Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 4 Review: The Book of Occupation: Chapter Four


Freeland is a different world since the last time Jefferson was outside of the quarantine.

The place he once called home has turned into a military stronghold on Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 4. The ASA has exerted their control on the streets, in the police station, and even in Garfield High School. And their rules can never be broken.

The post-quarantine life was a big adjustment for Jefferson, but I’m glad he didn’t let things continue without a fight.

From the many ASA rules we’ve encountered so far during Black Lightning Season 3, the commandeering of the high school and police station were the most brutal yet.

Agent Odell needs to remember that he can’t keep taking things ruthlessly and not expect an uprising to happen. The insurgency already felt motivated by Blackbird’s actions to start robbing from trucks; it’s only a matter of time before the people of Freeland begin fighting within the town to take it back.

Deputy Chief Henderson and the police were previously put into a bind to keep the peace. But after the way the Major treated him and his officers, I wouldn’t be surprised if the police station works with the resistance instead.

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And with how the ASA started doing random tests at the high school, parents and teachers may not want their kids being targeted anymore. Tavon’s abrupt accusation and capture could be the spark that turns some heads away from the powerful organization.

Tavon clearly wasn’t a metahuman, so the trust could be hindered when everyone finds out he escaped town and how Principal Lowry was attacked when he tried to help his student.

Who else cheered when Black Lightning and Blackbird teamed up to free the metahumans in the jail? We haven’t had a fun “Anissa and Jefferson fighting team-up” in so long.

Plus, what made this mission extra special was that Jefferson needed Anissa to be in the Blackbird alter-ego to get the job done.

After all the previously said stuff about Blackbird being “a fame-seeking vigilante,” he quickly recognized her significance when he needed Blackbird’s help. Black Lightning has to be the noble superhero who follows the rules, so here comes Blackbird to get the job done behind Agent Odell’s back.

It’s all about partnerships.

Jefferson and Anissa need to team-up again. It’s been way too long since they’ve worked together as Black Lightning and Thunder.

Lynn’s twist was a jaw-dropping surprise that I didn’t see coming!

Granted, she’s been a workaholic before and she’s determined to find a cure for the Green Light users/Pod Kids. However, Lynn had kept a level-head throughout it all. Here, she was quickly unraveling by the day and taking Green Light like it was gum.

Lynn accomplished so much by discovering the vaccine to the virus, but all of it got overshadowed by Agent Odell’s masterful play. We knew he was up to something, but the methodical drugging and subliminal messages were seriously puppet-master levels of genius.

I only saw to it that she got a taste of the most addictive substance on Earth.

Agent Odell

Agent Odell has bigger plans for Lynn and the Pierce family. He’s going to extreme lengths to control the family and it can’t just be for the fight against Markovian.

There’s a reason he wants to manipulate them into working for him. We should all be afraid of what he’ll do now that Lynn is hooked on the drugs.

Based on the way Grace and Jefferson met for the first time, every interaction with the parents from this point can only go up. Talk about awkward!

He’s heard about Grace before, right? I swear Anissa has mentioned her plenty of times before. Jefferson acted like Grace was a complete stranger who could’ve been Anissa’s casual hookup.

Anissa: Okay look, me, Reverend Holt, and a handful of other people, we started up our Underground Railroad. We’ve been sneaking Metas and suspected Metas outside the perimeter.
Jefferson: But, how did you get them…?
Anissa: With assistance from Uncle Gambi.
Jefferson: All these years of calling you “Harriet Tubman” were prophetic.
Anissa: Okay, Dad, stop, please.
Jefferson: No, I’m proud of you.
Anissa: Thank you.

Sure, Jefferson cared about his family’s safety and he didn’t know Grace that well to trust her with the secret. And, the MAJOR SHADE that he threw Anissa’s way about her love life wasn’t totally wrong. However, he shouldn’t put the frustration on the relationship with Grace.

