Summer School: Chapter Five
Episode 5 of Stargirl Season 2 begins ten years ago, back in Farmersville, California. A shrill scream pierces the air as Cindy calls out for her Mum. Cindy’s Mother promises that the Dragon King won’t find her, reassuring her daughter as best she can. Only, out from the shadows steps the maniacal lizard, standing over the girl and causing her to scream once more.
This scream jumps us back to the present, where Courtney sneaks back in her room after breaking curfew. She’s been out looking for The Shade following that run-in at the bookstore and offering to team up in order to take out Eclipso. When Pat finds out, he’s not exactly pleased. However, he quickly draws her attention toward a weather report, which should give them the clues needed to track down Eclipso.
Now, given the black diamond they’re after brings out the darkness, Blue Valley has had unusually bad weather, something that reinforces this is a prime spot for this diamond to be situated.
This bad weather is the hot topic at school too, as Courtney briefs the team about what she’s learned about the black diamond. Of course, we already know where it is, as Cindy waits about for Cam in the studio. The conversation is frosty between them, to say the least, but just before she slashes Cam, their art teacher shows up.
Unfortunately, this also has the unfortunate side effect of seeing Mr Deisinger becoming a sacrificial lamb, as Cindy passes him and offers the man to “find his muse”; a strange glint of purple shines in his eye as she says the words.
This glint manifests itself in pretty gnarly ways, with class dismissed early and Deisinger vomiting up paint after the lesson. Hold that thought though, we’ll return to this plot shortly.
Meanwhile, the Shade shows up in Beth’s office, informing her that Courtney has been looking for him. Well, Thee Shade knows more about the diamond than he’s letting on, warning that weird weather is the least of their problems. The Shade is actually there to warn them – and to suggest handing over the location of the black diamond (if Courtney finds it) to him as the safest course of action. Just before leaving, making a grand old exit as he does, the Shade leaves his business card, imprinting his number on the back.
After Beth’s breakthrough with the goggles last episode, she excitedly chirps up with Pat later on that evening. After all, if Dr McNider really is alive, this could be extremely helpful going forward – and could also explain why “Chuck” didn’t recognize her, given it wasn’t actually him. Pat however, remains determined to stick with the weather phenomena for now.
Another problem here stems from Mike, who’s feeling pretty down following his run-in with Thunderbolt several episodes back. Hanging out at the garage, he’s been fixing up a car with Zeek. Pat is worried, and decides to connect with Mike and allow him into helping out with JSA business – together.
Mike takes well to this news, throwing his arms around Pat in a really heartwarming gesture. It’s a small moment but one that shows just how significant this bond is going to be this season.
Speaking of kind gestures, Cameron takes Mr Deisinger’s words to heart and shows off his sketches to Courtney. She’s certainly flattered, but a text from Beth interrupts the pair from sealing the deal with a kiss. Ugh, of all the times. This text is important though as it’s in reference to Deisinger, who’s “inspired” by a horrifying vision, courtesy of Eclipso. It controls the man, forcing him to paint frantically across the room while a deep laughter floats ominously on the air.
The message itself mostly confirms what we already know, with bad weather pointing toward the school being the epicenter for the ill deeds this week. I mean, the swirling clouds and lightning bolts may as well be a great big arrow pointing to this location, but there we go!
With Courtney leading the charge, the JSA kids head into the art studio and find the place covered in pain. Up on the wall we finally catch a glimpse of what Deisinger was drawing; it’s the eye of Eclipso.
Remember that scene from Nightmare on Elm Street where Freddy comes out the wall above our protagonist’s bed? Well, Stargirl pulls that same card too, only this time it’s a figure protruding from the eye of Eclipso. While Courtney deals with this shadowy threat head-on, the other kids find themselves forced to face horrific visions of their own insecurities and nightmares.
The threat of Eclipso is far worse than any of them could have imagined, with Courtney abandoning the group to find Mr Deisinger — the catalyst for all this – covered in paint. He’s not in possession of the diamond though, but Courtney does her best to bring him back from the brink, using the staff to shine a blinding light on the teacher.
This seems to do the trick, as Eclipso disappears – for now. He’s now under psychiatric care, at least according to Pat later on that evening. In his garage, Pat warns that Eclipso is getting stronger and his powers have started to spread beyond that of the black diamond now. That certainly spells big trouble for Blue Valley.
Meanwhile, Cindy shuffles into the ISA headquarters, fingering the diamond and telling them all she needs one more piece of the puzzle for their plan to come to fruition. That piece? None other than Mike himself.
The Episode Review
Stargirl returns this week with a taste of exactly how powerful Eclipso is becoming. The different kids are all forced to face their own fears, with Courtney the only one able to withstand the darkness and fight back against it. Although she manages to free Mr Deisinger, it’s fair to say this was just a warm-up skirmish and nowhere near the level the guys are going to face later on down the line.
Mike is an interesting ingredient to this season though, and after killing Jordan last year, he’s slowly becoming more integral to the story. It’s great to see, and given he was one of the weak links in season 1, the added screen-time – and importance – is very welcome.
Speaking of which, Pat has become a much bigger mentor this time around too and this works well for the story. His experience and knowledge works to harness the kids’ powers, while each of our characters have enough flaws and insecurities to make them easy to root for.
While there isn’t an awful lot going on this week, beyond snippets of The Shade and getting a taste of Eclispo’s true power, there’s enough here to provide a tantalizing glimpse of just what the second half of this show has in store for us. Roll on next week!
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|