Season 1 DC Universe / CW August 2, 2020 @ 9:00pm PT (GMT-8)
Episode 12 – Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E Part One
The Injustice Society is about to hatch a worldwide diabolical plan and a timer signals the countdown.
They dispatch a couple members to kill Pat/Stripesy, Courtney/Stargirl and everybody associated with them, including the other Justice Society members, Mike and Barbara. The first attack on Barbara and Courtney is warded off, as well as a secondary attack on Pat and Mike at his shop.
Mike learns about S.T.R.I.P.E and thinks it is “badass.”
Justin the Janitor drives up with KFC and encourages them to join him for a “feast.” The team Justice Society assembles at Justin’s place to formulate a plan of attack and/or defensive posture. Rick/Hourman must solve the riddle in his dad’s journal.
They learn that the Injustice Society has been building an amplifier and plan to go underground and destroy the device.
Will they be too late to stop the killing of innocent people with brains that can’t accept the input from Brainwave?
A couple good fighting scenes, the team pulling together, an insane plan hatching to control the human population and a timer countdown. Yes, this episode, the first of the final two-parts of the season delivers most of the goods. I would have liked to see the team suiting up sooner in the episode. I mean, they know they’re fighting evil, why are they still in their plain clothes? Suit up! Otherwise, a very good episode and sets up the season 1 finale.
Season 1 DC Universe / CW July 26, 2020 @ 9:00pm PT (GMT-8)
Episode 11 – Shining Knight
It’s Justin the janitor time. He is having trouble remembering who he is. He has a vision that Stripesy can help him remember his past, including the location of his prized “white steed.”
Meanwhile, a stranger arrives in town on the bus. He claims to be Courtney’s father. Barbara confirms, but Court doesn’t want to believe it’s true. This guy isn’t Starman. Barbara wonders where the guy went, he deserted them over 10 years ago.
Justin shows up at Pat’s garage wielding his knight’s sword. He is having conflicting visions of seeing Pat/Stripesy as Doctor Ito. Beth/Doctor Midnite and Hourman are at the garage, ready to go to battle if Justin goes off with the sword, but he calms down.
Brainwave, now even more empowered after his son is gone, has total recall and wants to kill Pat and Courtney, knowing their superhero identities. Jordan/Icicle tells him to back off, it will ruin their plan to take them out this soon.
Courtney goes to breakfast with her father, as he tries to get to know her. He wants to get to know her and tries making amends. What it seems he’s really after is the locket he gave her all those years ago. She gives it back to him.
Back to Justin the janitor who says he used to clean the stables in King Arthur’s time when he was given the sword Excalibur. He’s from the past and Pat believes him. Justin was brainwashed in the tunnels under the city by Doctor Ito.
Will Justin/Shining Knight be joining the Justice Society? Will Courtney/Stargirl be able to power the staff now that she knows Starman is not her father? Will the team gang up go back underground and fight the Injustice Society: Dr. Ito, Icicle, Brainwave, Grundy and their minions?
Another origin episode, but attempted dramatic twist with the addition of Courtney’s father — another cast member seemingly to learn about (or forget about) — that is not Starman. Also, we finally learn at least some of the story behind Justin, albeit in an extremely boring storytelling way.
So many characters in this show. It’s like the first season is setting up more seasons now, instead of rolling out some epic conflict and making viewers all in here and now. That’s what it looked like might be happening based on the amazing episode 10, that the rest of season one would be more action-oriented and we’d stop doing all these slow origin episodes.
The Justin / Janitor memory flashback could have included an exciting battle scene with Excalibur in the past. Instead we get a scraggly bearded janitor firing off more exposition. That’s the real star of this show: exposition everywhere again. What’s missing is left to the viewer’s imagination.
Stargirl teases live action comic book battles to come … someday. Guess that’s why I keep tuning in because I’m excited by what could be here instead of what too often turns out not to be. The most interesting parts of each episode are often the very last couple minutes of each episode. Like the writers realized, hey we better do something cool in the last couple minutes so they tune in next week.
Earlier in the series I mentioned the 1970s show The Incredible Hulk starring Bill Bixby. That should have provided Geoff Johns and his team the basic episode structure that Stargirl could follow, instead we get each episode essentially introducing new characters and setting up potential conflicts … somewhere in the future. This one just finding interesting pictures to take for this post was challenging.
