nerd radio

Get ready for the new daily show

TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Black Lightning Season 4 Episode 3: Despite All My Rage

February 23rd, 2021 by Todd Black Comments

I’ve been very hard on Black Lightning in the first two episodes and for good reasons because of how the show is usually very quality and yet in Season 4 is all over the place. And while not all the issues were fixed, many were and to a great degree. So thus, “Despite all my rage…” is the best episode of the season so far and more than willing to give us hope that things will straighten out long-term.

Let’s start with the bad first, mainly because it’s very small. The ending scene where Jefferson finds Lynn and Tobias together was incredibly cliche and even he should know that it wasn’t done intentionally. But they’ll likely not frame it that way and cause us all to roll our eyes. Furthermore, Lynn doing her “observation” tests was continually frustrating as she kept deflecting it onto Jefferson.

BUT, that’s where things finally turned around, as Lynn (through her shrink) realized WHY she was doing it and it was honestly very profound. She had such feelings of being an outsider (due to her brother “John” who was in the “Army”…who does that sound like?) that she went into places she never was allowed to go to in order to try and fit in. Her desire to “just be me” was great and that’s why the offer from Tobias is no doubt very tempting to her despite the source.

Moving onto Jefferson, this was easily his best episode because despite the LONG wait (in terms of time that’s passed between seasons) we see Jefferson not go fully reckless and instead revert a little to his previous self even with him not suiting up as Black Lightning yet. His going to help the teacher we met last episode via the fight club was very well handled. Especially with how Lala got involved (remember, they have a shared history too). It was great to not see him in a depressed or drunk state and instead smiling again and feeling “like Jefferson Pierce”. And you believed him this time when he said he was fine not being Black Lightning because this time…it was because he knew that he could help people again as Pierce, not unlike he was in Season 1 when he was solely focused on helping his students.

Let’s go to Jennifer now who EASILY could’ve had the most eye-rolling story of the bunch but instead was also beautifully handled. If you read my most recent Batwoman reviews you’ll know I haven’t been impressed with how they’re trying to force certain racial issues into the story and make it feel seamless…and failing. Well, here is a case of it being done right. Lightning being accused via a very Fox News-esque host of being a “danger” could’ve easily prompted Jennifer to go electrical on her butt or go and scold the kid who sold her the footage. But instead, she used her head and used social media and the literal truth to clear her name and “control the narrative”. Which is brilliant! That’s a move I would’ve assumed Anissa would use, so Jennifer using it shows her growth (something that has been lacking in previous episodes and seasons at times…) and that’s why it worked so well.

Though Anissa and Gambi didn’t have the biggest stories ever in this episode both worked well. Anissa and Grace getting married puts a kabosh on the very awkward story from last episode with Anissa’s new “friend” and Gambi finding out that his old flame really is building killer weapons makes his undercover mission more important than ever.

On the surface, “Despite all my rage” may seem like a scattered story because of how many stories there were. But because they were focused enough to have a true start and finish it shined more times than it faltered. Let’s hope when Black Lightning returns it maintains this quality.

Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians ( He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!