Before discovering her own superpowers, Jennifer Peirce spent much of Black Lightning’s first season as your typical teenager. Her biggest story was getting into a relationship with star athlete Khalil and watching him struggled after a shooting at a protest left him paralyzed. While the rest of the season has been about her powers, her relationship came back around in the finale and set up a possible superhero version of Romero and Juliet for Season 2.
Black Lightning and Tobias Whale’s war is not new for the series, but the young members of both sides create an interesting dynamic for the second season. With Khalil’s Painkiller working for Tobias and Jennifer beginning to accept Lightning, there is their romantic arc gets a recharged with superhero energy.
Black Lightning ended its first season with the Pierce family hiding out while being hunted by the A.S.A. and Tobias Whale on “Shadow of Death: The Book of War” Jennifer starting seeing the use in her powers, Gambi finally defeats Proctor and the Pierce family came together as heroes of Freeland.
Khalil’s abrupt return brought more questions than answers when revealed he was miraculously able to walk again. Those answer came when he burst through the doors of Garfield High during the penultimate episode and helped Tobias Whale nearly kill Black Lightning. The henchman helping his boss becomes far more interesting when it’s put in the context of how much Jefferson tried to help Khalil and his relationship with Jennifer.
While the line in the sand between the two sides seems clearly drawn, it is not that simple when it comes to pair of teenagers. During the finale Jennifer tries to make sense of Khalil joining Tobias’s side when talking to Gambi. Even after Khalil stopped Jefferson’s heart and Gambi’s explanation of the choice her ex-boyfriend made, Jennifer still seems convinced that the Khalil she knows is in there somewhere.
The potential emergence of Lightning in Season 2 makes turns their love story into a compelling superhero arc. The first season saw Anissa Pierce bring Thunder to life and if the same is done next season with Jennifer, then Khalil better watch out.
What this potential pairing does is even out the sides on Team Pierce and Team Whale. At the top, you have longtime rivals Black Lightning and Tobias and we saw the first clash of Thunder and Whale’s right hand Syonide during the big first at Garfield High. The match up of Lightning and Painkiller gives us both superhero hijinks with a love story to complicate matters further.
Romeo and Juliet had a famously tragic ending, but odds are Black Lightning may give their star-crossed lovers a better ending. Or Jennifer could just come out on top.