Black Lightning and Thunder square off in an epic battle

Pictured: Cress Williams as Black Lightning -- Photo: Guy D'Alema/The CW, Black Lightning via CW Press
Pictured: Cress Williams as Black Lightning -- Photo: Guy D'Alema/The CW, Black Lightning via CW Press /

Black Lightning nearly met his match against another metahuman – but was shocked to learn who was behind the mask.

More from CW

So many secrets. Too many secrets. Now that they are beginning to come out on Black Lightning, we see what harboring those secrets can do.

In one of the best action scenes of the season, Black Lightning (Jefferson Pierce) and Thunder (Anissa) fought each other as they both were bent on protecting Lynn. Neither knew who the other was while disguised, but they fought until Black Lightning prevailed.

It wasn’t until Anissa’s beat up body laid on the floor that Jeff realized it was his daughter, and shock and shame blanketed his face.

Anissa seemed to take the news a lot better. She was certainly surprised to learn her father was Black Lightning, but she is looking at it from a place of hope and activism. She is begging to do something with her powers and now she has the perfect mentor.

But Jeff will likely struggle with allowing his daughter to fight the evil elements of Freeland. It took having his daughter’s life on the line – in this case by own hands – to see what Lynn has been trying to tell him for years. It seems he finally grasps why it’s so difficult to watch someone you love put themselves in danger day after day.

“I love you. I don’t want to lose you because you went along with something you should have walked away from,” Jeff told Anissa earlier in the episode.

At that moment, he was speaking about her activism – painting a conferdarate monument with a water gun. She got arrested and while Jeff bailed her out, he was more concerened for what could actually happen to her if the wrong officer crossed her path.

“All it takes is one cop to see you color and not your humanity,” he told her.

He’s not wrong. Black Lightning has had no reservations of grabbing stories from headlines, including white nationalists protesting to save confederate monuments, and then one of them mowing down a group of students. While that moment was just touched on in Tuesday’s episode, it was the catalyst to send Anissa back into the world as Thunder.

She used her powers to wreck the statue, and prompted her  to call Lynn and tell her about her powers.

That’s when Anissa ran into two men who broke into the lab and tied Lynn up. She saved her mother and was about to let her go when Black Lightning walked in. He heard the break in while on the phone with Lynn and set out to save her too. He thought Thunder was an enemy and the two engaged in a fight.

Black Lightning
Photo: Richard Ducree/The CW — Black Lightning via CWPR /

But Black Lightning didn’t just happen to stop by. He was moments away from killing Tobias, a line that he shouldn’t cross for a number reasons. While Gambi wants to make it seem it’s for altruistic reason, he really is holding onto to his own secrets and made a promise to Lady E for Tobias’ protection.

Jeff wants Tobias dead though because he killed his father – something he witnessed as a kid. Tobias is safe for now, but it’s doubtful that Black Lightning has abandoned that mission.

More secrets

While Khalil has pushed Jennifer away anger, he is also being exceptionally mean about it. He’s posted rude things online about her, then blamed her for getting shot and paralyzed.

The reaction is certainly disappointing because when they got together, it was everything a teenage romance should look like. Instead, Jennifer and Khalil are dealing with tragedy most people won’t ever have to go through.

As it turns out, Khalil’s anger is also being fanned by Tobias, who has whispered in his ear about Black Lightning. He also promised Khalil he would walk again. This is everything to him.

Next: Black Lightning: Are Jefferson’s powers killing him or is it really the suit?

Best line of the night

"“Look, no one is an expert at what is or is not black. Because, Black is the everything under the sun.” – Jefferson Pierce tells Jennifer after she was being mocked on the internet."

Jeff had an incredibly important discussion with his daughter that included that line but also explained to her why other African-Americans would try to tear her down. Fear, envy have been used against African-Americans for centuries, going back to slavery. Pitting African-Americans against each other and not wanting to see others succeed, especially if they can’t, is known as a mentality called Crabs in a Barrel.

It was important discussion to hear – not just for the context of the show – but also for those watching who need to hear it.

Tune into Black Lightning on the CW Tuesdays at 9/8c.