Long TV story arcs are great … if they eventually pay off. Stargirl’s “Summer School” has spent the season collecting the children of last year’s baddies to take on Courtney and her friends. It’s been a fun ride, but this approach results in fewer big time superhero fights as the show builds towards something epic. And that something epic happens here, with a satisfying climax to the first half of the season.
Cindy and her crew finally make their move and the result is one of, if not the best, fight scenes to date. Stargirl’s action is at its best when it balances multiple skirmishes going on in one big brawl, and this episode takes that technique to the max. The scene has excellent choreography and inventive melding cuts between different pairs of combatants. The choreography is enhanced by smart use of slow motion to really show what is happening at crucial moments in the fight. In addition, the special effects in this episode are noticeably stronger than in some of the prior installments, particularly in showing the impact of the fight on the environment. It is gratifying to see most of the characters get a ‘hero moment’ and it is particularly welcome to have Courtney finally show off some nifty Stargirl staff action. She often seems like a guest on her own show, but this episode puts her in the spotlight again.
This episode isn’t just a great fight scene. We also get a payoff on the question of what is Mike’s purpose that has been dangling ever since Cindy laid out his picture among her recruits. The answer doesn’t land 100%, but it is nice to see the writers resolve that plot point. This episode finally gives something for Amy Smart to do as well, which is always welcome. Finally, though he doesn’t get as much screen time as normal, Luke Wilson puts in a strong performance in the screen time he has. His arc also has a payoff from his awkward partnership with Sportsmaster in a prior episode, which helps explain an otherwise unbelievable decision.
Unlike the season’s episodes to date, which rely heavily on knowledge of the show, the action in this installment stands up even if you haven’t seen the show – it’s pretty obvious who the bad guys and good guys are. If you have taken your time in picking up season 2 of Stargirl, this episode alone makes it worth the investment to watch.
DC’s Stargirl S2 E6 ‘Summer School: Chapter Six’ is now available on the CW streaming service with new episodes premiering every Wednesday!
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