SERIES PREMIERE — Jefferson Pierce is a man wrestling with a secret. As the father of Anissa and Jennifer, and principal of a charter high school that also serves as a safe-haven for young people in a neighborhood overrun by gang violence, he is a hero in his community. Nine years ago, Pierce was a hero of a different sort. Gifted with the superhuman power to harness and control electricity, he used those powers to keep his hometown streets safe as the masked vigilante Black Lightning, but he left the Superhero days behind. Almost a decade later, Pierce’s crime-fighting days are long behind him…or so he thought.
Jefferson and Jennifer are waiting in the Freeland police station for Anissa to be released after being arrested for protesting. While Jennifer was on her phone texting, Jefferson was watching the news reporting on the murder of another innocent man by The One Hundred. On the news, the father, along with his wife, says how people are dying in the streets and no one is doing anything about it. While on the news, Inspector Henderson comments that he understands that people are fed up with the violence and so are the Freeland PD; however, he tells them that they will not tolerate violence of anytime. Anissa is released and greets her father, but he gets up and ignores her. Before walking out, Jefferson stares at the wanted poster for Tobias Whale. After telling Jennifer about how she's wearing her dress, Jennifer hands her a dress and tells her to quickly change.
While in the car, Jefferson scolds Anissa for protesting instead attending Garfield's fundraiser. They began arguing over the subject until the police pulled them over. The police officer approaches the car, and Jefferson tries to give him his name, but the officer asks for him to step out the car. The officer puts Jefferson's hands behind his back and slams him on the police car. Jennifer tries to get out the car to help, but one of the officers kicks her door shut. The other officer asks for Anissa to stop recording and put her hands on the dashboard, but she refuses. From outside, Jefferson yells for her to do as the officers say and for them not to shoot. The officer holding Jefferson walks him to the police car and asks the lady if he is the man they're looking for. She says no, and Jefferson is let go. Before he go back into the car, Jefferson asks the officer what was that all about. At first, the officer ignores him and tells him to have nice night. After Jefferson kept pushing, the officer told him how a liquor store was recently robbed. Angry, Jefferson asked if the description was of a black man in a suit driving a volvo. After the officer laughs, Jefferson angrily used his powers which messed with the police car siren, streetlights, and police siren.
At the fundraiser, Senator Nina Turner gives a speech about Jefferson's accomplishments. When she mentions Jennifer, he and Anissa notices that she isn't sitting in the audience. Jennifer is in the bathroom applying makeup along with her friend Kiesha. Anissa comes to the bathroom and asks where are they going. Annoyed, Jennifer lies that she and Kiesha were going to a small house party. She promises Anissa that she would be home before their dad got home. Jennifer pleads to Anissa to let her go as she knows what's it like living at home. After Jennifer's pleading, Anissa tells her that she better be home on time.
Back at the Fundraiser, Jefferson is welcomed on stage and gives a speech to his students. At Club 100, Jennifer is on the floor dancing and smoking marijuana. While dancing, Jennifer notices Will staring at her and she goes to talk with him.
At the fundraiser, Inspector Henderson begins talking to Jefferson. They tease each other for bit before Jefferson thanks Henderson for supporting him. Jefferson also thanks him for pulling strings to get Anissa released from jail. Before he leaves to go back to work, Henderson promises he would look into the officers who harassed Jefferson as he believed they weren't Freeland PD. As Henderson was leaving, Ms. Fowdy walks up to and asks if he is enjoying himself. He says he will once they reach their goal. Ms. Fowdy says she wants him to meet Lady Eve, and Jefferson says he already knows who she is. He excuses himself as he notices Lynn. They greet each other and Lynn mentions Anissa being arrested is not a good look for him. They start to discuss Anissa when Jefferson calls her beautiful. She tells him not to do that and that Ms.Fowdy is waiting on him. SHe tells him that he really does look good in his suit and walks off as Jefferson looks on.
