nerd radio

Get ready for the new daily show

TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Stargirl Season 2 Episode 4

September 1st, 2021 by Todd Black Comments

Ok, I’m going to shock you right now…tonight’s episode of Stargirl was honestly really good for the most part. I know, shocking, but it’s true! And the reason for this is that it went to subvert expectations and push forward storylines in a meaningful way instead of spinning its wheels like it has in its first three episodes.

Let’s start out by talking about what really worked here…the villains. Again, shocking, I know (that one was sarcasm as I usually like the villains on this show). What really worked here was showing the old adage that no one is ever truly good, and no one is ever truly evil. Because in this episode we saw 4/5 villains show signs of being more than just villains.

First, there was Tigress and Sportsmaster, who wanted to do nothing more than support their daughter Artemis as she prepared for her big day on the football field. It would’ve been SO EASY for this show to go and say that they were just using their daughter as an excuse to lull Pat and the others into a false sense of security…but that wasn’t the case here. They REALLY love their daughter and were even willing to go back to prison to let her find her own path (which obviously got sidelined but we’ll get to that).

Meanwhile, The Shade followed up on something I outlined last review in that he doesn’t want to use the Black Diamond, he wants to go and bury it so that it never is found again. I loved his chastising of Courtney as she tried to guess his motivations but failed horribly. As well as revealing that her knowledge on matters of the JSA is more limited than even she realizes. You almost want to root for Shade to get the job done so no one else gets hurt…but…kind of feel that isn’t in the cards.

And even Cynthia got a chance to shine here as we got to see WHY she didn’t want her stepmother to die…because her birth mother apparently met an equally terrible fate and she didn’t want to relive that. Her “relationship” with Eclipso is going to be interesting to see unfold because you know it’s going to go wrong, the only question is how.

Sticking with Shiv, her starting to build her own ISA finally took a foothold as she got Isaac and Artemis on her side. But I’m still confused as to why she thinks Mike will join her, but…we’ll see.

Another thing I loved about this episode was the “bonding” between Sportsmaster/Tigress and Pat/Barb. Pat going along with their plan because he knew he stood no chance was perfect, and then Barb/Tigress realizing that they both had headstrong/stubborn daughters who wouldn’t listen to them and thus seeing there were connections there was great. And Pat casually saying that “Crusher” trying to kill him put a damper on their potential friendship was 8 kinds of hilarious.

Finally, and arguably the best part of the episode is that we find out Dr. Midnite is alive! Not his AI, the actual Dr. Midnite. Some of you may be confused by that, so let me explain. The Shade’s powers come not from himself, but from a dimension of shadows known as the Darklands. And yes, in the comics he is able to pull people into it…and leave them there. Which he apparently did to our dear JSA member. That’s one heck of a twist, and it could be that they free Dr. Midnite in order to stop Shade and Eclipso. And don’t forget…Starman is still around…

Notice how that’s a LOT of good stuff? See? I’m true to my word, this was a good episode. BUT, they once again fell into old pitfalls that are really starting to annoy.

For example, we got a SMALL progression on Beth’s storyline but it was immediately dispelled by the Dr. Midnite storyline. Second, while they tried to make us sympathize with Artemis, it was REALLY hard when she’s raging against the machine the whole time. Not to mention her incredibly stereotypical “bad foster parent” did not add to things at all. Rick proving his teacher wrong was nice, but why did it take so long? Also, he’s GOT to get a better excuse than the dog. How is no one suspicious of that?

And then…there’s Courtney. There was such potential for her in this episode…and then she fell flat on her face. To start, she admitted that Shade wiped the floor with them, and then 10 seconds later to her mom that “we got this” in regards to Eclipso. Then, later on, when she confronted Shade, she acted all high and mighty as if she knew everything, but didn’t. And in the ending scenes she got mad at Pat for not telling her about Dr. Midnight’s daughter and Tigress/Sportsmaster and saying “I’m not the same Stargirl as last year” and yet she was rushing into things just last episode! And the one before that…and the one before that! You actually have to change before you can say you’ve changed. That’s kind of how it works.

In the end though, this was easily the best episode of the season and it honestly makes me excited for next episode because apparently Eclipso will arrive. But how that’ll go…? We’ll see.

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!