'Black Lightning' Season 3 may show Khalil’s recruitment into Markovia war but it's about time he picked his own battles
While the defense of his city and nation is definitely a better cause to fight for than the petty ambitions of a crime boss, it's still a little disappointing that Khalil is still being manipulated and used as a pawn when he should be making his own choices
Khalil Payne (Jordan Calloway) has had a hard life from the very beginning of 'Black Lightning'. An athlete with a bright future ahead of him, he could have had a charmed life if it wasn't for the stray bullet that shattered his spine, paralyzing him from the waist down and sending him on a downward spiral that saw him become the supervillain known to the world as Painkiller.
Though he eventually returned to the side of the heroes thanks to the influence of his girlfriend Jennifer Pierce (China Anne McClain), he was soon mortally wounded at the hands of his former boss Tobias Whale (Marvin 'Krondon' Jones III) and seemingly died of his injuries. Despite his apparent death, the finale of season 2 revealed he was still alive, albeit in stasis, and in the custody of the enigmatic Agent Percy Odell (Bill Duke).
Now with the Markovians planning to invade Freeland, Khalil is probably once again going to be manipulated into becoming a weapon. The last time we saw Khalil, he was being held alongside Issa Williams (Myles Truitt) in a pod. Stills from the first episode of season 3 seem to show Agent Odell recruiting Issa to fight in the impending war and that suggests Khalil may also be receiving the call to arms.
Though the stills don't necessarily confirm that all the pod kids will be joining the conflict, the A.S.A is going to need all the metahuman soldiers they can lay their hand on and one of the images shows Agent Odell speaking to an unseen person (or persons) with his hand outstretched, as if he is making an offer of some kind.
While the defense of his city and nation is definitely a better cause to fight for than the petty ambitions of a crime boss, it's still a little disappointing Khalil is still being manipulated and used as a pawn when he should be making his own choices. Over the course of the show's two seasons, Khalil has lost so much and suffered so much injustice, it's about time he got a chance to be his own man.
After all the time he's spent fighting other people's battles, he deserves a shot at making his own way in life. Even if he were to choose to become a supervillain like his comic book counterpart, it would be very hard to hold it against him considering everything he's been through. When everything's said and done, nobody has had it worse than Khalil and any anger he may feel is a hundred percent justified.
'Black Lightning' Season 3 will premiere on The CW October 7.