While the story of Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) looks to be ending (for now) with the current fourth and final season of The CW's Black Lightning, its legacy could live on in Jordan Calloway's Khalil Payne aka Painkiller. So when the series returns on Monday, April 12, viewers will find Khalil attempting to start a new life and to keep his darker, deadlier side in check. But as you're about to see from the following preview images and promo, the past isn't willing to let go of Khalil so easily. To be the hero the world and those who care about him need him to be, Khalil will need to move beyond delivering punishment to bringing about justice.
Black Lightning Season 4, Episode 7 "Painkiller": PAINKILLER – Khalil Payne (Jordan Calloway) is a young man ridden with the guilt of 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 gang and a weapon of Agent Odell 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 and Painkiller. As his violent, destructive history crashes his idyllic new beginning, Khalil is thrusted 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. Written 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."
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.