Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 2 Review: The Book of Occupation: Chapter Two

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Agent Odell's plans are more sinister than we could've ever imagined.

The nefarious agent has mastered a way to control metahumans on Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 2. Based on the successful test with Painkiller, that brain chip could be his ticket for creating a mindless and loyal army. Which, let's be real, is exactly what he wants.

No one is safe from becoming the next guinea pig, especially the Pierces.

Police Sketch - Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 2

Khalil (aka. "Painkiller") coming back wasn't a complete shock, especially since we already knew he was still alive.

Once his dead body appeared in the pod on Black Lightning Season 2 Episode 16, it was only a matter of time before he would emerge free.

Though, becoming a mindless killing machine for Agent Odell wasn't at the top of the theories list.

This new super-powered soldier has no remorse, no feeling, and no restrictions.

He killed his mother without a second thought. And arguably, his connection to his mother was stronger than Jennifer's, so now we know that not even his girlfriend could snap him out of this haze.

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Plus, with that killer new power of his, he's become stronger and more dangerous than he ever was when he worked for Tobias. His ability could pose a threat to any of our heroes!

Painkiller being a villain again retreads a lot of the same story we've experienced with the character before. However, this new mental change makes it seem like this is his set path.

It's an exciting development for how this will impact his reunion with Jennifer, but if this is the path Black Lightning is choosing for Painkiller, let's hope the show sticks to the villainous direction.

The last thing we need is a cheesy redemption arc where Jennifer's love breaks him free of his mental block. (Look, he killed his mother. If Jennifer causes him doubts, that would be quite a stretch for the character's development.)

Agent Odell is another character with a questionable development.

Is he cold-hearted villainous or is he merely a conflicted player on this metahuman/Markovian chessboard?

The former is the obvious choice, but based on "The Book of Occupation: Chapter Two," Black Lightning isn't sure which direction they want to take with him.

Powerless - Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 2

One minute, he's gleefully rejoicing (in his expressionless way) about sending Painkiller to kill his mother, but then the next he looks conflicted about keeping Jennifer away from her parents.

An argument could be said that he has a deep connection to the Pierces. But, at every instance he's had with the family, he's exerted his cold control. The same shouldn't differ with Jennifer.

Jennifer: Why are you here?
Agent Odell: The surveillance system crashed.
Jennifer: That’s ‘cause I crashed it. It’s creepy, anyway, you watching me any time.
Agent Odell: Okay. Alright. Forget surveillance. Where’s Anissa?
Jennifer: She’s in the shower. You want to watch her too?

Agent Odell has kept it consistent with Lynn. However, he's gotten more manipulative with his assertions, especially when they're veiled as threats.

Maybe this is all a ruse for him to get trust with the family? Now that he has his brain chips, the Pierces are his most powerful metahumans. Deception works better in his case than brunt force.

Gambi's Tablet - Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 2

My heart goes out to Maryam. This is not a world she asked for or entered willingly.

Ever since her interview on Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 1, you could tell that being a metahuman has slowly killed her every day (both physically and emotionally).

Now, we know how far the Green Light sickness has affected her while in captivity.

A.I.: Describe your current condition.
Maryam: Fried. I don’t know how long I can take it. I get muscle spasms all over. I can’t eat. I am falling apart. And finally, I’m losing all my hair. I don’t know what else I can say but, “Help me.” Please.

If it wasn't for Agent Odell and his experiments, her health would've lasted longer than it did.

The ASA is pushing these metahumans past their limits. They're not going to survive long enough to see any war if they keep using their powers.

Hopefully, Lynn finds a cure or the couple breaks everyone out of the prison. The odds are slim, but dealing with the Markovian threat in the streets is better than the evils waiting for them from Agent Odell.

Also, Jefferson and Lynn were both at fault during their arguments!

Sure, Jefferson needed key answers from Maryam about the ASA situation, but he should've picked the right time instead of her critical recovery. Also, he needs to start caring about the lives of those infected.

Lynn, on the other hand, shouldn't have pushed Maryam past her limits and then fault Jefferson for trying to get the answers they needed.

Dr. Stewart, I’m glad you’re looking at the data. We have four Green Light babies and two pod kids deceased. With a dozen others not far behind, we could use your help.

Commander Williams

Their close captivity has exposed their differing agendas and how they approach them. All this stress has caused more tension and a growing divide between them.

They have to get back on the same page and work together. Regardless of the roles in the clinic, they're both Agent Odell's prisoners.

Smiling Jennifer - Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 2

Anissa is taking her vigilante role of Blackbird a little too seriously.

Trying to save the lives of escaped metahumans doesn't justify the way she treated her (now former) allies. Terry, Aniyah, and the Purdi of South Freeland also risked a lot to offer Blackbird's group safe travels through their town

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All Aniyah and Terry did were share very valid concerns. The deal could've still been reestablished without Blackbird forcing her will and nearly killing one of the guards.

The power of Blackbird is getting to Anissa's head. And eventually, the line between hero and villain will blur too much for it to come back.

High School Drama - Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 2

It's great to see Jennifer embrace herself and take back her powers.

With her family all but gone, the old Jennifer would've crumbled under the loneliness and do something reckless. However, the new Jennifer has a firm head on her shoulders.

I guess we can’t hold on, huh? Everything’s different now. And so am I.

Jennifer

Standing up to the bullies and quelling the crowd showcased a strength that didn't require her electric abilities.

Granted, the powers helped with the fighting techniques, but it's the growth she exerted that took charge of the situation. Let's not jinx this, but #NewJennifer might legitimately be a thing that sticks.

Armed Forces - Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 2

Should we be worried about Lala? His return came across more like a nuisance than a threat.

Lala's main goal is going after Tobias, but this new plan to take over the 100 and seize the drug business is like small potatoes in the grand scheme.

There's literally a Markovian Colonel building an army and instituting phase two against the city. However, here's Lala trying to run the streets and claim his group. The threat level isn't the same.

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The possibility, however, is that his control could drive the city into chaos. With everyone cut off, martial law has raised tension for its citizens. This could be the spark that ignites trouble within the barrier.

Still, it's Lala. The threat level disappeared after the second time he died.

Unlikely Partnership - Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 2

Last Thoughts Lightning Round:

  • Gambi and Deputy Chief Henderson need to be paired together more in the future. They're such opposites that it just works.
     
  • If metahumans are dying rapidly, why is Agent Odell forcing them to fight and exert their powers? He keeps complaining about needing an army. He's destroying his base with little regard.
     
  • Jennifer looking at old photos of Khalil is the perfect mix of "character development" and foreshadowing. Her trip down memory lane had to be the convenient point for his surprise return.
A Frightened Town - Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 2

Now, over to you, Black Lightning fans!

What did you think of "The Book of Occupation: Chapter Two"?

Will this latest discovery drive a wedge between Jefferson and Lynn? How will Agent Odell use his chips now that they've worked? How soon will Jennifer and Khalil reunite?

If you missed the latest episode of Black Lightning, you can watch Black Lightning online via TV Fanatic. Come back here and share your thoughts in the comments.

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The Book of Occupation: Chapter Two Review

Editor Rating: 3.8 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (14 Votes)

Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 2 Quotes

A.I.: Describe your current condition.
Maryam: Fried. I don’t know how long I can take it. I get muscle spasms all over. I can’t eat. I am falling apart. And finally, I’m losing all my hair. I don’t know what else I can say but, “Help me.” Please.

Dr. Stewart, I’m glad you’re looking at the data. We have four Green Light babies and two pod kids deceased. With a dozen others not far behind, we could use your help.

Commander Williams