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Review/Recap: Stargirl S2E1 “Summer School: Chapter One”

Stargirl’s season two premiere starts off with a flashback to the a Golden Age, with a young Rebecca meeting a young boy named Bruce in small town Indiana. Young Bruce coaxes her to disobey her mothers’ order to stay on the porch, causes her to almost get hit by a car and steal a present from her neighbors birthday party stash on the nearby front porch. The present turns out to be a possessed doll and Bruce turns out to be an evil entity and Rebecca ends up presumably dead and found by her mother with her screams heard while the camera ominously focuses in on her family mailbox in front of the abandoned front porch and the name McNider.

We then flash to the future with Stargirl and her team patrolling before curfew strikes on the hunt for supervillains but, no one believes that any ISA members remain free except Courtney who really wants to stay on patrol. The other team New JSA members head home and Stargirl retreats to her home to go over old JSA files to find some new evil to go up against.

Life As They Know It: Courtney becomes so involved in finding evil where there might not be any that Pat tries to remind her to enjoy the quiet moments and life itself. With no one willing to go on her over vigilant quest with her this episode sets Stargirl up to be the superhero who cried wolf, especially when we seen the glowing orb in her makeshift lair near her research. This set up makes it feel like the supervillains aren’t going to be the only foil to the team this season, Stargirl is going to have to go up against finding a workable solution for maintaining work/school/life balance. Courtney isn’t the only one having problems, Beth discovers her parents are getting a divorce, Hourman Jr., finds a mysterious trouble site in the woods on his way to school and Yolanda/ Wildcat has made crying in a confessional her daily routine as she deals with the memory of losing someone she cared about and then having to kill his father to save herself and the rest of the JSA.

Episode MVP: Not a major character by any means but, Zeek gave me joy. His character is a comedic delight that added a bit of levity to an otherwise dark and serious episode. He oversteps, he’s nosy, pushy and wants to put a flamethrower on Stripsey but, damn it if watching him do whatever he’s gonna do no matter what Pat says and watching Pat get all flustered while trying to be small town polite isn’t the most awesome thing, IDK what is.

New Storyline, Who This? This season Courtney has an unfortunate run in with Artemis in the lunchroom where she flips her classmate and the run in leads me to believe that we are about to get more Artemis. Whether she’s going to be a villain or join the JSA is yet to be seen but, whichever way this storyline goes I’m sure it’s going to be interesting. There’s also the OG Starman who’s looking for his old sidekick/driver and potentially his staff.

Best Scene: It’s a tie for best scene. This episode we get an emotional scene between Pat and Courtney in the school hallway after finding out that not only did she attack a fellow student (see above paragraph) but, she is failing several classes and has to go to summer school in order to continue on the junior year. The two talk about how her Stargirl duties in some cases are going to have to come in second to school , Courtney makes a quip about Pat quitting his superhero duties which stings a little but, they come back full circle and compromise enough to have them both leave without a bad taste in their mouths. The second scene that’s worth mentioning is a more action based one than an emotional and cerebral one. Watching Stargirl go toe to toe with the owner of the green orb in what we are lead to believe is an intruder with villainous intent we discover it’s actually the Green Lantern’s daughter! But, that fight scene was amazing!

Overall: As far as second season premieres go, this was a solid episode. It tied up some lingering questions from the season finale, delved into the emotional and mental backlash of the teams actions from last seasons finale, added some new insights and storylines , all while making sure the episode was cohesive and interesting. The premiere also set up a less campy tone than the other CW /DC collaborations and even though the show is centered around high schoolers some of the plot point are not only universal but border on adult. The show goes dark but, in a way that pulls you in and revolves around emotional depth, multidimensional character development and a genuine story that you care about. The writers and director managed to hook me in by the time the credits rolled and make me eager to see how the rest of the season plays out.

Rating: 8.4

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