Later on, Jefferson comes home and wonders where Jennifer is. He calls Anissa to find out and is furious that she let her go to a party. He uses his phone to track the location of Jennifer and heads off to Club 100. At the club, Jennifer and Will are still chatting until members of One Hundred gang sit down with them. Jennifer tries to get up and leave, but one member tells her to stay. Will tells her to chill just as Jefferson arrives at the club looking for Jennifer. He spots her being taken into the backroom and immediately walks in her direction. In Lala's office, he chastises Will about the money he owes him and suggests that Jennifer that becomes a prostitute at the Seahorse Motel to pay off the debt. Jennifer disagrees and knees Will in the groin after he tried to calm her down. Outside the office, Jefferson tries to get into the room, but the guard stops him. He shoves the guard, but he pulls on him. Jefferson decides to use his powers to turn of he lights at the club. When gunshots are heard, Lala and the other 100 members come out the office to see what's going on. Jefferson uses his power to knock all of them. After the commotion ends, Jennifer comes out the office and runs out crying just as Jefferson walks up to the balcony on the second floor. As Jefferson is leaving, two cops stop him and tells him to put his hands up and get on the ground. One cop makes a racist remark which causes Jefferson to activate his powers. The shoot him with taser guns and are surprised to see it doesn't phase him. He absorbs the electricity and redirects it back at them which knocks them out. He then blows up the police car before leaving the scene.
Peter is walking to his shop when he notices the door is open. He cautiously walks in find Jefferson unconscious and quickly goes to his side. Back at Jefferson's house, Anissa and Jennifer are arguing about the incident at the club. After their argument, Anissa sits down to watch the news report on the Black Lightning incident at the club and tells Jennifer that things are not a joke.
Back at Gambi's, he and Jefferson are watching the news report on the incident. Gambi tells Jefferson he thought he was done being Black Lightning, and Jefferson tells him he is. Gambi says that it doesn't look like it and Jefferson thanks him patching up his wound. Jefferson says it's been nine years since he used his powers, and Gambi tells him that the city needed him. Gambi reminds Jefferson that he became Black Lightning to give the city hope, and the city has turned into chaos since he retired. However, Jefferson tells him how there will always be violence and he will always turn out to be the loser. He says that Lynn and him are so close to reconciling, and he will not let Black Lightning mess it up. Gambi tells Jefferson that they always knew he would have to become Black Lightning again. After hearing Gambi's words, Jefferson remembers the night he made the promise to Lynn.
At Jefferson's house, Lynn is watching the news. Jefferson comes in and greets her. He tells her that he was thinking about, and says it wasn't something he should be thinking about his ex-wife. He asks how is everything. Lynn tells him that she came over to calm Jennifer down as she was shaken over the incident at Club 100. Pretending to not know what happened, Jefferson asks Lynn about the club 100 thing. She tells him about what happened and says that they tried to call him. Jefferson lies that he school board had him held up;however, he quickly changes the subject to Jennifer and Anissa. Lynn tells him that Jennifer was just being a teenager and not to take things personally. As she is walking out, she tells Jefferson that she has already punished Jennifer. Before she left, Lynn states that she was watching and heard them mention Black Lightning and asks if he is back. Jefferson tells her no as he saved more lives as a principal than as Black Lightning. Lynn tells that she hopes he hasn't become Black Lightning again as it was painful to see him in pain every night. He reassures her that he's not fighting again and that he only wants to reconcile with her. Lynn begins to unbutton his shirt to check for bruises, but Jefferson lies that she won't find any. After they say goodnight, Jefferson walks towards the kitchen as he clutches his wound in pain. He wtches the news as Roland Martin is discussing how Black Lightning being back is game changer for the community.
The next morning, Jefferson, Anissa, and Jennifer are jogging before school. At school, Jefferson is walking with Ms. Fowdy to the office. They're discussing about the school board wanting to put metal detectors in the school. Jefferson oppose it as he feels it would be treating the students like criminals. He tells her that he will not turn their school into another jailhouse. Ms. Fowdy says she will give the board the message. In his office, Jefferson receive a video message from Gambi. The video is an interview of a store clerk whom Black Lightning saved years ago. Outside the school, Jennifer is walking into the school while ignoring Will. She asks what is he doing at Garfield. He tells her that he found her instagram and discovered what school she attended, and he wanted to know if they were okay after last night. Jennifer tells him that what he was doing is considered stalking and to leave her alone. When he grabs her, Jennifer snatches her arm away from him which caused Will to get angry. At that moment, Anissa intervenes and tells him to leave befor she calls the police. Will calls her a bitch and tells her to get out of is face. Anissa says she's going to call the police. When Will tries to grab her, she punches and flips him on the ground. Jefferson and the other faculty comes outside just as Will is about to pull his gun. Jefferson stops him and tells what would happen if he shoots Anissa in front of the school. Jefferson reminds him that he is on parole and the police are on their way and will shoot him no matter what. Will walks off but warns Jefferson that things aren't over.
