Stargirl’s second season (dubbed “Summer School”) finally brings back two of my favorite characters – Sportsmaster and Tigress (played by Joy Osmanski, who I had the opportunity to interview in season 1, which you can watch here). Having wisely incarcerated them instead of killing them off, Stargirl has the opportunity to continue to mine their relationship with their daughter Artemis. As is often the case in the show, the writers wisely had Artemis pop up now and again to establish her as a character, but she has never really stepped into the forefront until now. Unfortunately, Artemis just comes off as annoying. I can’t tell if she is supposed to be sympathetic at all (an interaction with her foster mom seems to indicate she is), but it doesn’t land.
Speaking of characters who are around the periphery, Beth’s mom makes another brief appearance. From the start of the show, I wondered if her parents were part of the ISA’s plot. It turned out they weren’t, but I continue to wonder if there is more to them than just a couple getting divorced. This season’s divorce storyline is the one story that hasn’t landed for me this year so I hope there’s more to the story.
While the first season assembled the new JSA (good guys), this season seems to be about assembling a new ISA (the bad guys). Stargirl always plays with questions of legacy versus choice and it will be interesting to see which characters are recruited to the dark side this season (and which then choose to be good later). Either way, the season is already chock full of interesting baddies, between the Shade (who may not end up being bad), Cindy, and the return of Tigress and Sportsmaster (who strike a great balance between being menacing and goofy).
This episode replaces fighting and special effects with some hilarious interactions between unexpected characters. In going for a lighter tone, this episode is a standout for the season so far. Speaking of unexpected humor, given the state of the Huskers’ football program, I giggled a bit when a visit from the Nebraska football coach was considered a big deal. For a show that consistently nails its fight choreography, I was disappointed by the lameness of the football action. With that sad, this was a solid episode – just stay around until the end, as it ends on a big reveal.
DC’s Stargirl S2 E3 ‘Summer School: Chapter Four’ is now available on the CW streaming service with new episodes premiering every Wednesday!
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