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Review-Black Lightning, S2, EP 14/ The Book of Secrets (Chapter 4) – Original Sin

Episode 14: The Book of Secrets (Chapter 4) – Original Sin
Directed by: Oz Scott
Written by: Pat Charles & Keli Goff

It’s hard not to spoil the big reveal at the opening of Original Sin, as it plays heavily into the first act of the final chapter of Book of Secrets. Lala aka Tattooed Man (William Catlett) is alive with a bit of the obligatory resurrection side-effect of amnesia. This leads him on an instinctual hunt and tense confrontation with Jefferson Pierce, who must refrain from exposing his powers, but at the same time help Lala. This one-on-one between Williams and Cress is so palpable, especially with the addition of Lala’s “ghosts” Lawanda White (Tracey Bonner) and Will Johnson (Dabier Snell) providing unwarranted commentary. I honestly wished this segment took up more of the episode as everything else pales in comparison. Williams has not lost his touch at all, portraying a determined, yet unhinged man. Tracey and Dabier’s excellent acting only help accentuate William’s with their torturous bickering. This un-fortuitous meeting serves to shed light on Lala’s backstory, and pays homage to Black Lightning’s comic book origins.

Meanwhile, the other Pierces are oblivious to Jefferson’s predicament and engage in their own micro stories, which only amount to snippets of varying engagement and entertainment. Possibly the least interesting is Jennifer gushing over her new work-in-progress costume like a teen about to buy a prom dress or the latest fashion outfit. Some may argue her newfound exuberance betrays the kind of sorrow and pain she previously had last episode with the burial of Khalil; but it’s a good, healthy sign she has moved on in a positive direction. Those eyeing for the formal debut of Lightning will sadly have to wait some more.

Anissa’s continued search for her missing (ex)girlfriend Grace Choi (Chantal Thuy) leads to an interesting skirmish, which only deepens the mystery surrounding the enigmatic Choi. I honestly hope this latest arc carries more weight than her previous “side quests” as of Season 2; but it’s too soon to tell.

The strongest of the other Pierce portions is with Dr Stewart having to face the realization that the ASA’s primary goal is to weaponize the remaining pod kids…shocker! Dr Stewart’s moral high-horse and appall at Agent Percy “deadpan” Odell’s (Bill Duke) less than humanitarian, very patriotic intentions for her research is a bit too naive for someone as intellectually astute as she is. And speaking of Agent Odell, his lingering ambiguity so late in the game is a bit frustrating. Is he a genuine ally, or one of necessity/opportunity, or is he is a candid adversary waiting for the right moment to strike?

Before summating, the cinematography needs specific attention, especially with regards to the classroom scenes and the dining scene at the end which were expertly done and worth your care and attention. Overall, Original Sin was an enjoyable episode, with everybody bringing their A-game. I am anxious to see how the wild card of Lala plays into the mounting confrontation between Tobias and Jefferson – more so than the Markovian angle. Even though I bemoan impermanent “comic book deaths” in other superhero shows, his is a welcomed exception. The absence of Tobias and his budding MOD crew here is only a boon.

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Hailing from the eastern-most Caribbean island of Barbados, Fabian Wood has long since been fascinated by the power of storytelling to inspire and invoke emotions – whether in film, comics or video games. No longer content to be just an avid comic book reader and video gamer, he’s eager to exercise his literary acumen as an aspiring writer and reviewer.

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