Black Lightning (2018) s01e01 Episode Script

The Resurrection

"Justice, like lightning should ever appear To some men hope and to other men fear.
" My father taught me that poem when I was just a little girl.
My son wasn't in no gang.
He had a job with the city and a little boy.
Our children are dying in these streets and no one cares.
No one is in control.
Not even the police.
- This city has really lost its damn mind.
This incident marks 125 shootings in Freeland in just one weekend, proof The One Hundred keeps growing even stronger in power.
Freeland activists took to the streets to protest the notorious gang, but it turned violent when One Hundred gang members tried to break up the march.
We understand the community is frustrated with the violence in our city.
Freeland PD is frustrated, too.
But I want to be clear, we will not tolerate any rioting, looting, or violence.
Excuse me.
But what about One more question for you, Inspector [NEWS ANCHOR.]
Many residents say they have lost faith in the Freeland PD and Inspector Henderson, a 23-year veteran who came up through the ranks fighting Black Lightning, who mysteriously disappeared nine years ago.
One day, I wish these idiots would give us credit for all the lives we've saved in Freeland.
I didn't fully understand the poem until I grew to know the truth about my family and myself.
The signs were always there, but this is how the journey began.
That's my dress.
Oh, yeah.
So is this one.
Now, hurry up and put it on before Dad gives birth to a small farm animal.
Oh, so you looked at your schedule for tonight and you had a choice.
Protest The One Hundred, or attend Garfield High's fundraiser, and you chose the path that led you to getting arrested.
It wasn't a choice, Dad.
No, it was a choice, Anissa.
Everything is a choice.
It was a peaceful protest.
Oh, yeah, burning police cars? Breaking windows? You know, that's actually the very definition of "peaceful.
" Well, I guess it depends on what your definition of "peace" is.
Because the people in Freeland, they haven't had peace in generations.
"Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
" Dr.
"And I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.
" - Fannie Lou Hamer.
- Yep.
- But that is not the point I'm making.
This night just keeps getting better and better.
To be advised, the suspect is armed.
Dad, what's going on? - Copy that, Dispatch - [JEFFERSON.]
Just be calm.
- Ugh! - [JEFFERSON.]
Let me handle this.
Yeah, this doesn't feel so good, does it? [JEFFERSON.]
Step out of the car.
Look, Officer, my name is Jefferson Pierce Get out, please.
Okay, okay, look, this is getting out of hand.
Now, this is the third time this month! - [JENNIFER.]
Hey! - What are you doing? Get your hands off my dad! - Hey! - Leave him alone! - Let me see your hands! Now! - [JEFFERSON.]
Stop! Don't shoot, all right? Everybody, just calm down! Okay.
Ma'am, put 'em up on the dashboard.
Anissa, put your hands on the dashboard! Dad, I have the right to videotape if I want to! Damn it, Anissa, just do it now! [OFFICER.]
Is this the guy? [OFFICER SIGHS.]
You're not gonna tell me what this is all about? You have a good night, sir.
I asked you a question.
Her liquor store just got robbed.
And I'm sure the description is what, "a black man dressed in a suit and tie.
Getaway car, a mid-sized Volvo wagon"? [SCOFFS.]
You have a good night, sir.
This was the night, in the rain, with thunder and lightning as a witness, that Black Lightning was born again.
We all know that this city is in a crisis.
But under the leadership of Principal Jefferson Pierce, Garfield High is an oasis of hope.
This Olympic gold medal-winner came back to his old neighborhood of Freeland to turn it around.
And with graduation rates now in the nineties, Jefferson does it all with the help of an outstanding faculty and his family.
His oldest daughter, Anissa, is a medical school student, and teaches three days a week at the school as a health educator.
His younger daughter, Jennifer, is a standout scholar-athlete just like her father.
- Girl, I was about to leave your ass.
Ain't nobody got time to be waiting on the Queen Of Garfield High.
Kiesha, stop calling me that.
