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Stellar Start to Stargirl Sophomore Season

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Stargirl S2

After its premiere season, Stargirl had set a rather high bar for itself. But, at least with this initial episode of the second season, the show seems to be hitting on all cylinders, retaining the charm and nostalgia that fans fell in love with last year.

"Summer School: Chapter One" opens with a flashback to several decades past, where a young girl named Rebecca is sitting on her front porch, forlornly wishing she could go to her friend's birthday party across the street. But she's being punished for acting out earlier, and so she sulks. But a young boy named Bruce appears to tempt her into disobedience, and theft. We don't know Rebecca's ultimate fate, but we do know that whatever it was, it set her mother to screaming when she found her daughter -- and that when the camera pulls back to their house, the name on the mailbox is "McNider." That would be Dr. Charles McNider, no doubt, the former Dr. Midnite, and Rebecca would be his daughter. And when we finally see the boy Bruce again, his face is half-veiled in darkness, making this the first time we see the villainous Eclipso on screen. This scene cements one fact in the viewers' minds: Eclipso is scarier than any Injustice Society villain we have seen to date!

In present day Blue Valley, Stargirl (aka Courtney Whitmore, played by Brec Bassinger) is on exuberant patrol, making sure the city is safe from super-villainy. Except Blue Valley is a small town, and the I.S.A. were defeated. So the rest of the new Justice Society of America is understandably bored following the ever-peppy Stargirl around. But Stargirl isn't just dragging down the spirits of her teammates -- she's also dragging down her grades, as she spends all night poring over old JSA files and asking about the whereabouts of various villains from the past. Her stepdad, Pat Dugan (Luke Wilson) tells her she needs to make time to focus on a future career as well, but Courtney is convinced that her future career is as Stargirl. (Which is great, but doesn't really come with a paycheck.)

Her younger stepbrother Mike (Trae Romano) is also ready to get in on the action, now that Courtney's secret identity is known to the whole family, including her mother Barbara (Amy Smart). And while we see the Green Lantern battery flare up twice (unnoticed), alas that's not a totem that's destined to go to Mike -- but it is going to go to someone this episode as we are introduced to yet another legacy JSA character.

The Whitmore-Dugans are all set for a two week vacation with the last day of school out of the way. Only they have to cancel after learning from the new principal that Courtney as failing grades in both English and History, and will have to attend summer school.

Other subplots running through this premiere episode:

  • Beth Chapel (Anjelika Washington) learns why her parents are so distant.
  • Chuck speaks through the goggles again -- only it's not Chuck.Is the physical Doctor Midnite still alive?
  • Yolanda Montez (Yvette Monreal) is suffering under a load of guilt after seeing Brainwave Jr. die. She says she can't get him out of her head -- maybe he's still in there?
  • Rick Tyler (Cameron Gellman) beat Solomon Grundy into a retreat, but is the creature still living in the woods around Blue Valley? He intends to find out.
  • Cindy Burman (Meg DeLacy) sets up shop in the old I.S.A. underground headquarters with a file of potential new recruits. At least one of them would be a tragedy for Stargirl -- and armed with Eclipso's black diamond, there's a very good likelihood Cindy will bring this recruit around to her evil way of thinking.

If you enjoy superhero stories that have plenty of action and intrigue while maintaining a certain level of optimism and innocence, you don't want to miss out on the next episode of Stargirl!

 

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0