26th Aug2021

‘Stargirl 2×02: Summer School – Chapter Two’ Review

by Jason Brigger

Stars: Brec Bassinger, Luke Wilson, Amy Smart, Yvette Monreal, Anjelika Washington, Trae Romano, Christopher Baker | Created by Geoff Johns

What Happened This Week

Stargirl is only two episodes into the second season, but it still is continuing it’s streak of being one of the most fun shows on television. This week is no different as we learn more about the new Green Lantern, Cindy begins to lose control over Eclipso, and Courtney finally realizes the true calling of Stargirl.

Green Lantern’s Light

The episode picks up right after last week’s fight as Courtney and Jennie call a truce to their disagreement. Standing in the kitchen, Jennie explains she was in an orphanage until recently being kicked out due to turning 18 years old. The only thing she received from the orphanage is a box from her brother, which contains Green Lantern’s (her father’s) ring. As soon as Jennie opens the box, the ring flashes green and picks Jennie as the rightful heir to the Green Lantern Corps. Unfortunately, it also calls Jennie to go retrieve the lantern that is at Courtney’s house and thus causing the fight from last week.

Courtney is unsure of Jennie’s true intentions, but Pat immediately trusts her as he used to work with her father in the Justice Society. Jennie asks Pat to help her learn how to control the ring and as a favor to her father, Pat agrees and even lets Jennie stay the night and sleep in Courtney’s room, much to Courtney’s chagrin. Courtney’s distrust of Jennie is mostly due to her own disappointment that Courtney herself isn’t a legacy hero like the majority of the Justice Society. Her biological parents are not superheroes and with the arrival of Jennie, another legacy hero, Courtney feels she’s less of a hero than her teammates.

The atmosphere doesn’t get better after Jennie fixes the recently damaged kitchen and even makes breakfast, all in the span of 8 hours! The Whitmore/Dugan family instantly like Jennie but Courtney is still undecided as she leaves for summer school. Speaking of summer school, Courtney is joined by Yolanda, Rick (who is off feeding Solomon Grundy in the woods), and the Fiddler’s son Isaac. The humorous part is that Yolanda never failed any of her classes, her parents just didn’t want her to forget anything she learned in school over the summer. Blue Valley has some serious parental issues.

Back at Pat’s workshop, Jennie’s training is interrupted as Pat’s new business partner, Zeek, is in the process of adding a flamethrower to his robotic friend, S.T.R.I.P.E, for no other reason than he thought it would be fun. The addition of Zeek to the team allows for another comedic character to join the heroes and a hero always needs a mechanic to repair his toys. Plus, shame on Pat for not locking the door to his robotic friend…if he didn’t want Zeek to know his secret, maybe invest in a deadbolt.

Jennie’s use of the ring continues to confuse Pat as the ring hasn’t been charged in years but continues to work. On top of that, the lantern begins to act weird whenever Jennie’s emotions come out. Pat realizes that Jennie is connected to the ring and possibly the lantern through her emotions and as such, she can use that to control the ring. Using this knowledge, Jennie is able to use the ring to manifest anything she can imagine, which will come in handy when dealing with villains.

After having a rough day at summer school, Courtney arrives back at Pat’s workshop to see Jennie bonding and laughing with the Justice Society. Courtney gets into an argument with Jennie and tells her that she is jealous of Jennie as she is a legacy hero and has everything. Jennie responds by stating she has nothing as she was kicked out of the orphanage, her brother is missing, and her father, the great Alan Scott, is dead. Way to go Courtney.

Jennie continues to get angrier at Courtney and as a result, the lantern starts to glow uncontrollably, sparking fearing from the JSA that the lantern will explode. The team picks up the lantern and takes it to the park in the middle of the town…wait, what? I get that it’s late at night but the park in the middle of the town may not be the best idea. Pat, after just leaving his weird meet-and-greet with the Shade, sees his team dealing with a possible exploding lantern and joins them to offer his assistance.

