With a heavy dose of melodrama, Stargirl’s latest episode feels like a proverbial deep breath before the coming storm for the two-part finale. Featuring some home truths about Courtney’s family and lots of groundwork established for the upcoming fight, Stargirl delivers an emotionally charged slice of drama. While it’s not quite as dramatic as what we saw last week, there’s still some great work done here to raise the stakes for everyone involved.
Episode 11 of Stargirl begins with a brief prologue that sees an amnesia-stricken man wandering down a road. Armed with vague fragments of Pat’s face, he sets his sights on Blue Valley. “Stripsey can help me,” He says, stumbling down the road toward town.
Following Brainwave killing his son, Pat and Courtney speak to Barbara about their next move. Pat suggest they pack up their things but Barbara has other ideas. She wants them all to go about their day like normal, to avoid raising suspicions. As they head upstairs, a knock at the door throws a serious spanner in the works. A man called Sam Curtis stands waiting, claiming to be Courtney’s Father.
Things are awkward, to say the least, and she immediately rejects him. Despite him having a necklace matching her own, Courtney is clearly rattled by this. After speaking to Pat, she eventually agrees to hear Sam out and see what he has to say.
He talks about their time on Christmas Eve and after rekindling some old memories, Courtney agrees to go for lunch with him. There, Sam reveals where he’s been all this time. As they head back together, Sam talks to Courtney about their necklaces and suggests selling the one thing that binds them together. Despite claiming to put a deposit down on a house, there’s certainly something a little off-kilter with the way he talks about this. Regardless, Courtney hands her necklace over as he promises to return soon. Tellingly, she calls him Sam rather than Dad.
At school, our amnesia-stricken janitor continues to struggle. Between visions and sounds, he finds a leaflet for Pat’s garage and heads off with his sword in tow. At the garage, he drops to his knees and asks Pat for help. It turns out he’s the Shining Knight, one of the members of a whole different team that fought evil back during Arthurian times.
As he talks about his journey, the Shining Knight mentions following “The Dragon.” Could this relate to the Dragon King we know? With his soldiers scattered, Shining Knight fell and was captured. This could be a foreshadowed sign of things to come with Project: New America as Pat listens to his story and suggests his memory loss is a result of a mass-brainwashing.
With Henry descending down a dark path, he feeds back the true identity of Stargirl to Jordan. Despite his insistence to kill them, Jordan rejects Henry’s idea thanks to his affection for Barbara. “Make up your mind soon old friend, or I’ll make it up for you,” Henry warns before leaving.
While he does, Jordan hacks into Barbara’s work computer and checks her search history. There, he notices a newspaper article relating to Icicle killing Starman. This is ammunition enough for him to press ahead with the original plan.
Back home, Pat promises to be there for Courtney. As she struggles to hold back her tears, she throws her arms around Pat and weeps. On the back of this, Pat rushes out and confronts Sam over what’s happened. Pat tells him not to return again and punches him square across the jaw following a pretty nasty jab at Barbara. It’s an incredibly satisfying moment and one that solidifies Pat as more than Courtney’s support – he’s much more of a Father than Sam has been.
Rejecting her superhero ties, Courtney heads to school and tells the others she’s not Stargirl. She blames herself for Henry dying and tells them she can’t have any more blood on her hands.
After lunch, Henry Senior addresses the school but hones in on Courtney telepathically. Brainwave warns that he’s coming for her and she scrambles back home, desperate for the staff to work. As it lays dormant, Courtney remains convinced the staff won’t work for her because she’s not Starman’s daughter.
Pat however, has a different theory. The staff won’t work unless she believes in herself again and with Barbara and Pat together, she hones in on her powers. With her eyes closed, she eventually manages to make the staff work for her again.
As the episode closes out, Henry and Jordan are finally on the same page and agree to take out Courtney’s entire family. As they talk, the camera pans across to a countdown featuring a satellite. Time is running out. Tick, tock.
The Episode Review
Despite an abundance of melodrama, Stargirl does a great job raising the emotional stakes for all involved. Courtney sees her faith wavering in everything she’s known and throughout the episode there’s some much-needed reflection from her over what to do next.
There’s an equal emphasis on Pat too, one that sees him slip effortlessly into the role of Courtney’s Father. Seeing Sam and Pat together and the stark difference between them is an important juxtaposition that shows that Courtney’s Fatherly figure is much closer to home than she realized.
While the supporting players of the JSA have little screen-time, this is really an episode all about the Whitmore’s. In that respect, the series does a great job capturing what everyone is fighting for as Project: New America fast approaches.
Quite how Shining Knight fits into all of this and whether we’ll be a conclusive ending remains to be seen but one thing’s for sure – you’re not going to want to miss the finale.