Stargirl Season 1 Episode 2 Review: S.T.R.I.P.E.

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It may not have been the most action-packed episode, but viewers did get the general idea of the show's direction by the end of the Stargirl Season 1 Episode 2.

For the remainder of Stargirl Season 1, it looks like Courtney and Pat will track down the members of the Injustice Society of America and bring them to, well, justice.

What is still unclear is who will join them in their efforts, as the second installment was once again 'The Courtney and Pat Show' with guest appearances from Barbara and Brainwave.

Courtney Pat talk long - Stargirl Season 1 Episode 2

As a carryover from Stargirl Season 1 Episode 1, that makes sense to a certain extent, but with only a 13-episode season, there's only so much time to get to know the rest of the cast.

And while not entirely problematic at this juncture, the lack of screen time for most of the series regulars except Brec Bassinger and Luke Wilson means that viewers will have very little emotional connection to these characters when they inevitability become embroiled in the fight for justice or injustice.

Of Courtney's classmates, who will supposedly be the "unlikely group of young heroes," she assembles "to stop the villains of the past," viewers know virtually nothing about most of them.

To be honest, the names of most of the high schoolers escape me, except for Beth, also known as the girl who FaceTimes with her parents at lunch, and, of course, Henry.

Henry King Jr. - Stargirl Season 1 Episode 1

However, even what the audience knows about Henry is limited, other than he's a high school bully who's dating the HBIC Cindy, whose name I did have to look up.

His biggest claim to fame so far is being Brainwave, but with his father down for the count, Henry could assume Brainwave's position on the Injustice Society of America.

Brainwave: What am I thinking?
Henry: Come on, Dad.
Brainwave: Try and guess.
Henry: I hate when you stare at me like this. It’s weird.
Brainwave: Look me in the eyes and tell me what I’m thinking.
Henry: That I have to take the bus? I don’t know.

If he does indeed inherit Brainwave's abilities, it's not hard to imagine Henry aligning himself with the bad guys, especially after learning the role Courtney played in his father's coma.

They do say, 'Like father, like son,' after all.

Brainwave rematch - Stargirl Season 1 Episode 2

On the supervillain side, the writers did a slightly better job of introducing some of the members of the Injustice Society of America.

Besides Brainwave, viewers met The Wizard, The Gambler, and Icicle, and even though none of them had particular lengthy introductions, they still managed to make more of an impact than the teenagers.

Icicle, in particular, seems quite menacing in a psychopathic sort of way, which can be attributed to his jaunty stroll through The American Dream building/the Injustice Society of American headquarters and his nonchalance over killing yet another Starperson.

The Gambler is essentially Icicle's lackey and will fall in line, but the wild card seems to be The Wizard.

Jordan - Stargirl Season 1 Episode 3

Upon first glance, The Wizard seems like Icicle's second-in-command, but he didn't take kindly to being threatened.

Whether or not that means anything remains to be seen.

Steven: Whoever that is, it took out Brainwave. What do we do?
Jordan: We don’t worry, Steven. I killed one Starman. I can kill another.

What is clear is the Injustice Society of America has not only made a home for itself in Blue Valley, but those members are its leaders.

Brainwave is a prominent doctor, The Wizard is a well-respected politician, and Icicle and The Gambler and Icicle are the leaders behind of the American Dream, which besides being a front for the Injustice Society of America, seems to be in charge of the town's revitalization.

Courtney uniform - Stargirl Season 1 Episode 3

Based on this pattern, it stands that the remaining members of the Injustice Society of America are respected and well-known throughout the community.

From here on out, we should assume any adult in a position of power is evil until proven otherwise.

That rule seems to eliminate the creepy janitor from Stargirl Season 1 Episode 1, who seemed to be stalking Courtney.

Then again, there are exceptions to all rules, so who knows.

Henry King Sr. - Stargirl Season 1 Episode 1

What we do know is that with Brainwave down for the count, Stargirl could be positioning itself with a "supervillain of the week" showdown.

While it's not a bad thing to spread out the reveals of the other Injustice Society of America members, it would be too farfetched for Courtney and Pat to defeat a supervillain each episode.

Courtney: I’m Stargirl, and that’s my sidekick.
Pat: Great.

Courtney and Pat barely escaped their fight with Brainwave, and if we're honest, that was mostly due to luck.

As the training montages over the past two episodes have shown, Courtney and Pat are just getting their feet wet when it comes to this superhero stuff.

