Despite airing on The CW and being created by Berlanti, Mark Pedowitz, president of The CW said in May 2017 that the series "at this time, is not part of the Arrowverse. It is a separate situation." Berlanti had previously stated when the series was in development at Fox that it would not crossover with his other DC Comics television properties on The CW nor would it exist in the Arrowverse. However, Akil later stated that they were not ruling out eventual crossovers. In August 2017, Pedowitz added, "If [the showrunners] wish to bring it in, that is their call. We had a long discussion with the studio, Mara, Salim and myself. We were fine with them making it separate from the Arrowverse, they have a different point of view. If they end up wanting to go that way, that will be their decision."
Episode #1: "The Resurrection"
January 16, 2018
After his older daughter Anissa is arrested for protesting, high school principal and former superhero Jefferson Pierce is again pulled over for a crime he did not commit due to racial tension is prevalent in his community. The last straw comes when his youngest daughter, Jennifer, gets in trouble at a club owned by a gang called the 100, and he is forced to use his powers to rescue her. Gambi, his mentor and friend, urges him to become Black Lightning again, but Jefferson refuses to break the promise he made to his ex-wife Lynn to give up heroics in hopes of reconciling with her. A 100 gangbanger, Will, and his friends abduct Jennifer and Anissa from school despite an agreement between Jefferson and the gang, and Lynn frees him from his promise. With Gambi's help, he saves the girls but is unable to find Will's boss, Lala. After being brought to the head of the 100, Tobias Whale, by his two underlings, Lala is instructed to kill Black Lightning. Anissa's trauma activates her own powers, causing her to break a sink in half.
#2 "Lawanda: The Book of Hope"
January 23, 2018
Jefferson assures Lynn that he is giving up his Black Lightning identity for good. However, he learns that not only are the 100 still running prostitutes at the Seahorse Motel, his daughters are being targeted as witnesses. Jefferson asks Gambi to help him find Lala by hacking the police's database. Anissa's girlfriend offers to get her a therapist. Will escapes police custody, but is captured and executed by Lala for his mess-up. When a former student of Jefferson's named Lawanda tries to free her daughter from the grip of the 100, he promises to help her. Lawanda is shot dead when she confronts Lala at the Seahorse Motel. Blaming himself for her death, Jefferson throws aside his concerns and prepares to go after the 100. Lynn visits Gambi and asks him to convince her husband otherwise, but he refuses. Using information from Will's recovered phone, Jefferson suits up and storms the hotel where Lala is hiding, beating him severely just before the police arrive to arrest him. While out shopping, Anissa subdues a robber with her powers. Using his connections in the police department after the Seahorse Motel was shut down, Tobias gets access to Lala's cell and strangles him with only one hand.
#3 "Lawanda: The Book of Burial"
January 30, 2018
Following Lawanda's death, Freeland's local reverend named Reverend Holt plans to orchestrate a peace march in light of the 100's crime waves much to the dismay of Jefferson Pierce and Inspector Henderson. As Anissa meets Grace Choi and still works out the limits to the abilities that she developed, Tobias Whale has an talk with Lady Eve and later instructs one of his minions to commit a massacre at the peace march as a way to rise to the ranks and make up for the late Lala's repeated failure. In order to protect the peace marchers even when members of his family will be in it, Black Lightning tests his new gear in a training sequence to keep the peace marchers from being killed. Though Black Lightning succeeds in stopping the assailant, Tobias Whale was nearby as Syonide shoots Reverend Holt. The bullet goes through Reverend Holt and hits Khalil. At the hospital, Jefferson sees the mixed news about the opinions of Black Lightning from the peace marchers and Inspector Henderson. At the tailor shop, Peter deletes evidence that Tobias was the one responsible for the reverend and Khalil being shot. Back at the hospital, Lynn talks to Anissa about her lack of being around and that she will always be there if she needs to talk about everything that's been going on. Jefferson and Jennifer tell them that Reverend Holt is doing well and that Khalil was shot in the spine meaning that he won't walk again. As Jefferson embraces his family, he continues to see the news about Black Lightning as other peace marchers praise his heroic actions.
