Stargirl’s Summer School is almost done. It’s been an impressive season, with the evil of Eclipso and the havoc he (it?) has wreaked throughout Blue Valley and on the JSA. Now the team is being built back up with a few new additions, some surprising alliances are being made, and a few things are being revealed. Chapter Twelve sets the stage for the final fight.
The opening scene is a bunch of shots of the empty Dugan-Whitmore house. Empty except for Buddy the dog, who gets into all kinds of mischief. Clearly, this dog needs some more training. Everyone gets home, and we see that not just the dog, but the staff is up and around, making Courtney smile. In a jump back to 4 hours ago, we see Beth and Jennie checking the second source of Shade energy: the school. I think sending the non-combatant and the utter rookie together was a bad move, but fortunately, nothing too dire happens, aside from finding some odd residue from the battle. Beth learns Courtney is back, and she and Jennie take off for the house.
Dr. McNider changes out of costume and into one of Pat’s suits, which fits him remarkably well. This happens on a lot of adventure shows. “You’re the same gender I am and not ridiculously tall/short/fat. Our clothes are interchangeable.” At any rate, the good doctor likes the suit and gives Pat a rundown on what Eclipso is up to. They make some plans and McNider has a lot of praise for Beth. Cindy paces the main floor, sneering at Courtney and Barbara hugging. She and Courtney bicker about Eclipso, and Barbara tries to help, managing to sound like the epitome of uncool parent trying too hard. Beth and Jennie return, and Beth and Courtney have a very entertaining bit of finishing each other’s sentences. They start making plans, and Beth has a very important meeting.
Beth and McNider pool their resources and talk about how to find Eclipso. We still haven’t learned how a medical doctor built such a complex AI, or why McNider doesn’t remotely resemble the date we saw on his birth certificate a while back. As those two get on swimmingly, Courtney finds herself agreeing with something Cindy said, showing Courtney can be open minded at least. As Cindy praises Barbara’s cooking, Courtney and Pat head off on their respective missions to finish filling up the ranks. Mike, whose absence was at least noted, is off on his own quest, and makes some progress, as well as finding some really strange things scattered throughout town. Apparently, Mike’s friend is very, very food-focused.
Barbara keeps playing den mother to all these young heroes, and puts Jen to bed, oddly fully clothed and in Courtney’s bed. Barbara expresses some concern about Jen, and she tries to follow the advice Barbara gives her. Courtney meets up with Yolanda, and it goes badly. Courtney had what she thought was good news, but Yolanda sees it differently, and stalks off. Someone spies on the less than successful reunion and looks thoughtful. Pat goes to visit Rick’s uncle, and tries his usual nice, reasoned approach. Rick’s uncle is neither nice nor reasonable, and we see a side of Pat we haven’t before, and learn a bit more about his background.
Mike finds his quarry, and we see that young Jakeem Williams leaves a bit to be desired in his newest role. Jakeen is kind of clueless about a few important things, and Mike has his work cut out for him. Courtney gets home, saddened by her failure, and has a serious talk with Barbara about things she saw in the Shadowlands. Barbara is reasonable, mature, and doesn’t tell Courtney the easy lie, which I give her huge points for. At home, Yolanda gets an unexpected visitor and a lesson in reverse psychology, or maybe what the intelligence community calls Psy-Ops. She hears a lot of things she doesn’t want to, and you can see her resolve steeling as the talk goes on.
Mike’s first tactic fails, so he tries another approach, and that works. They are about ready to go when Jakeem’s really unpleasant sister, Mean Girl Jenny, drops by to complicate their lives. Rick is surprised by a sudden turn in his fortunes, and Pat plays dumb while offering a ride. By the time all this is done, either the Dugans are going to need a bigger house or some other arrangements are going to need to be made. Courtney’s pep talk to the staff gets interrupted when Yolanda comes in, steam pouring out her ears as she announces what she’s doing and why. Jennie, all tucked in upstairs, has the first of many scenes of her twitching and having Eclipso-inspired nightmares, courtesy, in part, of something that happened back at the school. Courtney has a small confrontation with Cindy, and we learn more about what Cindy was thinking during her own mission earlier, and that she’s done some impressive research.
Next up is a series of gearing up/preparation scenes. Rick is going over sketches, although what Pat expects him to do with his assignment is beyond me. Zeek is working on STRIPE, which Pat seems to have at least accepted now as he looks on. Mike and Jakeem are stuck with their side-quest as Jenny Williams continues to be a pest at best. Courtney goes over her staff and Cindy makes an enigmatic phone call. I have a hunch who this might be, but we’ll see. Beth and McNider try and finish their own task, and it seems as if they have been outplayed once again. The episode ends with Jennie having some disturbing nightmares about what’s to come.
What I liked: I don’t blame Courtney for taking Cindy’s help. They need everything they have at this point. As I said, I might know who Cindy called, but we’ll see next episode, and I’ll admit if I was wrong. Mike going to Jakeem was smart, and he handled it better than might have been expected, showing he’s grown during all this. I’m glad Beth finally has met her mentor, and we had the seeming omission of last episode’s second energy reading dealt with. I’m intrigued by this new side of Pat. I’ll give Cindy points for playing to her strengths. I’m glad Yolanda’s back, no matter how it happened or how determined she is to leave again.
What I didn’t: The opening felt like filler, and I suspect they could have used the time better. Jennie didn’t get to do much, and her scenes were a bit repetitive. I don’t think Rick should have been freed the way he was, but I get this is superhero action, not legal drama.
The finale should be a hell of a fight. I’ll give this a solid 3.5 out of 5.