‘Black Lightning’ Season 3 Episode 1 Recap: The Markovian War Is Here

Black Lightning is back! Though the titular superhero finds himself in ASA custody as season 3 begins, the show is definitely back and ready to thrill audiences once again. Freeland also finds itself on the brink of war with the mysterious nation of Markovia.

In this war, Agent Odell has enlisted Black Lightning, Thunder, and Lightning, though Thunder and Lightning are not currently in ASA custody. We’ll get into why later. Keep reading to find out what happens in season 3 episode 1 of Black Lightning.

Where is Jefferson Pierce AKA Black Lightning?

Cress Williams at Black Lightning Q & A at Comic Con 2019
Cress Williams at Black Lightning Q & A at Comic Con 2019 | Amy Sussman/Getty Images

As is mentioned before, Jefferson Pierce, also known as Black Lightning, is currently being held by the ASA. The ASA is a secret government agency that inadvertently created metahumans in the 1980s. The initial experiment was a vaccine that was meant to keep the people of Freeland docile, but ended up giving people, including kids, powers. Peter Gambi was sent by the ASA to investigate these people with powers, but once he realized the vaccine was killing children, he could not continue.

Gambi then gave the information to Jefferson’s father, Alvin Pierce, who was a journalist in Freeland. So the ASA is not exactly the best organization. And now they’ve got Black Lightning. What they don’t know, however, is that there are still people out there fighting for the people of Freeland while Black Lightning is in their custody.

More on that later.

Who is standing up for the people of Freeland?

Anissa Pierce is, of course. She is her father’s daughter. She goes with Reverend Holt and some other people from the clinic to a place where metahumans — and anyone suspected of being a metahuman— are being kept, including children.

These children are being kept in horrific conditions with soldiers watching them. Anissa and the others are there to make sure that they’re being treated humanely. While they’re there, a Markovian metahuman called Cyclotronic breaks into the facility and is then killed by a man named Commander Carson Williams.

One woman is horrified by the conditions in the facility and says so on the way back to the clinic, but the others don’t agree. The woman is then kicked out of the car, and Anissa almost joins her but then doesn’t. Meanwhile, Jefferson and his ex-wife Lynn are reunited. They’re both happy because Jefferson is set to be released from the ASA facility that day.

It is then that Agent Odell shows up and interrupts them. He tells them that they can’t be released because of the Markovian metahuman that broke into one of the ASA’s facilities. Jefferson is understandably very upset and angry. He also lets Agent Odell and the audience know that the only reason he agreed to be taken into ASA custody is that his ex-wife and daughters were supposed to be kept out of it.

Jennifer’s powers and Anissa’s new place

Poor Jennifer is having a difficult time while in school. Her powers are acting up, causing her pain. Deputy Chief Henderson meets with Commander Williams. The two fight, and in the end Henderson agrees to hold the press conference the Commander wants him to, though he is reluctant.

Anissa is living somewhere new it seems, complete with a virtual assistant named Shonda. Shonda does everything from play music to connect Anissa to Gambi, once she’s in the secure room behind her mirror, of course. Anissa is confused because her parents were supposed to be let out of the ASA facility, but they haven’t been yet. Gambi explains that both her father’s powers and her mother’s research on metahumans are very valuable to the ASA.

What does Anissa do next?

Despite being upset about her parents, Anissa sticks to her and Gambi’s plan: to stop a bus on the way to an ASA facility. She does this while dressed all in black, as her second alter ego Blackbird is born. She succeeds in saving everyone on the bus and takes them to Reverend Holt’s church.

Anissa is shown some footage by Gambi of what appears to be a shapeshifter. She thinks that it’s her ex-love Grace, who she seems to still care about. She then has a fling with a reporter stuck in Freeland but she is interrupted by a call about Jennifer. Anissa picks up her sister, who was using a cloaking device that Gambi made for her to use her powers.

Anissa tells Jennifer to keep her in the loop in the future, and Jennifer agrees. Anissa, with Gambi and Jennifer’s help, gets the people from the bus out of Freeland through a hole in the ASA’s defenses. She is then attacked by ASA soldiers and has to fight them and she gets hit and stuck behind the perimeter.

Jennifer is worried about her sister’s fate but Gambi tells her to wait. The episode ends with Lala waking up alive yet again, the ASA briefcase on his nightstand.