Pat and Courtney realize that the lantern is not necessary to charge the ring anymore as Jennie is actually the lantern! Jennie realizes she should be able to absorb the power of the lantern and stop it from exploding and for a brief second, it works. Then the lantern explodes, throwing our heroes through the air and leaving a giant hole in the park. The team, worried Jennie is dead, look to the sky and see Jennie, in a green glow, flying and smiling. Looks like we have the birth of the Green Lantern.

The Shade Arrives

Since her boss is now missing/dead/who knows where, Barbara is the new boss at her company, which is not necessarily a good thing as it causes a mysterious English person in an overcoat to visit her. The man, Richard Swift (Jonathan Cake), offers to buy William Zarric’s antiques and props from Barbara’s company for a handsome price. What he wants with these items is unclear, but it makes Barbara uneasy and after Swift leaves her office, she makes a call to her own superhero, Pat, to check out the man in a top hat.

Pat visits Swift at the local diner and they talk briefly over vintage cars and old watches. It’s obvious that these two are just “sizing” each other up and know there is more to each other than they are telling each other. Pat leaves the uncomfortable meal at the diner and later, back at the workshop, tells Courtney that she needs to suit up as Stargirl because an old Injustice Society villain, the Shade, is back in town!

Shade has been both a villain and a hero in the comics and has been around since the early 1940s. His powers and his origin have changed over the years but if next week’s preview confirms anything, it’s that this version of the Shade can control shadows. Whether he is a hero or a villain or just someone in Blue Valley to cause mischievous, we will just have to wait to find out.

Eclipso’s Plans

On the other end of the spectrum, Cindy’s stepmom, Bobbi, is now free to leave Blue Valley since her husband, Dragon King, is dead. Bobbi has her bags packed and ready to go but as she heads out the door towards her new life, Cindy arrives to stop her. Cindy, using the power of mind-control from Eclipso, puts Bobbi under her control again. Poor Bobbi…she was so close to leaving her psychotic family.

Later, as Bobbi is back to cleaning and serving Cindy, she begins to hear Eclipso’s voice telling her that for her to be free, she must kill Cindy. Obviously this is a plan by Eclipso to set himself free from not only Cindy’s control but also the gem he is trapped in, but Bobbi doesn’t know this. Eclipso continues to talk to Bobbi throughout the episode and when Cindy arrives back home, Bobbi is waiting, with a knife.

After a short fight, Cindy is able to get the advantage over her stepmother and threatens Bobbi to stop fighting back and accept her role. Before Bobbi can answer, Eclipso takes over and burns Bobbi in front of her stepdaughter. Cindy is furious that Eclipso took the fate of Bobbi in his own hands, and he apologizes and states that Cindy is really the one in control. It didn’t take long for the alliance between Cindy and Eclipso to crack and it’s obvious that Eclipso is much more powerful than Cindy originally thought.

Quote of the Week:

Courtney: Jennie, wait. Look, none of this is your problem. It’s mine. I spent months convinced I was Starman’s daughter, and I was so messed up when I found out I wasn’t. I thought I was everything that you actually are, but clearly, I’m not. Your power is like nothing any of us have ever seen before. You’re all anyone could ever want in a member of the JSA. You’re the real deal, Jennie. You’ve got everything.

Grade: B- (Good)

The second episode of the season surpassed the season premiere of Stargirl and while again, not much action occurred, the series is doing a good job of setting everything up for the season. The addition of the Shade, Eclipso, a possible good version of Solomon Grundy, and now Green Lantern allows for more opportunity to take our heroes out of their comfort zone. The series continues to be fun and while Yolanda, Rick and a few others of the team have not had much to do yet, it’s only a matter of time till they play a big part this season. Stargirl continues to be a fun series and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down.
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You can catch Jason Brigger on the geek-centric podcast, The History of Bad Ideas, as new episodes are released every week at www.nerdly.co.uk or subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and other podcasting apps. You can listen to their latest episode right here.
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