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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Stargirl Season 1 Episode 11: Shining Knight

July 29th, 2020 by Todd Black Comments

Full disclosure, I was SO CLOSE to giving this episode a 4.5/5 and thus making it the best episode of the series. But once again, the show tripped over its feet into cliche territory and thus, it’ll only get a 4. Which is sad because for much of the episode…it was honestly really good storytelling.

The “wake up call” that was Courtney’s REAL father arriving and destroying her vision of what it was “supposed to be” was perfect in my eyes. She’s been saying all season (against all logic or realism) that Starman was her father, when it was clear that wasn’t the case. So for her to see her REAL father and try and recover from that was good. As was seeing everyone react to how he arrived and what he was doing there.

But here was where the first trip-up came. Because instead of making her father a long-term player in the game, they cut right to the bone in a few minutes flat. From the “trying to reconnect” phase, to the “you should come see me where I live phase”, right to the “I’m actually just here for money” phase that was SO CLICHE I couldn’t help but roll my eyes and fast forward through the scene. Thankfully, they didn’t let Courtney believe his crap when it happened, but still, the fact that they went that route SO QUICKLY was sad. Not the least of which is that it was stupid logically for him to travel to Blue Valley in the HOPE of getting that necklace to sell. Just saying.

Oh, and that scene where he couldn’t help but make that crack about Barbara and noting he “wasn’t planning to come back”? Really? We already hated the guy, and as much as I loved Pat duking him, you didn’t need that.

Which brings me to Pat, who is once again played masterfully by Luke Wilson…which I definitely wouldn’t have said at the start of the season. But he plays him perfectly, especially in the friend and stepfather role that he is for Courtney and others. His scene with Shining Knight for example was great, as he wouldn’t let the others hurt him because he knew the truth.

And oh what a truth it was! Many, including myself, wondered why Shining Knight was a janitor (outside of a reference to the Stargirl comic). Apparently, he was their test subject for Project Middle America, and keeping him as a janitor was a way of making sure he didn’t break his conditioning. Which is honestly really clever…and thus proving that once again, the villains are the best part of the series…

…most of the time. Because aside from NOT addressing the end of the last episode and why Brainwave let them all get away (but instead have a REALLY cliche funeral scene that didn’t make sense for a variety of reasons), they instead focus on Icicle apparently REALLY having feelings for Barbara, and preventing Brainwave from killing the family because “it would devastate her”.

Wow, really? I’ve loved Icicle up to that point but it’s lame even for this show. He’s layered, sure, but he barely knows Barbara, and she could’ve just been a friend to him, and instead, nope, had to be romantic feelings. Because of course it does. And then he finds out “the truth” and is like, “Yep, kill them all”. Yeah…no…

Finally, Courtney and her “I’m not Starman’s daughter” stuff was just…bad. Because apparently THAT was what made her realize her mistakes? So she blames everything on her “fairy tale” of being Starman’s daughter instead of…you know…EVERYTHING ELSE!?!?!?! That’s just delusional. And just as bad, she picks up the staff…twice…and it doesn’t work and she thinks it’s because “the staff knows I’m not his daughter”? How does that even work? Just as bad, when Pat left her to “think about it”, she comes out 10 seconds later and says “it didn’t work”. Take a few minutes Courtney!!!!! And then when it does work I’m like, “ok, and?”

In the end, “Shining Knight” had a lot of good elements, but it would’ve been better if they didn’t rush things or go in cliched directions.

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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 (guardians-comic.com). He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!