SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for “Lawanda: The Book of Hope,” the latest episode of Black Lightning.
In “Lawanda: The Book of Hope,” the latest episode of Black Lightning, Lala met his untimely end at the hands of none other than Tobias Whale. As he revealed in the scene, Tobias came out of hiding just to draw the line at Lala’s last action: killing Lawanda, an innocent mother. Speaking to CBR during a set visit, Tobias actor Marvin “Krondon” Jones III addressed his character’s odd moral code and described the scene as “a human moment.”
“He has a lot of moral fiber,” Jones explained. “I think that it is key for us to remember when we’re watching things like this — in this case, we’re talking about Black Lightning, we’re talking about the first black superhero family, and we’re talking about the first black villain of unique genetic makeup, with albinism — but what you have ultimately, is you have a politician; two students, one of which is a lesbian; you have a father, who is a single father who is still in love with his woman; that’s what you have, and everything that everyone’s going through — the estranged politician, the students, the single father, the principal — we all have those elements and those traits in us, those needs.”
“The need that Jefferson has, the need that Lynn has, the fears that they have, the need that Tobias has — we all have those elements in us. We all have the asshole in us that is Tobias Whale. We all have the stubborn, self-empowered, conscious spirit in us that is Anissa. We all have these things!” he continued. “So it’s about recognizing those parts of us, and Black Lightning allowing those things to create substance and storylines and ultimately, to my soliloquy, we all have the superhero in us. Everyone has a bit of the superhero in us.”
“To me, it’s never any coincidence that superheroes and journalists are parallel, because that shows you that everyone has that air of superhero or superhuman ability inside of them, you know what I mean? It’s just about tapping in and exposing it. I think our show ultimately, even in the villain that is Tobias Whale, you see the moral fiber. You see the humanity that is there,” he added.
“Even when he’s talking to Lala: ‘You killed somebody’s mama?’ That was a human moment for him at that moment, to say, ‘Wait a minute. I’m a bad motherfucker, but I’m not that bad!'” he said with a laugh. “So even the baddest motherfucker has got a moment of saying, ‘Hold on now!’ You know, Charles Manson — he’s a human.”
“Family is everything to Tobias, and I think that goes back to the underlying need that Tobias has. There’s a need to be loved and accepted. There’s a need for family that was not there. It’s safe to say this thing with Lala killing somebody’s mother is that he has an affinity for something he did not have. So he understands the importance of it. Ultimately, it makes him who he is. I think what we need makes us who we are — the things that we need in life, whether it be love or whatever it may be,” he concluded.
Airing Tuesdays at 9 pm ET/PT on The CW, Black Lightning stars Cress Williams as Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning, China Anne McClain as his younger daughter Jennifer Pierce, Nafessa Williams as his older daughter Anissa Pierce, Christine Adams as Lynn Pierce, James Remar as Peter Gambi, Damon Gupton as Henderson, Marvin “Krondon” Jones III as Tobias Whale and Chantal Thuy as Grace Choi.
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