#4 "Black Jesus" - February 6, 2018
One of Jefferson's students, Bernard, almost overdoses on a new strength-enhancing street drug, Green Light. Jefferson is forced to use his powers to knock him out. The school board wants Bernard expelled but lets him stay when Jefferson cedes final authority over student matters to the board. Gambi and Jefferson track Green Light to a mid-level dealer named Two Bits, an old friend of Jefferson's. When he dismisses Jefferson, Black Lightning gets him to reveal the location of a warehouse. Anissa and Grace are confronted outside a bar and Anissa uses her strength on the two thugs. Gambi erases the security footage, but keeps a photo of Anissa's footprint. Black Lightning saves Bernard from a drug den and Jefferson puts him in rehab. Jenifer quits track to focus on supporting Khalil. Lady Eve gets impatient with Tobias, who entered the criminal world after being forced out of city council for supposedly killing Black Lightning. Tobias has Joey Toledo murder the morgue doctor who told him Black Lighting was dead. Tobias' sister Toni arrives and proposes turning the people against Black Lightning. Tobias visits Khalil where he pays his medical bills and tells him it's Black Lightning's fault that he'll never walk again.
#5 "And Then the Devil Brought the Plague:
The Book of Green Light" - February 13, 2018
Gambi alters Black Lightning's suit for flight. Jefferson experiences severe headaches. Tobias pays Gambi a visit, looking for the identity of Black Lightning but Gambi says he doesn't know; and that Tobias is breaking their deal by coming to him. Tracking Green Light, Black Lightning finds out it is coming from Joey Toledo. Jennifer defends herself against two girls at a skating rink. One girl's family is furious. While Jefferson and Lynn take responsibility upon being confronted by the family, they are impressed. Toni says Tobias needs to finally deal with their abusive father, Eldridge. Now an old man, Tobias breaks his father's back and convinces Toni to let him die. Anissa discovers that, decades ago, her grandfather, reporter Alvin Pierce, had a story on the disappearance of nine enhanced teenagers. The newspaper wouldn't print the story and Alvin was murdered a week later. Anissa visits the paper's editor who says "they" are still watching. Nevertheless, he gives her some files and Anissa suits up to explore a storage unit after putting together a costume from different clothes she purchases. On a tip from Inspector Henderson, Black Lightning confronts Toledo, but his headaches incapacitate him. This allows Toledo to escape as he vows to Black Lightning that Tobias Whale will kill him.
#6 "Three Sevens: The Book of Thunder"
February 27, 2018
Peter picks up Black Lightning before the police can find him and informs Lynn what happened.. The next day, Jefferson deals with two different issues: Anissa getting in trouble with the police for getting involved with vandalism of a statue of someone which was offensive to the black people and Vice-Principal Fowdy showing cyber-bullying videos about Jennifer. Lynn compares the brain scans of those on Green Light and Black Lightning. While Black Lightning prepares for a confrontation with Tobias Whale upon tracking his doctor, Anissa uses her powers to destroy the statue after someone is killed over it. Afterwards, Anissa contacts her mother to let her know about her current condition. Due to an attack at the hospital, Black Lightning cancels his planned attack on Tobias Whale. Anissa shows up and fights off the two attackers; though Black Lightning battles her, thinking she attacked Lynn. After injuring her and realizing it is Anissa, Lynn and Jefferson call Peter. Peter visits Lady Eve having trained her in the past, and made a deal with her to keep the Pierce family off-limits to The 100; who want to stop Lynn's research. Meanwhile, Khalil takes up Tobias Whale on his offer as he and Syonide tell him that they have a way that he can walk again. Back at their home, Anissa regains consciousness and discovers that her father is Black Lightning.
