Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. Part Two
It all comes down to this. The final fight between the ISA and JSA commences and Stargirl wastes little time getting stuck into the action. And action is what this episode is all about.
From start to finish the episode boasts some wonderful choreography and it’s backed up by a surprising and fitting end to some characters.
Before we get there though, the season 1 finale of Stargirl begins in spectacular fashion. Tremors rock the school as the football field opens up to reveal a giant satellite dish. Shock-waves pulsate out as all the adults fall under the ISA’s spell.
Pat meanwhile continues to feel the effects too until Courtney manages to get through to him. She calls him her Father and it stops the robot in its tracks. Pat grits his teeth and tries to fight back against the broadcast.
Meanwhile, The Gambler antagonizes Beth until she manages to team up with Chuck and get the upper-hand. She hits Gambler right where it hurts – in the money. This proves to be just the distraction needed for the blockers to switch on and free both Justin and Pat.
With all the team gathered together, they converge in Dragon King’s lair and fight. It’s a slick action sequence, one that smoothly moves the camera between the different characters as they skirmish with their own one on one fights. Justin and Dragon King square off until Cindy of all people stabs her Father from behind.
With the JSA gaining the upper-hand, Solomon Grundy turns the tables back in favour of the ISA. With everyone fighting their own battles, Jordan sneaks off to find Beth and her goggles. Yolanda meanwhile, manages to find Henry Jr alive and well, hiding as one of the goons. Only, this is actually an illusion and Henry Senior in disguise. Yolanda sees right through this though and manages to kill Brainwave.
Realizing his time is up, The Gambler deletes everything that could incriminate him and slips away. At the same time, Rick and Grundy go toe to toe until Rick gets the upper-hand and beats Grundy down to the ground.
With the killing blow in sight, interestingly Rick doesn’t go the same route as Yolanda. Instead, Grundy’s pleas cause him to think twice and he lets the mutant go.
Courtney manages to get past Cindy and together with Yolanda, manages to destroy the satellite. Only, just as they do Jordan arrives and destroys Beth’s goggles and seemingly Chuck too.
With the plan lost, Jordan snatches up Barbara and takes her to the roof. He tries desperately to have her see his vision but she turns away from him, calling the man insane.
Thankfully, Pat and Courtney show up to help. As the fight crescendos, Jordan turns to ice and looks set to kill Courtney. Suddenly, a car smashes into Jordan and seemingly destroys this foe once and for all. Would you believe it, it’s Mike!
With the threat quelled for now, Justin leaves Blue Valley. Just before he does, he tells the others that Starman would be proud of them. He’s on the move, looking for old soldiers and his trusted steed.
While the battle is over, the war is far from done. A strange hat-wearing man sits in the shadows of the ISA headquarters watching the news. As he does, smoke curls up like tendrils and engulfs the picture on the wall. Cindy meanwhile finds a strange diamond in the basement and smiles. “I found you…Eclipso.”
Six weeks pass and it’s Christmas time. Courtney gives Pat his present, which happens to be a mug with “World’s Greatest Dad” on it. As all of our characters live out their happy-for-now lives, the epilogue looks to turn that upside down.
It’s here we cut to California with a man looking for Pat. That man? Sylvester Pemberton aka. Starman.
The Episode Review
One of the best parts of Stargirl is the way every character has been written. What seemed to be a quirk and indifferent teen drama early on has really taken the time to flesh out its villains. The entire ISA team – especially Brainwave and Jordan – are given decent motivation.
You can understand what Jordan is trying to do and this believability prevents him falling into the atypical megalomaniac category. He may be insane but he also believes in his own cause.
The interesting juxtaposition with team JSA is the real talking point here though. Specifically, Rick letting Grundy go and Yolanda killing Brainwave. Seeing Yolanda force a smile at the end could prove to be a foreshadowed glimpse of season 2. Could she turn to the dark side? Given how she seemed to revel in Brainwave’s Death it may not be that far-fetched to think so.
All in all though, Stargirl has been a really pleasant surprise. The move across to CW for season 2 remains a little troubling though. Hopefully we get a consistent amount of action and special effects like we have here.
The balance this season between drama and action has been perfect and Stargirl is certainly one of the brighter stars in the superhero sky. As all eyes now turn to season 2, Stargirl bows out its first season in impressive fashion.