What? Girl, embrace it.
It's true.
Yeah, but when people say it, they're just low-key hating on me for something I can't control.
Like, my dad's the principal, I get it.
Girl, here you are.
Where do y'all think y'all going? [GROANS.]
Okay, okay.
Damn, we're busted.
Um Listen, Khalil and a few of his friends, we're having a small house party, and Kiesha and I were gonna go.
So why are your fast asses in the bathroom, half naked? Thank you.
Listen, I promise to be home before Dad gets home.
Come on, Harriet, help a sister get some freedom.
- Mmm-mmm.
- You know what it's like to live in that house.
Please? [SIGHS.]
Listen, Jennifer, this fundraiser is over at ten o'clock.
You better have your behind in the house no later than 10:15.
- I'm not playing.
No, seriously.
- 10:15.
- Don't play with me.
I'm not playing, I promise.
I'll be at home in the bed.
Thank you.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Love you! [CHUCKLES.]
And stop calling me "Harriet Tubman.
" Oh, sorry [BOTH.]
Okay, come on, come on, hurry up.
Ladies and gentlemen, join me and welcome to the stage, Principal Jefferson Pierce.
Thank you, Senator Turner.
Where is the future? [STUDENTS.]
Right here.
- And whose life is this? - [STUDENTS.]
Mine! And what are you gonna do with it? [STUDENTS.]
Live it by any means necessary.
'Bout 'bout 'bout now This is my intuition listen I shouldn't be pushing hard They said that be difficult To make it I needed a miracle But I did it I did it without you What'd you think I would amount to What'd you think I would go Prowlin' n the city I will be a legend now Come on, think about it I got loads of muscle [VOCALIZING.]
Yeah! [LAUGHS.]
You wanna go over there? Come on.
- What do you say? - Are you serious? Listen, don't think just 'cause I'm a little stoned that means you're gonna get some.
Because I'm not having sex in a club bathroom with somebody I just met.
Or ever.
I was just playing.
No, you weren't.
Because if I'd said yes, you would have been all over this.
- Okay, all right, I'll give you that.
- That's wonderful.
- [MAN.]
That's great.
Excuse me.
You got a state senator introducing you? N't let all this high-class ass-kissing go to your head.
Henderson, uh, my students would define your comments as "hatin'.
Thank you for your support.
And more importantly, for, uh, pulling the strings to get Anissa released.
Of course.
It's getting crazy out there, Jefferson.
The rules of the streets don't apply anymore.
You protest the police, we'll tear gas you, arrest you, maybe even put a knot on your head.
But protest The One Hundred and they will kill you.
You tell Anissa she's needed more in emergency rooms than in those streets.
Got to get back to work.
And I'll check on those guys who pulled you over.
- I don't think they're mine.
- Thank you.
Thank you.
Nice monkey suit.
You should start a church, Jefferson.
At least you would make more money.
- Enjoying yourself, Mr.
Pierce? I will if we hit our goal tonight.
- Well, turn on the charm.
- I have someone you should meet.
Lady Eve from Black Bird Funeral Parlor.
Deep, deep pockets.
- Yeah, I met her once or twice.
- Oh! Okay, I will be over.
Uh, just give me a minute.
- Hi.
- Hey.
Heard your daughter got arrested tonight.
It's not a good look, Jeff.
- My daughter? Oh, you're funny.
Yeah, we have joint custody, which means half of her attitude is your responsibility.
Jeff, Anissa has not been in "our custody" for quite some time now.
Now, I know it's hard for you to swallow, but she's not a child anymore.
She's a grown woman.
Yeah, legally true, but emotionally and financially, she is still in my care and always in my wallet.
You know, I'm actually kind of proud of her.
She's a lot like you, Jeff.
Always wanting to help, always fighting for change.
You are beautiful.
Don't do that.
What? You know what.
Besides, Ms.
Fowdy's waiting on you.
You know, you actually look really good in this suit.
Hey, hey! Hey, it's me.