For pretty much the entire season the foreshadowing, origin and backstories have been rolled out for a huge conflict like we saw at the beginning of the first episode. We keep getting mostly teased in 40+ minute chunks. Not a fan of this episode or this tease-heavy storytelling overall, because again, most of this could have covered this in 15 minutes of run time earlier in the season when we met Justin the first time. As for Courtney finding out about the truth of her dad? Yeah, that adds another dimension to her character, but weren’t there other more interesting ways to blend him into the storyline? Perhaps he could have been found by the Injustice Society? Used as pawn to lure in Stargirl and her team underground?
This is more of a soap opera episode that doesn’t even move with soap opera cuts and pacing. Fine, if that’s the show others want to watch every week. Not what I’m tuning in for. A bummer letdown for me from episode 10, which was fantastic. Two more episodes. Hope it pays off. Finally.
Season 1 DC Universe / CW July 19, 2020 @ 9:00pm PT (GMT-8)
Episode 10 – Brainwave Jr
Flashback to Pat and Barbara first meeting at an ice cream shop. They both order banana splits but there’s only one banana left, so they choose to share together. Return to present with Barbara discovering the staff and Courtney trying to explain that she’s Stargirl and her dad was Starman. All Barbara is hearing is that she was deceived and asks Pat to leave. He stays the night at the garage. Mike asks to go with him.
Brainwave has awoken with a memory gap of 10 years. He realizes his son is now Brainwave Jr, having his powers. Junior is incensed anew with the memory that his mother, Mary, was killed. He heads home to watch more VHS tapes recorded by his father to learn what happened. Icicle pays Henry/Brainwave a visit in the hospital.
The staff tries to get Courtney to go out, but she resists. It heads to the garage, inscribes a message on a picture of Icicle and then heads to the hospital where Icicle easily puts it on ice.
Barbara tells Courtney to pack, she’s heading to work for an hour and then they are leaving town. Courtney goes to Pat at the garage and tells him what’s happening. He tells Courtney to pack and that he can live with her mom’s decision to leave as long “as he knows she’s safe.” He goes to Barbara.
Courtney gathers the team with a plan to retrieve her staff from the underground Injustice Society lair. They suit up along with Brainwave Jr. and head to the tunnels. Doctor Midnite and Hourman head away from the group underground and discover the locked up Solomon Grundy. Hourman realizes that Grundy killed his parents and wants to free the beast.
Down the other corridor, the other team runs into the henchmen which are dispatched by Dragon King to kill the team. They also discover that Brainwave has had his memory restored and Stargirl’s staff has been chained. A huge battle ensues.
Will Stargirl and her team defeat the Injustice Society’s henchmen and Dragon King? Will Stargirl be able to free her staff? Which side will Brainwave Jr choose? Good or evil?
Tune into find out the answers to these questions and more!
Easily the best episode of the season so far, this one has everything: conflict, intrigue, epic superhero vs. villain battles, revelations and a mission straight into the heart of the villain’s lair. I didn’t see the ending coming either, which was a nice twist. Wow, what an amazing episode!
Loved this one, what else can I say? When tuning into the series, this was the type and quality of episode I’d hoped to see. Total delivery. Not sure I can say it should have taken 9 episodes to get here, but hey, this one is a ton of fun and majorly entertaining. Must watch.
Season 1 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.
As a paid subscriber to DC Universe I’m growing weary reading about TV series’ DCU is canceling, losing or moving.
More and more signs making it painfully obvious that DC Universe is not creating any new, exclusive, original movie or TV content. Worse, what they already have that makes the service one you might want to subscribe to is being moved elsewhere.
Not that this is the only reason to subscribe, they have tons of comic books (honestly, it’s best to think of it is a comics-only platform right now, not a streaming service), but if you’re not interested in reading DC comics, there are not many compelling reasons to subscribe (or stay subscribed).
The newest announcement comes today via Variety that Stargirl, which I’m currently reviewing new episodes weekly (see most recent: TV SERIES Review: Stargirl S1E8 – Shiv Part Two ⭐️⭐️⭐️½) on Sunday/Monday will be renewed for a second season, but be exclusive to The CW and not on DC Universe. Great news for Stargirl fans, bad news for DC Universe subscribers.
With the renewal, The CW and its digital platforms will be the exclusive in-season home of the series starting with its second season. Season 2 will not stream on the show’s original home at DC Universe.
