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Review-Black Lightning S3:EP5/ The Book of Occupation (Chapter Five) – Requiem for Tavon

Black Lightning -- "The Book of Occupation: Chapter Five" - Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CW - © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Black Lightning S3:EP5 / The Book of Occupation (Chapter Five) – Requiem for Tavon

Directed By: Robert Townsend

Written By: Brusta Brown & John Mitchell Todd

Much like the heroes within the story, “Requiem for Tavon” realizes things are just running in circles, making little to no headway against the militant occupation which has dominated the narrative since the season began over a month ago. Up to this point, there hadn’t been a definitive long-term plan or strategy to tackle Agent Odell (Bill Duke) or the ASA, or a consolidation of the show’s main and secondary protagonists to that effect – everyone just seems to be doing their own thing.

Things take another interesting turn for Dr. Stewart this week as she has some one-on-one time with Tobias Whale (Marvin “Krondon” Jones III). It is rare to have these two characters interact, as Lynn tends to be behind her lightning-fueled family and not engaging in direct combat or the like. It is interesting to note the dichotomy of both characters, Lynn the idealist and Whale the realist, and the fact they are both Green Light-extract addicts. Lynn obviously revels in her power over her family’s mortal enemy, but loses that hold to the more experienced Tobias at the end. This has always been Marvin’s strength so to speak with the character, not so much in physicality, but implied savagery through his savant words. It is also worth mentioning that Dr. Stewart’s quest to isolate the meta-gene for master manipulator Agent Odell only proves how much her humanitarian ideals have been warped and corrupted to suit the ASA’s agenda of cornering the market on super-soldiers.

Seeing how easily Odell has been able to seduce both Jennifer and Dr. Stewart to be on his side, and yet separately, only speaks to the macrocosm of Freeland itself as the division between the “normies” and the “metas” only serves to strengthen the ASA’s control over its citizens – divide and conquer.

The episode also teases a confrontation between Black Bird and Painkiller, but this brief skirmish between these two characters only acts as the catalyst to the episode’s strongest moments. As all the titles thus far have indicated, the highlighted character becomes a focal point. Spurred by the pleas of Tavon’s parents, Jefferson trying to bring Tavon home with the help of Anissa. Sadly, Tavon’s inevitable death leads to a very guilt-ridden Jefferson.

Tavon, in a long and growing list of victims on this show, becomes the latest short-lived martyr, which leads directly into a harrowing altercation with ASA soldiers and Jefferson that can be painful to watch for anyone who has suffered such injustice. Much in the same real-world vein where more and more innocent African Americans are needlessly killed, even with the BlackLivesMatter movement and emotionally charged protests, there never seems to be any genuine change to this epidemic or cessation to the meaningless murders, with a new death waiting in the wind.

Meanwhile, Chief Henderson (Damon Gupton) begins rounding up those closely associated with the clandestine anti-ASA movements in Freeland. While at first, this comes off as him being an uncharacteristic turncoat, it is revealed he’s assembling a cabal of big players to take down the ASA occupation, proving he hasn’t been twiddling his thumbs all this time. This is very reminiscent of Commissioner James Gordon’s role in the Dark Knight Rises, in assembling the citizens of Gotham to take down Bane’s regime in a city without a Batman. The latest fiasco at Garfield High was the tipping point they needed to engage, as well as Jennifer’s (China Anne McClain) possible wake-up call to Odell’s propaganda.

“Requiem for Tavon” blatantly addresses that there was no exit strategy to liberate Freeland from the ASA and the heroes’ short-term solutions would come to an inevitable and uncomfortable end if nothing changed. It tactfully closes off season three’s first book and prepares our players for the “Book of Resistance” which starts next week. My only major concern is how the upcoming CW crossover event “Crisis on Infinite Earths” will interrupt the momentum and impact the flow of Black Lighting come December, which is only a few weeks away.

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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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