This season’s third episode once again starts with a flashback. For a show built on the premise of legacy, with a new set of young heroes stepping in for the prior generation, this is an excellent storytelling technique. So far, each opening sequence has served as an intriguing introduction to the character featured in the episode.
One of Stargirl’s strengths has been its ability to play the long game. Characters and concepts are sprinkled in way before they become integral, making the show feel like an authentic universe. Remember that funky pen from season 1? It finally comes into play this week along with a new character named Thunderbolt. I have to admit, although I’m a comic book guy, I wasn’t familiar with this The Thunderbolt, but he seems a lot like the genie from Disney’s Aladdin. He’s also voiced by comedian Jim Gaffigan, so it’s quite possible he may end up as one of my favorite characters (Hot Pockets!) if he sticks around. For TV, Thunderbolt’s character (and powers) uses impressive special effects.
Speaking of new characters, I’m finding myself liking the Shade more than I expected. He has a menacing charisma and the story wisely is keeping his agenda shrouded (pun intended?) in mystery. It’s also nice to have a villain whose powers are more than a match for the varied abilities of the JSA (I had forgotten that the Shade was part of the fight sequence flashback that opened season 1). This episode also features some nifty shade effects.
I’ve also been wondering what the show is going to do with Mike, and this is the episode where he’s given a prominent role. Last season Mike had an interesting sub-arc that paid off at the end of the season. His plight with bullies this episode feels a bit jammed in (I don’t recall seeing them before), but it is nice to see the writers give him something to do. While Mike can border on annoying (by design), this episode really made him a sympathetic character. I am curious to see where they take his character this season given the foreshadowing in the premiere.
Stargirl’s second season shows the writers’ long term plan stretched well beyond one season. As a result, there has not been a dropoff in quality.
DC’s Stargirl S2 E3 ‘Summer School: Chapter Three’ is now available on the CW streaming service with new episodes premiering every Wednesday!
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