‘Black Lightning’ S3E1 “Book of Occupation: Chapter One: Birth of Blackbird” Breakdown and Review!

So, what is going on? I felt myself asking this a lot this episode because I was having trouble making sense of how Jefferson and Lynn ended up in ASA custody. I even went back and re-watched the end of season two which provided little help. I guess we’ll just have to wait to see if they show the time gap here, but what we do know is that the ASA have taken over Freeland and Marshall Law is in effect.

Meta’s are being held and questioned at ASA and we also find out early on that a clinic is keeping kids in cages using nurses to determine if any of them could become Meta’s as well. Odell still uses the Markovians as an excuse for this behavior, that they are coming to take all of them and make some super Meta army. Personally, I think the Markovians are all made up by Odell as a guise to take control.

After thirty-one days in the ASA custody Jefferson is supposed to be leaving per his agreement with Odell but after a “Markovian Meta attack” at the clinic which Anissa witnessed, Odell is holding them indefinitely. On the streets people think that Black Lightning is either dead or is back in hiding, however, they have a new savior that is working in the shadows, Blackbird.

Henderson is also trying to resist the control of the ASA, specially Commander Carson who threatens to take his job, wife and kids if he doesn’t cooperate. Because of this he is forced to give a press release putting in effect a curfew and showing support for the ASA’s control.

Jen is still attending school and going about her normal life, kind of. She is having trouble containing her powers and must keep her head down while her mom and dad are in ASA custody. Meanwhile, Gambi and Anissa are working together to weaken the ASA’s hold on Freeland. She reports back to him about the kids in cages and he promise to get something worked out, even now he is looking for a whole in the shield that the ASA has around Freeland in order to get people out.

Later they talk again in what I think was the most talked about moment of the episode with Anissa in those black shorts. But the point of the conversation was to let us know that Commander Carson himself is a Meta that can mimic the powers of the person he is fighting. Also, we see that the surveillance of the Pierce house shows Anissa there, probably to fool the ASA.

Anissa then heads out the streets to save a bus full of passengers. She then takes them to Reverend Holt’s church where they will be hidden away until Gambi gets the hold open in the shield. The Reverend is giving an interview to a reporter at the new outlet Clap Back, Jamillah Olsen. She is trying to report facts about the current climate in Freeland. Her and Anissa though hit it off at a bar while Anissa is there looking for Grace after a video of her surfaces. After they hook up, Anissa gets a call from Gambi.

Jefferson at the ASA facility is having trouble being caged up and feels like the rumors around Freeland are true, that Black Lightning is dead. However, he also finds that he has a new ability that was brought out in all the testing, he has X-Ray vision and can see both Issa and Tobias being held below them. Lynn then decides that she wants to talk to Issa although this could betray Jefferson’s new ability to the ASA.

There is who we think is a new character for a moment. She is an Asian girl with powers like Jen’s but it turns out to be Jen with some cloaking tech from Gambi. Anissa picks her up and scolds her reminding her that everywhere is dangerous right now. Jen though tells Anissa that she must use her powers or they hurt.

In a later scene we see Odell using Issa, who can make people tell the truth around him, to interrogate Tobias on the location of the briefcase he took from Proctor back in season one but used all last season. Tobias is not in good shape; he is rapidly aging in the red light. The serum he took that made him a Meta also stopped him from aging and now that is being reversed. The information he gives Issa about the briefcase is what leads to Issa being killed by Odell. Apparently on the briefcase is outlined Odell’s mission to gather all the metas, turn them into weapons and then scrub the area of any evidence of ASA involvement. So, when Lynn sees Issa it is just his lifeless body with Odell spinning a story about him being taken by the Markovians and then him being dumped after they used him.

The end of the episode has Blackbird getting the bus people out of Freeland through the hole that Gambi was able to make but as the people escape, ASA agents move in. this results with Anissa being knocked out by a bomb and ending up on the outside of Freeland as the hold closes. Jen is ready to go in after her but Gambi tells her that they must play this smart.

In the very last scene, we have good ol’ Lala back from the dead…. again.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

While the timeline seems confusing and how we got here, this was otherwise a solid episode. There was a lot of action and framework happening. I look forward to seeing Jefferson and any other new powers he may develop. Obviously, the Peirce family is going to be going against the entire ASA agency which seems like a lot and dangerous. I am hoping to really see Jennifer in action as well this season too.

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