Heading into this week's episode of The CW's Black Lightning, two things are pretty clear. First, this is definitely not how Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) imagined his life would be. While everyone else around him appears to be moving on and in new directions, Jefferson is close to his breaking point with tonight's "The Book of Reconstruction: Chapter Three"- and we've already gotten a "sneak preview" of what that looks like. It wasn't pretty. On the flip side, just a general observation. We know it's the final season of the series, but the preview and promos for this series have been painfully on the "bare minimum" side the past few seasons- especially in comparison to other "Arrowverse" shows. As we head into the following preview images, episode overview, and season trailer, it's something to keep in mind (and something we hope the network adjusts for the remainder of the series' run).
Black Lightning Season 3, Episode 3 "The Book of Reconstruction: Chapter Three": BREAKING POINT – Jefferson (Cress Williams) is feeling even more lost after a frustrating therapy session. Meanwhile, Anissa (Nafessa Williams) continues to care for a still comatose Grace (Chantal Thuy). Lastly, Lynn (Christine Adams) has a breakthrough. China Anne McClain, James Remar, Marvin Jones III, and Jordan Calloway also star. The episode was written by Brusta Brown and John Mitchell Todd, and directed by Salim Akil.
"When we first started the 'Black Lighting' journey, I knew that Jefferson Pierce and his family of powerful Black Women would be a unique addition to the superhero genre," said executive producer Salim Akil in a statement when news of the series ending was first announced. "The love that Blerds and all comic book fans around the globe have shown this series over the past three seasons proved what we imagined, Black People Want To See Themselves in all their complexities."
Akil continues, "Thank you to the phenomenal cast, writers, and crew without whom none of this would've been possible. I'm incredibly proud of the work we've been able to do and the moments we've been able to create in bringing DC's first African-American family of superheroes to life for the culture. I'm very grateful to Peter Roth, Warner Bros. TV, Mark Pedowitz, The CW Network, and Greg Berlanti for their partnership and support of my vision at every step of this journey. While Season Four may be the end of one journey, I'm extremely excited to usher in a new chapter and continued collaboration with The CW as we tell the story of Painkiller."
In the backdoor pilot for the potential spinoff series, Calloway's Khalil Payne is a young man riddled with guilt over his troubled past from his former life in Freeland City, where, as a super-enhanced killing machine known as Painkiller, he was both a member of Tobias Whale's (Marvin Jones III) gang and a weapon of Agent Odell (Bill Duke) and the shadowy ASA. After attempting to bury the darker, devastatingly lethal Painkiller part of his persona, Khalil has distanced himself away from everyone he knows and loves in a new city, Akashic Valley, in order to find peace- but peace never comes easy for men with pasts like Khalil Payne… or Painkiller. As his violent, destructive history crashes his idyllic new beginning, Khalil is thrust back into action with a new mission: bring justice where he once gave out punishment – but to do that, he will first have to deal with and harness his darker side, Painkiller.
The CW's Black Lightning and the Painkiller pilot are produced by Berlanti Productions, Akil Productions, and DC Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television. Based on characters created for DC by Tony Isabella with Eddy Newell, the Painkiller character first appeared in comic book form in 1995.