Courtney costume - Stargirl Season 1 Episode 2

Even during their fight with Brainwave, it was clear just how inexperienced they are.

That's not to say the pair couldn't become a force to be reckoned with, but right now, they're still learning how to use their "powers."

They're also still learning how to work as a team, seeing as the majority of the episode focused on Courtney ignoring everything Pat said to her that didn't support her agenda.

While there didn't need to be multiple scenes with Courtney continuing to disregard Pat's pleas for her to stay out of it, it was still comical to watch the role reversal play out.

Pat truth - Stargirl Season 1 Episode 2

Watching Courtney be the "parent" while Pat was forced, begrudgingly, to fall in line was pretty funny at times.

However, the real crescendo of their one-on-one conversations was when Courtney explicitly asked Pat to be her sidekick.

Courtney: Come on sidekick. Don’t flake on me now.
Pat: The last time I was a sidekick my partner got killed.
Courtney: Yes, but this time you have a freaking robot. You can do this, Pat. The staff chose me, and I choose you. Stargirl and Stripsey. What about STRIPE? Ooh, like an acronym. Um, Subatomic Tactical Robot Internet Pat Enhancer. Nailed it, yes. That’s cool.

Until then, everything Pat said seemed to go in one ear and out the other, but when her stepfather wanted to quit, Courtney wouldn't hear of it.

It was a moving scene and showed that Pat was more than just Courtney's introduction to this world, which her father may or may not have been a part of.

Courtney photo - Stargirl Season 1 Episode 1

And as for Courtney's patronage, this installment didn't touch much on whether Starman was or wasn't Courtney's father, but it still did offer up a bit of information when it comes to inheriting superpowers.

Though Henry hasn't yet demonstrated the ability to read minds, Brainwave seems to think his son could develop such powers, as evidenced by his repeated tests.

If Henry does gain the ability to read minds or move objects telekinetically, that would suggest that superhero powers and abilities can be inherited, meaning the Cosmic Staff could respond to Courtney because she is Starman's daughter.

If not, then it doesn't necessarily answer the question one way or another, for without going into the specifics of genetics, not all children inherit certain traits from their parents.

Pat smile - Stargirl Season 1 Episode 1

Some stray thoughts:

  • Though the series still moved slower than viewers probably would have liked, the episode picked up momentum toward the end.

    Let's hope that action propels the series forward for the remainder of the episodes, as shows with slowly unfolding plotlines don't exactly mesh with the superhero genre.
  • What exactly is the point of Mike's character? While Mike does appear in the comics, his presence in the series has been more of an annoyance.

    He spews quippy one-liners here and there and theoretically rounds out the blended Dugan-Whitmore household, which would be all well and good if the series didn't have such an issue balancing screen time among the core cast. 
Courtney, Barbara, Mike - Stargirl Season 1 Episode 1
  • Though the series may be over-relying on montages, they continue to be some of the best parts of the episode.

    Pat's training montage with his giant robot was fun to watch, but nothing could beat the hilarity of Courtney's costume shenanigans with the sewing machines.
  • Are there any high schools out there where both parents and students come to the open house, or is that just a TV thing?

    For me, open houses were way less formal with parents just going from classroom to classroom, rather than mingling in the gym over refreshments.

So what did you think Stargirl Fanatics?

What are your thoughts on the disproportionate amount of screen time given to Courtney and Pat compared to the other characters?

What secondary character made the biggest impression?

Should the series function as a "supervillain of the week" showdown?

Hit the comments below to let me know what you think.

S.T.R.I.P.E. Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (20 Votes)

Jessica Lerner was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in October 2021.

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Stargirl Season 1 Episode 2 Quotes

Courtney: Brainwave’s in this town somewhere for whatever reason. So let’s go find him…
Pat: You’re being careless, all right. Brainwave might not be alone, and he saw you.
Courtney: It was dark.
Pat: If he finds out who you are and comes here… I don’t even want to think about it. You know, you might laugh at those red and white stripes that I wore, but people looked at those instead of my face. We had costumes for a reason: to protect our families.
Courtney: Costume, check. I’ll probably need a mask too.
Pat: No, no costumes.
Courtney: No, no, I get it. I totally see your point Pat. Protect the family, superhero rule No. 1.
Pat: Rule No. 1 is I’m doing this without you.

Courtney: Who is he?
Pat: He’s called Brainwave, one of the Justice Society’s enemies. A member of the Injustice Society of America.
Courtney: The Injustice Society of America? None of you were good with names, huh Stripsey?