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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Stargirl Season 3 Episode 3: The Blackmail

September 15th, 2022 by Todd Black Comments

And…we’re down again. Because as I feared, tonight’s episode of Stargirl didn’t really build up anything major until RIGHT at the end, and that’s sad because once again, the beginning had a lot of potential.

The “adjustment” of Starman to his new dynamics was honestly entertaining. From him just having people say “hi” to him, to getting terrible coffee and diner food (but the tea is great!), to wondering what to do with a potential career, that was fascinating! Really, I mean it. He’s what Courtney would be if her “Stargirl 24/7” idea came to fruition and that should scare the crap out of her, and maybe it does given all her sudden talk of “balance”. I loved how Cindi called her out on that because she definitely doesn’t have it still. But oh well.

The point is, it was very fair and understandable that Sylvester was struggling with everything that was going on with his “new life” because it was a big jolt for him. I honestly wanted him to learn and grow and adjust like Pat had post-JSA. But instead, they made him a “bull in a china shop” (which by the way Mythbusters proved is honestly a myth, they’re honestly really graceful creatures) who got off half-cocked at the slightest provocation.

Now, sure, from the “action perspective”? The fight with the Crocks was great. A little unbelievable at times, but it’s a superhero show, I can let that slide. Everything that led up to that and after that? Not so much. For example, when Starman leaves the house after Cindi’s message, it’s daytime and he even notes that Courtney isn’t “back from school”. But the next scene is the Crocks at (a somehow packed…) grocery store right before it closes. How did it take that long to find him? And, how did it take that long for Mike to call Courtney to warn her about it? This isn’t the first time they’ve played fast and loose with the time of day in the show and it’s really showing in the bad way.

What’s more, using the staff in a crowded place? Striking first when there was no reason to fight? Blowing up cars and destroying the store? That’s not heroic at all. Yes, we only saw one scene with Starman in season 1 in terms of him fighting a few more in season 2 with the JSA conversations about Eclipso, but given his “pedigree” and the amount of time he was a hero between the “Star-Spangled Kid” and Starman, he has to have a good head on his shoulders, right? Except here, not only was he getting called out by the VILLAINS for his stupidity, he blew up at Pat (again) for stopping him from going too far. When he should be THANKING him. And I’m REALLY getting tired of Pat being called the sidekick. That’s two episodes in a row now and it makes no sense given what Pat has done. You could say Starman is, “Stuck in the past” but it’s bordering on abuse now and I’m not down with that. Yes, Pat called him out on that, but it needs to be more.

Also, I don’t agree with Pat’s statement that Sylvester “has to be a father figure” to Courtney. He barely knows her, and just because she put him on an unfair pedestal (despite Pat warning her MULTIPLE TIMES about the truth back in Season 1) shouldn’t mean he has to be burdened by that. Be a better Starman? Absolutely, that is something he should be. Be her hero mentor like he was last episode? Yes, give us more of that training scene! A father figure? That’s what Pat is for.

Starman wasn’t the only one being annoying with their characterization again. Rick’s “I will hurt you” shtick is REALLY getting old. He’s supposed to be more nuanced than this, but instead, the last three episodes were basically him saying, “Rick Smash”. Him calling out Cameron to not be a jerk to the teacher? Loved that, and it made sense he’d do that because she helped him last season. But the “rich kid” line, and the “I’ll make you pay” line? Dude, really? He deserved his flat tire.

And Cindi trying to “gain approval” by getting Starman on her side? Why in the world did she think that would work? Plus, she of all people should know that just because someone APPEARS guilty doesn’t mean they are. Remember, she was the first suspect of the murder!

Was there anything good in this episode? Yes, there was. As noted, Starman’s opening in Blue Valley was fun, and I liked the conversation about Wildcat with Yolanda. I would love for him to have that conversation with Rick next so he can learn more about his dad and the hero he was. Barbara and Paula continues to be the best “odd couple” matchup and I love every scene that they do. Plus, Paula showing up Barbara’s jerk manager? Awesome.

And the final scene with Starman getting beat up (with the tease of the “true villain” via the cameras) was nice too. But we need MORE than that, especially given how short the Stargirl season is.

“The Blackmail” was a very predictable episode, and that’s sad because the potential is there for it to be better, but it just never is allowed to be. With a certain “transformation” next week, I’m curious to see where things go…but not exactly hopeful about it.


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!