It may be family-friendly content, but at least viewers now know the series has some grit.
Sure, the two recurring characters offed on Stargirl Season 1 Episode 3 were mostly non-essential to the overarching plot, but with the writers following through and taking the plunge shows that no one may is safe.
Or rather, no one except Courtney and Pat, as if the writers killed one of them off, there would barely be any story left to tell.
Any sort of attempt to memorialize The Wizard or Joey would feel false, as the audience barely knew anything about them.
From the little viewers saw of Joey, he seemed like a nice, if somewhat shy, high-schooler who didn't seem to inherit his father's talents for magic.
The Wizard, of course, had actual magical abilities, but it's to feel sympathy for him, as he was a member of the Injustice Society of America.
However, The Wizard's allegiance seems to have been to his family foremost, as nothing could have stopped him from going after Icicle after learning the role the leader of the Injustice Society played in his son's death.
While these deaths don't pack quite an emotional punch for the audience, Courtney and Pat are shaken, which is probably the point.
Since Stargirl Season 1 Episode 1, Courtney has been almost reckless in her attempt to bring down the supervillains responsible for her presumed father's death.
Pat: Hey, will you just listen to me for once? Everything in this room is dangerous, all right? This life is. A kid died today, a child. That’s why we can’t go on.
Courtney: A kid died today, and that’s exactly why we have to Pat. This is our destiny, Pat.
Pat: You know, that’s exactly what Starman said to me the night he died. Come on, we’re leaving, and until I say so, no more Stargirl and STRIPE. Let’s go.
Even Pat's constant warnings fall on deaf ears, as Courtney only has eyes on getting justice and taking the Injustice Society.
This time, though, Courtney is forced to contend that Pat's warnings haven't been for naught, as someone died this time around.
And while Joey's death wasn't her fault, she indirectly set into motion a series of events that led to the young Zarick being hit by that card.
If anything, that should at least give Courtney pause about barreling headfirst into a fight with supervillains who have had decades of experience.
Instead, it only strengthens her resolve.
It's understandable that Courtney wants to avenge Joey's death, but one would think this would have the effect of tempering her impulsivity.
Maybe, it would be wise to take a beat and listen to Pat.
For Courtney, that would be a hard pass, as the installment ends with her stealing items from the Justice Society of America's headquarters and starting the process of recruiting the next generation.
Pat: Doctor Mid-Nite’s not coming back. None of them are, Court. Icicle and the Injustice Society killed them all. The truth is you and I don’t stand a chance against them.
Courtney: What if we had help? I’m the new Starman, so why couldn’t there be a new Hourman or a new Doctor Mid-Nite?
Pat: No, no one can take their place.
Courtney: That’s what you said about Starman, but then the staff picked me.
Pat: Court, these guys, I mean, they were the best in the world.
Courtney: Did they start out like that?
Pat: No, but still, with years of experience, they couldn’t defeat the Injustice Society. Do you understand that?
Courtney: This stuff shouldn’t be sitting here, collecting dust. It should be in the hands of possible heroes.
While this is what Stargirl Season 1 inevitably has been building to, it'd have been nice to see her working with Pat hand in hand to reform the Justice Society.
Since the pilot, Courtney has disregarded everything Pat has said, and while it was somewhat endearing at first, it's now become annoying.
Pat isn't some rookie sidekick with no experience under his belt.
He was Starman's sidekick for years and watched all of his friends die at the hands of the Injustice Society 15 years ago.
When Pat preaches caution, he isn't doing it to be a buzzkill or fulfill his role as the responsible parent; he knows exactly what he's talking about and the atrocities the Injustice Society is capable of, having lived through it before.
Courtney may not be willing to accept Pat as the father figure in her life yet, but she should at least be willing to accept him as her Yoda or a teacher of sorts rather than just sidekick.
It'd be nice if Courtney could at least acknowledge some of this, even if she still decides to disregard his advice.
It would at least show she appreciates how far out of his way Pat has gone for her, and everything he is trying to do to keep her safe.
Courtney: We have to find the rest of the Injustice Society. They’ve probably assumed new identities in Blue Valley like Brainwave did.