Back in his office, Jefferson argues with Anissa over she not only endangered herself but also the entire school. He tells that she should have followed protocol. He goes on about how he has been principal for 7 years and hasn't any incidents of violence until now. Anissa tells him that violence is everywhere in Freeland and that he was naive to think that it wasn't going to touch Garfield High School at some point. She tells him that they should help the community or it will fall. Jefferson says that he's been helping the community before she was born, and it's not about that; but it's about keeping his daughters safe. The bell rings and Anissa asks what made Jefferson give up on his people and leaves for class. Jennifer kisses her dad goobbye and heads off to class as well.
At a community center, Jefferson is meeting with Lala to discuss the altercation with Will. He tells Lala that he doesn't want things to escalate, but he wants Will to be kept away from his daughters. Lala says that Will was just paroled is trying to find his way, but he knows Jefferson doesn't to hear that. He notices Malik walking by and tells that he's late. Lala tells Malik to introduce himself to Jefferson and asks Malik if he's okay. While Malik is shaking Lala's hand, Lala immediately pulls him hard and chastises him for slacking off the previous day while on his job. Jefferson tries to intervene, but Lala pulls a gun on him and tells Jefferson to call him by his nickname. Jefferson obliges and Lala tells him that he will teach kids his way and Jefferson will teach them his way. Lala takes Malik's phone and tells him to go clean up. He tells Jefferson that he will grant him that favor, but Jefferson owes him and leaves.
At Garfield, Will and two of his boys arrive outside of Garfield. They march into the school and kinaps Anissa and Jennifer at gunpoint. Later on, Henderson is with Lynn and Jefferson at the school. He explains that hey have to wait to confirm if Anissa and Jennifer were taken to the SeaHorse Motel. Jefferson says that he should just go over ther and talk to someone himself. Henderson says that they're in that situation because Jefferson didn't talk to Henderson in the first place. Henderson apologizes and tells Jefferson to let him handle the situation as it's his job. However, Jefferson takes matters into his own hands and informs Lynn that he's going to get their daughters back.
At Gambi's he walks in and informs of Anissa and Jennifer situation. Gambi tells him to go downstairs and shows him the new designs to his suit. Black Lightning arrives at the Seahorse Motel and starts fighting the gang members there. In a room, Lla chastises Will for getting them into this situation and tells him to take care of the girls an make them disappear.When he gets to Anissa and Jennifer, Will tries to shit him, but his suit is bulletproof. Jefferson uses his powers on Will and asks where is Lala before dropping him on the car.
Afterwards, Jennifer and Anissa are giving the police etails on what happened to them as Jefferson is watching from above. Somewhere in Feeland, Lala is his car when he notices Syonide and Joey Toledo pull up in front of his car. They take him to where Tobias is. When Lala tries to explain what happened, Tobias silences him and shoots him with a harpoon gun. He tells him to handle the Black Lightning situation or he will kill Lala and do it himself.
Back at home, Jenifer and Anissa are reunited with their parents and share a hug. Jefferson takes and shower checks on the girls as they sleep. Downstairs, Jefferson comforts Lynn and she thanks him for rescuing their daughters. That night, Anissa wakes up from a nightmare. She goes into the bathroom and starts having a panic attack which activates her powers and breaks her bathroom sink.
|Strange Fruit||Nina Simone||plays while Jefferson and Jennifer waiting in the police station for Anissa.|
|Blick Blicka||Rome fortune||plays while Jennifer is dancing on the floor at Club 100.|
|Love||Rome fortune||plays while Jennifer and Will are flirting and talking with each other until 100 members interrupts them.|
|100%||Monogem||plays at the Garfield High School fundraiser|
|Black Lightning||GodHolly||Opening theme and plays when Jefferson blows up a police car.|
|Blood On Me||Sampha||plays while Jefferson, Jennifer, and Anissa jog.|
|It's Different Where I'm From||Ramaj Eroc||plays while Jefferson is talking to Lala about Will.|
|Walk On By||Isaac Hayes||plays as Will and two others walk into Grfield and kidnap Jennifer and Anissa.|
|Lazaretto||Jack White||plays while Black Lightning is fighting the 100 and rescues Jennifer and Anissa.|
|Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City||Bobby "Blue" Bland||plays while Lala is in the car until Syonide and Joey pull him over.|
|A Sign of the Ages||Robert Bagshaw, Emily Taylor, and Nigel Thompson||plays at the end as the family is reunited with each other.|
- This episode was originally titled as Dark Matter of My Brain.
- Jefferson has been prinicipal of Garfield High School for 7 years.
- Lady Eve is mentioned, but does not appear.
- Superman and Supergirl are mentionted in this episode.
- Anissa triggers her powers at the end of this episode.
- The series premiere featured an appearance from real-life politicians Senator Nina Turner and Roland Martin.