey) into exerting much more of her abilities during a test.

Of course, the Lightning Family may still have one ace to play: Odell is seemingly unaware of Gambi (James Remar). He is still technically dead as he never found the culprits of the attempt on his life, which means the ASA may not have tabs on him. Assuming none of the Pierces addressed their man in the chair by name after Odell began spying on them, Gambi may prove vital to their escape from ASA control.

These are just a few of the things Black Lighting left us to ponder. There are other issues like the corruption Henderson (Damon Gupton) still faces within the Freeland PD. If working for the ASA takes up more of his time, Jeff may have to leave Garfield High behind again, imperiling its future. And then there’s Lala, whose living Hell may actually lead to some sort of redemption in the end. Black Lightning introduced a lot of interesting ideas – even if they are not always served well – and we can’t wait to see what becomes of them next year.

Tag Cloud

Super Bowl joker Marvel anime Apple TV+ universal monsters films romance hollywood OneApp LGBT Marathons American Society of Cinematographers Dark Horse Comics blockbuster nbcuniversal Nominations documentary 72 Emmy Awards TIFF Netflix Christmas movies werewolf HBO Go SDCC PBS casting Disney streaming service RT History Apple Britbox Disney Channel robots Interview toronto cooking Amazon Prime Video children's TV USA Network comic USA toy story comiccon 24 frames football Lucasfilm BAFTA Crunchyroll IFC Films police drama 2015 Bravo serial killer comedies Year in Review Film 2016 VICE Mary Poppins Returns transformers BBC Comedy Central Reality Competition classics FX asian-american Women's History Month BBC America Best and Worst Black History Month Universal Captain marvel Kids & Family Columbia Pictures screen actors guild Schedule ESPN TCA 2017 psychological thriller romantic comedy psycho movies Emmys 71st Emmy Awards CNN hispanic historical drama documentaries unscripted crime theme song Teen slashers FOX Paramount Amazon Prime Anna Paquin cancelled television BBC One Emmy Nominations Hear Us Out BET screenings VOD Thanksgiving Netflix sag awards TruTV Rocketman Rocky Box Office Tomatazos Arrowverse E! Lifetime Christmas movies spinoff harry potter halloween Comedy Country MCU directors finale TV renewals docudrama Superheroes Awards concert Horror Sci-Fi vampires Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Fox News cartoon Elton John game of thrones nature Adult Swim Mary poppins Amazon Studios Rock Disney+ Disney Plus Winter TV Sundance Fantasy Shondaland E3 See It Skip It Ellie Kemper child's play blaxploitation medical drama remakes Opinion Sneak Peek Family TCA Winter 2020 LGBTQ Photos President SXSW stoner GLAAD satire quibi 2017 a nightmare on elm street Shudder Paramount Network YouTube video 45 CW Seed cops news venice what to watch Disney Masterpiece cancelled TV shows WGN cults facebook The Arrangement Podcast Turner Classic Movies 2020 Baby Yoda Trailer Musical NBC dragons Fall TV Oscars Marvel Studios Funimation scorecard game show 20th Century Fox Musicals TNT talk show zombies Hulu Avengers Sony Pictures Black Mirror Classic Film Valentine's Day dark fast and furious AMC true crime television Martial Arts Character Guide Travel Channel Trivia FXX TCA Summer award winner DC Comics The Walking Dead TV dogs animated Rom-Com science fiction Animation Certified Fresh ITV stop motion movie streaming ratings period drama Turner revenge SundanceTV composers emmy awards A&E Song of Ice and Fire boxoffice versus Pride Month spanish language YA Ghostbusters Red Carpet Disney Plus adaptation RT21 Biopics Pop Esquire disaster Infographic Grammys stand-up comedy 4/20 DC Universe tv talk CBS Crackle book TV Land Star Wars mutant Showtime First Look free movies cancelled TV series Sundance Now Comics on TV best GoT diversity die hard all-time renewed TV shows TBS indiana jones adventure crime thriller worst Lifetime obituary biography Cannes The CW Spring TV miniseries Sundance TV dc worst movies laika Cosplay Star Trek Action Food Network Acorn TV Discovery Channel WarnerMedia critics indie Stephen King Western Amazon HBO Max Comic Book cancelled comics spider-man DGA singing competition Pet Sematary superhero Quiz Spectrum Originals Drama scary movies 007 TCA Awards justice league Christmas ghosts The Purge El Rey Toys Nickelodeon Mystery spy thriller canceled TV shows mission: impossible festivals strong female leads Pixar PlayStation Winners cats YouTube Premium NYCC Starz A24 zero dark thirty 2018 Creative Arts Emmys Tumblr Freeform Music politics Countdown 21st Century Fox APB Lionsgate south america sports Epix canceled Logo witnail Walt Disney Pictures thriller discovery parents elevated horror Calendar GIFs Mudbound VH1 Peacock anthology Writers Guild of America Film Festival Holidays Academy Awards war History 2019 Election independent Brie Larson TCM richard e. Grant Cartoon Network kids Binge Guide spain ABC Family CMT festival dceu Video Games Television Academy sequels ABC Mindy Kaling binge Superheroe breaking bad Ovation rotten YouTube Red foreign crossover CBS All Access series nfl Nat Geo twilight OWN Holiday Vudu mockumentary Awards Tour rotten movies we love Heroines Marvel Television dramedy sitcom National Geographic Mary Tyler Moore DirecTV IFC natural history political drama First Reviews Watching Series franchise MSNBC Polls and Games space video on demand Tarantino latino Warner Bros. travel BET Awards San Diego Comic-Con Premiere Dates Set visit teaser Syfy Trophy Talk Extras FX on Hulu HBO criterion MTV green book Hallmark Christmas movies golden globes chucky The Witch doctor who Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt technology Chernobyl Hallmark zombie reviews hist DC streaming service name the review sequel Television Critics Association christmas movies supernatural batman Pirates Reality X-Men aliens Spike TLC Pop TV Apple TV Plus crime drama New York Comic Con social media cars based on movie PaleyFest cinemax Endgame Tubi reboot jamie lee curtis