Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 16 Review: Liberation

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It's the battle we've all been waiting for: Black Lightning vs. Gravedigger! The titans of the Markovian war met on the battlefield to settle the score on Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 16.

After weeks of political occupation and metahuman kidnappings, a victor stands tall. It's been a hard-fought battle with many casualties along the way. Freeland will never be the same again.

The Gravedigger fight marked a thrilling end for Black Lightning Season 3.

Clearing Their Names - Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 16

Gravedigger seemed like an impossible force to defeat, and in a way, he still is. His collection of metahuman abilities made him stronger than anyone he could face, especially Black Lightning.

In a matter of seconds, Gravedigger could incapacitate anyone. Lightning, Brandon, Grace, nameless alleyway folks ... no one was safe.

I love that the show created an enemy who proved to be a worthy match against the Pierces. A tough foil who they could band together against to stop.

Don't get me wrong, Tobias and Lala are great; their personalities pull you in and they have all the fun flair. However, a never-ending onslaught from a powerful metahuman is the type of villain that delivers a super-charged fight.

Black Lightning vs. Gravedigger's battle was electric!

Hostage of War - Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 16

Though, his grandstanding needs to be stopped. (We get it! You're mad at the government for what they did to you and you want to kidnap metahumans.)

Gravedigger loves to hear the sound of his voice at this point.

Also, Jennifer was completely right in her argument against him. Gravedigger was talking nothing but nonsense with his narrow and hurt vision of the world. His debate might've won some soldiers to his side, but that wasn't going to work with people like Jennifer or Anissa.

Gravedigger: I can’t believe you got up! But you can’t do it, can you? You can’t kill for blood, right?
Black Lightning: You and I are blood.
Gravedigger: That’s funny.

Side-note: If Gravedigger has the temporary ability to control minds/actions, why doesn't he use that to get people to join his side or easily defeat them?

His ego would love that type of power, and he used his power to cause Grace to fight Anissa. However, he didn't use it to control Jennifer, stop Black Lightning, or get the information he needed from people without killing them.

Gravedigger is not using his powers to the best of his abilities.

Clear Mind, Clear Senses - Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 16

Are you surprised that Gravedigger survived the explosion?

I am. He seemed like a goner once Agent Odell triggered the self-destruct function and Lynn/Jefferson left him behind. They barely gave him any time to run.

Gravedigger's chances were low; he should've roasted within that explosion.

One of his powers must've given him the ability to survive a heated blast like that. An explosion of that magnitude is not something easily avoided.

With his return, maybe we'll see him on Black Lightning Season 4? He's a loose end, and since he knows that Jefferson is his nephew, he might want to explore that family connection. Sure, he's still a villain, but there's no way he'll be in hiding for too long.

Engaged - Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 16

Another prediction I had gotten wrong was Grace's death. A coma is close, but it's not the right answer, so this point will be conceded to you all.

When Gravedigger had told Grace to kill Thunder, those odds increased since it seemed like she would stop at nothing until the job was done. And Thunder wouldn't just sit back to be killed; she would do something to protect herself.

It's understandable why Thunder had to take action. The breath blast was a defense mechanism to protect herself.

Anissa: Look, so what’s your assessment?
Lynn: She’s in a coma. I’m sorry, Hunny, but you know how this goes. It could be 10 minutes or it could be 10 years. And there’s no data on how the shapeshifting might affect it.
Anissa: Come on, come on, come on! There’s gotta be something you can do?
Lynn: She needs to be someplace where she can have constant care. And we can pray.

Hopefully, Grace will wake up from her coma. They just got engaged and wanted to be together; they are so close to living a happy life! We can't have them separated for too long.

Though, let's cross our fingers that Anissa doesn't do any shenanigans and flirting with someone else while Grace is away. Anissa turned over a new leaf and is on the path for better development. She shouldn't slide back into bad habits just because her true love is in a coma.

Rising Forces - Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 16

Henderson's death wasn't that big of a surprise, especially since the actor had revealed they were leaving the series. However, it was still a heartbreaking moment.

The character served as a moral figure in Freeland, and he did everything he could to protect the town's citizens. His story during Black Lightning Season 3 focused on his struggle between saving Freeland while balancing the noble line. He tried to be the protector when Black Lightning couldn't.

Plus, he's Jefferson's best friend, so it's sad to lose that friendship on the show!

If Henderson had to go out, this was the way to do it. Protecting the people he cared about and fighting against evil was his noble farewell. And he got to say goodbye to his best friend one last time.

He is leaving the series a hero.

Facing The Villain - Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 16

Who else is happy that Khalil got back control of his mind?

The inner struggle against Painkiller had weighed on him ever since he regained consciousness. The assassin held firm control for a while and it seemed like the villain was here to stay.

