Stargirl season 3, episode 3 review: The Blackmail

DC’s Stargirl -- “Frenemies - Chapter Three: The Blackmail” -- Image Number: STG303g_0047r -- Pictured (L - R): Joel McHale as Sylvester Pemberton / Starman -- Photo: The CW -- © 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
DC’s Stargirl -- “Frenemies - Chapter Three: The Blackmail” -- Image Number: STG303g_0047r -- Pictured (L - R): Joel McHale as Sylvester Pemberton / Starman -- Photo: The CW -- © 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

“It’s not like there’s danger around every corner.” Spoilers for Stargirl season 3, episode 3 follow.

Stargirl and the JSA begin to receive more clues as to who murdered The Gambler, but the more they think they know, the more questions are brought to them.

Meanwhile, several residents in Blue Valley try to continue to press the reset buttons on their lives.

Here’s everything that went down in Stargirl season 3, episode 3 “Frenemies: Chapter Three – The Blackmail”.

DC’s Stargirl season 3, episode 3 review

The Reset button

We start off this episode in a true Stargirl fashion, by having a bit of fun with Blue Valley. We follow Sylvester as he tries to hit the reset button and, well, it feels very much like how Courtney viewed Blue Valley in the first season, except he’s even more cynical. It really shouldn’t work as well as it does, given that it feels so familiar, but Joel McHale manages to make it work through humor and quirky dialogue. Along the way, he bumps into Yolanda and we really get to hear how the old JSA would react to the new team when he begins to talk to her. It’s the most genuine that Sylvester has been so far and it’s really nice to see, even if we see a darker side of Starman later.

Courtney tries to take her own advice by talking to Cameron again. To put it bluntly, it doesn’t go well. He blows her off before going to class and even gets angry at his teacher who is just trying to help him. This then leads to a nice confrontation between Rick and Cameron, which is slightly funny on a meta level given that they are friends in real life. He’s hit a reset button for himself, just like several others are doing, but instead of trying to build on positives, he begins to dwell in the darkness. And, judging by the preview for next week’s episode, we’re finally going to see if Icicle Jr. comes out to play.

As for the Crocks, they continue to press their own reset button, first by invading breakfast at the Whitmore-Dugan household, then Paula going to Barbara for help again – which forces her to see Barbara’s problems as well. And, well, Paula does her thing and basically threatens the man harassing Barbara at work. Regardless though, Barbara goes to support Paula because she truly sees that she is trying to change. This friendship that’s grown between the two is so much fun and it’s nice to see as it really moves forwards with the themes of the season in a non-serious way.

Clues drop

As for any hints to who killed the Gambler, Cindy drops clues right into Beth’s lap, without Beth knowing who it’s coming from. But because this clue is blackmail against the Crock family, she doesn’t even worry about it, which adds a bit more motivation and evidence to the Crocks killing Gambler.

So, once the JSA has these clues, they begin to discuss what they should do and, what’s been so nice this season is that they never simply agree with one another. They constantly argue as to what they need to do, with none of them ever feeling out of character. There is always character motivation for what each one of them is saying and you can completely see each and every side of the argument. And where you land ultimately falls onto your own opinions as well. So far this season, the show has directly said who’s right and who’s wrong, which makes things infinitely more interesting.

All that said though, Cindy basically tricks Starman into going after the Crocks in a way to win over the JSA members who don’t want her there. But, well, it backfires.

Mess on Aisle 4

Now, we get the first real fight scene of the season with Sylvester attacking the Crocks while at the supermarket. It is well-choreographed, immensely fun, and uses its setting better than most fight scenes on basically any show can do. As it goes on though, it just gets more and more vicious and we really see the dark side of Starman begin to break through the shell of this hero. He literally tries to kill the Crocks with the Cosmic Staff. Luckily, Pat intervenes before things can really go too far.

This then leads to the most emotional conversation of the season so far between Pat and Sylvester. We finally get to see Sylvester put in his place by Pat, who tells him that he needs to be a better person than he’s been so far since he’s gotten back. And Sylvester finally gets told why being Stargirl means so much to Courtney, which hopefully has now put a shock into his system into becoming better.

Stargirl continues on its path to a very solid third season with a fun episode that wasn’t afraid to get dark at times either.

Stargirl season 3 airs on The CW on Wednesdays at 8/7c.

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