Stargirl season 1, episode 5 review: Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite

“So, this is the room of a superhero? Huh.” Minor spoilers for Stargirl season 1, episode 5 follow.

After successfully recruiting Yolanda into her new version of the Justice Society, Stargirl is determined as ever to bring more people into the fold in this week’s instalment of the DC Universe show.

This path though, it leads her to someone that she has known about since her first day at Blue Valley High.

Legacies

From the beginning, Stargirl has been a show about legacy, or really a perceived legacy as it’s not actually known whether Starman is actually Courtney’s father or not. But here, in the fifth episode of the season, we finally get the first true legacy character of the JSA in the form of Rick Tyler, son of Rex Tyler, aka Hourman. Actually, he did first appear in the series premiere where we got a glimpse of his personality, but now we get to learn more about him.

Rick’s backstory is explored in this episode just like Yolanda and Icicle’s were in the past two episodes. The cold open is a flashback and then we catch up to the present from there. It’s an effective strategy to convey necessary information about the characters without resulting to exposition and it works again here. By using the flashback, it allows for us to just jump right into Rick’s current life with minimal effort to understand why things are the way they are. From the jump, this episode really does a great job of creating reasons to care about Rick and understand his motivations.

There are some moments toward the end of the episode (which will not be spoiled) that would probably have been more effective if they hadn’t been revealed early on to us as the audience though. The early reveal lessens the impact of said reveal to the characters in the final scenes of the episode. There was the potential for an even greater emotional punch that simply isn’t present with how some of the story is told.

To approach a superhero

Rick isn’t the only focus character of this episode though as Beth Chapel attempts to join Courtney in her superhero ways after hearing Yolanda’s name at the hospital. Superhero 101, don’t use your real names out in the field.

There is so much that could’ve gone wrong with Beth’s scenes in this episode. The character is extremely talkative and upbeat in a way that is a bit off-putting. It’s something that could have gone off the rails so easily, but it thankfully doesn’t for two reasons.

First, the characters in the show acknowledge this nature of Beth’s. This helps make Beth feel like a complete character rather than caricature. There’s more to her than her surface personality and this episode does a good job of beginning to show that. On top of that, this episode does a great job of displaying why she should be the new Dr. Mid-Nite.

Second, Anjelika Washington’s performance makes Beth’s personality come across very well. There’s an earnestness to character that Washington plays wonderfully. Even when the character is supposed to be annoying, which she is at times, it’s played incredibly well so that her annoying moments are more humorous in nature.

The villains have kids too

Because the majority of this episode deals with Rick and Beth stepping into their roles as Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite, respectively, not much is done in the way of the villains. However, we do get glimpses into the children of a couple of the villains, the most noticeable of which is Henry.

Without really getting into what is going on with him, as to avoid spoilers, there’s headway made into what has been hinted at for the past couple of episodes regarding the character. Plus, while doing this, it shows that maybe he’s not a completely horrendous person as he is expected to be. Still bad, but not downright evil.

There are a couple of nice nods that fans of Young Justice and/or comic readers of Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. will catch, but won’t be spoiled here for those who don’t know.

Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite Stargirl Season 1, Episode 5

B

Stargirl has another fun episode as the future Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite get their times to shine.
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What did you think of this week’s episode of Stargirl? Let us know in the comments below!