I wrote another post which will appear here tomorrow morning about whether or not DC Universe should be merged into HBO Max. That’s what some are saying should happen and news like this will only intensely validate those requests. I’ll let you read that post to address my detailed thoughts and opinion, but this news makes it more than obvious that DC Universe is actively trying to get away from having its own original TV content.
I wish WarnerMedia would tell me, their paid subscriber, what is going on with DCU? Are they changing it into a comics-only service and will continue to provide us with a few token animated movies and TV shows? Or are they going the Marvel route and making DCU strictly comics-only?
They recently canceled DC Daily, their inexpensive daily DC news show with their 450th episode that aired last Friday, they are moving the most awesome Harley Quinn animated series to HBO Max. Swamp Thing season two was picked up by The CW, Doom Patrol is on both DCU and HBO Max and now this Stargirl season two decision.
Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that DC Universe is fast becoming a comics-only platform. Their DC comics library is extensive and worthwhile (24,000+ comics I believe), but they aren’t being very transparent with their existing subscribers about what’s going on with the service. They owe it to paying subscribers to say something about their future plans rather than just let us continue to guess based on news reports.
Like maybe: hey, we’re going to fold this into HBO Max or we’re going to be a comics-only service or, well … just tell us what you’re plans are so we can decide to stay subscribed or cancel? Yes/no? What do you think?
I’m currently a paid subscriber and don’t like to getting news about the subscription service I’m paying for from third party news outlets. I expect to get it from the source directly first. Send me an email, DC Universe. You do have my contact. Post something on your official DCU boards. Something, anything to show that my paltry monthly revenue to you has some kind of value.
It’s BS putting out press releases before notifying your own darn customers. Come on.
Season 1 DC Universe / CW July 5, 2020 @ 9:00pm PT (GMT-8)
Episode 8 – Shiv Part Two
Pat springs into cover-up mode for the aftermath of the battle between Stargirl and Shiv. Court is injured and needs to be hospitalized, so Pat decided to run the Buick into a streetlight and make the injuries be seen to authorities and Court’s mom as the result of a car accident.
Mean girl Cindy aka Shiv stops by Courtney and apologizes for being rude to her.
Meanwhile, the other JSA members case out Cindy’s house with Doctor Midnite looking for clues inside. Pat tries to get them out of there. Henry is realizing he has telepathic powers, but doesn’t realize he’s Brainwave Jr.
Just as Cindy is about to leave, she tells Courtney she knows she is Stargirl and plans to kill her friends first and then her.
The story is really heating up. Courtney warns her team that Cindy/Shiv knows who she is and they frantically try and get out. Courtney goes for the staff and puts on the Stargirl suit …
What will be the result of another Stargirl vs. Shiv showdown? Will Henry help Shiv against the JSA? Does the JSA team get out of Cindy/Shiv’s home undetected and unscathed? All these questions and more are answered on episode 8 of Stargirl.
What starts out slow as an emotional episode about halfway in goes into action mode. It feels like it’s all building to an epic battle between the JSA and Injustice Society. Teens vs. teens with their inherited superpowers. With four more episodes, I think that we could see a two to three part mega battle where everybody is throwing down.
There are some characters I still question the need for like Pat’s son Mike and Court’s mom Barbara seems like she’s there to slow down the plot, rather than do anything significant. Is she going to cheat on Pat with Icicle? Maybe that’s her character arc, although it detracts from Stargirl and her JSA team.
The show is entertaining and at times a lot of fun. I feel like the story, however, is a bit clunky and all over the place trying to decide what characters to focus on when it fits the plot at hand. As it goes, we have Courtney/Stargirl wanting to kick Injustice League butt, the other JSA members are green but want to get into the fight and Pat trying to hold everybody back. On the Injustice Society side front Shiv wants to kill everybody. Thankfully we have Shiv to keep the battle in focus. Courtney/Stargirl needs to learn to be a better team player. This episode is a little better than part one, a fun episode and moving the story forward a little. Just seems like 8 episodes in we shouldn’t be world and character building still — and yet we are.
Season 1 DC Universe / CW June 28, 2020 @ 9:00pm PT (GMT-8)
Episode 7 – Shiv Part One
A Bachman Turner Overdrive musical opening “Taking Care of Business” with Stargirl and her team. Court and Pat get caught talking about training and come up with a cover story of driving and Court’s mom, Barbara scolds Pat for not talking to her first about it. Of course the real training is the JSA training.
