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Review-Black Lightning,S2, EP3/ The Book of Consequences (Chapter 3) – Master Lowry

Everyone's "adjusting" to the new status quo.

Black Lightning -- "The Book Of Consequences: Chapter Three: Master Lowry" Photo: Annette Brown/The CW -- © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

Episode 3: The Book of Consequences (Chapter 3) – Master Lowry
Directed by: Rose Troche
Written by: Jan Nash

“Adjustments” are the underpinning of “Master Lowry”. Not only does the full realization of Jefferson’s new demotion and replacement at Garfield High sink in, but most everyone else in the episode must deal with a drastic and unpleasant paradigm shift in their daily lives. But I must say, it is nice to see Gambi (played by James Remar) get some well-deserved screen time, as the tech-savvy, shoot-to-kill “Alfred” of the show.

Firstly, without Syonide, Painkiller must deal with becoming Tobias’ new prime errand boy. It is hard to feel sorry for Khalil being put through the wringer by our ornery albino kingpin – not because he is a “bad guy” and you know…“consequences” – because his character is just passively indifferent, immature and indecisive, which robs him utterly of agency in his actions. Khalil’s performance, while only markedly better than what the one-note/one-dimensional Syonide had to offer last season, makes me pine for the inevitable return of Lala/Tattooed Man (played by William Catlett). In many respects, he has become the “Jennifer” of season two in his nebulous character arc and direction.

Elsewhere, Anissa continues moonlighting as this urban Robin Hood-esque vigilante. Anissa “shelving” her “Thunder” persona to branch out on her own is not too dissimilar from primordial sidekick Dick Grayson’s “Robin” character evolving into the self-made and independent “Nightwing”. My only nitpick is that she has since downgraded from her costume to something Netflix’s season one’s Daredevil was sporting. This subplot is rife with intrigue and potential down the line. I can only imagine the discord this will stir once Jefferson finds out, once again placing his recuperating relationship with Gambi in jeopardy. Alternatively, Anissa may eventually overshadow her father and become the hero of Freeland for a new generation.

Meanwhile, Jennifer is treated to some meta-human therapy to help her cope with her powers, which starts off on the wrong foot. Jennifer’s segment came out of left-field, which is on purpose, as her parents try to handle their daughter’s ever-growing sulkiness and self-loathing. It is unprecedented for them to have an “unwilling” superhero in the family and the Pierces being unprepared to handle this type of situation. This is a nice “catch-all” substitute of any family going through this kind of emotional turmoil of a sudden change in/with a teenager, so it can resonate with a lot of people from both angles with the promise of hope.

On a side, we also get a brief look at Dr. Stewart being reluctantly forced to have a female sociopathic co-worker in vain of Hannibal Lector that could not have come with any more red flags had they rolled her out in a stretcher with a muzzle and a plate of fava beans and a glass of Chianti. The new uncomfortable dynamic between Jefferson and Det. Bill Henderson (portrayed by Damon Gupton) is a begrudging one for the heavily conflicted Henderson and the remorseful Jefferson, which warrants further exploration and development going forward.

In the end, despite being titled after Jefferson’s replacement, the very Anglo Mike Lowry (P.J. Byrne) (oddly enough sharing the name of Will Smith’s character in Bad Boys), that singular moment is only given a passing glance. This titular deception aside, structurally, I found episode three to be very disjointed in its hopping back and forth between the three primary characters, Anissa, Jennifer, and Khalil. Anissa’s action-packed segments have their pull, with Jennifer’s being the more emotionally riveting, and Khalil being somewhat of the outlier. We are however treated to two tantalizing cliffhangers priming my expectations for the follow-through in next week’s episode.

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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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