Black Lightning – S3 Ep13 – The Book Of Markovia Chapter 4 – Grab The Strap Review

Team Black Lightning mounts a daring mission to rescue Lynn from her Markovian captors in this intense episode of Black Lightning!

Once again Black Lightning delivers! This episode lit up the screens with an action packed team-up that feels very much in line with the other Arrowverse shows. This episode does an incredible job giving each character a chance to shine including the newest meta-human threat: Gravedigger (guest star Wayne Brady). Let’s recap!

This electrifying episode opens on a bit of a sombre note with a stressed Jefferson video chatting with Gambi. The “hero” reflects on his years as “Black Lightning” and how it has ultimately driven a wedge between him and Lynn. He also adds that he never truly liked the name. He has tried to balance everything, but claims that nothing mixes well with Black Lightning. However, he knows he can’t sit back and watch while injustice happens. In addition, he tells Gambi that he will do whatever is necessary to bring Lynn home even if he has to kill.

Later, as the team trains, Major Grey criticises Jefferson’s team and offers her highly trained commandos as replacements. Pierce refuses saying: my mission, my team. Grey also comes through on their deal which grants each member of the team immunity even Khalil, who is still struggling with the knowledge of his past deeds.

Meanwhile, in Markovia, Mosin checks in on Lynn and Dr. Jace and once again threatens them to produce the stabilization serum. As Lynn resists, Mosin is ordered to stop by another Markovian operative. Gravedigger, as he is referred to by Mosin, announces his control over the operation and relieves him. He then uses his metahuman abilities to force Lynn to work on the serum.
Back in Freeland, Jennifer tries to recruit Khalil to the rescue mission, but he ultimately refuses. He fears that his Painkiller side will emerge. He no longer trusts himself and believes that he would endanger the mission.

Meanwhile, in Markovia, it is revealed, via Dr. Jace, that Gravedigger’s powers include: enhanced strength, speed, and the ability to “push” or compel someone with his voice. Lynn almost overdoses on Green Light, but the drug allows her to resist Gravedigger’s mind control. Gravedigger returns to check their progress. Lynn tells him that they have only completed two serums which angers the meta. He then “compels” her to move faster. She feigns compliance. Lynn claims that his blood will help the process go more quickly. Gravedigger, though wary at first, complies.
In Freeland, as the team prepares to leave for Markovia, Jefferson finds Khalil packing his things. Khalil tells him that he plans to leave Freeland as he is ashamed of what he has done. Jefferson understands the young man’s pain and offers some comforting advice. He reminds him that we cannot undo past mistakes. We must move forward. He also apologises for not doing more to save him from Tobias and the ASA. Pierce also lets him know that Khalil is free of the ASA as well. Khalil thanks him. Despite Jefferson’s attempt to recruit him, Khalil refuses once again.

As the team gets ready to depart, Khalil joins them having had a change of heart. With the team complete, they journey to Markovia. On the way, Jefferson learns that they also have to extract Tobias as well which irritates him greatly. Grayle also tells Jefferson that Grey programmed Erica with a kill order in case Lynn is unable to be saved. He reveals that he was also ordered to do so as well, but will not comply. However, thanks to TC, Erica’s chip has been deactivated as well! As they near Markovia, Gambi comforts a stressed Jefferson. He tells him that he is proud of the man he has become. He tells him that he is a true hero.

Now the mission begins! With Gambi and TC running comms, Black Lightning, Thunder, Lightning, Khalil, Grayle, Brandon aka Geo, Ercia, and Grace infiltrate Mosin’s base. Black Lightning, Thunder and Erica set out to save Tobias, while Lightning and Khalil set out to rescue Lynn. Meanwhile, Grace shapeshifts into Mosin in order to gain access to a secure room to monitor everything from the inside. Brandon goes rogue in order to find and kill Dr. Jace. Grayle follows the young meta in order to prevent him from causing any problems.

After Erica and Thunder successfully break down an impenetrable door, Black Lightning is able to retrieve Tobias, who immediately taunts the hero by calling him “Jefferson.” Meanwhile, as Jennifer finds her mother, Khalil finds himself up against Gravedigger. The two engage in one of the show’s most impressive fights with Khalil barely making it out alive.
Elsewhere, Brandon finds Jace and begins to bring the whole building down on her. Grayle is able to stop him by knocking him out.

While the team fights their way to save her, Lynn, having co-opted Gravedigger’s powers for a short while using his blood, is able to “compel” Mosin to lead her out of the complex. Jennifer meets her and they escape. As everyone returns to the plane, they realise that Black Lightning is missing! Gravedigger intercepted the hero before he could get out and blasted him with a meta-dampening gun.

Gravedigger appears and tries to force them to hand over Lynn in exchange for their lives. Lynn ultimately decides to go with him. However, Black Lightning suddenly appears and blasts Gravedigger allowing everyone to safely escape. With everyone safely on the plane, the team returns to Freeland.

Once again, this episode is a perfect example of Black Lightning at its best! Incredible action, compelling characters, and well written story arcs. Each character was well used and got a chance to shine in what felt like a crossover episode. A major highlight of the episode was Gravedigger as played by Wayne Brady. I was thoroughly impressed by his truly menacing performance here. I have been a fan of Brady’s work for some time, especially his comedic genius on Whose Line Is It Anyway?. This performance solidifies for me, that not only is he a comedic talent, he is also an incredible actor. I look forward to seeing more of the character and Brady’s portrayal in the rest of the season! Also, I really enjoyed the Jefferson and Gambi heart to heart in which the latter expressed how proud he was of him. I thought for a moment that Gambi might not make it out of the mission with the way he was talking. While he survived, it still helped elevate the tension and raise the stakes.

All in all, this was another exciting, well crafted episode that is, in my opinion, among the show’s best.

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