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'DC's Stargirl' season 1 episode 2 'S.T.R.I.P.E.' recap

Television

‘DC’s Stargirl’ season 1 episode 2 ‘S.T.R.I.P.E.’ recap

The Arrowverse’s newest hero delivers another decent episode.

Episode 2 of Stargirl starts immediately where the premiere left off with Pat and Courtney fleeing from their encounter with Brainwave. As Pat is flying Courtney home to safety,  Brainwave heads outside and finds the remains of Courtney’s student ID card. When the duo returns home, Courtney confronts Pat about Starman’s past and quickly learns that the super villain, Icicle, was the one ultimately responsible for his death.

Courtney also learns more about why Pat was in Blue Valley to begin with. Turns out that JSA member, Hourman, survived the battle that killed Starman and had begun to follow Injustice Society members all across the country. Hourman and his wife died in an accident but had previously passed their research onto Pat, which brought him to Blue Valley. Courtney decides that she will finish Brainwave, but is soon calmed down by Pat.

Stargirl 1.2.1

Meanwhile, Brainwave visits fellow Injustice Society of America Member William at his home and reveals what he has learned about Starman’s staff. Brainwave then cryptically reveals a plan for Project: New America and that he and William need to continue with said plan no matter what.

The next morning, Brainwave confronts his son Junior about Junior’s previous encounter with Stargirl at the drive-in movie, trying to learn whether it was a girl or boy who had attacked him and his friends. Junior does not give his father solid answers and simply states that it was too dark to really see for certain.

Meanwhile, Pat, who had actually never used the giant mech-suit before the previous night, spends most of the following day learning how to use the suit and makes several modifications along the way. Just like any normal teenager who had just discovered a superpowered staff, Courtney completely ignores Pat’s pleas to leave Brainwave alone and begins to make her own modifications to Starman’s old uniform making it more modern.

After ruining all the sewing machines in the home economics classroom, Courtney returns to lunch and sits at the losers table again with Beth who video calls both of her parents. It just so happens, however, that Beth’s mom works at the same hospital as Henry King (Brainwave) who sees Courtney on the call sitting next to Beth. After a quick internet search, Brainwave discovers that Courtney matches the charred ID he had picked up earlier and decides to attend Open House later that night to confront Courtney.

Later that evening, Courtney and Brainwave have a verbal confrontation inside one of the school’s hallways. It is here that Brainwave instructs Courtney to return to the school at midnight with Starman’s staff or he will kill her mother making it “look like a stroke”. Pat hears about what happened and decides to face Brainwave alone. Courtney is shown holding back tears as she talks to her mother while Pat faces Brainwave at the school in his mech-suit.

Pat proves to be no match for Brainwave as he quickly finds himself trapped and unable to defend himself. Thankfully, Courtney shows up in her new costume with the staff and proudly declares herself “Stargirl”. Courtney then takes her turn to face off against Brainwave, but much like Pat, is no match for the supervillian. However, Pat is able to blind Brainwave long enough to allow Courtney to touch Brainwave on the head with the tip of the Cosmic Staff. This short-circuits Brainwave’s brain and sends him into a comatose state.

Stargirl 1.2.2

Back at home, Courtney is obviously excited with her and Pat’s recent success against Brainwave and wants to immediately track down the other members of the Injustice Society who killed the JSA. While Pat is initially reluctant, he finally agrees to work with Courtney as a team and is soon dubbed her new sidekick, S.T.R.I.P.E.

Meanwhile, Jordan (Icicle), returns from London and arrives at the American Dream Headquarters where Courtney’s mom just started working at. We see Jordan going deep downstairs to a secret basement compartment hiding Solomon Grundy and the Injustice Society war room. It is here that Jordan talks with Steven Sharpe (Barbara’s boss) about Brainwave, deciding that he will be going after Stargirl coldly stating “We don’t worry Steven. I’ve killed one Starman. I can kill another,” as the episode ends.

Stargirl’s second episode felt like a well-rounded ending to a two-part series opener. The world-building continued to be a strong focus point showing enough to drive the story forward while also keeping the viewer interested in future episodes. We were introduced to two additional members of the Injustice Society (William and Steven), saw Solomon Grundy for the first time since last weeks opening scene, witnessed a further build in the inevitable friendship between Beth and Courtney as well as a strengthening relationship between her and Pat. There were also hints that Junior might have the same abiliites as his father, Brainwave, which makes me wonder if he will take up the mantle as a member of the Injustice Society moving forward.

Once again, Stargirl has done a decent job weaving superhero antics into a coming-of-age teen drama. While this episode wasn’t as heavy in the ‘teen drama’ field, there was still enough upbeat moments in the episode to continue to be a quirky highlight in the Arrowverse’s morbid catalogue. Now that the background story has been fully fledged out in two episodes, it will be interesting to see if Stargirl falls into the “villain of the week” trope or if it takes a more unique approach to story telling.

You can catch DC’s Stargirl Mondays on DCU and Tuesdays on The CW.

'DC's Stargirl' season 1 episode 2 'S.T.R.I.P.E.' recap
Stargirl S 1 E 2: 'S.T.R.I.P.E.'
Stargirl weaves superhero antics and coming-of-age teen drama creating a quirky highlight in the Arrowverse's morbid catalogue.
More strong CGI and visual aids.
Buddying relationships between Courtney and Pat/Beth.
Foreshadowing of future events.
Cliffhanger ending.
Less teen drama more superhero.
Episodes 1 and 2 could have aired together to give a more "together" debut.
Not as wholesome as last epiosde.
The series will need to find a balance between teen drama and superhero series in a new and interesting way to keep casual audiences interested.
Characters that were introduced last episode had little or no screen time this episode.
6.5
Good

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