Tonight’s episode of Black Lightning featured many major developments (a couple deaths, a potential new suit), but only one of those moments made star Cress Williams drop a very out-of-character expletive.
In the final scene of “Equinox: The Book of Fate,” Lala (William Catlett) — a.k.a. the guy Tobias Whale (Marvin Jones III) choked to death in the second episode — wakes up in a motel room to find the also recently deceased LaWanda (Tracey Bonner) standing over him.
“Do you believe in the resurrection, Latavius?” LaWanda asks Lala before transforming into smoke and entering Lala’s chest, which is now branded with her face. (Read EW’s full recap here).
During a Q&A with reporters this week, Williams, who plays the titular hero, explained that although he knew Catlett was returning to the show, LaWanda’s appearance came as a complete shock when he was reading the script.
“When I saw … LaWanda showed up — and I’m not much of an expletive guy — I was like, ‘Oh sh—!’ out loud in my own dressing room,” Williams said. “I think it’s awesome because it makes the audience go, ‘Whoa, I really gotta watch this show, and I really gotta pay attention because there’s so many weird things going on.’”
Although Williams couldn’t go into details about how this new mystical element will play into the season, he did promise that the show will give us answers, albeit slowly.
“I can just say that Lala has a great journey that keeps you guessing,” he said. “The last thing we saw was him seemingly being choked out, so it’s going to keep everyone guessing and hopefully keep generating conversations where people have theories. … We don’t give it to you right away, the answers.”
While tonight’s episode featured one surprising resurrection, there was also quite a bit of death. In the episode’s climax, Black Lightning attacked Tobias at the opening of a new club and managed to mortally wound him with a blast. Unfortunately, Tobias’ sister Tori (Edwina Findley Dickerson) died from ricocheting bullet in the fight. Williams said her death will intensify the already personal war between these two men.
“It’s interesting because, in my opinion, it evens the playing field, because you see for Jefferson, his desire to take Tobias down is personal,” Williams said. “I mean, it is about the community, but it’s also rooted in the personal: He killed my father. Now with Tobias, he has something personal, because in his mind I killed his sister. So it raises it up for him to be a personal vendetta as well.”
At the same time, Black Lightning fans also had to say goodbye to Lady Eve (Jill Scott), who was murdered by Tobias’ crew. Williams admitted he was sad to see Scott depart the show so soon and hopes this isn’t the last we’ll see of her. “I was sad to see her go, but also at the same time, our show is a bit quirky, so we always jokingly say that nobody is really dead necessarily,” he said.
Even if we don’t see Lady Eve again, the ramifications of her death will definitely be felt for some time. Tobias’ men killed using high-tech guns that mimicked Black Lightning’s powers in order to frame Freeland’s hero for the murder, damaging his relationships with both the community and Inspector Henderson in the process. “He’s gonna be a fugitive for a while,” said Williams. “I think we’ve seen already, at least in this season, he’s bold being Black Lightning. He walks down the middle of the street and is not really hiding. Now we’re gonna see him have to do things a different way because of his fugitive status.”
Black Lightning airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on the CW.