Review-Black Lightning S3:EP13 / The Book of Markovia (Chapter Four) – Grab the Strap

Written by Fabian Wood

February 14, 2020

Black Lightning S3:EP13 / The Book of Markovia (Chapter Four) – Grab the Strap

Directed By: Salim Akil

Written By: Charles D Holland & Asheleigh O Conely

Halfway through “Grab the Strap”, I was ready to write this episode off as nothing more than an obligatory filler episode, as virtually nothing up to the storming of the Markovian base is literally done. The cast just seem to be sitting around or shuffling from one scene to another, with dialog to drown out the silence. I must admit though, that the introduction of Gravedigger (Wayne Brady) offers up an imposing antagonist worthy of filling the shoes of Agent Odell on a psychological as well as physical level. Wayne was always in my mind as that great improv comedian on the show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” years ago, and it’s nice to see him in a serious role.

Black Lightning — “The Book of Markovia: Chapter Four” — Image Number: BLK313A_0033b.jpg — Pictured: Wayne Brady as Gravedigger — Photo: Annette Brown/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

The only characters to really get touched on are Jordan Calloway’s Khalil and Christine Adams’ Dr Stewart. With regards to Khalil, his character is understandable distraught with his previous actions and current state, and does not really know where he belongs or if he can be the good man Jennifer sees him as. It’s a pleasant detour that resolves naturally without seeming rushed. While Dr Stewart still has the addiction handicap, she still wrings power from her oppressors in a frightening way, having found a way to duplicate and pass on meta-powers to herself. It’s clear these past events have changed Christine’s character drastically, and only time will tell if this is irrevocable.

On a side note TC (Christopher A’mmanuel) is starting to grow on me as an insightful and invaluable addition to the Black Lightning posse.

Black Lightning — “The Book of Markovia: Chapter Four” — Image Number: BLK313B_0060b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Nafessa Williams as Anissa and Chantal Thuy as Grace Choi — Photo: Jace Downs/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Things certainly rev up when our band of heroes touch down at the Markovian base, with powers and fists flying all over the place. The fight choreography may have been the best this season, and satisfying. Jefferson has his sights on saving his wife, from the Markovians and herself, Brandon is out for blood from Dr Jace and the ASA’s primary goal is freeing Tobias Whale.

The confrontation between Gravedigger and Khalil was entertaining, and his unique ability to “push” characters within earshot is terrifying. Tobias and Jefferson have their begrudging reunion, with Tobias fully aware of Jefferson (and his family’s) secret identities. This bad seed will certainly have its own repercussions once everyone is back stateside and into season four.

In spite of how well the latter half of the episode wound up, the first part is still such a drudge. With low stakes (artificially inflated to no effect) it honestly overall left me just “welmed” at the end. We still have a new book and three more episodes left this season. With the abrupt departure of Agent Odell, Gravedigger puts up a compelling argument to be the finale’s big bad, if Duke’s character does not return.


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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