Stargirl season 3, episode 9 review: The Monsters

“Sometimes letting our kids face the pain is the only way to cope with it.” Spoilers for Stargirl season 3, episode 9 follow.

Stargirl and the JSA begin to mend their fences after Courtney and Pat make it back to Blue Valley after their trip to Helix.

Meanwhile, Cameron’s descent begins to be pushed even further by his grandmother.

Stargirl season 3 episode 9 recap

Trying to repair

This episode starts with Courtney and Yolanda beginning to repair their relationship after everything that went down last episode. It was a long-time coming after everything that happened this season so, while it was always known that they would make up, seeing them silently hug when they see each other? It was just very nice to see.

This then leads to the JSA coming back together after Courtney, rightfully, apologizes for how she’s been treating them. This leads to a really great scene that’s focused around Rick, which very much plays into the third act of the episode, basically giving Courtney permission to tell Cameron everything, breaking down and admitting that the rest of the JSA is family, but also giving a warning about Cameron. It’s the best scene that Rick has arguably had throughout the entire run of the show so far and it pays dividends during the final act of this episode.

As for Pat, he’s trying to deal with the fallout of his trip to the Shadowlands and in the process, we find out about Mike’s mom. This is such a great scene between Pat and Barbara and shows just how strong their relationship is. Pat bares his past, his insecurities, and his pain to her, as she does to him, and neither of them falters for a single second. Pat and Barbara truly are “couple goals” as some might say.

And Crusher being there for Pat while he searches for Mike’s mom, it’s so great and it’s so earned after the build-up that has occurred between the two this season. He comes in with his usual bluster, but sees Pat isn’t really in the mood for it and tunes it down to get serious. It’s great. This also mirrors Paula and Barbara, with Paula getting very choked up when Barbara calls her “her friend,” while Paula is teaching Barbara to take out a guy’s spleen.

Icicle Jr.

As the truth about who Jordan became ever closer to Cameron’s knowledge, Cameron’s grandmother becomes even more militant than she already was. She sees that he’s continuing on the path he had previously set. One of happiness, or at least, attempted happiness. Because of this, we finally see the truth. The true monster was never Jordan, but always the matriarch, and to a much lesser extent, her husband, of the Mahkent family, which becomes very clear when she brazenly murders Cameron’s art teacher.

And not only this, but as the JSA’s search for signals begins to dry up, they find one more. And it’s coming from inside the Mahkent house. And well, it doesn’t take long for Rick to burst in, right in the middle of Courtney trying to explain to Cameron who Jordan really was.

This leads to such a great fight scene that is entirely character-driven but adds on fantastic choreography and use of its characters, with none of them feeling useless throughout this scene. The standout of this fight though is the sectioned-off fight between Cameron and Rick. It’s honestly one of the most brutal fight scenes of the series so far and it’s enchanting to watch. You can’t tear your eyes away from it.

While this is all going on though, we get pay-off to two storylines at the same, and not the two that probably anyone thought. Jakeem and Mike’s search for the murderer has kind of taken the backseat to everything else that has been happening this season and has never really felt like it will actually amount to anything. And yet, everyone who thought this way, including this writer, was wrong, as they’re the first to find The Gambler’s murderer and it’s none other than Dragon King—just kidding.

In an out-of-left-field reveal of a character that felt like he would never make his way into live-action, it’s revealed that Ultra-Humanite, an absolute madman of a villain, has been the true villain of the season. We don’t see much, but it changes the course that the rest of the season is heading.

It feels like this is said in almost every episode this season of Stargirl, but this episode is one of the best so far with its great character work, excellent action, and brilliant reveal at the end.