When a television series has weeks of strong episode after strong episode, there will eventually be one that doesn’t hold up. Unfortunately for Stargirl, this episode is it. As the credits rolled on “Shining Knight”, I couldn’t help but feel slightly underwhelmed.
After being emailed by Barbara in last week’s episode, Courtney’s father Sam shows up at their house in Blue Valley. ‘Flat’ is honestly the best way to describe what follows. In a series that has excelled in building relationships between its cast, the missing father dynamic and reveal did nothing to add to the overall feel of the season. Sure, you could argue that Courtney finding out that her father is in fact not Starman created a sense of doubt and confusion to her motives, but again, it just felt unnecessary at this point.
You’re supposed to feel bad for Courtney, but the only character I felt bad for was Mike when he was being yelled at by Pat for interrupting his heart to heart conversation with Courtney. You can tell Mike is terrified that Pat and Barbara are splitting up and just wants answers. Not only that but he can see his relationship with his father growing farther apart as he gets closer with Courtney. This makes me wish we would have continued to see Mike and Barbara’s relationship continue to grow.
Sam’s arrival isn’t all bad news as we do see just how strong Pat and Courtney’s relationship has become. When Sam lies to Courtney in order to get her locket (that he gave her!) to sell for a down payment on a house in California, Courtney, with her heart shattered, cries into Pat’s shirt. I also uttered an audible “yes!” with a fist in the air when Pat catches up to Sam on his way out of town and punches him in the face. I loved it.
Perhaps it is because we are so close to the season finale that you can almost taste it, but I can’t help but feel that Sam showing up in Blue Valley could have been done earlier or even saved until season two.
The reveal of the Shining Knight is also a source of disappointment in this episode. With an episode titled “Shining Knight”, I couldn’t help but expect something major for a character we have seen over the course of the season and have become even more interested in learning about.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get much. All we really learn about the Shining Knight character is that he has amnesia (perhaps induced by Dragon King and Project New America?), remembers Pat is Stripesy, and that he wields the sword Excalibur that was given to him by King Arthur himself. Seriously… that’s all we get.
Overall, episode 11 of Stargirl is fine. We did get some cool moments, like when we see Brainwave remembering Courtney is Stargirl and Icicle giving him the OK to kill Courtney and his entire family. We also see at the end of the episode that there are only 12 measly hours left until Project: New America is ready to begin.
Even those story line developments just aren’t enough to make up for the disappointing elements of Courtney’s father Sam and the Shining Knight’s backstory that took up the majority of the episode. I would have also loved to see more of the JSA dealing with the aftermath of Henry’s death in the last episode. We barely got a mention of Yolanda going to church before school to pray.
I appreciate what the writers are trying to accomplish, however, it just didn’t hit the notes it needed to. Here’s to hoping next week has a stronger and more exciting episode as we head into the season finale.
Interested in watching Stargirl? You can catch It Mondays on DC Universe and Tuesdays on The CW.