Things get heated in this episode of Stargirl as power dynamics change, big players are revealed, and histories come to light.
Unlike the previous two episodes, which were mostly a buildup establishing our heroes, Stargirl and S.T.R.I.P.E.S., this episode the story’s conflict finally come to a head. An episode that was by all means: a game-changer. Taking the story and what we’ve come to expect of the campiness of this series and subverting our expectations.
It was tragic. It was touching. It was Stargirl.
And it all began with a flashback, a humanizing portrayal of the least likely of characters. Where every hero finds a calling, this one delved into a motivational tragedy: as a society’s neglect leads to the creation of a monster of epic proportions.
The audience will see this major storyline reveal coming throughout the episode, especially as it runs in conjunction with the progression of Stargirl and S.T.R.I.P.E. as heroes. Though their deeds so far had been successful in stopping the Injustice Society, Pat desires to retire and wants Courtney to remain casual: to live a normal life as a high school girl.
Meanwhile, we see Mike Dugan get into some school trouble and receive some parenting from Pat, all while Barbara takes her career to the next level, impressing the town’s big business hotshot: Jordan McKain. And while these stories seem unrelated, there’s more to it, especially in regard to their own safety.
We also delve into some of the friendships in Stargirl. As more villainous sons are revealed, bad guys enter comas, and, for the most part, we learn: the younger and older generations all had a part to play in the events that led to the death of the JSA.
Though these developments feel promising, the show feels a tad lackluster. As Icicle seems sinister, Stargirl and her staff continue to amaze at butt-kicking, and the surprise in this episode really retools and reworks everything we’ve thus seen in the series.
Still, I didn’t appreciate that this episode deconstructs the series as we’re only 3 episodes in… and that’s not very encouraging to have your villain(s) destroy or take certain big players out when we’ve barely gotten to know them: hence, the stakes aren’t really there nor developed.
Also, I loathe Mike Dugan and think he’s a stereotype of a video game kid that the network seemed to have thrown on for representation points. His whole storyline feels like it’s trying too hard and conflicts starkly with the old town feel of the setting: making the story feel out of place in a bad way.
Also, the CGI in this episode was poor.
I don’t know if I’ll keep reviewing Stargirl. I think the show has promise and that it’s going places finally, but I don’t like that they’re resorting to these particular story techniques this early; it’s a sign of a weak plot.
With little original ideas, not much on the line, and a lot riding on your investment on the JLA and Stargirl’s origins, watching the show may lose its enjoyment, especially since we the audience can see developments coming from a mile away with insufficient build-up.