No, I thought you said Jennifer was home.
What? Absolutely ridiculous! No, you should know better.
Yeah, I will talk to you later.
No, Afropunk over Coachella any day of the week.
- No way.
- Are you serious? SZA, Solange, Childish Gambino? All right, all right, I'll give you that one.
So, you one of them alternative black girls? [CHUCKLES.]
All right, I'll take it.
- No, for real, how old are you? - I'm serious, I'm 18.
What's good, bruh? What up? Uh, I'm gonna run to the restroom while you talk to your friends.
- Excuse me.
- No.
- I'm sorry? - Chill.
This rap you Step aside I am richer than That some guy On my homepage And my phone is You both Just keep going hard [GRUNTS.]
Will, Will, Will, Will.
Why I gotta chase you down to have a conversation? You ain't got to chase me down, Lala.
I'm just hustling, just trying to make the money you say I owe you.
Oh, look, the money I say you owe me? Bruh, did the Freeland PD not steal 100 grand worth of product from you when you got popped? See, none of this is my business.
I'm gonna go I'm talking, sweetheart.
Just stand there and be cute.
'Cause I want to make sure that we clear on this point.
Did you not have commissary money? Did you not have the best lawyer in Freeland? The money I say you owe me? - [GRUNTS.]
- I'm talking to you, man.
Why you got to do that in front of my girl? You know I'm good for it.
I'm gonna get you your money.
Don't say that.
I'm not his girl.
I just met him tonight, I swear Hey, shut up.
As a matter of fact, I think your girl should start putting in some work over at the Seahorse Motel to pay down some of that debt.
We good? Yeah.
Yeah, we're good.
We're good.
Shut your proper ass, man.
No! No! The hell, we're not good.
I'm not ho-ing for nobody! - I don't even know this dude! - Jen, Jen, I'm sorry.
You know what? I thought you were kind of cute until I found out you were somebody's bitch.
Hey, man, I like this girl, man.
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
Where you think you going, Bojangles? No, please, let's not do this.
I just need to get through that door.
You ain't getting up in here.
I tried to do it the right way.
Do you see him? - Where'd he go? - Move! Move! Right there! Where'd he go? [GROANS.]
Where he at? [GRUNTING.]
Come on! Come on! Hurry! [POLICE SIREN WAILING.]
You, in the suit, stay right where you are.
Put your hands where we can see 'em! Do not move.
Get on the ground! He said, "Get on the ground!" You get your black ass on the ground.
Stand up for something Or fall for anything Lightning came with no rain I saw a superhero Last night He was black He said This is for the hood Black Lightning's back You are lucky you didn't get shot or end up in some motel room right now, all drugged up and being passed around! All right, you're going too far with it.
No, I'm not.
It's happening every day.
Plus, you lied to me.
You said you were going to a small house party, not Club 100.
Well, if I'd said Club 100, would you have still let me go? - Uh, no.
- Right.
Because your fast ass shouldn't be going there anyway.
You know why they call it "Club 100" Jennifer? Because that's all who hang there.
Gang members.
Well, all you guys want me to do is go to school, run track, and "set a good example for the other girls.
" When did that become a bad thing? I'm not Dad! I'm not you, and I'm not the Queen of Garfield.
No, no, this is not about Dad or me or some silly name they call you at school.
It's about the fact that you're trying to act grown when clearly you're not.
Why are you being such a bitch right now? Call me a bitch one more time.
I just won't tell you next time.
How about that? You didn't tell me this time.
You came up in this house shaking because you were so scared.
That's what told me.
Now you want to act all cool like it was just, what, some great adventure? All right, I'm already stressed out.
- I can't with you right now.
- Okay.
- Give me my phone, please.
- Okay, you're not getting your phone.
Dark clothes.
If anyone has any information I'm not here to talk about Club 100.
We are here because two police officers were viciously attacked tonight while on the job protecting and serving this community, plain and simple.
