WARNING: Spoilers for the Season 1 finale, “Shadow of Death: The Book of War,” below.
Whereas comic book TV shows tend to have the Big Bad bite the dust by the end of a given season, Black Lightning kept Tobias Whale (Marvin Jones III) around. Not only that, but the show put him in a stronger position than ever after Whale seized A.S.A. leader Martin Proctor’s (Gregg Henry) operation (Proctor's also out of the way, with Gambi having killed him) and getting his hands on that mysterious briefcase containing an even more mysterious glowing green object that will make him the king of Freeland.
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, showrunner Salim Akil explained why he decided to keep Whale as the show's main villain for next season.
“One reason is everyone loves Tobias, so I wanted to make sure we brought him back on the show at the end of Black Lightning,” Akil said. “He’s just really a good villain, and we love Marvin Jones. From a story standpoint, what we wanted to do in Episode 12 was sort of make that our finale and then see what we could do in Episode 13 to sort of tease the audience to come back. Tobias always wanted to run Freeland, he always wanted to have a seat at the table. What we’re going to do is give a seat at the table in Season 2. What’s in that briefcase is very exciting.”
Keeping Whale around for Season 2 certainly breaks from convention. Pretty much every other Arrowverse series, including Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl, has introduced new Big Bads each year. Keeping this one around makes it very clear this isn't the typical CW super-series. As for the mysterious glowing green content of the briefcase that makes Season 2 so interesting? Akil kept the secret close to the vest but had a little something to say.
“Well, I can tease it by saying what’s in the briefcase is exciting,” he said. “I can’t give you any more than that, because you’ve seen the show and if I give you even a hint, you’ll know exactly what it is. You could probably guess what it is… It’ll come from the DC mythology and it’ll be completely new as well. That’s why it’s so exciting, because you’ll get to see some things you’re familiar with and you’ll get to see some things you haven’t seen before.”
What do you think about Black Lightning breaking with the norm by keeping Tobias Whale for Season 2? Think you know what's in that briefcase? Chime in with your thoughts in the comments below.