‘Black Lightning’: What on Earth-1 Is Jill Scott’s Lady Eve Up To? [Updated]

Spoilers ahead for anyone not caught up on The CW’s Black Lightning. Updated as of the most recent WTF episode. 

Before the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl, and not counting the fictional sports hero Rocky Balboa, Jill Scott was about as close as you could come to royalty in the City of Brotherly Love. The singer-songwriter/poet/actor/model/blue-collar hero is the definition of a multi-hyphenate, so imagine my surprise and delight to see her star on The CW’s Black Lightning as an imposing yet soft-spoken villain at, or very near, the top of the food chain.

If you’re not watching Black Lightning–and you should be–Scott plays a character by the name of Lady Eve. Now since this is a DC Comics show, you might expect there to be some strong connections to the character of the same name, but so far, it doesn’t look like that’s the case. In the comics, Lady Eve was a high-ranking member of the Kobra Cult, a lover of its snake-themed leader Kobra, and eventually the leader of her own faction that split off from the villainous group. Though the world-terrorist cult often clashed with the superhero team the Outsiders (including Black Lightning), they seem to be only a very loose inspiration for the show’s villainous forces behind the scenes. So what part does Lady Eve have to play in all of this?

This version of the character envisions her as the very rich owner of Freeland’s Blackbird Funeral Home, a creepy enough part to play and a decent cover story for Eve’s role in the shadowy organization that’s yet to be revealed. But then there’s this:

Yeah, so there’s Grammy-winner Jill Scott, casually poking away at a corpse–who’s already undergone an autopsy, by the way, as you can tell from the Y-shaped cuts–and sucking out all the various bodily fluids in preparation for embalming. That’s weird enough, the fact that the very wealthy owner of the funeral home is doing the dirty work while dressed in her finest clothes (I’m in awe of her many pearl accoutrements and fantastic hairdo) and also dressing down her lieutenant Tobias Whale (Marvin ‘Krondon’ Jones III) for his failure to kill Black Lightning. The point is clear: Lady Eve is not afraid to get her hands dirty, and even though she barely speaks above a whisper, Tobias gets that point … almost literally, because Eve jabs the embalming wand near his face a couple of times to make sure her message is delivered.

But that’s not the weirdest part.

The weirdest part is that the person on the table is still alive! I’m not sure who this was supposed to be, whether a random corpse that made its way to Blackbird or one of the 100 who was killed in the line of duty, but the fact that the body’s either been reanimated or is in the process of it is downright bizarre. Before this reveal, Lady Eve was educating Whale on the history of African beliefs about albinos, how certain cultures killed people afflicted with albinism in order to grind up their bones into a magic powder. This smacks of voodoo to me, maybe not historically but it’s definitely familiar when it comes to fiction.

Image via The CW

Is this some strange departure from the comics? Is Lady Eve a Marie Laveau-type character using voodoo in her machinations, in service of either her own ends or the organization she works with? Or was I hallucinating and should maybe seek medical attention?

Update: As of the most recent episode of the series “Equinox: The Book of Fate”, some of these questions are looking a little less insane. Here’s another spoiler warning just in case you made it this far without having seen the episode. Keeping in mind Lady Eve’s brewing feud with Tobias–and not to mention her mysterious relationship with Gambi–there’s going to have to be some pretty big twists coming up if we’re to see Scott again. In order to maintain the “ecosystem” they’d set up in Freeland, Gambi took out Tobias’ right-hand man, Joey Toledo, and Eve sent the albino crime lord another box of bone powder. In retribution, Tobias, with the strategic advice of his sister Tori, circumvented the veiled and villainous “Shadow Board” in order to take out Lady Eve–with the help of assassins armed with “taser rifles”–and make it look like Black Lightning did the dirty work.

Surprisingly, the plan worked; Lady Eve was later revealed to be well and truly cooked, and her gruesome body was on display for the arriving law enforcement as confirmation. However, the biggest twist was still to come: The previously and presumably deceased Lala (William Catlett) sprang back to life in a hotel room and was immediately visited by the spirit of the now not (?) deceased LaWanda White (Tracey Bonner) … who turned to ash/smoke and then had her visage emblazoned in the form of a tattoo on Lala’s chest. Yeah, you read all that right. So with some very obvious voodoo stuff going on, is it possible that Lady Eve’s disciples or maybe the Shadow Board itself will be able to resurrect her? Time will tell, but Black Lightning is getting crazy. Let us know your theories in the comments!

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