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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews The Black Lightning Season 4 Premiere

February 9th, 2021 by Todd Black Comments

In my opinion, Black Lightning has been one of the more consistent of the CW/DC Comics shows. Its shorter format (not unlike Legends of Tomorrow which is also consistently great) allows for more intense and gripping storylines to be brought forth and also moved along faster than shows like Flash, Supergirl and Batwoman. So imagine my surprise when the season 4 premiere in “Collateral Damage” seemed to have lost that focus and consistency that I’ve come to love so much.

Now, on one hand, them focusing on things being “one year later” after the end of Season 3 was an interesting idea that played into not just the pandemic but something many other shows have done in the past via time skips. The problem with this one is that it requires a LOT of leaps of faith and logic to get to where we are now.

For example, Jefferson has been mourning the loss of Chief Henderson for over a year, Tobias Whale has spent a year in hiding, Chief Henderson’s “protege” has only now come into the spotlight, the new chief of police is being named NOW and goes right into what basically is the Mutant Registration Program (that we all know is going to backfire) and the gang war between Lady Eve and Lala has apparently escalated so much that the cops of Freeland are being even more racist and profiling than usual.

That’s a lot to comprehend in one episode and I didn’t even touch on everything like Thunder and Lightning teaming up and getting tips on where to bust drugs and such, Lightning has apparently been “flying” and getting stronger, Grace is STILL in a a coma, Lyn and Jefferson are having martial problems and Lyn is trying to use both Greenlight and various metapowers to do her own thing.

Yeah, that’s a LOT. And they jumped around it so much that it was hard to get a focus on things. The showrunner says that trauma is going to be a main focus on this season, and I like that concept, but when they rush from one thing to another it’s kind of hard to understand what to process and how we should react. In one scene Jennifer was almost killed and yet in the other one she has a sudden “healing factor” that even has Lyn amazed. She was “hurt” for like all of one scene! And in another scene, Jefferson condemned murder, yet when Jen was hurt he went Mortal Kombat on the punk in plain clothes and crippled him.

Oh, and when Jefferson beat up those cops Gambi said he “took care of it” and then two scenes later Jefferson was confronted by the cops about it. See what I mean?

I’m not sure what direction Black Lightning is going in season 4, which we now know is going to be its last for some reason (though it’s getting a Painkiller spinoff…?). Hopefully it settles down and helps bring things to a worthy end to a show that’s been great overall.

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!