Review: Stargirl 1×12-“Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. Part One“
[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers]
Director: Toa Fraser
Writer: Melissa Carter
Starring: Brec Bassinger, Yvette Monreal, Anjelika Washington, Cameron Gellman, Trae Romano, Meg DeLacy, Neil Jackson, Christopher James Baker, Amy Smart & Luke Wilson
Reviewed by: Sean Blumenshine
With the ISA on their trail, Courtney, Pat and the team regroup to figure out their next steps. Meanwhile, Rick makes a breakthrough, and the team prepares for a showdown with the ISA.
My favorite part of this episode was the revelation of what exactly the ISA wants to use the mind controlling for. Beth discovers that the ISA intends to stop racism and provide universal healthcare among other things. Obviously, the moral downside of that is that they’re taking away free will. But I love that agenda especially with Jordan and Brainwave serving as the main architects. That makes perfect sense with who they’ve been set up to be.
But what makes them evil is that 25 million people will die trying to resist. I like that these guys start at the right goal but their methods are morally wrong and tragedy led them down a slippery slope to genocide. The ISA, Jordan especially, reminds me of Malcolm Merlyn from Arrow. I still think Merlyn is one of the live action DC villains and I love that this show provided us with villains on his level.
The episode delivers more great action. Tigress and Sportsmaster are a ridiculous amount of fun. I love the performances and the stunts involved with them are very cool.
I don’t love the opening scene. It’s a giant exposition dump for the sake of the audience. Brainwave spends the entire scene telling Jordan things that he should already know. Jordan is the mastermind behind New America; why is Brainwave explaining it to him? There are a couple of other scenes like this as well but the opening was the most glaring.
I also don’t love that Dragon King’s machine is just Cerebro with lightning effects. The similarity has to be an intentional reference but I found it more distracting than anything.
Stargirl 1×12 might be my least favorite episode of the season. It’s still strong and entertaining but it’s a little sloppier than what’s come before. The show has been tight and focused so far. This episode had some of the weakest moments in its script. A lot of information needs to get out in this one and the script struggles with getting it all out naturally. That being said, it was still a lot of fun and the cliffhanger promises an exciting season finale.