The fourth and regrettably final season of Stargirl continues with a lot of chaos going on. There’s not much outright villainy afoot, which is just as well, since the team seems to be doing a great job of questionable choices and in-fighting amongst themselves. Considering the actions of most of the main characters throughout the episode, the title is very much on-brand: The Betrayal.
In the pre-credit scenes, Cindy sees the results of Starman’s visit to ISA headquarters, and then gathers up some things and leaves, probably realizing her project isn’t safe down there anymore. Meanwhile, Rick decides to engage in some breaking and entering to test out the results of the changes he made to his father’s hourglass last episode. He definitely got the results he wanted; I’m just waiting for the no doubt severe side effects to kick in. I have an idea or two what they might be.
The next day, Yolanda visits the church, one of the few places her remarkably overbearing mother allows her to go, and has a very odd confession. I suspect Father Thomas is very confused, and concerned, by the end of it. While Yolanda leaves her priest wondering what to do, Mike is making an unusual breakfast at home. Pat and Barbara come in, and learn they’ve been visited once again. Or burgled, depending on your point of view. Barbara, possibly influenced by a growing friendship, tries to defend some questionable actions. This drifts into a discussion about the murder case, which villains might or might not be involved, and a surprising revelation about Courtney.
Speaking of, our titular heroine is hanging out with her boyfriend and helping him get a handle on his abilities. Cameron is clearly making great strides, but the scene manages to unnerve Courtney, given how Cameron expresses himself. Mike and Jakeem continue their attempt at a recruitment drive, unknowingly invoking the name of another team from long ago. Their target seems faintly amused, but definitively disinterested. At the Pit Stop, the JSA meets in their civilian clothes, notably without Courtney or Pat. Yolanda reports her suspicions and evidence to Sylvester, who makes a decent plan.
Having learned where Courtney is spending so much of her time, or at least with who, Pat and Barbara pay a social call on the Mahkents. It’s a very awkward scene, made much more amusing by the subtitled comments from Lily the killer grandmother, and Sofus, the somewhat more reasonable grandfather. Things ratchet up a few more tense notches when Courtney and Cameron wander in, and Courtney is mortified that her parents are checking up on her. Unsure of what to do next, Mike and Jakeem somehow decide that Zeek is a font of wisdom, and catch up with him at the diner. The strange man continues to be strange, hints at an unlikely past, and leaves them with nothing really actionable to follow up on.
Visiting hours finally end at the Mahkent place (seriously, how many mansions are in Blue Valley? And why?) and Courtney isn’t shy about letting her folks know how she feels about the visit. Pat is rightfully suspicious about the family, and, as they leave, the mysterious presence who has been spying on everyone watches them go, also engaging in a new hobby, or at least one we haven’t seen before. Beth is hard at work on the laptop Yolanda stole, and has another tense conversation with her parents. That whole mess is going to get a lot worse, I have no doubt. Just as she finally shoos the adult Chapels away, Wildcat comes in the window. I’m amused by the conversation, since these two characters were good friends in the comics. They make a plan and then Beth asks for some advice, although it’s from the wrong person. At home, Courtney gets a special delivery, and Brec Bassinger is doing a great job of portraying a teen in the throes of a crush.
Things start going downhill much faster at this point. Wildcat engages in yet more breaking and entering, but gets caught this time. Cindy is justifiably annoyed, and things devolve into a fight. Eventually, this moves outside and Hourman joins in, using even less subtlety then usual. The big fight on the lawn (Is Cindy living alone now? Is she an emancipated teen?) attracts a bit of attention, as Beth makes another discovery that disturbs her. Finally, Beth decides this has gone far enough, and makes a call. The increasingly ugly fight is brought to an end by the very dramatic entrance of Stargirl, who really is still off in “Why can’t we all just get along?” land. Tensions are high, and a lot of secrets come out. No one is happy, and things finally end with a sulky exit and a formidable dual glare.
Regrouping at the Pit Stop out of costume, the team talks about what’s going on. Rick is blunt, Yolanda bitter, and Courtney idealistic, so business as usual. The difference is Beth taking a stand and not just blindly agreeing with the team’s notional leader, whose leadership is becoming more notional all the time. Courtney, clearly upset, makes a suggestion and goes home. There, in her room, she looks sad and alone until Sylvester comes by. This is rational, helpful Sylvester, not rage-monster Sylvester, and he makes some good points in their conversation. Someone overhears the discussion, but it’s not Mysterious Monitor Man.
Beth does some more research about her newest discovery, and is intensely troubled. Oddly, this is the first time I can recall her being this conflicted about something and not turning to the Chuck AI. Finally making a decision, she goes to visit the Whitmores, and does her best to be subtle about sharing what she’s learned. Everyone is rattled, and no one is good at hiding it. Mystery Monitor Man looks on, and continues his odd hobby to end the episode.
What I Liked: I’m enjoying the relationship with Courtney and Cameron. I hope the writers surprise me about where things go, but I have this unfortunate feeling they won’t. Zeek’s speech in the diner was entertaining, and I liked Jakeem’s reaction to it. Sylvester gave Courtney a great talk. It was fun that the Crocks didn’t actually show up, but certainly made their presence felt. The exchanges between Lily and Sofus were great. I’m intrigued about whoever is spying on everyone, and really wondering just how many cameras they have all over Blue Valley.
What I Didn’t: There’s an old writer’s maxim about how if your plot requires your character to do something stupid for it to work, you need to fix it. I’d say there’s a corollary about needless secret keeping, and boy does that blow up this episode. Rick and Yolanda are both acting less and less like heroes, and Courtney is failing as a leader. Mike is acting dumber and dumber as this goes on, I swear.
I’ll give this one a 3 out of 5. It had some good moments, and some not great ones. I hope they pull themselves together soon.