23rd Sep2021

‘Stargirl 2×06: Summer School – Chapter Six’ 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

We are at the halfway point of season two of Stargirl, but this episode felt more like a season finale than just a regular episode! Stargirl has been lacking in the action department all season, but this episode delivered an action scene that took up half the episode and truly delivered some compelling combat between our heroes and villains.

Mike’s Journey

Mike is at a crossroads with the Justice Society as his father doesn’t believe he can handle being a superhero (and he doesn’t have any super powers) but he is intelligent and with Zeke’s help, could become the inventor on the team. Pat is being a father first though and won’t let Mike work on anything dangerous, hence the reason he is fixing alarm clocks when we first see him this episode.

Zeke continues to push Mike into a more active role on the team by offering to help him build an upgrade to S.T.R.I.P.E., his father’s robot. Mike eagerly accepts the challenge but while he is searching inside Zeke’s warehouse for parts, he is confronted by Cindy. Mike has spent most of the season in the background and the writers have teased that the ISA may actually want him as a member but it’s nothing more than a ruse by Cindy as she only wants Mike as bait to force a confrontation with the JSA.

Fighting Words

Stargirl laid the groundwork in the first half of the episode with ISA threatening members of the Justice Society and it works perfectly. Isaac, aka the Fiddler, stops by the diner that Yolanda works at as a waitress and warns her that the JSA will pay for what they did to his father. Meanwhile, Artemis threatens Beth with a “jocks versus nerds” faceoff and Cameron warns Pat and Courtney, who are cleaning up the art room at the school, that Cindy is back in town and is ready to rumble. They both take off to get STRIPE the robot and the rest of the JSA.

Once Pat gets back to his car shop, the Pit Stop, he is greeted by the Fiddler and Artemis who are looking to take out the JSA’s robot ahead of their future faceoff. Pat is vastly outnumbered, and Isaac takes his time beating on Pat, eventually tossing him into S.T.R.I.P.E., giving him a concussion. The Fiddler wants to kill Pat but Artemis steps in and stops it as she tells her teammate that her parents are friends with Pat, and she won’t go that far. It’s a sweet moment, well for a villain, and shows that Artemis might be conflicted on where her allegiance lies.

After the attack, Pat is unconscious in the hospital which means Courtney is on her own to lead the team. Just as she is feeling sorry for herself for not protecting her step-father, Cindy calls Courtney and requests a rematch to their confrontation from last season. Courtney has no choice but to accept as Mike’s life hangs in the balance but Barbara, being a great and protective mother, calls the Shade to ask for his assistance. While the Shade could care less if Courtney is injured, he does care that Cindy has the Black Diamond and wants to stop Eclipso.

JSA Vs. ISA, Part 2!

The Courtney-led Justice Society arrive at the school cafeteria to confront Cindy, Artemis and the Fiddler and what results is one of the better fight scenes in any CW superhero series. The heroes and villains separate as Stargirl/Cindy, Artemis/Hourman and Wildcat/Fiddler all square off with each other as Dr. Mid-Nite (Beth) goes off to find Mike. In all fairness, Dr. Mid-Nite does help the team by projecting images around the villains to distract them, but her fighting skills are limited to say the least.

If you watch just one thing this week, do yourself a favor and watch this scene as the CGI graphics and the fight sequences are beautiful with every character having a moment to shine. Even the Fiddler looks menacing while he takes down Wildcat! Eventually Dr. Mid-Nite finds Mike in a separate room and frees him just as Cindy whips out the Black Diamond and summons the power of Eclipso.

Fortunately for the JSA, the Shade has a change of heart and shows up just in time to even up the sides for the heroes. Stargirl charges at Cindy but the staff does the opposite of what it was supposed to as it strikes the Black Diamond, releasing the physical form of Eclipso. Eclipso physically looks like a cross between the Green Goblin and a Skrull from the Marvel films and conveys a certain creepiness to him.

Cindy feels betrayed by Eclipso but when she attempts to stab him, he rips one of her blades straight out of her arm! The Fiddler, already injured from the fight, is killed when Eclipso sucks his soul from him, leaving nothing but an outline of our favorite musical villain. Artemis does the smart thing and runs away while Cindy, not learning from her first attempt, tries to attack Eclipso again. This time Eclipso banishes her into another world courtesy of some black goo he creates on the floor. The JSA is led to believe that Cindy is dead, but I think she might be in the same world that the original Dr. Mid-Nite is located as Cindy is too good of a character to kill off.

Now it’s the JSA’s turn to take on Eclipso, and the Shade attacks first but is quickly defeated and vanishes into a puff of smoke. Hourman doesn’t do much better as strength alone won’t stop Eclipso, but Stargirl steps in and her staff does hurt him enough for Eclipso to scamper away into the town of Blue Valley. The downside is while the staff may have hurt Eclipso, it also “darkened” the staff, resulting in it losing it’s power.

Back at the hospital, the JSA regroups and tells a now awaken Pat about the fate of the ISA and how Eclipso is now freed from the diamond. Pat tells them that Eclipso will now devour everything in his path until he is powerful enough to take over Blue Valley. Upon hearing this, Mike steps up and says he is no longer staying in the background and is going to build his own S.T.R.I.P.E. You tell them Mike!

The episode ends with Eclipso walking down the main street of Blue Valley but he’s no longer looks like a demon but rather a 10-year-old boy we were introduced to in the season premiere. Picture a real-life Chucky doll from the Child’s Play films and now you know what the JSA and Blue Valley will be dealing with soon.

Quick Notes

  • Beth meets up with her father at work, even bringing him lunch, in order to get him to open up about the divorce but as usual, he doesn’t have time for his daughter. Beth’s family falling apart has been emotionally heartbreaking and while the storyline doesn’t get much time each week, the moments it does have are well done.
  • Zeke continues to be the comic relief of the series and his emergence this season as Pat’s right-hand man and Mike’s mentor is a welcomed surprise. The more Zeke this season, the better!

Grade: A- (Great)

Stargirl continues to surprise me and while the series is not award winning, it is a joy to watch every week. The action is top notch this week as half the episode revolves around the confrontation between the JSA, the ISA and Eclipso and it does not disappoint. The fight scenes and the CGI were well-crafted and looked impressive and the deaths of the Fiddler and Cindy (we think) made Eclipso look more threatening to the JSA than anyone in the ISA has ever looked. I sound like a broken record, but the last two weeks’ episodes have been the best episodes this season and possibly even of the series. I’m not sure how they can continue the momentum, but I’m interested to see if they do. If you aren’t watching Stargirl, you need to!

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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