Episode nine of Stargirl continues to prove that the villains of the series are indeed the most captivating characters of the show. We finally see Brainwave Jr. start to come into his own as he begins to understand and control the telepathic powers he inherited from his father.
In an interesting twist, we see Brainwave and his son come into their own as villains with their ability to read the minds of others polluting (or at least slowly starting to in Brainwave Jr.’s case) their stance on humanity. Even though Henry Jr. appears to kill a man at the end of the episode (and subsequently waking his dad up from his coma), there are still enough questions surrounding his character development that makes his path feel anything but concrete.
Jordan continues to be the deepest character in the entire ensemble. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, there is something about a villain that is justified in his or her actions that you can’t help but root for. Last episode the cause of his wife’s death was revealed, showing the darker side of Jordan’s actions, however, we get an almost 180 degree turn here as we see him strictly in the caring and invested parent role. You can tell in the brief interactions with his son and his parents over the course of a simple dinner, that Jordan would do anything to protect his family.
Let’s talk about Jordan’s parents here for a second though… sure, Jordan as Icicle has been portrayed as the main antagonist of the show, next to Cindy Burman, but his parents give off a much stronger sense of evil. I’m not sure if we will ever see further character development for them, but they tend to give off more stereotypical black and white bad guy vibes when compared to Jordan’s more in-the-middle gray area approach.
After over half a season of being hinted at, we as viewers are finally told what the actual purpose of Project: New America is! According to Dragon King, now that Henry Jr. has shown that he too is a telepath, they no longer have to wait for Henry Sr. to wake up. Instead, their plan to control the minds of all adults in a 6-state radius will be ready within a week.
Speaking of Dragon King, it is also revealed in this episode that his daughter Cindy did in fact kill her mother, and is threatening to kill her father as well. I’m curious to see how the JSA will get wind of what the ISA is planning and what they will do to attempt to stop it.
The character interactions have continued to be a bright spot each week. It is obvious that this cast enjoy one another and work well off each other. Last week, Beth and Pat stole the show with their scene, and this week, two short interactions between other characters steal this show.
For the first time since sending out her nudes to the entire school, Yolanda dressed as Wildcat confronts Henry Jr., threatening to kill him. This dynamic is great since we see two characters who have so much bundled up emotions and history with each other, yet only know their specific side of their personal story. Yolanda easily matches Rick’s trademark anger in this episode, at the same time revealing that she has a few more issues that she needs to work through as well.
I personally am loving the Courtney and Cameron dynamic that has been developing slowly over the course of this season. I’m getting some serious Spider-Man: Homecoming flashbacks here where the hero (Courtney) is planning on going to the Homecoming Dance with the big bad’s (Icicle’s) son Cameron. The only real question I have is whether Icicle knows who Courtney is yet?
We’re building to something big here and I’m looking forward to the ultimate blow off in the upcoming weeks. We also saw Janitor Justin once again in this episode and the in-universe confirmation that the Seven Soldiers of Victory also exist (or existed). This is yet another element that has been given the slow-burn treatment that we are soon to see come to a head.
The music selection of a show or movie cannot be understated and is something that I have started paying more and more attention to the more that I write up these recaps/reviews. In this episode, during Henry Jr.’s montage of watching his father’s video recordings, we see him practicing his new-found abilities to Cypress Hill’s “Insane in the Membrane.” Membrane-brainwave. Hah, get it? I loved it!
I have really come to appreciate that this series doesn’t need over-the-top action sequences to drive story elements or the tension/drama forward, which is once again evident in this episode. Just knowing that Henry Jr. knows that Courtney is Stargirl, that Courtney discovers Icicle is her mother’s boss, and that Barbara sees Courtney and Pat with the Cosmic Staff are all key points that will easily carry the series into the final few episodes of the season.
Interested in watching Stargirl? You can catch is Mondays on DC Universe and Tuesdays on The CW.