Witnesses say it looked a lot like Black Lightning was involved at the incident at Club 100.
That's fake news This is not a game.
This is real, Jen.
We are looking for a regular, human, black male, who was probably hyped up on drugs.
This assailant is responsible for an attack on two of Freeland's finest officers, not some I thought you were done being a hero.
I am.
Doesn't look like it.
Thanks for stitching me up.
Luckily, it's just a flesh wound.
It doesn't feel like a flesh wound.
Nine years It has been nine years since I've even come close to using my powers.
And each of those nine years I've told you this city needs you.
So what's next? What? If you mean Black Lightning, there is no "next.
" No, my daughter is safe.
Do you remember why you became Black Lightning? You wanted to give the people hope.
You wanted the evil that's out there to have something to fear.
Right now there's nothing to fear and evil's running rampant like a plague through this city, hell, through this world.
You know what? Let's cut through the poetry and just talk real.
Now, the purpose of Black Lightning was to kill Tobias for literally shoving my father's articles down his throat until he died.
Then it was because of crime bosses, crooked politicians, every small-time street thug that had snatched a purse or robbed a store.
You see, there's no end, Gambi.
There's no bottom for Black Lightning.
And the only loser in all of it is me.
I feel like Lynn and I are making room for a possibility of a reconciliation.
Do you hear me? I have a shot at putting my family back together.
Black Lightning is not gonna jeopardize that.
I love Lynn and those girls, but we knew this day would come.
Jefferson, I've known you since you were 12 years old.
You're like my son, so I have to tell you the truth.
The promise you made Lynn was well-intentioned, but it always had an expiration date.
Jeff, baby I can't do this anymore, Jeff.
I can't stay here with the girls and just watch you kill yourself.
I promise, no more.
See, that's a curious question.
Why is he a vigilante while other communities have folks with superpowers, and all of a sudden, they're heroes? This shows you how, in this country of nearly 400 years Hey.
You know, I was just thinking about you on the drive over here.
What were you thinking? Things you are not supposed to say to your ex-wife.
Everything okay? Yeah.
I just came over to calm Jennifer down.
She was pretty shaken up.
Why? What happened? She was at Club 100 when that mess went down.
- She was there? - We tried calling you.
We even tried calling the school.
I think we've managed to calm ourselves down, but it was scary hearing it, though.
The board had me hemmed up.
I mean, they're trying to It doesn't matter.
It doesn't matter.
I tell you, these girls I mean, one of 'em gets arrested, the other's sneaking into clubs.
As scary and dangerous as it was, Jennifer was just being a teenager.
Don't take it personal and don't start having catastrophic thoughts.
- Yeah, well, it's hard not to.
- I agree.
When I think about what could have happened, it makes me sick to my stomach.
Now she knows what can happen.
- You're right.
You're right.
Mmm, I better go.
Oh, and I played bad parent tonight.
You know, did the whole speech "You lied.
You put yourself in danger.
This speaks to your character.
No social media for a month.
" So you're good on that front.
A month? You're not playing.
No, I'm not.
Not when it comes to keeping them alive.
Thank you.
So, I was watching the news tonight.
And they were talking about Black Lightning.
What were they saying? - That he's back.
Is he? Lynn, of course not.
You know better than that.
I have saved more lives as a principal than I ever would have as Black Lightning.
I'm not looking to go backwards.
I pray that's true.
It is.
'Cause I don't ever wanna see you like that again.
It was too painful.
You are talking like someone who cares about me.
I do care about you, Jeff.
I do.
You're not gonna find anything.
Just a man who wants his woman back.
I should go.
- Drive safe.
Daddy, why are you bleeding so much? [LYNN.]
You may as well be some crackhead.
I want you out.
I want a divorce.
You broke your promise.
Look, you have this fervor, this desire for a savior, and that speaks to how this system has utterly failed the black community.
Look, if Black Lightning is back, this is a game changer for Freeland.
Tobias! Please! Don't do this! Tobias! - [SPLASHES.]
