Finally! After nine episodes of underuse, Amy Smart’s Barbara finally plays a major role in this episode of Stargirl. At the end of the last episode, Barbara caught Courtney (Brec Bassigner) and Jim (Luke Wilson) with the floating illuminated Stargirl staff. This episode spends a lot of time dealing with the fallout of that discovery, and Barbara’s contributions to the episode go beyond “I’m mad that you guys lied to me.”
Amy Smart is great, but that is not only the reason this is the best episode of Stargirl yet … by far. The writing is sharp, with nifty plot twists and a few emotional gut punches. The special effects in this episode are strong as well, with a standout fight scene that makes good use of the characters established powers. The staff, having shown signs of having its own personality, also plays a central role and establishes itself as its own character.
The theme of family drama extends beyond Courtney’s family. Henry Jr. is really fleshed out as a character as he comes to grips with his powers and reunites with his dad, Brainwave. In the process, we learn even more about Brainwave’s origins, which makes this episode stronger. Perhaps my only complaint is the fact that Brainwave woke up from his coma with 10 years of amnesia, which is an overused trope that is employed when necessary for the story. Credit to the writers for trying to explain it though.
I’ve become more appreciative of Jake Austin Walker’s portrayal of Henry Jr. as the series goes on, especially over the past three episodes. What could be a stereotypical ‘jock bully’ character is played with a lot of nuance, leading us to wonder – will Henry end up good or evil?
This episode was a little more serious than prior episodes, though it retains the series’ charm. I’m curious to see if this is a one episode shift, or if the show will trend more towards Arrow on the Arrowverse tone continuum. Stuff happens in this episode, so I recommend watching it asap to avoid any spoilers.
This episode will debut on Monday, July 19th
Check back next week for my thoughts on the 11th episode of the series.
Are you enjoying the season so far? Feel free to chat with me on Twitter or leave a comment below!