Thankfully, we're back to having anti-hero Khalil around. We couldn't go another season of evil Painkiller; it's been done to death having him conduct evil crimes for crime bosses, like Tobias or Agent Odell. Khalil should use this newfound freedom to work on himself and find peace.

Agent Odell: [Sighs.]
Khalil: Now, you didn’t really think I would let you get away after making me kill my mom, did you?
[Agent Odell utters trigger phrase]
Khalil: That shutdown only works for Painkiller. I’m Khalil.
[Reloads gun]
Khalil: We haven’t officially met.

His fight against Painkiller was a tough battle. They used their knowledge of sword-fighting and combat to attack each other. It's a very Khalil thing to do since he has brought up martial arts in the past.

Though, the slow-motion treatment should've been removed. It looked too fuzzy and was somewhat headache-inducing.

Victims of War - Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 16

Agent Odell's cleanup mission would've worked had he just skipped town earlier. Waiting in the same town as the war until the last possible minute wasn't the smartest decision.

He literally sent all his troops to do his dirty work. Odell didn't need to stick around Freeland any longer, especially since many of them were getting the job done.

In the span of his cleanup crew mission, we lost Dr. Jace, Commander Williams, Major Grey, Lady Eve's henchmen, and plenty of nameless ASA guards.

Beyond the briefcase, there were no other connections that could've tied him together. Except, of course, for Lady Eve's and The Outsiders' testimony. Even then, he would've evaded their capture with his resources.

The ASA's Past - Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 16

Agent Odell cleaned up without lifting a finger himself. He's one of the more efficient villains that Black Lightning has ever had.

I'm not sad to see him go. We've waited two seasons for karmic justice to deliver a swift hammer against him. He deserves everything bad coming his way; the betrayals, kidnapping, torture, murder, and drugging has piled on the need for retribution!

Major Grey: Mr. Gambi, we know you’re in here. We know you have the briefcase.
Gambi: I can’t help but you have your most trusted commandos with you.
Major Grey: Showing off that you’re in our personnel files, tailor? Brag much!
Gambi: Thank you for bringing me the last ASA agents who know the Pierce family secrets.
Major Grey: You’re welcome! They all know you very well. You’re not getting out of here.
Gambi: I’ve seen worse.
[Gambi unleashes bullets from a machine gun]

Agent Odell is finally getting his punishment! Even if we see his future trial or not, at least justice is being made.

Plus, the ASA is no more, so we will never have to deal with that plot ever again. The occupation was an intense ride, but let the past stay in the past now.

Looking To The Future - Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 16

Last Thoughts Lightning Round:

  • Did anyone else forget about Jamila? She barely appeared after she became Truthteller and then she randomly showed up here.
     
  • Black Lightning loves making references about Gotham City. Could this be a hint for more crossovers between this series and Batwoman?
     
  • Seriously, Lynn? You're still taking Green Light?! I can't. I just can't with you right now.
     
  • Anissa having to leave Grace behind was so heartbreaking. You could feel her pain as she had to complete the mission.
     
  • Once again, Lala comes through when it benefits him the most. You gotta give him and Lady Eve some kudos; they follow their survival instincts and do whatever it takes to persevere.
     
  • I do not envy the bill Gambi will face as he has to repair the tailor shop AND the lab. The ASA forces did some damage.
     
  • Is the Markovia mission where Tobias has been all this time? It seems weird that The Outsiders would've let him skip town for any reason.
TV Dinner - Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 16

Now, over to you, Black Lightning fans!

What did you think of "The Book of War: Chapter Three: Liberation"?

Which death surprised you the most? Will Gravedigger make contact with the Pierces? How will Freeland change after the occupation?

If you missed the latest episode of Black Lightning, you can watch Black Lightning online via TV Fanatic. Come back here and share your thoughts in the comments below.

The Book of War: Chapter Three: Liberation Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (14 Votes)

Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 16 Quotes

Major Grey: Mr. Gambi, we know you’re in here. We know you have the briefcase.
Gambi: I can’t help but you have your most trusted commandos with you.
Major Grey: Showing off that you’re in our personnel files, tailor? Brag much!
Gambi: Thank you for bringing me the last ASA agents who know the Pierce family secrets.
Major Grey: You’re welcome! They all know you very well. You’re not getting out of here.
Gambi: I’ve seen worse.
[Gambi unleashes bullets from a machine gun]

Anissa: Look, so what’s your assessment?
Lynn: She’s in a coma. I’m sorry, Hunny, but you know how this goes. It could be 10 minutes or it could be 10 years. And there’s no data on how the shapeshifting might affect it.
Anissa: Come on, come on, come on! There’s gotta be something you can do?
Lynn: She needs to be someplace where she can have constant care. And we can pray.