#7 "Equinox: The Book of Fate" - March 6, 2018
Since the discovery of Anissa having developed metahuman powers, Lynn examines Anissa while Peter Gambi comes clean to Jefferson about not telling him that Tobias Whale is back in town. Investigating the break-in at the hospital, Inspector Henderson gets the description of the criminals responsible and thinks the 100 is behind this though the two thieves are killed. After visiting Lady Eve about Tobias Whale, a disguised Gambi enters Tobias's club and kills Toledo to make Tobias fall in line. Lynn asks Gambi to make a suit for Anissa. At a club that Tobias is attending, Black Lightning fights him and his henchmen which results in Tobias getting wounded and Tori accidentally getting killed by a stray bullet. During this time, Tobias Whale's henchmen use special electrical guns to kill Lady Eve and her minions. After a talk with Anissa, Black Lightning gets a call from Henderson believing he killed Lady Eve. In the final scene, Lala is in a hotel room as he is brought back to life with Lawanda's head tattooed on his chest.
#8 "Revelations" - March 13, 2018
Two henchmen are surprised to see Lala back from the dead; while Lawanda talks to him encouraging violence and seducing him. Peter Gambi meets with A.S.A. member Martin Proctor whom wants Black Lightning dead as a threat to the Freeland experiment. Examining Lady Eve's body, Jefferson and Anissa trace the weapon's radiation; finding it and the body of Lady Eve's killer. Meanwhile, Jennifer is startled at school, causing her to unlock her own electrical powers. After calling Henderson, Jefferson and Anissa hide nearby when they see someone coming close. While Jefferson sneaks up on the person, Anissa sees that it is about to explode and activates her powers to shield her father. Jefferson suspects The 100 intercepted his call to Henderson. Lynn finds that Greenlight was similar to a vaccine that was found in Alvin Pierce's locker from 30 years ago. Gambi admits that his real name is Peter Esposito and that he withheld some things to protect Jefferson and his family from the A.S.A. who made the vaccine and hunt metahumans. Jefferson warns Peter to stay away from his family. In the final scene, Jennifer confides in Anissa about her electrical powers.
#9 "Little Black Lies" - March 20, 2018
Anissa reveals her own powers and the fact their father is Black Lightning to Jennifer; and she feels lied to by her parents all her life. Three separate investigations of Inspector Henderson into the corrupt police officers, Peter into the electrical weapons, and Jefferson and Anissa into Green Light from Alvin's research all lead to the same lab where the drug is currently being manufactured. Peter gives Anissa her costume as Thunder and says he made a mistake in keeping secrets, but he was just trying to protect the ones he loves. With help from her mother, Jennifer is able to see why her parents lied but doesn't want to save the world, mourning her loss of her chance at a normal life. Black Lightning and Thunder attack the Green Light lab together and Inspector Henderson is able to make a few arrests before they blow it up. ASA agents attack with weapons to disable Black Lightning's powers, but Thunder saves him. At home, Jennifer is able to forgive her father who promises to be honest with her from now on.
#10 "Sins of the Father:
The Book of Redemption" -
March 27, 2018
Thunder investigates Peter's tip about the kids from 30 years ago and finds they are still alive. When she brings Black Lightning to the lab, it's empty and they fight off ASA agents again. Two Bits sees one of Jefferson's students display powers and get kidnapped, telling Jefferson. Meanwhile, Lala begins seeing Will, now also tattooed on his chest, as a ghost while taking over The 100 to sell traditional drugs again while planning revenge on Tobias Whale. He even displayed increased strength on anyone who disagrees with the plan. Anissa and Jennifer argue about powers again causing Jennifer's whole body to flare up with electricity. Lynn finds that while their father is like a battery manipulating electricity, Jennifer can generate it. Martin Proctor and the A.S.A. kidnap and torture Peter, demanding Black Lightning's identity. Under orders of Martin, two A.S.A. agents take Jefferson away while he mentors a child to get Peter to talk. Jefferson uses his powers, allowing Peter to kill two A.S.A. agents. Peter begins healing in his basement base and the Pierce family hides in Alvin's old house. Peter tells Jefferson to find the new A.S.A. spotter in the community that finds kids with powers. At the new location of the stasis pods holding the kids, Martin has realized that Jefferson is Black Lightning after putting two and two together and informs Vice-Principal Fowdy about it as she is revealed to be the A.S.A.'s new spotter.
