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Review-Black Lightning S3:EP6 / The Book of Resistance (Chapter One) – Knocking on Heaven’s Door

Black Lightning S3:EP6 / The Book of Resistance (Chapter One) – Knocking on Heaven’s Door

Directed By: Jeff Byrd

Written By: Lamont Magee

The repercussions of last week’s episode weight heavily as we embark on the second book in Season 3 called “Book of Resistance”. As expected, those hit hardest by the tragedy are Jefferson and Anissa, who both blame themselves and are racked with guilt, searching for some absolution. We get to see these two characters at perhaps their lowest. This somber tone permeates the rest of the episode; Jefferson tries to reconcile with Anissa, and Dr Stewart delivers harsh chastisement to Jefferson (justified or not), calling into question the genuine intentions behind “Black Lightning” himself. Both heroes must now re-evaluate their motives and methods, and the consequences their self-righteous vigilantism have on the very people they are trying to help and protect.

Anissa also has some extra load, as she reels from her brush with Painkiller. While in and of itself, the sub-plot was well executed, it could have benefited greatly had it lasted longer than a single episode to hammer home the pitfalls of her life choices. It also cheapens the episode’s opening scene with a positive resolution at the end.

Reverting back to Dr Stewart, her frustration over Jefferson’s petulant antics is only compounded by the secrets she is keeping from him. She makes a failed attempt to get back at our shelved Albino antagonist, who easily turns things around once again with his devilish tongue, sowing seeds of doubts and mistrust in Dr Stewart towards Agent Odell. Marvin’s “gangsta” performance is nowhere near as charming and hypnotically captivating as Anthony Hopkins in “Silence of the Lambs”, but is nevertheless well acted. Its clear Tobias is playing the long-game for his inevitable, self-induced parole; but we will just have to wait before we see the grander picture at work.

Elsewhere, as always seems to be the case, Jennifer gets her very brief, obligatory screen time this week too; if only to shed light on our new character, the enigmatic pretty boy Brandon (Jahking Guillory). Except for her phenomenal multi-episode arc last season, Jennifer’s segments and her character always seemed the least developed out of the Pierces. It’s only natural that one person would get the short end of the stick, but the fact she has had – comparatively – the least amount of consistent development for three seasons borders on neglect by the writers.

On a side note, we finally go somewhere with the intrepid reporter Jamillah Olson (Adeptinpo Thomas) who has been vocally protesting the occupation on social media in the background for a while now. This week’s episode is also not without a nice espionage side plot, for anyone action-starved in this otherwise solemn installment. The ending of which puts an interesting new layer to Black Lightning and Agent Odell’s already begrudging arrangement.

“Knocking of Heaven’s Door” smartly keeps things small, avoiding the broader ASA occupation and metahuman elements entirely, and asks the tough questions when it comes to freedom fighters and vigilantes. For what it’s worth, this new book seems promising, with noticeable progression from the very first entry. Here’s hoping the rest of “Book of Resistance” shows no signs of slowing down or pulling any punches.

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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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