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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Stargirl Season 1 Episode 2: S.T.R.I.P.E.

May 27th, 2020 by Todd Black Comments

As I noted in my review of the premiere of Stargirl last week, there is a fundamental problem with this show that needs to be addressed right away, and that is that the Injustice Society of America were able to defeat the JSA in one night…arguably at the height of their power, and yet they won’t be able to defeat a bunch of teenagers. Sadly, “S.T.R.I.P.E” doesn’t help solve that problem, it just amplifies it. Among other problems of the show of course.

First and foremost, you could tell that this was filmed to be more of a 2-part one-night premiere, and yet that didn’t happen. As we pick up right where we left off with Pat in the S.T.R.I.P.E armor and saving Courtney from Brainwave.

The armor of S.T.R.I.P.E. looks good, and I like how they made the backstory of it with that Hourman was indeed alive after the attack in the opener and Pat made the armor to help him out, but never got the chance to use it. Which led to a funny training montage that obviously went horribly wrong.

Anyway, Courtney wants to go after Brainwave after what happened to her “dad” (which they won’t shut up about in regards to the is he/isn’t he thing) and Pat is advising caution, but of course, Courtney won’t listen.

Look, I get that this is supposed to be a more “family-friendly” show than something like Arrow or Batgirl or Titans. But there’s a limit here. Brainwave almost killed Courtney, and she said she wasn’t afraid of him. HOW?!?! You almost died! Then, when he threatened to kill her mom, she STILL wasn’t afraid. She 100%, full throttle, all episode, and it…was annoying. Sure, she’s an A-Type personality, can’t get in her way, but there’s a wall that all of them hit, and yet they haven’t established it for Courtney. Not to mention, she thinks she can beat an experienced supervillain even though she still doesn’t understand how the Cosmic Staff works. She only trained with it in terms of flight, that’s it.

To be honest, Brainwave was the best part of this episode. The actor playing him had a great menace to him and the scene with his son (in which he no doubt was trying to bring out his powers) as well as Courtney in the school and in the parking lot was very menacing. And yet, despite his powers, and mind-reading abilities, he couldn’t figure out that the Cosmic Staff was in the basement of Courtney’s house?

And when he was beaten, it was because of…what exactly? Did the Cosmic Staff intentionally fry his brain? Was a fusion of powers? It’s really unclear, and while it was the “obvious move” because obviously he can’t be running around knowing Courtney’s identity, it could’ve been handled with a bit more explanation.

Furthering the problems with the episode was the basic rehashing of certain things from the pilot. Including Pat’s son having no filter (and no brains), Courtney still being at the “Loser’s Table”, and so on and so forth. Plus, once again, they didn’t establish the supporting cast that well. That’s vital for a show like this, and while I love the focus on Courtney and Pat’s relationship to an extent, it can’t be the ONLY thing, and we’re already to episode 3 and I don’t even know the names of some of the characters.

Oh, but we get “Crusher”! He’s not annoying…at all…can you hear my sarcasm? GOOD!

Speaking of actual good, the return of the Injustice Society at the end was really nicely done, even if it raises more questions than answers.

Look, I hate bashing superhero shows because I love them to death. But regardless of whether it’s DC or Marvel, Arrow or Agents of Shield, there needs to be a set of rules and logic to what’s going on. Stargirl hasn’t set that yet and to me it’s causing the show quality to suffer.

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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!