Black Lightning – S3 Ep14 – The Book Of War Chapter 2 – Freedom Ain’t Free Review

War officially comes to Freeland! Black Lightning and his team must prepare themselves for the fight of their lives as Gravedigger arrives!

The fight for Freeland has officially begun! With this being the penultimate episode of the season, “The Book Of War Chapter 2” sets the stage for an explosive finale. This episode did a fantastic job of creating a sense of coming dread. In addition, it featured a great balance of heart, humor, and action. Let’s recap!

This electrically charged episode opens with scenes of Gravedigger mercilessly killing people in World War II. The original meta records a video diary in which he explains his plans and the reason behind them. He reveals that he was experimented on eighty years ago and is therefore officially yet unofficially the first metahuman. He also reveals the reasoning behind his name. In the war, he served as a gravedigger for fallen soldiers. Sikes takes it upon himself to give every one of his opponents a proper burial no matter what the circumstances. He feels that is the honorable thing to do. Furthermore, he feels that his plan to liberate the Freeland metas by force is also right.

Meanwhile, Jace and Lynn discover that the effects of the meta boost serum will essentially give Gravedigger access to whatever powers he wants without overload indefinitely.
Gambi and Jefferson begin planning for the Markovian’s arrival. The ex-ASA agent deduces the villain’s plan which is two fold: forcefully liberate the metas of Freeland and take back Lynn and Jace to aid the sick metas in Markovia. Gambi also reveals that the government will bomb Freeland in the event they are unable to stop Gravedigger. Elsewhere, Khalil is attacked by a truck load of Markovians and is only able to escape due the Painkiller program taking control.

Jefferson gathers the team and begins to formulate a plan to protect Freeland. The ASA and the government are unable and unwilling to help so they must do it alone. Brandon expresses his objections to the mission. He doesn’t care about protecting the city and would rather shake down Dr. Jace for information about his father (which he does).
Black Lightning and Thunder set out to recruit people to help them defend the city. First stop: Lala. The duo attempt to recruit the criminal, however, it does not go well. Lala and Devonte refuse and disregard the threat.

Meanwhile, Odell and Lady Eve, while driving around, strike a deal concerning the briefcase. Lady Eve demands her seat back on the Shadow Board and the reinstatement of her carte in exchange for the location of the briefcase. Odell agrees. Later, Lala meets with Lady Eve in order to get information about the whereabouts of Tobias leading to him torturing Dr. Blair.
Elsewhere, Lynn makes a startling discovery in her lab while testing the DNA of Gravedigger. At home, she reveals to Jefferson that he is in fact related to the villain. A shocked Jefferson realizes that Gravedigger is his great uncle, who “never came home” from the war all those years ago. Meanwhile, at Anissa’s apartment, Grace and Anissa share a heartfelt moment which ends up in a proposal!

Speaking of love, at Gambi’s, TC and Eric contemplate the coming war. Erica laments that she hasn’t had a chance to really live yet since being released from her pod. TC reveals that he hasn’t really lived either. He tells her that he hasn’t even kissed a girl before. The banter back and forth with Erica eventually kissing him out of pity (not really). Jen enters the room and asks TC for her help. She wants him to alert her when Gravedigger arrives near Freeland. TC reluctantly agrees to help. Elsewhere, Khalil and Painkiller battle inside his mind once again. However, this fight ends with Painkiller winning and Khalil trapped behind the firewall. Painkiller announces his intentions to kill the Pierce family much to Khalil’s horror. At the Pierce home, Lynn pleads with a stunned Jefferson to be prepared to do anything to protect their family from Gravedigger.

The couple then join the rest of the team and family at Anissa’s for a nice home cooked meal. Once there, Anissa and Grace announce their engagement as well as their intention to get married right away. With the family’s blessing, the wedding is set to begin. However, as they start, they all receive alerts that Gravedigger and his army have arrived! Thanks to TC, Jen is already en route.
Team Black Lightning suit up and realize that Jen is gone. Jen engages in a duel with Gravedigger, who resists her attacks and sends her flying into the perimeter which shorts her out almost killing her. Black Lightning arrives just in time and is able to save his daughter. He then turns his rage to Gravedigger and launches at him.

The stakes have never been higher for Black Lightning and crew! This episode has set the stage for a sure to be epic finale! Once again, Wayne Brady delivers an incredible performance as Gravedigger. He brings so much depth and charisma to the role. I also particularly enjoyed the tender moments between Chantal Thuy’s Grace and Nafessa Williams’ Anissa. It is great to see that relationship continue to evolve. However, I fear that Grace may not make it out of the coming battle. In addition, I once again loved Jill Scott’s scenes as Lady Eve. Her interactions with both Bill Duke’s Odell and William Catlett’s Lala were fantastic!

I am excited to see how the season concludes next week! I strongly believe that it will stick the landing!

Come back next week for the final recap & review of the season right here at Earth-9!