#11 "Black Jesus: The Book of Crucifixion"
April 3, 2018
Black Lightning and Thunder raid another location and find that the bodies have been moved again. Vice-Principal Kara Fowdy tells a scientist to keep an eye on the stasis pods stable, but one teenager from 30 years ago dies. From the shadows, Fowdy instructs Deputy Chief Cayman to have Jefferson framed for possession of Greenlight. In an online discussion with her bosses, Fowdy is told that the federal agents will take Jefferson to the black site to determine if he is Black Lightning. While Lynn tries to find a lawyer that can defend Jefferson, Henderson visits Jefferson's cell, as he acts out an interrogation with Jefferson by talking about why his daughters were kidnapped by Lala. Thanks to Peter, Thunder runs after his remote-controlled car using a hologram of Black Lightning; to fool everyone into believing Jefferson cannot be Black Lightning. Henderson is able to catch one of the corrupt officers and convinces him to snitch on the rest. Henderson has Jefferson released and Cayman is arrested for his corruption. Jefferson has been exonerated and Henderson has been sworn in as the new Deputy Chief of Police. Peter joins the Pierce family for dinner to celebrate Jefferson's exoneration.
#12 "The Resurrection and the Light:
The Book of Pain" - April 10, 2018
Khalil resurfaces where he now has a spinal implant that makes him walk again. Peter Gambi confronts a weapon maker for information about Martin Proctor. While the weapon maker finds the information, he is confronted by Lala, who acted strange after hearing the phrase "The devil deals the cards." Meanwhile, Lynn works to help Jennifer with her condition. Under orders of Tobias Whale, Khalil as Painkiller, attacks Jefferson High using paralysis needles based from a toxin his implant now creates; to draw out Black Lightning so that they can find out who he is. When Black Lightning confronts Khalil, Tobias joins the fight. As Jennifer works to get control of her abilities, Thunder faces off against Syonide where she manages to get a cut in Syonide's left arm under her internal body armor. As Tobias restrains Black Lightning, Khalil does a strike that accidentally stops Black Lightning's heart. Tobias reprimands Khalil for that action. When Thunder appears, Syonide covers their escape as Jennifer builds up enough energy to resuscitate Black Lightning. Falling back to a cabin in the woods at North Freeland, Peter cloaks them from tracking. Following the incident at the school, Martin Proctor tells Kara Fowdy to find Black Lightning even if she has to burn Freeland to do it. Meanwhile, Lala is brought to Tobias Whale by Syonide, who is unsurprised to see Lala alive. Using the phrase, Tobias is able to control Lala and plans on taking out Martin Proctor next.
#13 "Shadow of Death: The Book of War"
April 17, 2018
Near death in New Freeland, Jefferson remembers and speaks with his father Alvin, who motivates him to wake up, though his powers are gone. With the pods from thirty years ago dying, Martin Proctor demands Lala be brought to him for information on Tobias. Tobias had Lala revived and placed under his control. The tattoos are a side effect of the reanimation process to remind Lala of the ones he's killed. Tobias nicknames him Tattoo Man. He sends him with a bomb inside his stomach to the A.S.A. which kills a few agents. Tattoo Man's fate is unclear. As Proctor sends agents to the cabin, Inspector Henderson gets word and the police pursue. Jennifer is able to use her powers to restore her father's. The entire Pierce family and Peter are able to defeat the A.S.A. agents and avoid the police. Meanwhile, Tobias, Syonide and Painkiller attack the ASA headquarters and only Martin is able to escape. He goes to the pods where the Pierce family confronts him and Peter realizes he is running a rogue operation as Gambi kills him while the scientist watching them states their current condition. Lynn has the pods exposed to the media and the public recognizes Black lightning and Thunder as having stopped the A.S.A.'s experiments. As the Pierce family vows to protect Freeland, Tobias opens Martin's briefcase using Martin's thumbs that Syonide obtains from Tobias' ally at the coroner's office. This gives him something he needs to be Freeland's king and to take out Black Lightning.
On April 2, 2018, The CW renewed Black Lighting for a second season!