Mean girl verbally assaults the janitor at school. Court picks up the mop and hands back to him. Weird, bearded janitor guy goes into his closet and the camera zooms in on a sword.
Science class. Court partners up with mean girl, Cindy and they finish their experiment together successfully. Cindy wants to hang out with Court on Saturday night.
Pat has a training session with Stargirl and her team but Court gets impatient and selfishly shows off in training. The others are irritated and Pat calls off the training until tomorrow.
Mean girl Cindy goes into the basement and talks to her father that is part of the Injustice Society. She wants to join the IS and her father sends her back upstairs.
At the game Court gets asked out to the homecoming dance. She wants to go, but has plans with Cindy, so she tells her friend she’s going to talk to Cindy. When she does and asks if they can hang out another time, Cindy is rude and tells her, “You had your chance.”
Court slinks off and sees the principal up to something on the phone. She follows her into the school and decides to go into Stargirl mode. The staff takes Stargirl inside a secret tunnel inside the walls of the school. This leads Stargirl looking around.
Meanwhile, Cindy is frustrated with the other cheerleaders and goes back into the basement looking for her father. She sees Stargirl on the security cameras and then a suit she can put on. She heads off to battle Stargirl.
Who will win the battle? What’s up with that janitor and the knight sword? Will Pat realize Stargirl is gone? What about the football game, will their school win?
These questions and more are answered — OK, most are answered — on this episode. Tune in!
Clearly this episode needed to be a two-parter, I only wish that we got to see both parts at one time, because this leaves us on a cliffhanger until next week. Once again we’re being introduced to another villain — mean girl Cindy in this case. It just feels like every episode is introducing one or more characters, but hey, this was an entertaining episode. I liked it and recommend watching. Stargirl’s battle is worth watching.
It’s too bad Stargirl’s team wasn’t available to assist. I get a feeling that if she keeps going solo then bad things are bound to happen. Stargirl needs to learn how to work as a team, which is what Pat has been saying for several episodes now.
Season 1 DC Universe / CW June 21, 2020 @ 9:00pm PT (GMT-8)
Episode 6 – The Justice Society
Opens on the football field with a female player knocking out a male player with an attitude. The coach benches her. Cut to Stargirl-Courtney returning home only to find Pat waiting to give her an earful about how she has been recruiting the Justice Society without his assistance: Wildcat, Hourman and Doctor Mid-Nite. Pat wants Courtney to get back the powerful items and costumes back because she’s endangered her newfound friends.
Courtney meets with Wildcat-Yolanda and she mentions how much she likes being Wildcat. Court doesn’t have the heart to break it to her.
Doctor Mid-Nite-Beth is next. She’s scanning Fahrenheit 451 with her goggles that she has codenamed Chuck and thanks Court. A cool nod to Ray Bradbury! (Don’t burn books).
At lunch Court reapproaches Yolanda and Beth and asks them to return the empowered items. Neither wants to and they walk away. Meanwhile, Pat is working on getting back the hourglass from Rick. He fails, too.
Behind the field grandstands, Rick has Doctor Mid-Nite Beth read the book and it triggers a hack from the gambler, a villain that hacks into everything. The young Justice Society decides to team up and take down the gambler.
Little to they know, but Icicle has two attack dogs ready to protect and fight (see top image).
Will The Gambler get away with his devious hacking scheme? Who will win the fight? You’ll have to tune into episode 6 to find out.
This is what I’m tuning into watch each week. Great episode. It has the team finally assembled and taking on the Injustice Society. Hopefully the stakes get ramped up even further from here. By the end of the episode it sure sounds like we’re headed that direction.
We’re back on track. Entertaining, exciting and fun. My favorite episode of the first season thus far.
Season 1 DC Universe / CW June 14, 2020 @ 9:00pm PT (GMT-8)
Episode 5 – Hourman and Doctor Mid-Nite
Opens 7 years ago, a young boy named Rick being left by his parents with his uncle, moments later on a country road they have a fateful encounter with one of the Injustice League.
Present day and Courtney and Pat are stranded on the side of the road when an older Rick is walking by. Court notices an hourglass starts to glow yellow in her duffel bag in the presence of Rick.
