Stargirl season 1, episode 13 review: Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. Part Two

Yvette Monreal as Wildcat, Brec Bassinger as Stargirl, Mark Ashworth as Justin and Cameron Gellman as Hourman in DC's Stargirl -- "Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E Part Two" -- Photo: The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Yvette Monreal as Wildcat, Brec Bassinger as Stargirl, Mark Ashworth as Justin and Cameron Gellman as Hourman in DC's Stargirl -- "Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E Part Two" -- Photo: The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

“I heard you. Every word.” “I meant every word.” Minor spoilers for Stargirl season 1, episode 13 follow.

The JSA is too late and the ISA’s plan is already set in motion in the finale of the DC Universe series. And, to make it worse for Stargirl, that also means that Pat is now attacking her.

With only thirty minutes before the ISA’s plan is completed and 25 million people have died, the JSA must pull out all the stops to defeat the ISA.

Race against the clock

Every step of the way it has seemed like the Injustice Society has been ahead of the JSA. They have constantly been needing to pivot and never have fully understood the scope of the ISA’s plans. Sure, every once in a while, they throw a wrench into the mix, but they’ve barely slowed the plan down. Well, that all changes now as they are forced to push as hard as they can against the ISA.

First off though, they need to get Pat and Justin out from underneath Brainwave’s spell. Luckily for Yolanda and Courtney, Justin is in the same stupor as the rest of Blue Valley and, presumably, the entire radius of Brainwave’s signal. Courtney though, she’s not so lucky as we saw at the end of last episode as Brainwave is using Pat to attack her. This is a fantastic early sequence of the episode that accomplish two things. It’s a great fight sequence, but it’s an even better emotional moment for Courtney to have. She finally verbalizes what’s been obvious the entire season regarding her relationship with Pat and honestly, it’s wonderful.

These early portions of the episode also do a great of showing the how Brainwave’s signal is affecting Blue Valley as a whole and it’s quite horrific. Seeing every adult frozen, and even some dying, with children pleading for their parents to be normal, it’s very unsettling. And even though Jordan reassures people that this is all for the best, it’s made quite clear that it isn’t for the best for those who didn’t understand that yet.

The JSA attacks

Once the JSA frees Pat and Justin from the thrall of Brainwave though, it’s onto take on the ISA in a final battle. So much of this season has been light on fight scenes, which is rare for a superhero show. Some episodes don’t even have the characters suiting up, but it’s obviously clear why. They were saving their budget for these last couple of episodes and it shows on screen. The fight scenes in this episode are outstanding.

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Seeing the JSA and ISA finally take each other on in their fully realized forms is awesome and incredibly fulfilling to watch. Seeing Stargirl vs. basically every member for ISA at one point or another is great, but that doesn’t mean that Wildcat and Hourman don’t have their times to shine because they absolutely do.

But the real gem of the fight scenes in this episode is the fight between Solomon Grundy and S.T.R.I.P.E./Hourman. It’s been a long time coming to see Grundy not being obscured by shadows and these scenes really don’t disappoint. Is it the best CGI ever for Grundy? No, it’s not, but for a TV show, the CG is effective enough to work and the team behind Stargirl is making the most out of their budget.

At the end of their ropes

Beyond the fight scenes though, this episode shows several characters at the end of their emotional ropes. Jordan, Yolanda, and Rick are all shown to be desperate to find the closure for every emotional hang-up that they have. For Jordan, it’s finishing what his wife started. For Yolanda, it’s coming to terms with Henry’s death. For Rick, it’s getting revenge on Solomon Grundy. And while these are all important threads to touch on, the episode doesn’t pull them all off effectively, especially when it comes to Yolanda and Rick.

It’s hard to talk about why the thematic elements regarding this two, well, mainly Yolanda, are a bit muddy and executed as well as it could have been without heavy spoilers, so this won’t go into detail about why. But there’s a definitely feeling of hypocrisy regarding Yolanda’s actions in this episode given that she says one thing and then, less than five minutes later, she does said thing that she says shouldn’t be done. It’s simply not executed all that well.

With the season ending as well, there are usually teases regarding what will come in the future and boy, do we get three teases in this episode that are absolutely phenomenal and an ending scene that is perfect for Courtney and Pat.

Stargirl. S1E13. Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. Part Two. B+. <em>Stargirl</em> ends its first season with strong action sequences and emotional moments for Courtney and Pat, even if some of its thematic elements fall flat.

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Did you enjoy Stargirl‘s season 1 finale? Are you looking forward to season 2? Let us know in the comments below!