DC Universe / CW
July 12, 2020 @ 9:00pm PT (GMT-8)
Episode 9 – Brainwave
Opens with Brainwave origin flashback. Brainwave Jr. locates and watches a videotape from his father explaining how he experimented on his own cerebral cortex and developed powers.
Courtney wants to invite Henry (Brainwave Jr.) to help them identify those in the Injustice Society. Pat isn’t sure about the idea. He goes into more exposition about Injustice League members including Dr. Ito, AKA Dragon King.
Cut to the janitor mopping in school imagining his mop handle as Stargirl’s staff. Then to Beth (Dr. Midnite) seeing that Cindy/Shiv has transferred out of Blue Valley High to study overseas. Beth isn’t buying it. In reality, Shiv is being locked in a dungeon underground.
Will Henry agree to help the Justice Society or stay aligned with the other side? Will Brainwave Jr. use his powers for good or evil? Can Brainwave Jr. speak to Brainwave in a coma? Are his powers strong enough? Will Brainwave ever wake up from a coma or will Brainwave Jr. need to take his place in the Injustice Society?
Tune into find out the answers to these questions.
Another origin episode that focuses almost entirely on backstory and setup. Again, this is good for fleshing out characters, but not as interesting for an action-oriented superhero film. We want to see fighting, battles and some sort of conflict between good and evil. In the shows like The Incredible Hulk, it’s the equivalent of never seeing David Banner turn into The Hulk. Every episode, we got to see that at least one time, usually twice. It was formulaic but done for a reason: to show us the Hulk in action — what we were waiting to see.
Stargirl doesn’t follow this convention in episode. Those who find this lack of delivering the on screen goods consistently every episode will like episodes like this one. Me? I find them to be teases without payoffs. I’m guessing in the next episode which is titled “Brainwave Jr.” we’ll see Henry/Brainwave Jr. use his powers against Stargirl and Justice League. Or .. maybe we won’t. Season 1 continues to be mostly about origin and backstory for all the characters, setting up a final battle to end the first season just like episode 1 started with an epic battle.
This is my least favorite episode of season 1 so far. It literally put me to sleep — twice — in the last 15 minutes, which in any film should be the best part!
In fairness, the last few minutes do finally deliver some plot twists and turns, but by then it’s pretty much too late to redeem the other very slow 35+ minutes watched. It’s almost like the writers realized, hey, we better do something and then jammed in a few “oohs and ahhs” to setup next week’s episode. I don’t appreciate that type of lazy and uninspired storytelling, but maybe others will.
Overall episode rating: ⭐️½