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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Stargirl Season 2 Chapter 8

September 29th, 2021 by Todd Black Comments

One could argue that tonight’s episode of Stargirl might have been one of its best in terms of certain characters and scenes that were portrayed. And I’m more than happily state that this will get a good score, but I do feel that it could’ve been much better had certain other scenes played as well as the more dramatic ones.

Let’s get the good out of the way first, shall we? This episode in many ways was Rick’s episode from start to finish. Because for WEEKS we’ve seen him go and feed Solomon Grundy with no payoff, and now, we finally got it, even if it wasn’t exactly what we expected.

The opening bit of the teacher coming in to try and help Rick find his “start over” point was very nice, as was his outburst about he was “tired of giving everything and getting nothing back”. Something that all of us could relate to on a personal level at some point in our lives. Getting that tiny bit of payoff with Grundy (that he saw anyway) with the pat on the back and the sharing of the apple no doubt made him feel good for the first time in a long time.

So when the radio broadcast came in and Grundy was in danger, it showed true growth from Rick that he wanted to go and help, a far cry from when he only wanted to kill Grundy. And when things got more intense with the “missing girl” and Rick going ape when he thought Grundy killed her, you wondered where this would all go.

And the answer was indeed Eclipso. Even I didn’t see that coming given the first scene with Rick and Grundy. So I was more than ready to complain about the randomness of a girl dying in the same woods as Grundy and Rick assuming the worst. But instead, it was Eclipso doing tricks and that led to the other big twist of Rick not fighting Grundy, but his own uncle. Nearly killing him in the process, and as a result, getting himself arrested. Thus taking down another member of the team.

Speaking of which, Beth also got the Eclipso treatment (and I’m totally fine with him taking on two members at once, it shows how powerful he’s getting) and while it didn’t go as smoothly as Rick, it was powerful in its own right.

Because while Eclipso went after Rick’s hope that Grundy had changed, Beth was tortured over her fear of not being good enough for the JSA. Eclipso pointing out how a lie led to her getting the Dr. Midnite goggles, and how she basically forced herself into the group and so on made for a much different contrast than what Rick dealt with. A battle of the mind versus a battle of the heart if you will.

Eclipso using that fear in multiple ways, and even using his true form to try and frighten Beth was also compelling. Showing that he’s willing to get his own hands dirty if he needs to. Beth fighting him off by not losing confidence in herself, and stating that she “chose herself” to be Dr. Midnite was a good touch too, showcasing that Eclipso can be beaten, and in fact, they now have an item that can help see through his visions.

Now, as for the bad points, there were some small ones, but also some major ones that really felt out of place.

Starting with Rick, we hadn’t seen the uncle all season, and he gets one season and they hammed it up to 11 to remind you just how much of a dick he was. It was really off-putting. Furthermore, while I loved Rick’s outburst in the woods, I wish we had some inclination that he was feeling this the whole time. Yolanda has been dealing with her PTSD all season and Beth’s parental issues have been showcased all season as well, but for Rick…not so much. It would’ve been a bigger payoff if we had seen some more chinks in his armor before those scenes as it would’ve felt like a progression instead of him basically yelling to us the audience.

As for Beth, they got a little…controversial…in how they had Eclipso go after her in terms of verbal barbs. Including stating that “I thought you people were athletic, guess some of the stereotypes are wrong”, to which Beth showed in an incredibly unconvincing way, “racist!”

Like…really? That’s how you want to showcase racism…? Black Lightning displayed this in MUCH better fashion while also being much more believable. And if Eclipso knew anything, as Beth would point out later, she had no issue being black.

Furthermore, they kind of waved off all the honest criticisms that Eclipso mentioned about Beth’s character. I’ve mentioned it many times before, what exactly is her strong suit here? She’s a support character and yet we’re meant to believe that she can fight in the field? No, that doesn’t work and even Eclipso pointed that out incredibly accurately. Her goggles are her superpower…and that’s it. I never cared that Beth was a black Dr. Midnite, they had that in Legends (briefly) and I didn’t care. I cared about the fact that compared to the others, she stood out in the bad way in terms of her competency for superhero work and outside of her strength of character in the face of fear…that still hasn’t been soothed.

Another issue was once again Courtney and Mike. Her basically ordering Pat to “fix Cosmo” (which is a Russian dog by the way and not a good staff name…) was dumb and proved that once again she has no patience or grasp of how certain situations work. And then Mike with his “that’s terrible advice” bit was annoying times ten.

Still, even with those flaws, this was a good episode that delved into two different characters with satisfying results overall. With some of the developments here it’s going to be interesting to see just how things play 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!