Hey, boss, you're gonna wanna come take a look at this.
Martin, is Black Lightning back? Come on, what have you got? You've got people praying for someone others call a vigilante to be back in this city, even though we haven't confirmed if this rumor is true.
They cover their heads I can't see their faces I can't see, see See, see, see They're near me [ALL LAUGHING.]
What are you doing? [INDISTINCT CHATTER.]
No need No need to take from me Don't throw the paint on me I see this lake formin' I got lost astray [SCHOOL BELL RINGING.]
Stan, I have not heard from your parents.
- Have them call me.
- Will do, sir.
So, that's what this is really all about, right? - The board thinks - No.
The board wanting to put metal detectors in the school.
It's not about the metal Oh, Kay, I have the yearbook proofs in my office.
- Come find me.
- Okay.
Jefferson, it's not about the metal detectors, it's about the safety of the students.
- "The safety of the students"? - Yes.
Is that what they told you? [SCOFFS.]
No, look Now, I will not treat my students like criminals.
Do you realize almost all of these kids know someone in prison? Yeah, their mothers, or fathers, or their aunties, uncles.
Now I will not turn my school into another jail, Kara.
I'll relay the message.
Thank you.
You really don't quit, do you, old man? When you're staring down the barrel of a gun, you don't care if the person saving you is a Christian, Muslim, Jew, black or white, or some guy in a weird Parliament-Funkadelic getup.
- "Parliament"? - You just wat a be saved.
Hurry up, man! - Here it is.
I've watched this every year on my birthday since then.
I wouldn't have seen my kids graduate college, the first black President, or my grandkids if it wasn't for Black Lightning.
- What are you even doing here? - Jennifer, damn, girl, come on! I told you, I just wanna make sure we were cool.
Look, I saw your Instagram and I zoomed in on your initials and you know, I found you.
Okay, one, that's called "stalking.
" And second, it's creepy.
- Now get out of here, I'm serious.
- No, it's not! Yo, Jen Stop! What the hell is wrong with you? Get your hands off me! Damn! Why do black girls gotta have so much attitude? What the hell is wrong with you, grabbing on her like that? You need to get up out my face.
You are not a student here and I'm asm ng you to leave before I call the police.
Bitch, I told you to get out of my face.
That's it.
I'm calling the police.
The hell you not.
Let's go now.
Let's go.
- Whoa.
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Now what happens after you pull this gun? You going to shoot her? In front of the entire school? You're on parole, right? Yeah, yeah.
There are cameras all over this place.
Do you really wanna go back to jail for a school shooting? 'Cause that is life with no possibility of getting out.
You don't know who you're messing with.
You're right, I don't.
But the police are already on their way and they don't care who you are.
They will shoot your black ass for fun.
This ain't over.
Bet that.
What the hell were you thinking? I mean, you not only put yourselves in danger, but also the entire school.
What was I supposed to do? You were supposed to follow school protocol, call security, and walk away.
It's been seven years since I took over as principal.
Seven years, and we haven't had one incident of violence.
Not one.
And now this.
If you haven't noticed, Dad, violence is everywhere in Freeland.
Did you really think it wasn't gonna touch Garfield at some point? Either we help the community as a whole or we will all go down in pieces.
No, this is not about one of your political diatribes right now.
It's not about the community.
A community, I might remind you, I've been fighting for since before you were born.
This is about me trying to keep my daughters alive.
What happened, Dad? When did you abandon your people? Love you.
" Nobody's called me that since I graduated from Garfield.
I'm kinda busy, so let's jump right in.
I heard what happened with Will.
Not cool, especially at the school.
Yes, exactly.
Now I've had an unwritten agreement for years with all the gangs.
Garfield is a safe zone, right? He broke that.
Now I'm trying not to drag the police into this because I do not want things to escalate.
But I need you to keep Will away from my girls, and away from Garfield.
Will's my cousin.
He's been kinda lost since he got out of jail.