She pulls it out and realizes that he is, in fact, Hourman.
Beth Chapel, a teenager, stops by Court’s house and is wrongly assumed to be a trick or treater by Court’s mom. She invites herself into the house — annoying, yes — and Court’s room, only to find and put on these special green all-knowing exposition glasses. Court comes home and discovers Beth with the glasses and confronts her.
Beth, with the amazing exposition powers of the glasses points out that Rick’s father was Rex Tyler, known as Hourman.
Pat is figuring out the same on his own, based on Rick mentioning a yellow car.
The three girls — Court, Wildcat Yolanda and Beth — not in uniform except for Beth with the green goggles, decide to go to a Halloween party to confront Rick. There’s underage drinking and bad dance music. One of the mean girls from a past episode is in attendance in costume as a vampire. Dude throws up and Court grabs his Gremlins mask and gives the hourglass to Rick. Letting him know that the hourglass gave Hourman super strength for one hour a day. One Rick puts it on the power courses through him…
Another origin story episode introducing Hourman and Beth with a sprinkling of Dr. Mid-Nite. Pretty much hated the green goggles, because they are a terribly obvious macguffin. Rick? Unlikable. Beth? Annoying and unlikable. Wildcat Yolanda? Less than five minutes of screen time. Pat? Wandering around as sort of a bad Watson to Court’s Sherlock Holmes/Stargirl.
Maybe it’s just me that feels this way, but I want to watch a superhero show to see the superhero. One of my favorite TV shows based on a comic, The Incredible Hulk always delivered at least two moments where Dr. Banner turns into Hulk. I’d like to be able to depend on Stargirl to get that costume on and do something. We do get to see a couple minutes of Stargirl and Wildcat in costume, so I suppose the writers are trying to make a similar storyline fit, but the underlying story, or rather mostly backstory, is underwhelming.
Wildcat does nothing except stand beside Stargirl. Green goggle Beth is there to dump plot points like some sort of green Google. Sure hope that Court gets out of build Stargirl team mode and goes back to kicking butt.
Sloppy, lazy writing, lackluster origin story episode and … well, we get the entire episode’s plot in the first few minutes. No surprises, almost no action and, well, no thanks. Didn’t care for this episode and don’t recommend.
Season 1 DC Universe / CW June 7, 2020 @ 9:00pm PT (GMT-8)
Episode 4 – Wildcat
Three months ago, a Vote For Yolanda campaign at school. The question, of course, who is Yolanda? She’s Henry’s girlfriend and he’s wanting her to sext him a naughty pic. Turns out it’s all for a mean prank and the joke is on Yolanda.
Court is in her room, going through her outfit, then called down to breakfast. She is eager to recruit help for her and Stripesy. Yolanda is being picked on at school, and Court befriends her.
Meanwhile, Icicle meets the doctor in the basement by this sick painting showing the Injustice Society.
Yolanda is given Wildcat’s suit and gains cat-like powers with Wolverine-like steel claws. She shreds a toaster, walks on the fence and jumps off a building and it seems like Wildcat is ready to join Stargirl.
They join in a brief adventure to get into the hospital where Brainwave is in a coma.
Only, Yolanda is conflicted. She isn’t sure who she wants to be after the betrayal of trust and decides she needs to return to being the person she was before she can be Wildcat. Yolanda’s parents continue to be ashamed by her actions and tell her to go to her room.
Stargirl leaves Yolanda a note that she “can’t do it alone.” Will Wildcat put the costume back on? Will she team up with Stargirl? What is Pat doing at the junkyard? What’s he building? What happened at the hospital? Who else was visiting Brainwave?
Find out the answers to some, most or all of these questions by tuning into episode #4 “Wildcat”
The origin story for Wildcat was just … OK. Kind of a boring episode with no real action. Wildcat’s suit was cool, but no S.T.R.I.P.E and Stargirl doesn’t really do anything except recruit a potential new member. It would have been cool if we could have gotten a fight scene or two somehow worked in. Maybe Wildcat being able to use those claws?
There is some good mystery involving Pat rummaging around at the junkyard and what happened to Icicle’s victim from episode #3?
The least entertaining episode of the series so far. It’s watchable and somewhat entertaining, but feels like we just were being spoonfed more backstory and origin and not in the most compelling way possible. Not a fan of this episode. We’ll see if something more exciting happens next week.