‘Black Lightning’: Did Anissa Pierce Recognize Khalil In Their Fight?

The latest episode of Black Lightning gave fans an epic battle between Anissa Pierce as Blackbird and Khalil Payne as Painkiller. Poor Khalil, of course, has no clue who he’s fighting but Anissa could have possibly recognized the boy. He did date her sister, after all.

Did she recognize him, though? And what would happen if she did and if she didn’t? Find out, ahead.

Did Anissa Pierce of ‘Black Lightning’ realize who she was fighting as Blackbird?

Nafessa Williams (Anissa Pierce/Blackbird) of Black Lightning
Nafessa Williams (Anissa Pierce/Blackbird) from Black Lightning at Comic-Con 2018 | Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

It’s definitely possible that Anissa as Blackbird recognized Khalil as Painkiller. Khalil did date Jennifer, after all. And Anissa and her sister are very close.

So she definitely could have recognized him. That may make some fans wonder why she kept fighting. Well, she might have not recognized him right away. It might have been during the fight or even much after that she realized who she was sparring with.

Khalil/Painkiller also had no reason to disguise himself as he had no idea who he is fighting. As his memories are no longer there, he would not recognize Anissa even if she wasn’t disguised as Blackbird. Anissa, on the other hand, could easily recognize him since he wasn’t disguised in any way.

If she did recognize him, the information might then reach her sister Jennifer. Jennifer would then know that Khalil is still alive, though she wouldn’t necessarily know who made him that way and how. Anissa also might somehow figure out that the A.S.A. saved Khalil but with a price. If she does, and tells her sister, that might be just what Jennifer needs to join Anissa’s rebellion against the A.S.A.

Yet it’s also possible that Anissa/Blackbird didn’t realize who she was fighting.

What if Anissa didn’t recognize Khalil?

It’s also a definite possibility that Anissa didn’t recognize Khalil as Painkiller. She was a little busy at the time, trying to save herself and Tavon. Khalil also probably looks and acts a bit different than he did the last time she saw him.

Anissa also, if she did recognize him, might not have continued fighting. Unless, of course, she only realized after the fight who he was. Khalil’s fighting skills also might have made her doubt what she was seeing. After all, the Khalil she knew wasn’t exactly a fighter when he wasn’t made to act that way by Tobias.

So what would be the result if she didn’t recognize him? Well, she could still have some useful information. She may not know who he is but she would know his abilities and that is information she could pass on. She would also know about his venom and it’s possible that then Gambi could develop an antidote for it.

There is also another possibility, that Anissa might not be sure of who she was fighting as Blackbird.

Maybe Anissa did recognize Khalil but wasn’t sure

This isn’t necessarily a yes or no situation. It’s possible that in Black Lightning season 3 episode 5, Anissa Pierce as Blackbird did recognize Khalil as Painkiller after thinking about it but thought it must have been a trick by the A.S.A. or the Markovians. It’s also possible that Anissa thought he looked familiar but couldn’t figure out who he was.

Jennifer would probably know better, yet she wasn’t there to recognize him. Anissa also could have thought it was him but not been entirely sure. And she isn’t likely to stop fighting someone who’s attacking her just because he looks a bit like her sister’s boyfriend. Especially since Khalil is supposed to be dead and that is all that Anissa knows.

It’s possible that Anissa recognized Khalil, though it’s equally possible that she had no idea who she was fighting. Only time will tell.