Anissa said plenty of times that she loved Grace and wanted to be with her. He needs to trust that Anissa wouldn’t spill an important secret like Blackbird/Thunder to just anyone. Grace is a significant part of Anissa’s life now.

Part of that is dealing with the secret identities of everyone. Jefferson was letting his own past frustrations with Anissa take hold.

Though, all of their rehashed tension was balanced by the sweet and tender scene we got between Grace and Anissa.

Maybe things have finally changed between them? Maybe they’ll be completely open and honest moving forward?

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The couple slowly started breaking down their walls to approach their secrets. They’ve tackled their powers and their secret identities; now, they’ve discussed Grace’s past that has emotionally scarred her. This is the character development I’ve waited to see for so long!

Grace: Anissa, this would be a lot for anybody.
Anissa: Grace, I told you we’re in. Me, you, the leopard, that old guy … all of us. It’s one big party up in here. It is not your beautiful face or this fine-a** body that I’m in love with. Well, don’t get me wrong, if we’re taking votes, this one is by far my favorite. It’s not even about that. It’s you, Grace. Your heart, your soul, your essence. That is what I’m in love with. Just you.

Chantal Thuy and Nafessa Williams have amazing chemistry together. You can feel the love growing between them and the unseen bond connecting them after all this time.

Nothing should ever break them up again.

Painkiller’s latest mission from Agent Odell could best be described as “clean-up duty.” All he did was tie-up loose ends to stop a nuisance from ruining Odell’s plans.

If anyone had guessed Sinzell would return to Black Lighting, kudos to you!

It’s a shame that he won’t get the chance to face-off against Lala for one final battle. That brawl for power would’ve been an interesting fight scene to see Lala exert his control once again.

Sinzell: What you gonna do? Arrest me?
Painkiller: They don’t call me when they want someone arrested. They call me when they want someone gone.
[Painkiller poisons and kills Sinzell]

However, with the choice of filler plots, having Painkiller do the dirty work wasn’t a complete bust. The fight scene had interesting choreography, and Painkiller’s one-liners throughout the investigation added a bit of human element to the mindless soldier.

It’s an expected and standard plot for Khalil since his return.

Jennifer has slowly become a pawn in Agent Odell’s game. What’s worse is that she can’t even see that she’s being played.

His “fatherly” concern and emotional tactics chipped away at the wall she built up against this cold-hearted villain. He effortlessly placed the idea of the Markovians being the ultimate threat inside her mind to the point that she barely doubted the ASA agents being villains too.

Jennifer has lived through the ASA control longer than her parents had, so it was weird that she accepted it all as a good thing. It’s a strange sharp turn after her change of heart during Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 2.

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If she knew that Agent Odell manipulated her into destroying the facility or that he killed Issa Williams on Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 1, she wouldn’t have been so easy to trust him. The ASA has done worse to her, her friends, and her community. It wouldn’t be surprising if Tavon got arrested as a tactic to manipulate Jennifer.

Now, Agent Odell has Jennifer’s power at his disposal, and a suit that’s been powered by energy from the sun. That’s a volatile weapon in the hands of a madman.

Last Thoughts Lightning Round:

  • Gambi’s disguise mechanism should be outfitted with any familiar look he installs. Just imagine who he could pretend to be with that device.
  • Jamila is slowly becoming the unofficial narrator of Black Lightning Season 3.
  • Black Lightning was setting up the eventual reveal that Brandon is a metahuman, right?
  • Jefferson and Lynn’s marriage is going to need some serious couples’ therapy after this quarantine.

Now, over to you, Black Lightning fans!

What did you think of “The Book of Occupation: Chapter Four”?

Will Agent Odell manipulate Jennifer into using her new solar energy? Will Grace find a way to control her transformations? What does Agent Odell have planned next for Lynn?

If you missed the latest episode of Black Lightning, you can watch Black Lightning online via TV Fanatic. Come back here and share your thoughts in the comments.


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Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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