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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Black Lightning Season 4 Episode 5: Picking Up The Pieces

March 9th, 2021 by Todd Black Comments

So…that happened.

I’ll admit that it was very predictable that SOMETHING was going to go wrong for Jennifer in “Picking Up The Pieces” after her “dissolving” into the Ionosphere. They even teased it when Black Lightning clearly missed some of the “Jen Particles” in the recovery mission. But no doubt many were thinking she’d have a mental issue like amnesia or maybe even a loss of her powers. But a completely new look (by a completely new actress?), yeah, didn’t see that one coming.

And that certain was a great way to end an episode that had the potential to be an all-time great one but once again tripped over its own feet with pointless feuds and issues between certain characters, as well as disturbingly pathetic turns with so-called “righteous” characters in order to make them “even more evil” apparently.

For the most part, the “Jen Gone” storyline was well handled. I loved how they went right into it instead of hiding it or dragging it out. And Jefferson calling in his favor with Team Flash was a nice touch (though I wish we had gotten a true crossover as no doubt Barry or Cisco could’ve helped out Gambi and it would’ve been a great crossover moment that we’ve honestly never gotten outside of Crisis).

I loved Jefferson’s story of Jen in the store (and that subtle Colin Kapernick nod was a nice touch), as well as the scene with TC and Anissa over what was going to happen to Jennifer. But in contrast, Lyn and Jefferson once again going over the top and blaming each other was eye-rolling. Yes, Jefferson had a right to be angry with Lyn not telling him earlier about the Ionosphere issue, but then to pull out the addict card again? Lame. And then Lyn blaming Jefferson for saying it’s Black Lightning’s fault even though Jen and Anissa had been doing fine on their own was just cringe.

Plus, I think all viewers will admit that it didn’t matter who was telling her to stop, Jennifer would’ve done it because that’s literally her M.O.

Meanwhile, the new police chief framing The 100 and Lightning for crimes they didn’t commit was just…sad. The show has done well in the past for the most part in regards to showing police bias and brutality, not to mention the government. But this was too much.

There were GOOD scenes with villains though, including Tobias being the smooth criminal that he is, and Lala going and showing appreciation for Black Lightning because he knows he’s necessary, even admitting that he’s someone that “people can look up to”. I’m not sure how he resurrected without that guy helping him, but at this point…? It really doesn’t matter.

And don’t get me started on Anissa and Grace’s “martial issues”, it’s honestly too eye-rolling to mention.

In the end, “Picking Up The Pieces” had a lot going for it in some ways, but continued forced issues and beefs and turns made it less than it could’ve been.

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!