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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Stargirl Season 1 Episode 12: Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E Part 1

August 5th, 2020 by Todd Black Comments

And here we are, at the penultimate episode of Stargirl’s first season. Which I’ll admit was honestly pretty good outside of some obvious pitfalls involving certain characters. As well as one lingering problem that will likely be force fed to us next episode.

But let’s start out with the positive. The ISA finally striking against Courtney and her family. It was a simple thing overall, but the use of choreography and the camera angles dealt some fun scenes. Including the staff whisking Barbara around to save her from Tigress, and Mike (more on him later) coming to save Pat from certain doom via Sportsmaster.

Barbara accepting Courtney’s abilities was a good moment in its own right, as was seeing everyone come together to plan out their next move. And though a little late in the game, seeing the journal of Hourman come into play during the twilight hour was another good moment, if for no other reason than helping cement Pat and Rick’s relationship.

Once again though, it was the villains who really shined through. From Brainwave and his tests with the amplifier, to him condemning Shiv (who REALLY is annoying beyond words) to the true reveal of their plans, it was all well handled.

I loved it when Rick asked, “Are you sure we’re on the right side?” Because as we found out their plan really was to make a better future for their children. Which I know SOUNDS like a great thing, but the whole killing 25% of their target “audience” kind of made that a moot point. Plus, as comics and games have shown, sometimes the best villains are the ones who want a better world…as long as it follows their rules.

And the stinger at the end with their plan getting disrupted as Brainwave started his work was well played. Even if it was a LITTLE convenient that Pat was already brainwashed and attacking Courtney, just saying.

Now, to the bad. First and foremost, Mikey is SO ANNOYING. And I know I said that about Shiv, but at least she’s an angsty teen villain. Mike is just…Mike. He went from “stop treating me like a child!” (which he has acting like this WHOLE SERIES) to already being jealous of Courtney and her powers (in record time) and being mad that he can’t help in the plan because…he doesn’t have any skills! Seriously, if he doesn’t improve in season 2, he’s a writeoff.

But I’ll be fair, this wasn’t just about the protagonists, the antagonists were bad in some cases too. Tigress killing the Fiddler was honestly random and horrible. Not the least of which is that it’s clear they fear Icicle, and yet they were willing to kill one of their own despite her being there to help? Also, the scene with Fiddler’s son (which is clearly meant to tease his rise as a villain) was very oddly placed and we know nothing about him…yet he’s supposed to be the next Fiddler? Not feeling it.

Which finally brings us to the big question of JSA vs ISA. As the earlier fight scenes showed, both Courtney and Pat needed serious help to beat JUST Tigress and Sportsmaster. Next episode will feature all of the JSA versus the remaining ISA. And let’s be honest, they haven’t shown their skills in battle at all. They’ve only had a few fights as a team and it didn’t go well. Or they weren’t fighting a full-force ISA.

Do recall that the OPENING of the series was the JSA being wiped out one by one by the ISA. So we’re expected to believe that this very inexperienced JSA will beat them in the finale? I suspect something will cause a draw, but if it’s an outright victory then that is sad as Icicle and  Brainwave alone have proven to be infinitely more powerful than the JSA combined.

Still, this episode was good, and I do have hope for the season finale next week, we’ll just have to see how well it all plays out.

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!