Black Lightning – S3 Ep14 – The Book Of War Chapter 1 – Homecoming Review

The truth about Markovia and Metahumans has been revealed!

The final episodes of Season 3 are upon us! This final arc is shaping up to be one of the best of the series in my opinion. Episode 14 aka the first chapter in the “Book of War” brought to light several major secrets including the truth behind the metahuman arms race between the ASA and Markovia. Team Black Lightning also deals with the fallout of their not so secret rescue mission in this crazy episode! Let’s recap!

This exciting hour begins with an angry Gambi threatening Dr. Jace. He claims that he should have killed her forty years ago. She assures him that they are now on the same side as the Markovians are the true threats. Jace also reveals to him that Gravedigger is now in charge in Markovia and is after stable metas.

Meanwhile, Jefferson checks in with Odell and updates him on the success of their mission. While Odell is calm, Major Grey on the other hand is furious due to the fact that Tobias is on the loose and now the Markovians have the city surrounded. Jefferson also tells Odell about Gravedigger, of whom the ASA leader seems to have no knowledge. Odell grants immunity to every member of Jefferson’s team. He then asks if he can’t count on him in the coming war. Jefferson responds with: “No, but Freeland can.” Back at home, Jen and Anissa argue once again over Khalil. Anissa again expresses her concerns over Painkiller returning.

Elsewhere, Devonte meets with Lady Eve and collects her payment to Lala. She also convinces him to experience the pleasures of her establishment. He agrees, but is drugged in the process.
Back at Gambi’s, TC check in on Khalil’s firewall which is holding nicely (so they think). Gambi attempts to aid in the young man’s transition by giving him art as an outlet for his PTSD. He also suggests therapy with Perenna as a future option as well, when Khalil initially rejects the offer.

At the Pierce home, Lynn collapses while she prepares family dinner with Jefferson. This leads to a beautiful and powerful sequence in which Lynn admits she is an addict. She apologizes for her treatment of him in the past and now understands him (in terms of his “addiction” to heroism). Lynn also shares a tender moment with Anissa in which the latter encourages her that they will get through this together. The family then gathers together for dinner during which they all air out their secrets proclaiming a fresh start.

Meanwhile, Lady Eve discovers the briefcase situation due to Devonte’s ramblings. She calls a meeting with Lala in which she humiliates the criminal. She reveals that she was behind the technology that Tobias employed in his control over him. He is left shocked and dismayed.

Elsewhere, Anissa vents to Grace about Jen’s stubbornness concerning Khalil. Grace suggests that she chill out and let things play out. However, they get a distress call from the Perdi, who have been attacked by the Markovians. The duo rush into action and call Black Lightning and the ASA for back up. While saving those that remain, they discover that Anaya and her father have been captured by the enemy.

Meanwhile, Brandon and Jen go to speak with Dr. Jace, but things get ugly quickly. Bradon attacks her with crystallized shards made from his mother’s ashes. However, before he can kill, she teases the identity and survival of his father which leaves him intrigued.

Back at Gambi’s, Jen and Brandon return and the latter asks TC for help tracking down information on his father. Jen sees Khalil’s sketch of her and the two share a sweet moment. Unfortunately, this does not last long as he zones out and Painkiller is able to break free of the firewall. While Khalil and Painkiller fight inside his head, Painkiller knocks out Brandon and TC and strangles Jen. Khalil is able to regain control just in time. Scared of what he had done, he leaves. Gambi, meanwhile, tortures one of Lady eve’s twin guards by cutting his eye out. He sends the man back to her with a message: an eye for an eye.

Khalil visits Jen on the roof and confesses that he no longer knows who he is anymore. He apologizes, but Jen rejects him saying she can’t love a weapon aimed at her family. Lady Eve receives Gambi’s message and comes to confront him at his shop. After a tense yet fun exchange of one liners and history, both former ASA agents end the quarrel with each other. She gives him the briefcase and tells him to use it to burn down the ASA for what they did to her city.

After TC unlocks the briefcase, Gambi meets with Jefferson and Lynn. He reveals its content which includes the meta genome of every meta the ASA has encountered. In addition, it is revealed that the US Government caused the current Markovian situation. The USA’s involvement in the meta experiments links all the way back to Gravedigger aka Tyson Sykes, a member of the US military during World War II who was tormented by the white soldiers in his squad. Sykes was experimented on and received metahuman abilities thus becoming a killer and the first metahuman in recorded history aka Meta Prime. He is also the only one from the program to survive. The USA has since been trying to replicate the program funding the Markovians and so on.

With this knowledge, the team prepares for war, However, there is a slight complication: Lynn admits that she left the meta boost serum behind which is now seen in the hands of Gravedigger, who uses it to give himself unlimited powers. With his upgraded abilities, he kills Mosin and takes full control. Ultimate powers and ultimate vengeance he proclaims as he prepares to invade the USA.

This was yet another exciting, action packed episode of Black Lightning! The various threads of the season have come together and the stakes have risen even higher. The cast and crew have really upped their game this season in every aspect. This episode once again continues this trend. I found the scenes with the Pierce Family dealing with Lynn’s addiction to be extremely powerful. Christine Adams has done an incredible job portraying this vulnerable aspect of Lynn this season. In addition, I thoroughly enjoyed every scene with Jill Scott’s Lady Eve. I’m glad they brought the character back and found an interesting way to tie her into the current situation. Speaking of which, the Gravedigger origin was truly fascinating. Wayne Brady is simply incredible in this role. It will be interesting to see what happens now that he seems to be the ultimate villain of the season!

Only two episodes left! Stay tuned for more recaps & reviews as the season comes to close here at Earth-9!