Generation Justice: Stargirl Episode 110, "Brainwave Jr."

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Stargirl 110 Brainwave Jr

There's a lot happening in this episode of STARGIRL, and the title -- "Brainwave Jr." -- is a promising one. I've been hoping that Henry King Jr. (Jake Austin Walker) was going to come out a hero instead of following in the villainous footsteps of his father, the Injustice Society's resident telepath, Brainwave (Christopher James Baker), and I was right. Sort of.

But before we can deal with that, we are thrown into the family chaos that has erupted in the Whitmore-Dugan household. Barbara Whitmore (Amy Smart) has seen the cosmic staff in action, and now it's up to Pat (Luke Wilson) and Courtney (Brec Basinger) to tell her the truth about what Stargirl, and Barb does not take the news well at all. In fact, she's so angry she makes Pat leave for the night. Mike (Trae Romano) overhears, and decides to go with his dad to spend the night at the repair shop.

At the hospital, Henry King Sr has awakened from his coma, but he has no memory of the past ten years. His last memory is of his wife dying, and that she was "so cold." The implication here is that Icicle, Jordan Mahkent (Neil Jackson) killed her, but more importantly is who his wife was: Merry, Girl of a Thousand Gimmicks -- aka Starman's sister!

Henry Junior goes home to dig through his father's video diaries and finds the day of his mother's death. This information further cements the idea that his mother died because of the Icicle; because of the ISA killing her brother when they attacked the Justice Society.

While Courtney sits in her bedroom, the Cosmic Staff flies in through her window, like a dog wanting to be taken for a walk. She sends it away, saying she can't get be going out right now, under orders from her mother. But that doesn't stop the staff from going out by itself. It heads straight to Brainwave's hospital room, where it attacks Brainwave and Icicle -- and gets caught by Icicle, who convinces Brainwave to come with him so that Dr. Ito (Nelson Lee) can restore his full memories. This is something Henry Jr. does not want, because this version of his father still has the potential for good in him.

When Stargirl finds the staff missing, she goes to her mother, and they discuss her father. Barbara is very adamant that Starman was not her father. She also tells Courtney to start packing. They're going to be leaving Blue Valley. As soon as Barbara has left for work, Courtney goes straight to the garage and tells Pat about Barbara's plans. He is okay with her leaving if it means she is safe, but when he learns she has gone to work -- given that her boss is Jordan Mahkent -- he realizes she's in the most dangerous place in town and goes to see her. When he leaves, Mike comes out and wants to know the secret that everyone is fighting about. He feels left out, and puts up walls, accusing Courtney of not accepting him as her brother. At this point, with Mike being the only member in the family who doesn't know the Stargirl secret, he's right.

Henry goes to Courtney for help, and telepathically flashes everything he knows into her head. This scares her, but then realizes that they are family -- cousins -- and embraces him. He wants her help to save his father. Courtney is more than willing, but admits they're going to need help. But her friends -- the new JSA -- aren't keen on coming to the aid of one they consider the enemy, particularly Yolanda (Yvette Monreal), who has her own personal grudge against her former boyfriend for his humiliating betrayal of her. Rick (Cameron Gellman) is ready to fight him right there. But Beth (Anjelika Washington) is the peacemaker, and they begrudgingly agree to come together this one time; but Yolanda makes it clear that this is just to have Courtney's back, and that they are no longer friends for Courtney's decision to back Henry.

At her office, Barbara is putting away pictures when she stops to send an email to "Sam" -- which is the name she has for Courtney's father. Pat comes in immediately after, but before they can talk much further, Jordan and his parents come in with a thank you gift for having them to dinner the night before. Before they leave, the elder Mahkents speak to each other again in their native Norwegian, and Barbara is smart enough to record it. It's one source of information she thinks she can finally trust to find out what's really going on. What she hears when her phone translates the recording will be very important.

In the ISA tunnels beneath Blue Valley, the JSA are moving in with Henry Jr to recover Brainwave. But they are forced to split up when they encounter a branch in the tunnels. Beth and Rick encounter the cell holding Solomon Grundy, whom Rick recognizes as the beast who killed his parents. Wildcat, Stargirl and Henry find Brainwave -- and also Dragon King. Stargirl has to fight him without her staff, and Dragon King summons his mindless minions to enter the fight -- which includes some really good Wildcat battle scenes. Wildcat recovers Stargirl's staff just in time for her to defend herself, while Henry unplugs his father from Dragon King's machine.

But it's too late. Brainwave's full memories have been restored, and he's perfectly ready to have his son join him -- or be destroyed.

STARGIRL continues to be consistently good storytelling, with a wide universe of beloved characters faithfully translated to the television screen. And I hope I haven't seen the first chink in its armor, but I seriously hope the ISA upgrades its security for those tunnels; they're starting to get more unwanted traffic than S.T.A.R. Labs does on THE FLASH.

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0