‘Stargirl’ Episode 7 Review: “Shiv Part One”

Pat trains the new JSA just as the ISA assemble. Meanwhile, homecoming starts as Cindy’s actual history comes to light.

This episode is mostly a filler episode of a two-parter that should lead us to the midseason conflict. As homecoming begins, the biggest takeaway is that the villainous ISA seems to be coming closer to the truth behind the JSA, just as the show also reveals the origins of Shiv.

Left to right: Cindy Burman and Courtney Whitmore
Photo Credit: the CW

Who’s The Queen?

The episode begins with Pat dedicating his time to train Courtney and the crew the ins-and-outs of battling the ISA. The other JSA members are excited to finally get some real training in, though it seems Courtney, being naturally gifted, headstrong and ahead of the curb, doesn’t really care. She breezes through and emphasizes Pat’s little contribution isn’t helping and that it’s all things the group already knows… Unfortunately, Courtney is wrong. And it’s evident to us that she’s incredibly headstrong and arrogant, not unlike the original Starman.

Though this episode focuses on introducing yet another character as we see Cindy, who’s thus far been Queen Bee and the mean-spirited bully, in full-action. Cindy quickly showcases she’s not a mean girls parody but, also, a criminal mastermind, who’s been supervising the events of the high school on the student level. It’s a play on tropes as thus far the stereotype, like many cases of this in the series, has proven to be a narrative device where a character leads on less than they actual know. Although, given that the principal Bowen is influenced too, there must be something special about Blue Valley High.

We get to know Cindy quite intimately in this one, seeing her rapport with her father Dr. Ito, the Dragon King. It’s a slightly tragic relationship as Cindy seemingly lost her mother in an experiment early in life, likely because of her nefarious father’s own diabolic science and manipulations. It’s also interesting to see how Dr. Ito’s seemingly chemically conditioned a small army of grunts who’ll likely serve as battle fodder down the line of the series.

Cindy is revealed to also be headstrong yet fully capable. She seeks to take on a leading role not unlike Stargirl. The two women eventually coming to a head in this episode. Cindy is also revealed to be a brilliant chemist, much like her father, and amongst the younger generation of supervillains (as I’m starting to think the reason the older ISA is here simply to be defeated as each conveniently has a villainous child heir), can be their potential leader.

Meanwhile, Barbara takes an opportunity with Jordan for a new role at her job. And Justin the janitor also comes to light in this episode, showcasing a past affiliation with superheroic abilities.

The Dragon King
Photo Credit: the CW

The Take

It’s obvious this episode was mostly filler, leading up to the big finale. It’s interesting to see Cindy become a villain in her own right, as she’s been the primary Queen Bee and bully in the series, who seems to be a tying thread between the high school and superheroic conflicts in the series (aka she’s the series’ main bad girl). I have a feeling that she’s not going to be Courtney’s rival, but rather, Yolanda’s, given their history for competing as class president and the fact she used to date Cindy’s boyfriend, Henry. It’s a competitive rivalry that delivers Stargirl a much earned defeat, as she was getting a tad cocky.

Christian Angeles
Christian Angeles
Christian Angeles is a screenwriter who likes sharing stories and getting to meet people. He also listens to words on the page via audible and tries to write in ways that make people feel things. All on a laptop. Sometimes from an app on his phone.

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  1. it was a great episode calling it a filler episode is an insult it not only takes the story forward but introduces a new villian n good fight scenes unlike cw shows n definitely nothing sterotypical about storytelling its fresh n layered

  2. I agree that the fight scenes were amazing, but for the most part, I still stand by my opinion: Its mostly filler. I think the big takeaways will be revealed in part two. And though Shiv is pretty cool in playing off and subverting expected mean girls tropes, I do think we need something big to happen beyond the introductions of new characters every week. I just want to see the payoff of where this new midseason conflict going. Hence me saying: filler. Though to be fair, it is part one of a two-parter.

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