Pat: OK, weren’t you even a little scared of Brainwave? I mean, we both could have been killed.
Courtney: But we weren’t, and as crazy and insane as it was, it was the first time since we moved to Blue Valley that I felt like I was in the right place, like I finally know who I really am. Starman’s daughter, Stargirl.
Pat: Court, even if there are other members of the ISA here, we need to proceed carefully, lay low, make a plan.
Courtney: I have a three-point plan: find them, surprise them, kick their asses. We’re Stargirl and STRIPE.
Pat: Being a superhero is not being one most of the time. I need to find out if Brainwave was alone or not, and I need you to go to school and just act like a normal teenager.
Courtney: That’s boring.
Pat: That’s safe.
There's a lot about Pat that Courtney seems to be taking for granted, so it'd be nice if she could at least appear thankful for everything her new stepfather is doing for her.
Becoming her sidekick isn't in the step-parenting handbook after all.
Elsewhere, Courtney found herself getting to better know some of her classmates, including a cute boy named Cameron, who just so happens to be Icicle's son.
Considering this is one of the oldest tropes out there, was anyone else actually surprised?
I'll take that as a resounding 'no.'
Unlike Icicle's parents who seem keenly aware -- and surprisingly accepting -- of who their son is, Cameron appears to know nothing about what his father gets up to in his spare time.
Given that Cameron is Icicle's son, there's a chance he could inherit his father's abilities, but it's still a coin toss at this point which side he'd end up on.
By nature, Cameron doesn't seem like a bad guy -- he was the one that painted over Yolanda's nature after all.
Icicle: William, you stumbled into your powers. You killed your master before his lessons were complete, and it shows. That wand of yours, it’s capable of show much more, but instead of thinking big, you just continue to think small. Even now, you’re still performing the same old tired show; you’ve just changed one stage for another. You spend your days making promises to people, but much like every politician, you don’t keep them. And the same way you didn’t keep your promise to me.
The Wizard: Jordan…
Icicle: You seem to think that power comes from other people’s perception of you – from recognition or applause – but that’s not true power. No, William, true power doesn’t need to be seen.
However, blood is thicker than water, and with Icicle being the only parent Cameron has, it may be hard for him to completely disavow his father, no matter how evil Icicle is.
It's also possible that Cameron may side with Icicle after learning more about his mother's death.
Though still somewhat vague, Icicle's plot for vegenance somehow traces back to his late wife, so if the people who are inadverently responsible for Christine's death are in Blue Valley, Cameron may have a harder time fighting on the side of justice.
Since this is a TV show, after all, Courtney and Cameron will continue to grow closer, with their true identities and natures being revealed at the most inopportune time, possibly right before their relationship takes a romantic turn.
With it being Courtney's sole mission in life to avenge Starman and the Justice Society, she'll probably take the news harder that her new crush is the son of her No. 1 enemy.
That should quell any burgeoning relationship for the time being, but there is a reason 'enemies to lovers' is such a favorite romantic trope.
Some stray thoughts:
Though The Gambler may not find Barbara's ideas for revitalizing dowtown promising, Icicle sure does seem to have taken a liking to the American Dream's newest employee.
Part of me thinks he just knows that Barbara is Courtney's mom and is trying to get close to the family, but the other part of me wonders if his enthusiam is genuine.
Also, there seemed to be a little bit of a spark between them, and if she didn't just marry Pat, I'd worry that something may eventually happen between them. It still could, but I'd put manipulating Barbara to get to Courtney over marital affair at this point.
Why do we still know so little about Courtney's classmates. If they're supposed to be the new members of the Justice Society, specifically those at the losers table, isn't it about time that viewers got to know them a little better?
Icicle is obviously a supervillain, and he knows that, but is there any possibility he thinks his actions are for the greater good? That would be more interesting than him being evil for evil's sake.
So what did you think Stargirl Fanatics?
Did the deaths raise the stakes for you?
Is Courtney's disregard for Pat's advice getting old?
Which side will Cameron choose when the time comes?
Don't forget to hit the comments below to let me know your thoughts. If you happened to miss the latest episode, remember you can watch Stargirl online at TV Fanatic.
Jessica Lerner was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in October 2021.