WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for "The Book of Secrets: Chapter One: Prodigal Son," the latest episode of The CW's Black Lightning.
Khalil Payne has had quite a character arc on Black Lightning -- he started as a promising athlete at Garfield High until a bullet wound left him paralyzed. Enter Tobias Whale and a restructured spine that granted him superpowers along with the ability to walk. However, once Khalil realized Tobias was bad news he went on the run alongside Jennifer Pierce.
The two lovebirds would eventually return home, with Khalil discovering Jennifer's father is Black Lightning. But before Khalil could turn himself over to the authorities, Tobias had him taken and ripped his new spin right out of his back. Now on death's door, Khalil's arc has unfortunately come to an end in "The Book of Secrets: Chapter One: Prodigal Son."
The latest episode of Black Lightning saw Jefferson, Lynn, Anissa and Jennifer at the hospital tending to Khalil. Of course, Jennifer felt the worst at what's happened to the young man -- she's the one who wanted to go back to Freeland to be with her family. If Khalil hadn't followed her and turned himself over the police, there's a chance he'd still be on the run.
One revelation that came from their time together was Khalil learning Jennifer had meta-powers. These new abilities allow her to see the electron sparks inside a person. Jennifer could tell Khalil's were slowing down, meaning he didn't have long to live. She suggested to her mother that it may be possible to jump Khalil's body like a car, but Lynn was against it noting that the body doesn't work that way. The way this was brought up suggested it could be a way to save Khalil's life, though it ultimately never went anywhere.
Lynn even used her connections at the A.S.A. to help, but the toxins in his body from his earlier spine procedure were a roadblock. Khalil wound up spending his last moments on Earth surrounded by his mother and the Pierce Family. Future episodes look to focus on how they will recover from Khalil's death, most notably Jennifer. With her powers continuing to blossom and The CW's first look at her superhero costume, it's only a matter of time before she becomes Lightning and joins her father and sister to protect the streets of Freeland.
Airing Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, Black Lightning stars Cress Williams as Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning, China Anne McClain as Jennifer Pierce, Nafessa Williams as Anissa Pierce/Thunder, Christine Adams as Lynn Stewart, Marvin “Krondon” Jones III as Tobias Whale, Damon Gupton as Billy Henderson, James Remar as Peter Gambi and Jordan Calloway as Khalil/Painkiller.