Brief Thoughts On ‘Stargirl’ Episode 8

by Erik Amaya

If you didn’t think Cindy Burman (Meg DeLacy) was evil before, her love of cherry cordials has to seal the deal.
And by emphasizing Cindy’s maliciousness as more than teen-aged queen bee energy, it seems the point of Stargirl‘s eighth episode is to further cement Cindy as Courtney’s (Brec Bassinger) archfoe. They have that “in a better world, we would’ve been friends” vibe when she reaches out to the injured Stargirl about her problems with her father, Dr. Ito (Nelson Lee). And, indeed, parallel scenes of them being admonished by their respective father figures go a long way to suggesting they are far more similar than either might like. But considering where the episode goes, their rivalry is one of the most thrilling elements of the series thus far. Hopefully, Cindy will be in a state to continue it come the next episode.
Meanwhile, it was nice to see the other JSAers working as a team even if their plan was ultimately flawed. The fact Beth (Anjelika Washington) could talk Rick (Cameron Gellman) down from his hot-head posturing pretty much makes her our odds-on favorite for team leader. Unfortunately, she still has that impetuous streak like Courtney and put herself into far more danger than necessary. Once she found the steam tunnels under the house, that should’ve been enough to call a retreat. Nonetheless, she went to Cindy’s room and found the photo of Dr. Ito — the real big revelation of the episode as Pat (Luke Wilson) finally knows that old JSA enemy is also in town.
For those of us watching at home, though, Chuck’s (Henry Thomas) brief infodump on the doctor continues a thread of ISA and JSA characters existing during World War II. Their longevity — and Ito’s apparent immortality as history says he was executed for war crimes — has to be more than an in-joke at this point. Did they all loose two decades in the 1950s, a la the JSA comics series of the mid-1990s? Or did they all enjoy unnatural long life and vitality via other means than getting stuck in a parallel dimension?
Also, since we’re asking questions about the past …
Pat mentions the Cosmic Staff came into Sylvester’s life after he had been the Star-Spangled Kid. Did Ted Knight give him the staff and the Starman identity sometime in the 1990s? And, if so, does that mean the Jack Knight of this world never took up the mantle himself? Is Jack in Opal City peacfully minding his collectables shop?
Or is the show setting him up for a much larger role? We’re huge fans of that Starman run (written by Stargirl producer James Dale Robinson), so we might be biased in hoping he will appear.
Coming back to the present, we appreciated the bonding moment between Courtney and Mike (Trae Romano). Allowing the pair to engage in a genuine, if brief, conversation is the sort of character building the show needs to do now that it has seemingly introduced all of its Season 1 players. For his part, Mike is little more than a character description and giving the viewer some idea of how he feels about Courtney and vice-versa is a starting point for added depth on both their parts.
But man, do we feel for Pat at this point. He’s terrible at wrangling kids and it seems like his marriage is already in trouble. Considering Mike noticed the time he spends with Courtney, Barbara (Amy Smart) has to be concerned now that Courtney’s been hurt. We keep expecting her to be a pawn in Icicle’s (Neil Jackson) game and this could be setting up her doubts about Pat. Then again, the show is so lighthearted that it might not want to have her misconstrue Pat’s relationship with Courtney as anything unseemly or illegal.
As for the other kids, how is he ever going to train them? If this were a comic book, Ted Grant would appear out of the mists and whip them into shape. But since he’s (presumed) deceased, it is up to Pat and he just doesn’t seem up to the task — consider how he never told any of them to update Courtney on their status after they left Cindy’s house.
Finally, we have to talk about Henry (Jake Austin Walker), who has finally come into possession of his powers. While Dr. Ito will no doubt believe his daughter was lying about Henry’s lack of abilities, their violent manifestation was one of the best sequences the show has yet realized. His palpable confusion — audibly conveyed via the mess of thoughts he could hear from Cindy and Courtney — is the sort of thing we expect to happen to telepaths; but rarely see done with such economy or effectiveness.
It also means Icicle can finish his scheme. And with only five episodes left in the season, we expect that plan to become clear shortly.
Stargirl streams Mondays on DC Universe and airs Tuesdays on The CW.

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