Black Lightning: Black Jesus: The Book of Crucifixion
April 3, 2018 7:42 PM - Season 1, Episode 11 - Subscribe

On the one hand, I'm reminded of when the same situation came up in Arrow, the inevitable "oh, they can't be the same because one's locked up right now" frameup thing. But that's a necessary superhero trope thing you gotta do sometime.

On the other hand, it's so much scarier with a black guy than a rich white playboy.

"I hear he makes the students call him Black Jesus." Whaaaaaaat?
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:52 AM on April 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure how you dodge a federal terrorism transfer order just because your original arrest is tossed. But what would be the fun of a show that realistically showed that the system is going to grind up anyone it wants to no matter what?

Otherwise, man that was great. They spent just the right amount of time on just how demoralizing and dehumanizing the arrest experience is. They continued this trend of this is a subject we're going to have to deal with at some point so let's just barrel though and not drag it out forever. I was sure that we'd see the what's the deal with Gambi's background stuff drag out all season. Or the secret of Anissa's power and hero-ing. Or or or all these things, which got set up and knocked down.

"I hear he makes the students call him Black Jesus." Whaaaaaaat?

I thought that was an absolutely awesome call-out on how the media will happily give screen time to the most stupid, obviously fake racist-inspired bullshit and not point it out or push back on it at all.
posted by phearlez at 10:59 AM on April 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

Such a good episode -- I'm consistently amazed that the show is able to be so forthright about racism without network interference. (I mean, I guess that just means that whenever the other CW shows have their racism fails the blame is squarely on the shows' writers/producers, but, it's still pretty impressive considering there must be a contingent of racist white people writing "how dare you/I'm going to boycott/this is reverse racism!" screeds at them.) Anyway, the scenes of Jefferson in prison were deeply disturbing to watch, Cress Williams is so good.

(Oh, and Black Lightning has been renewed for another season along with all the rest of the CW superhero shows, in case anyone didn't see the news already.)
posted by oh yeah! at 6:32 PM on April 4, 2018 [5 favorites]

Sometimes I cringe so hard at this show, but it never fails to pay off. Like the loud beeping on encrypted messages and James Remar's wink-wink-nudge-nudge talk with Jennifer felt super ham-handed to me. (Wasn't there a more incognito laptop to text Bad Guys from? Should Uber disrupt the passenger pigeon industry next?)

I think the costumes, acting and dialogue are just corny enough to make sense/appeal to tweens and their older siblings at the same time, which are kind of baked into the CW's demographic. And the subject matter is way more nuanced than material like this normally gets presented to that age group, which I think also makes it feel truer to comic book-style writing.

Tough love isn't the right tone for this, and trivializing it is what other shows on TV have done for generations. Of all the Berlanti-helmed series, this one seems most important in these politically volatile times.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:49 PM on April 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

yeah some of that was really tough to watch, but so good and important in its portrayal
posted by numaner at 2:43 PM on April 5, 2018 [3 favorites]

As I think on it some more, I wonder to what extent there was a swipe at respectability politics in there and how much I am just projecting my own opinions on it. The awful white woman in the tv cast offers up the most gross possible way to look at Jefferson's role in the community - if he has any authority he must be abusing it and arrogant. The interrogation wastes no time in associating him with Lala. Despite being picked up from his white collar job with no advance notice such that he'd have time to stash anything, they cavity search him. Nobody of any color in the system treats him with anything less than rudeness; nobody manages even professional disinterest.
posted by phearlez at 10:54 AM on April 6, 2018 [2 favorites]

That encrypted screen though, ohboy. And then she writes a super clear and literal message without even a minor attempt at being a bit circumspect, typing out his full name!
posted by desuetude at 8:23 AM on April 27, 2018

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