REVIEW: ‘Stargirl’ Season 1, Episode 2 – S.T.R.I.P.E.

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Stargirl, S.T.R.I.P.E.

The newest episode of DC’s Stargirl, titled “S.T.R.I.P.E.”, premiered Tuesday night on the CW Network. The previous episode opens with a big fight between the Justice Society of America (JSA) and the Injustice Society. Starman’s (Joel McHale) sidekick, Pat Dugan (Luke Wilson), tries to save the JSA but fails to do so. Before dying, Starman asks Pat to take his cosmic staff and find the next person who is worthy enough to wield it. The show then flashforwards 10 years and we’re introduced to Courtney (Brec Bassinger) and her family. Pat married Courtney’s mother (Amy Smart) and encouraged them to move Nebraska. While unpacking, Courtney discovers Pat’s files on the JSA, including the cosmic staff. Having picked up the staff, Courtney is chosen to be its wielder, which comes with a whole new set of consequences.

“S.T.R.I.P.E.” opens with a lengthy conversation between Courtney and Pat about Brainwave (Christopher James Baker) and what happened on the night of the big battle. Courtney, still believing that Starman was her father, is determined to bring down the Injustice Society. She goes behind Pat’s back and creates her own costume to become Stargirl. However, she quickly finds out that being the newest holder of the cosmic staff isn’t easy as she thought after a confrontation with Brainwave. Meanwhile, Brainwave pays a visit to another member of the Injustice Society to get support on dealing with Stargirl.

One of the main things that always seems to frustrate me whenever a show implements a dynamic between a child and a step-parent is that they fail to understand one another. It can get rather tiresome to always have to see them deal with constant bickering or being distant. Fortunately, “S.T.R.I.P.E.” took away any of those concerns. There’s still a lack of understanding between Courtney and Pat, but it doesn’t drag on for the entire episode. There’s a mutual agreement that her being Stargirl is much more than their lack of a familial bond. I’m sure there will be some issues in future episodes since they don’t quite see eye-to-eye yet, but the grand plan of getting rid of the Injustice Society seems to be their main priority.

Stargirl

With the big reveal during part five of the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover that S.T.R.I.P.E. would be appearing in Stargirl, I was a bit skeptical of how it would look. Flashbacks of several fights in The Flash came rushing into my head and I feared the worst. Last week’s episode gave me hope that S.T.R.I.P.E. wouldn’t look out of place. However, I was a bit disappointed with seeing the robot in action. There’s a training montage where Pat is testing out the mechanics of S.T.R.I.P.E. but I was too distracted by how unrealistic the CGI looked. On top of that, there are scenes that show Pat inside the robot and then cut to the exterior of it. The cuts don’t help with the flow of the episode. I was reminded of scenes from the original Power Rangers show and how awkward the transitions were shot.

I wasn’t quite sure what to make of Brainwave as a villain, but “S.T.R.I.P.E.” really solidified him as a major threat. The end fight during last week’s episode was a great introduction to just how dangerous he could be, but it left me wanting to see more. Luckily, this week’s episode delivered more than I was expecting. It almost felt like he didn’t even need his powers to seem threatening. During his conversation with another Injustice Society member, his presence was just enough to strike fear. There hasn’t been another villain on a CW show that’s been able to emulate such a menacing aura since Prometheus in Arrow’s fifth season. I can’t wait to see the threats that the other Injustice Society members empose upon Stargirl.

Overall, I really liked watching “S.T.R.I.P.E.”, the second episode of DC’s Stargirl. The quality of the episode was still a high point, which was definitely one of my main worries. I really loved seeing Courtney and Pat slow break the tension between them as they talk more about the JSA’s legacy. The CGI for Pat’s robot could be better but I’m hoping that it improves as the season goes on. Brainwave proved to be a formidable villain, which I’m hoping foreshadows the other members of the Injustice Society.

New episodes of Stargirl premiere every Tuesday at 8 P.M. EST/5 P.M. PST on the CW Network.

Rating
  • 9/10
    - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Overall, I really liked watching “S.T.R.I.P.E.”, the second episode of DC’s Stargirl. The quality of the episode was still a high point, which was definitely one of my main worries. I really loved seeing Courtney and Pat slow break the tension between them as they talk more about the JSA’s legacy. The CGI for Pat’s robot could be better but I’m hoping that it improves as the season goes on. Brainwave proved to be a formidable villain, which I’m hoping foreshadows the other members of the Injustice Society.