But you ain't trying to hear all that.
I get it.
Hey, come here.
You late.
The van's gone already.
This is Mr.
I went to his school.
Come on, man.
You know towt's not how we do.
Look at Mr.
Jefferson in the eyes.
Shake his hand and introduce yourself.
Hey, Mr.
My name's Malik.
It's a pleasure to meet you.
It's a pleasure to meet you, too.
Whoo! That's what I'm talking about.
Everything okay? - Yeah, everything's cool.
- Excellent.
- [GASPS.]
- Latavious.
'Cause I was told that you spent most of yesterday playing video games in your phone.
What pisses me off is when you don't give it your best, Malik.
- When you don't put in the effort to succeed.
- Ow.
There's a time to play games and there's a time to focus on reality.
- And the reality of the situation is - Latavious While you got your mind buried in them video games, them white boys up in them neighborhoods that you selling in are being prepared to run the world and your black ass! Okay, Latavious, that is enough! You know my damn name! Now say it.
Say it.
Never put your hands on me again.
You teach them your way and I teach them mine.
Give me your phone.
Go get that broom.
I want these floors swept.
And don't even ask me about your damn phone.
I'm gonna do you this favor.
But that means you owe me.
We good? We good.
That's a nice suit, man.
Real nice suit.
All right, ladies.
Excuse me? I'm talking to you.
- [WILL.]
Remember me? - I'm not afraid of The One Hundred.
- Bitch, you should be! - Get your hands off of her! Let's go.
Come on! - Jen! - Anissa.
Don't! Wait, don't take them! Turn into a mess if we're not careful, Lynn.
Now, let me at least confirm that they're at the Seahorse Motel before we go in.
How long does "confirm" take, Henderson? We're talking about our daughters here.
Our daughters.
I should just go over there and talk to someone my damn self.
Talk to who? Who, Jeff? We're at this point right now 'cause you didn't talk to me in the first place.
I'm sorry.
It's not your fault.
Now, come on, man, let me take care of it.
Let me do my job.
Jeff, where are you going? To get our girls.
Bring them home.
The One Hundred have Jennifer and Anissa.
Head downstairs.
I've been working on something new.
Something better.
So your dumb ass thought that bringing them here was actually a good idea? Yes! [GROANS.]
These ain't no ordinary girls, man! Their father's like Black Jesus to Freeland! You know damn well that you don't make a move like this without permission.
No, I was just trying to - [GRUNTING.]
See what I mean? It's been, like, what, huh, at least five years since I took over this place, and we ain't had no violence here? Now look.
Handle that.
- Murk these girls and make them disappear.
And you do the same.
Nice suit.
Now you should at least give a brother a moment to say something heroically clever.
Now you've just pissed me off.
Let's go, Jen! [GROANING.]
- Where is Lala? - I don't know! - [GRUNTS.]
Boy! Now, I'm only gonna ask you one more time.
Where's Lala? [SOBS.]
I don't know, man! Is that your car? [GRUNTS.]
It was nice.
Get over here! Move! Move! They were holding us in that room up there.
- Hey, boss, you know, I - [SHUSHING.]
Damn! Do you believe in the Resurrection, Latavious? - I asked you a question.
Do you believe in the Resurrection? The concept itself is beautiful, but it's a complete fantasy.
I killed Black Lightning.
- But it seems you and whoever this is have developed an adversarial relationship that's bad for my business.
My question is, can you take care of this problem, or should I just kill you now and solve it myself? [GIRLS SOBBING.]
It's okay.
It's okay, you're okay.
Thank you.
You're welcome.
But it's not over yet.
I'm not afraid of The One Hundred! [WILL ECHOING.]
Bitch, you should be! [LALA.]
Murk these girls and make them disappear.
What if it's that Black Lightning dude? [BLACK LIGHTNING.]
Now you've just pissed me off! [LABORED BREATHING.]
These ain't no ordinary girls, man! [GASPING.]