Like has been the case for every episode so far, Stargirl’s fourth episode starts with a flashback. This time to three months ago as we see Yolanda (the girl that has been slut-shamed in the first three episodes) in the middle of her campaign to become Blue Valley High School’s Student Body President.
We see Yolanda in a completely different light here — totally upbeat, smiling, wearing bright clothes and sharing laughs in the hallway with her classmates acting as a polar opposite to the character we have seen in the series so far. We see this infectious character right until nude photographs that she sent to her boyfriend Henry Jr get spread around the school in the middle of her campaign speech humiliating her literally right in front of the whole school. What’s worse is that her family completely shun her following the incident.
Fast forward to present time, we once again see Courtney and the rest of her family in the kitchen all preparing for their day. Courtney and Pat have a brief altercation on how to proceed with the Injustice Society so shortly after Joey’s death. We then go to a scene where we see Jordan (Icicle) walking down the stairs to the Injustice Society’s headquarters. He proceeds to have a quick conversation with a “Doctor” where he promises him the body of William to help with research and advancement of Project: New America.
Back at school, Courtney once again stands up to Cindy and tries to defend Yolanda before finally admitting the truth to Yolanda about blowing up Henry’s car at the Drive-In. The girls ultimately bond over Yolanda’s hatred of Henry before trying on the Wildcat costume. After complaining about the look and smell, Yolanda puts the Wildcat helmet on which it automatically changes the entire costume to form-fit her body. We then see an uplifting and humorous montage where Courtney and Yolanda use a Wikipedia article to learn about Wildcat’s abilities.
The newly formed super duo then decide to put their abilities to the test and check the hospital to see if any of Brainwave’s friends have signed in to visit him since going into a coma. Yolanda successfully scales the wall of the hospital and does a little investigating before meeting up with Courtney. The girls then see Principal Bowen show up in Brainwave’s room and starts playing the violin. Both girls are immediately suspicious and head to the roof to start discussing what they saw.
Meanwhile, Pat runs into Denise, William’s wife and Joey’s mother, who warns him that he needs to be careful in Blue Valley and there is much more going on than he is aware.
Yolanda returns home after her night out with Courtney and confronts her family about their mistreatment of her since the incident at school. Yolanda gives a passionate speech about her feelings and learning from her mistakes only to be shut down and sent to her room. Yolanda is obviously discouraged before putting the Wildcat costume back on and jumping from her window to go reconvene with Courtney.
At the end of the episode, Pat returns to the scrap yard that he has been frequenting to get more supplies for his ‘project’ only to run into a black cat; the same black cat he saw with Denise earlier. As Pat keeps looking in the scrap yard, he finds Denise’s car battered and empty.
Obviously, the main question leading into next week’s episode is what happened to Denise. Did Jordan get to her first to tie up loose ends? Was it the Doctor character that was introduced in the Injustice Society? Or was it something else completely? We can also assume that next week Courtney and Yolanda will continue to recruit more members of the JSA with Beth being the most obvious choice.
What I am enjoying about this series as a whole is the fact that the writers are not afraid to tackle some heavy issues that are very prominent in the lives of teens across the country; slut-shaming and nude photography. Yolanda went from a bright, cheerful, popular girl full of energy who wore bright colors and always had a smile on her face to a sad, reserved, embarrassed, and angry girl who wears dark colors and sweaters to hide as much of her body as possible. As a public secondary school teacher, I see this happen more often than I would like to admit. So often you see the happiest girls turn into their own worst enemies, which is something that the writers and actors pulled off very well. Luckily for Yolanda, she has someone like Courtney to act as her guiding light to come out of her dark place.
While Stargirl has already tackled issues like death and bullying, the show also does a fair job of balancing those tough issues with legitimate funny moments. I personally love the Beth character and cannot help but chuckle whenever she is on screen. This week she shows up at the hospital to surprise her mom with dinner, only this time she changes the type of pasta she used and cannot wait to blow her mom’s socks off. I am very much looking forward to her joining up with Courtney and Yolanda in the (hopefully) near future. I would like to give another shout out to the Wikipedia reference that not only added a sense of reality to a fictional show, but also got a genuine laugh out of me.
Like I said last week, I tend to enjoy shows that have a slow burn approach to story and plot, however, there are some instances where the plot doesn’t develop fast enough. Last week we had a whole episode devoted to a real introduction to Jordan as a character and main villain in the series only to see him for around sixty seconds this week. There was also no mention of the American Dream in the episode and Courtney’s mom Barbara barely receives any screen time either. Oh, remember the gym owner? No, me neither.
Not that screen time (or lack thereof) for those characters are major issues, but I would like to see at least slight development for their characters weekly so the audience doesn’t forget about them. For the life of me, I cannot remember the name of the gym owner that has had conversations with Pat and I refuse to look it up to make a point. What is a major issue for me is still the younger brother Mike. Instead of getting an additional scene of importance, we get two scenes of Mike complaining about his Pop Tart addiction. I’m hoping that he will add something to the series eventually but it just doesn’t look promising.
Overall, “Wildcat” is another strong episode for the Arrowverse’s newest hero. What this episode lacked in action, it more than made up for in addressing an issue that our nation’s adolescents face daily.
Interested in Stargirl? You can catch it Mondays on DC Universe and Tuesdays on The CW.