'Black Lightning' Season 3 premiere shows Freeland transformed into a warzone eerily reminiscent of today's real-world situations
The sight of little kids being kept in cages while armed guards watch over them isn't one that we're completely unfamiliar with. Indeed, it's the similarities between what's happening in Freeland and the real-life conditions in many places around the world that make this episode so chilling
We've known for a while now that 'Black Lightning' Season 3 would see Freeland suffering under martial law imposed by the A.S.A in response to the impending invasion by Markovia but the season's first episode has revealed that conditions are worse than we suspected. What was once a crime-infested but thriving community has now been turned into a warzone where civil liberties no longer apply.
The city is now under the near-dictatorial control of the A.S.A. Even powerful city organizations like the Freeland Police Department have been beaten into submission with threats and violence. There are curfews in place, people are being picked off the street with little to no warning, and children are being separated from their parents on the mere suspicion that they might be meta-humans.
The sight of little kids being kept in cages while armed guards watch over them isn't one that we're completely unfamiliar with. Indeed, it's the similarities between what's happening in Freeland and the real-life conditions in many places around the world that make this episode so chilling. We might not have meta-humans or superheroes in our world but the sight of a city under occupation is something we've all seen before.
In the present situation, Freeland's only hope lies with Anissa Pierce/Blackbird (Nafessa Williams) who is working with Peter Gambi (James Remar) and her sister Jennifer Pierce/Lightning (China Anne McClain) to sabotage the A.S.A's plans in any way possible. Unfortunately, the episode ends with Anissa being knocked unconscious with her present condition unknown so it looks like even that last light of hope is starting to flicker.
Just like in real life, not everyone is entirely against what's happening in the city. There are those who argue that the government knows what it's doing and that it's important to follow the law, no matter how unfair it might seem. Reverend Jeremiah Holt (Clifton Powell), ever the moral center of the series, provides a counterpoint to these arguments by pointing out that not too long ago, Jim Crow was the law of the land and the law isn't infallible. It's a message that resonates beyond the fictional confines of the show and one that is extremely important considering the times we live in.
'Black Lightning' Season 3's next episode will arrive on The CW October 14.