'Black Lightning' Season 3: All Your Burning Questions Answered

Ileane Rudolph
Preview Annette Brown / 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved

War is coming, and Freeland, home of the Pierce family in The CW's Black Lightning, is Ground Zero! Operatives from Markovia — a fictional rogue European country familiar to DC Comics fans — are arriving with a metahuman army to "destroy or capture Freeland's metas," executive producer Salim Akil reveals.

That spells trouble for Jefferson Pierce and his alter ego, Black Lightning (Cress Williams), as well as daughters Anissa/Thunder (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer/Lightning (China Anne McClain), who have inherited abilities from their dad.

Meanwhile, matriarch and scientist Lynn Stewart (Christine Adams) is searching for an antidote to the gene-mutating vaccine that gave Jefferson his powers as a teenager. Now, the whole Pierce family must work with the ASA — the secret government unit that created the drug — to fight the Markovians. Akil fills us in on Season 3.

So much happened at the end of Season 2! First off, why are the Markovians intent on hunting down Freeland's metas?

Salim Akil: They're a small, power-hungry regime that's been building a meta-army, explains Akil. "If you have all of the metas, it's almost like you have all  of the nukes, and [you] can weaponize them."

Meta drug dealer and murderer Tobias Whale (Marvin "Krondon" Jones III), who served as the main baddie for Seasons 1 and 2, is now locked away at a black site. Is his time really up?

You can't keep a bad man down, apparently. "Because we have a collar around his neck, his powers are taken [off the table]," Akil says. "So he's going to have to use his superior intelligence to work his way out — and not his brawn."

Jennifer, the youngest Pierce, has been getting more and more powerful. How does that affect the family dynamic?

"She's stronger than both her father and her sister," Akil says. Unlike Black Lightning, who relies on supplied electricity to keep his abilities in check, Lightning is her own power source. "It will raise issues of who's in control [overall]," he says.

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Khalil (Jordan Calloway) is back from the dead for a second time — sort of. How did he end up in a pod?

We'll find out the real reason Jennifer's sometimes-beau is stuck in a stasis pod following his gruesome death, caused by Tobias. But, Akil teases, "The ASA's Agent Odell [Bill Duke] thought it best to keep him in a pod until they can figure out what to do with him." For the teen who was paralyzed and killed twice, that can't mean anything good. 

What are Agent Odell's motives? They seem murky at best.

While the ruthless operative and the Pierces are far from friends, they'll have to work together to keep the community safe. However, Odell is "a true American patriot, and that makes him a deadly soldier," notes Akil.

Will Anissa's shape-shifter girlfriend, Grace Choi (Chantal Thuy), return after running away? And whose side is she on?

"She will," Akil promises, "and she'll always be on Anissa's side."

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Anything else we should know?

There's still a focus on everyday life in Freeland, but next season, says Akil, "we want our stories to talk about concerns not just for black folk but for people in general. We'll cover mental health and addiction issues that affect the whole country."

Black Lightning, Season 3 Premiere, Monday, October 21, 9/8c, The CW

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