Tonight's episode of Black Lightning keyed into the struggles within the community of Freeland, and not just the one between the citizens and the gangs; there's another struggle happening between the black citizens of Freeland and the black police force trying to keep and enforce the law.
LaWanda (Tracey Bonner) may have been a one-off character (thanks to her untimely, but totally planned demise), but she was a great example of why the community on Black Lightning is so divided. Most people want The 100 off their streets and out of their city, but that doesn't mean they're happy to team up with law enforcement to do it.
We've already seen in the premiere that the white members of the police force are a source of trouble for the black members of the Freeland community, but what about the black police officers like Detective Henderson (Damon Gupton)?
LaWanda wasn't just calling him an Uncle Tom to be funny — Henderson really is dealing with a community that doesn't believe he's on their side.
"That's interesting and a common struggle true to real life," Gupton tells TV Guide. "That's how it is right now. If you're a member of black law enforcement, you walk a very fine line because you see so many times the police are vilified."
According to Gupton, that's an issue Henderson and the rest of the police force will be struggling with even more now that Black Lightning has appeared and seems to be getting the results the police can't or won't deliver.
"Here's this man who is the law," Gupton says of his character, "Who's really doing a good thing, and he's doing his job, but people see him as part of the problem. I think that that's the case with a lot of black law enforcement. They are trying to do their jobs, often doing their jobs well, but they're seen as the problem because the community doesn't see the results. That's an interesting conflict that he has because he's between a rock and a hard place."
Whether or not Black Lightning retains the good will of the Freeland community remains to be seen. People can be fickle when it comes to vigilantes, no matter how many gang leaders they put away.
Black Lightning airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.