Desperate times call for desperate measures on Stargirl Season 2 Episode 10, “Summer School: Chapter Ten.” Courtney’s family enters an uneasy alliance with the Shade, who promises that reassembling the Black Diamond will stop Eclipso.
Although the Shade’s timing couldn’t be worse, his return does lead to some much-needed father-daughter time for Pat and Courtney to mend their relationship. Their road trip and reunion with Jennie are the highlights of the episode.
Luke Wilson and Brec Bassinger’s onscreen dynamic has been one of the most compelling parts of Stargirl since Season 1. This episode is no different although the roles are reversed with Courtney giving Pat a lecture about lying instead of the other way around.
It’s powerful to see Pat open up to Courtney and admit he kept the secret because he didn’t want her or the new JSA to think less of him. Not every parental figure would be vulnerable like that with their child, but Pat cares more about regaining Courtney’s trust than his pride.
A lot of superhero shows are about family, but few put it as front and center as Stargirl. Whether it’s the chosen family of the JSA or the heroes’ individual families, Stargirl is never afraid to explore the more complicated sides of family dynamics.
Jennie’s search for her brother and the trail of disaster she leaves behind allows Pat and Courtney to track her down. The actual plotline of her search feels crammed into the story and reminds the audience of when Stargirl was trying to tackle too much at the beginning of the season.
The Helix Institute for Youth Rehabilitation and Mister Bones are great easter eggs to set up for Season 3, but we don’t get enough time to explore them on this episode.
Once again Pat and Courtney reassure Jennie and help her control her powers. You can tell this is something they would be willing to do even if they didn’t need her help to fix the Black Diamond with her Lantern powers.
Just as it’s been a joy to watch the other teen heroes grow and develop the same is true for Jennie. I’m glad we’ll continue to see more of her.
Back in Blue Valley, the plot is much more lackluster until the end. The connection between the Shade and Barbara ends up feeling anticlimactic when we learn she just looks like the sister he abandoned (what a cliche).
His double-cross is more disappointing than exciting. Yes, he tricks them into reassembling the Black Diamond so he can get his powers back, but we also learn he might’ve tried to save Dr. McNider when he sent him to the shadowlands.
Stargirl tries so hard to make the Shade nuanced only to pull a move that undermines all of his good actions and puts him back into mustache-twirling villain territory.
Reassembling the Black Diamond summons Eclipso, leading to an unexpected fight that lets him pull Courtney into the shadowlands. The pain on Pat’s face when they can’t save her breaks your heart.
The JSA flashbacks are useful in giving needed context to Eclipso’s past, but it’s time to refocus on the new JSA. Jennie makes a great addition to the team, and I’m excited to see how Jakeem fits in assuming he’ll stick with Thunderbolt when Mike comes calling.
Stargirl laid the groundwork early in the season for an expanded JSA team, and now we’re finally seeing the payoff.
With Yolanda, Rick, and now Courtney off the board, this is the perfect time to let the newbies shine. This team is going to need all the help they can get to save Courtney and defeat Eclipso.
- It’s hard to believe Starman was ever nice to Pat, but the flashback at the beginning of this episode just goes to show how deep their bond was. I really hope that’s explored more in Season 3.
- The Helix Institute for Youth Rehabilitation has some evil Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters vibes.
- Barbara and Pat should probably just give up on remodeling the kitchen for now.
- Way to just let Rick waste away in jail! I’ve never seen someone so happy over an apple.
- Good for Beth for standing up to her parents.
- That gingerbread house is cooler than anything Thunderbolt did for Mike.
What did you think of this episode of Stargirl? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Stargirl airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.
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