“The staff belongs to you, Courtney.” Spoilers for Stargirl season 3, episode 13 follow.
Stargirl and the JSA go to their final confrontation with the ISA and, despite everything they’ve gone through this season, they go together, no hesitation.
Here is everything that went down in the series finale of DC’s Stargirl “Frenemies – Chapter Thirteen: The Reckoning”.
Stargirl series finale review
Now that Pat has literally been buried alive, Stargirl and the rest of the JSA are metaphorically trying to get out of the holes that they’ve been buried under throughout the entirety of this season. This is a very action-heavy episode, but it also does an absolutely fantastic job of bringing every story that’s been developed this season full-circle. If there was a problem that a character dealt with this season, it’s resolved, and resolved well, in this series finale.
But before we get to that full resolution for every character though, Jordan and the Ultra-Humanite bring Courtney to the junkyard, yet again bringing everything full-circle as this was where Courtney had her first fight with Brainwave. After bringing them there, they try to trick Courtney and the JSA into thinking that Pat was killed by the Ultra-Humanite, which is partially true, at least the Ultra-Humanite thinks it is. Well until Pat arrives, which is when the character resolutions in this episode really begin to come to light.
As great as the fight scenes in this episode are (more on those further down), the episode is still character-driven over everything else, which is fantastic.
After the final fight though, everyone in the JSA overcomes everything that they’ve been lied to about this entire season and you will probably watch the last 30 minutes of the episode with a big smile on your face. Courtney and Pat’s conversation about the horrible things that the Ultra-Humanite told them is fantastic and, once again, reaffirms their love for each other one last time.
As for Rick, he apologizes to Beth and her parents, and stands by her side as she does so too, while then asking her parents if they can be her “sidekicks.” And it’s impossible not to smile when they become incredibly excited when she asks. And then it’s also impossible not smile once again when it’s revealed, in a flash forward, that Rick and Beth will be getting married (and that Courtney is now Starwoman and that the JSA has expanded to feature every one of the legacy characters featured at some point on this show).
Then, there’s everything else. Mike meets his biological mom, but when he makes it clear that he thinks of Barbara as his real mom, it hits you right in the heart and Amy Smart and Trae Romano play that scene wonderfully. Courtney also gets around to finally delivering The Gambler’s letter to his daughter and while it’s probably the least emotional scene of the episode, it still hits hard seeing Becky hug Courtney and thanking her. And when Yolanda begins to make-up with her mom after seeing Beth with her parents, it will bring a tear to your eye because of Yvette Monreal’s fantastic performance. Finally though, Artemis gets her revenge on Jordan, killing him, burning him alive, the opposite of what he did to her parents. Everything is resolved and nothing is left on the table.
The Final Fight
As much as this episode is character driven though, it wastes almost no time in getting into the final fight between the JSA and the ISA though and, immediately, it’s suitably intense as Courtney calls Jordan and “Starman” out on their lies. And then, with perfect timing, Pat arrives in S.T.R.I.P.E. to truly destroy the lies once and for all. It’s very quick, but it never feels too quick. Instead, the quick nature of the scene adds to the intensity that every character is feeling, which leads to one of the best, if not the best, fight scenes of the entire series.
First up, we have the Ultra-Humanite vs. S.T.R.I.P.E., which is incredibly fun to witness. It doesn’t quite make use of the friend vs. “friend” set-up that it could have, especially with Ultra-Humanite losing himself in the role of Starman, but when it does, it works very well.
Then there’s Stargirl vs. Icicle. This one is a long-time coming and has multiple variations of the fight throughout this entire scene. From beginning with Courtney without the staff to other members of the JSA coming to help her, to Cameron trying to help her to her getting the staff back and proceeding to beat Jordan easily, it’s a perfectly paced fight. There’s not a moment where this scene isn’t centered around this fight, even if it’s indirect, and it’s utterly fantastic with excellent choreography.
But the most emotional moment in this scene is the fight between Stargirl vs. “Starman.” Seeing Barbara come into the fight, and shooting Jordan with Paula’s crossbow (which is very cathartic), and then convincing her daughter that she’s worthy of the Staff, and always has been, is awesome. And then seeing Courtney take Cosmo back from the Ultra-Humanite and use it to immediately take out Jordan, it’s beyond satisfying and worth the build that the season has been doing toward this moment.
Now, for some final, personal thoughts on Stargirl as a whole. This series has been my favorite show for the past three years. It’s been there for me through some awful moments in my life, but seeing Courtney be an eternal wellspring of hope, despite the awful things that have happened to her at times, it resonates. This show didn’t run as long as it arguably should have, but every piece of it that exists, I’m thankful for and I’m eternally thankful that the characters Courtney Whitmore and Pat Dugan exist, and for Brec Bassinger and Luke Wilson bringing them to life beautifully.
Stargirl concludes its run with a near perfect series finale that ends the show with a character driven episode, excellent action and a smile-inducing final scene.
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