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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Black Lightning Season 4 Episode 6: Theseus’ Ship

March 16th, 2021 by Todd Black Comments

After the bombshell switchout that was the ending of last weeks’ show, it was going to be interesting how they handled it, and the fallout, and tried to make it believable. And I’m not surprised when I say that “Theseus’ Ship” outdid every expectation I had for this episode. That’s just how Black Lightning works.

Oh, and can we admit how ironic it is that both a Marvel show and a DC Comics show referenced the “Ship of Theseus” conundrum within a few weeks of each other? Great minds.

Anyway, how was this new person, still Jen? Well, genetics. I won’t go into it as you have HOPEFULLY watched this episode before coming to read my review but basically, it was the process of creation that kept Jen alive, but changed her looks. But that really wasn’t the issue as they were going to find a way to make it “make sense.”

The REAL question was how everyone was going to react to it, and they definitely played that very well, as each one of them had their own reaction to “JJ” and it suited the characters and the relationships. Such as Grace being the first to tell her that it was going to be alright because she literally knew what she was going through. Anissa just wanting to “be her sister” regardless of how she looked and doing the sisterly thing of showing her the bright side of her new look. Lynn being the scientist and trying to make sure her daughter was ok. TC being the friend to help push her back into hero work. And of course, Jefferson blaming himself and questioning everything about “his daughter” until her spirit showed him the truth. Oh! And Gambi was there to support her too by noting that even with this “new look”, she’s still Jennifer.

Anyway, that may sound like a lot, but it was very important because each of them would definitely have a different reaction to things and that made it fun.

Just as fun was how the plot continued to build toward’s the shows inevitable finale (with the Painkiller spinoff backdoor pilot coming next time apparently). From Tobias declaring his run for mayor, to Black Lightning working together with Henderson’s protege, to trying to figure out which meta killed the former mayor, and of course, the escalation of the police.

Black Lightning has always been bold in terms of the representation of police in regards to how they treat certain citizens, and tonight they pulled arguably their boldest move ever not just by showing prejudice and racism, but recreating the Breonna Taylor incident nearly point for point. Even showing the fallout in a “future vision” if you will and how it tied to the very real events that happened including the Black Lives Matter protests. Of course, in this version of the tale, Black Lightning and Lightning saved the day, but them showing what it would’ve been like if they HADN’T been there was something special, and a reminder that social injustice is still out there.

Now, to be fair, there were some scenes that definitely had some overacting, like Lynn suddenly caring about her “sobriety” and again redirecting blame to Jeff. The setup was fine by him rushing into her testing it on herself, but there were better ways to handle the argument that followed. Also, TC going from “get out there, Jen” to ‘Hold on Jen!” was just…really odd.

In the end though, “Theseus Ship” was a great episode that balanced many different plates very well. This is easily the best episode of the season so far.

4.5 out of 5 nerds

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!