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Review-Black Lightning S3: EP 8 / The Book of Resistance: Chapter Three – The Battle of Franklin Terrace

Black Lightning -- "The Book of Resistance: Chapter Three: The Battle Of Franklin Terrace" -- Pictured: Christine Adams as Lynn -- Photo: Mark Hill/The CW -- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

The Book of Resistance: Chapter Three – The Battle of Franklin Terrace

Directed by: Neema Barnette

Written by: Jake Waller

“Book of Resistance” continues to justify enthusiasm for Season 3. Whereas the previous book was lackluster, “Book of Resistance” more than compensates for its predecessor’s drudgery. As with most episodes of Black Lightning, there are a lot of plates spinning at the same time, but the show has managed to balance its plots, sub-plots and small detours quite amicably.

Highlights include Tobias Whale’s (Marvin “Krondon” Jones III) ploy of escape, by devious coercion of Dr Stewart. The wall of denial was cracked last week with the revelation of Khalil; and now with the ASA stockpiling Green Light to corner the global market on super-powered soldiers, Dr. Stewart is forced to choose between the devil she knows (Tobias) and the devil she never truly did (Odell). Jones continues to shine; with minimal effort he is able to take advantage of circumstances and people around him to perpetrate his long gestating escape plan. For sure, this transient alliance of convenience will have its repercussions later on.

Speaking of uneasy alliances, Chief Henderson and Jefferson must find common ground in their opposing battle against the ASA occupation. This is congealed by the eviction of Mrs. Shepherd from her apartment complex by ASA soldiers. It is somewhat implied that Mrs. Shepherd is an allegory of Rosa Parks, as she vehemently (but peaceably) stands her ground against an immoral, if not unlawful, act by authority. This tent pole event – of which this episode is named after – also sees the return of Commander Carson Williams (Christopher B Duncan) who is a much more commanding and authoritarian presence than Major Sara Grey last episode.

As a skirmish erupts between the two factions, we are treated to the confrontation between Thunder and Painkiller that we were cheated with last time. The fight choreography was satisfying, even though it ended in the latter’s retreat. This is contrast to the paltry faceoff between Black Lightning and Williams that ended within seconds, which was woefully anticlimactic. To go from the preceding battle to this was very jarring, and a big demerit to the episode as a whole.

Meanwhile, Brandon and Jennifer get some more quality time, as the two wayward meta-teens find a mutual connection. Much like with Khalil, Jennifer’s budding affection for the revenge-seeking, mellow geomancer Brandon seems organic. These moments were charming without being cringe-worthy. Elsewhere, Gambi and the Resistance try to get the truth out over the airwaves/internet about what is actually happening in Freeland, as America at large has been led to believe a biological epidemic is the reason behind the heavy quarantine and isolation of the entire state by US military forces. The eleventh-hour introduction of a techno-path pod-kid named Baron for the purposes of this mission was way too deus ex machina for my liking, but such super-conveniences are often par for the course in superhero media anyway. This sub-plot sadly lacked the sense of urgency and tension it warranted.

This new book has reinvigorated my interest for this series. The battle for the Resistance has been won on two fronts, unveiling the true happening in Freeland to the outside world, and standing up to the ASA occupation. The lines have been clearly drawn as the Pierce family becomes public enemy #1 and an all-out war looms on the horizon in Freeland. As the opening credit slogan emphasizes “Black Lightning, and Thunder, are back”!

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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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