Black Lightning recap: One step behind

This latest Black Lightning arc has been the most ironic so far. I don’t mean “irony” in the sense that the word is usually tossed around these days to refer to a certain brand of postmodern internet humor. I mean it in the classical sense of dramatic irony, where we viewers know something that the characters don’t. As Jennifer Pierce continues to run away from home, there’s a lot of irony in us knowing what she’s up to while her parents have no idea — and this irony causes a lot of grief. No wonder the episode is titled “Gift of the Magi,” in reference to that most famous of ironic O. Henry stories.

Lynn is, in fact, so distraught over her daughter’s ongoing absence that she now refuses to take calls from her husband, since he doesn’t have any clear information. Still one step behind Jennifer even after saving her from Cutter, all Jefferson and Anissa can do is guess what happened in Khalil’s aunt’s house, and whose blood that is on the floor. So Lynn decides to take matters into her own hands and do some investigating of her own.

First, Lynn stops by Khalil’s mom’s house. This worried me initially since we know Khalil’s mom has been in contact with Tobias, but she has bigger things to worry about right now. We learn that Khalil had a brother who was killed while dealing drugs for the One Hundred. With one son dead and the other on the run, she doesn’t feel like much of a mother. Lynn comforts her and, more importantly, gets information on Khalil’s absentee father, who Lynn thinks might have some clue as to her daughter’s whereabouts.

Khalil’s mom has nothing good to say about his dad, but he seems perfectly nice when Lynn finally tracks him down. He wants to help find his son, whom he seems to care for — he says he told Khalil to stay away from Tobias, but obviously that advice went unheeded. Dad does know that Khalil had a secret apartment (he wasn’t just living with Tobias). He doesn’t know the address, but Lynn is ready to go looking. Since we already know where Jennifer and Khalil are, I have a bad feeling that Lynn’s useless search is gonna land her in real trouble at some point.

It hasn’t happened yet though, and one reason Tobias doesn’t interfere in Lynn’s investigation is that he’s too busy pulling another young recruit into his fold. After a boy genius named Todd gets rejected for a federal grant in favor of some rich white donor’s son, Tobias invites him to the club for a chat. After demonstrating his wealth by dropping $100,000 into the kid’s bank account at the drop of a hat, Tobias successfully recruits another lost boy.

NEXT: There’s always an antidote

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