Black Lightning S4E1 ‘The Book of Reconstruction: Collateral Damage’ Breakdown!

Welcome back for the season premiere breakdown of Black Lightning. This will be the series fourth and final season with the show hopefully producing a spin-off for Painkiller who we actually didn’t see in this episode. I have talked about this spin off over on my Podcast so head over there for more information.

The Passing Year

This episode really focused on Jefferson Peirce and his struggle with the death of Henderson in the finale. A year has passed since he has been gone, but since Jefferson has been spiraling. He has picked up drinking and really lacks a support to help him through. We see that him and Lynn are in counseling, but as of now not making any progress. As for Lynn, she says that she is doing well with her own sobriety. Jen and Anyssa are still on the streets trying to help Freeland even though Jefferson does not want them there, which is really part of the rift for him and Lynn. At this point Jefferson has no desire to be Black Lightning even stating that he ‘is dead’.

We do see in the opening of the episode that Jefferson openly uses his powers to save a boy being harassed and attacked by police. I am not surprised he stepped in, we have seen him step in situations before, however, this time he was not wearing a suit and seemed more brutal than before. He is grieving and just overall fed up. The is going to create issues that I will talk about here in a moment.

Gambi attempts to talk with Jefferson later in the episode both about his drinking and using his powers outside of the suit, however, Jefferson isn’t ready and unwilling to hear it.

Anissa has also been dealing with Grace in the hospital, it has been a year and she has yet to awaken from her coma. Lynn has been working on her but says that her shapeshifting powers has made her difficult to treat.

From the news we learned that with Freeland in shambles after the ASA and Markovians last season that gang activity has once again picked up with a war between the 100 and the Cobras. This is most likely Lala VS. Eve.

Administration Change

I wanted to talk about this separately because while we have the gang activity, we see Thunder and Lightning fighting this episode, there is going to be another big issue at play. The new police chief, Chief Lopez, has made it clear that she is going to be working toward a plan to document or ‘tag’ all metas living in Freeland to make the community feel safe again. This show has always been forward about tackling the problem of systemic racism but will now marry that with how the country has handled undocumented people as well. I think this is going to be interesting for the Peirce family and will be one of the factors that bring them back together. Obviously, they are not going to want to be documented as Metas.

One of the bigger moments in this episode was a man name Hassan reaching out to Black Lightning. He was a friend of Henderson as well and was left instructions to reach out to Black Lightning. He has waited a year which is something that Jefferson mentions when they meet. He says that he isn’t sure that he trusts Black Lightning after everything and is disappointed that Black Lightning as also left the city high and dry. Jefferson kept his identity secret during this meeting, but they di meet again later to talk about Jefferson’s incident with the police.

Gambi did delete all the footage of the confrontation, but the officer did get a partial plate which links back to Jefferson. This has Hassan along with Chief Lopez seeking out Jefferson at the end of the episode. I think that Hassan either knows or is suspicious that Jefferson is Black Lightning, however, he does mention to Lopez that he knows Jefferson was lying to them.

Tobias Whale

We also learn from the news that Tobias Whale has returned to Freeland. This is a shock to the Peirce family because they believed he was dead. However, he has instead returned to Freeland as a knight in shining armor pumping millions into the community in order to gain leverage and power. This leads to conflict between Jeff and the rest of the family on how to deal with him. The girls and Lynn want to kill him. He knows who they are and its only a matter of time before he does something to hurt someone. Jefferson doesn’t want the girls killing anyone, even though they mention that they already have. It weighs heavily on Jefferson that they don’t seem to see that as a big deal.

At the end of the episode Tobias shows at Lynn’s lab and is apparently now on the board of directors. We knew form the finale that he was going to come after Lynn directly and it seems that plan is now in play.

Lala and the 100

Like I mentioned, gang activity has picked up in the city with Lala heading the 100. He is another person not happy about Tobias’s return. He feels like he has been the one helping Freeland buy feeding the community with the money he makes from his trade of drugs and weapons. Of course, another thorn in his side if Thunder and Lightning.

We see them stop two deals in a week which has Lala create a third buy that is a set up to kill Lightning. Jen does end up taking a git with these anti-Meta guns, but with her advanced healing she seems to recover fine.

When Jefferson learns about Jennifer getting attacked, he takes matters into is own hands and finds the shooter. He not only beats him but intentionally cripples him leaving Hassan perplexed on how to handle his job and Henderson’s wishes when it comes to Black Lightning. Meanwhile, Jen is out flying around when she loses power and begins falling from the sky unconscious.


One of the smaller moments in the episode that I think is going to lead to more problems is this new company Monovista lead by Lauren Caruso. Her and Gambi are old friends, but he doesn’t seem to trust that they have the best interest of the people at heart. He does decline the job offer with them, but I think he may accept later for a larger purpose.

Check Out All of My ‘Black Lightning’ Breakdowns!

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