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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Stargirl Season 1 Episode 10: Brainwave Jr.

July 22nd, 2020 by Todd Black Comments

At the end of last episode, I really felt that Stargirl had a chance to make a major turning point in the show. With “Brainwave Jr.” they tried…but once again stumbled over their own feet. Which is sad because when they were on, they were on.

Let’s start with the bad. Barbara finding out about Pat and Courtney was great, and something that needed to happen. But what came next was incredibly stupid and infinitely cliche. First and foremost, Pat took the blame for everything even when it was clear that Courtney was the one to blame for pretty much all of it. Her blaming Pat for “filling her head” with all of this was wrong on infinite levels, and yet we only saw her scold Courtney like once. Really? And the “you need to leave” bit made me roll my eyes so hard.

As was Mike’s scene with Courtney about “not really wanting us around”. They almost couldn’t help themselves. Which they continued with Barbara via the “exit” from Blue Valley which they said would happen in an hour…and yet Courtney went to school and then Barbara changed her mind in like no time flat. In fact she was changing her mind before Pat even showed up! And then she decided to go secret agent and record them because…she wanted answers? What if they just insulted her like they did Courtney last time? Then we would’ve gotten nowhere fast.

This was a key storyline that they needed to address, and instead they just blazed right through it and made it seem like it wasn’t really important.

Which brings us to the father and son Brainwaves. Once again this was a compelling storyline, especially with the reveal that Sr. was suffering from amnesia due to the seizure (convenient, but I’ll allow it). I liked that Henry Jr had a change of heart with his fathers return, and upon learning about his mothers death (more on that in a minute) wanted to save his father. Which was honestly really good given how they did it. Including giving us false clues like she was “ice cold” implying a certain someone else killed her even before the video “reveal”.

What I most regret about this storyline was that it too was rushed. Last episode Henry was struggling what to do, and then here he was wanting to do nothing but save his father, and then when his father revealed that it wasn’t Icicle that killed his mother, but him, it then became Father vs. Son and it ended in record time.

In this case, the smaller season backfired. It would’ve been great to see the more positive side of this father/son bond before it ended in Henry Jr.’s death. Especially in regards to him and Yolanda. Those apology scenes were not just cringe, they were too quick. And yet Yolanda cried for him at the end even though she was wanting to kill him just last week.

Another positive was the very simple yet fun way that Pat met Barbara. Usually I’m very critical of simple love stories but this one actually worked. It wasn’t meant to be anything, yet it turned into everything, and it wasn’t too cheesy or weird or creepy. Just two people sharing a banana split.

The raid on the ISA base was mostly fun too. Especially the fight scene where even Henry got in on the action and we finally got to see the Dragon King’s face.

Oh, and Jr.’s mom? That’s a real character in DC Comics lore, Gimmick Girl. Or as Brainwave called her, “The Girl of A Thousand Gimmicks”. She not only was part of the Seven Soldiers of Victory, but in the comics she did indeed marry Brainwave and have Jr. as a son. I love it when they embrace the history of the comics as it leads to some really fun reveals like this.

But…then there were elements that just didn’t make sense. For example, the staff apparently went from the house, to the garage, just to look at a picture of Icicle…and then SOMEHOW found out he was at the hospital with Brainwave? Holy contrived circumstances, Batman. Also, Rick finding Grundy was cool, but him wanting to bust him out to kill him? That was reckless and dumb, even for him.

Which brings us to the lunchroom scene where they are literally talking about their powers, the JSA, the ISA and more where just about anyone can hear them! You couldn’t take this into a hallway or something?

Oh, and Shiv showing up just to beg incessantly to kill Courtney, really?

Finally, after Jr. dies…the episode ends. Why? What about Brainwave? He literally could pin them all with just a thought and yet…didn’t? That makes no sense.

I’m going to give “Brainwave Jr.” a higher score than I honestly should because I did like the Brainwave storyline and certain other elements. But they need to kick things up a notch and in a hurry…and something tells me a certain “arrival” next week won’t help things.

Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians ( He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!