12th Jun2020

‘Stargirl 1×04: Wildcat’ Review

by Jason Brigger

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

First a correction from last week’s Stargirl review. Yolanda wasn’t dating Icicle’s son, she was dating Henry King Jr., the son of Brainwave.

With that corrected, this week’s Stargirl episode starts off three months ago with Yolanda running for class president at her “a little too perfect” high school. It appears Yolanda will easily win the elected position over her rival, Cindy Burman (Meg DeLacy), one of the “mean” girls that wrote the word “slut” on Yolanda’s locker in the future (as noted in last episode). That is until Yolanda, with some persistent requests from Henry, sends a risqué photo to appease her boyfriend. Unfortunately, Cindy is able to steal the photo from Henry’s phone and send it anonymously to the whole student body, embarrassing Yolanda during a speech and causing her to vacate the election and become an outcast at the school.After the picture of Yolanda is released, we see her home life has changed dramatically from the once-supportive environment to one of disappointment. Her mother has taken her phone away and grounded Yolanda for an indefinite amount of time, her grandmother looks at her with shame and disappointment, which seems to linger in the house. Personally, Yolanda has shut down since the incident and went from the yearbook’s “Most Outgoing” student to one that is entirely alone.

Stargirl does a fantastic job looking at real-world issues facing teens and I applaud them for not backing down on certain issues that arise in a toxic high school environment. The transformation of Yolanda’s personality over one choice in her life is sad and an unfortunate reality in today’s world.

After stealing all the items from the Justice Society headquarters last week, Courtney is busy deciding who would make the best addition to her new team. Pat doesn’t know about Courtney’s plan, but he does have a plan of his own: he’s going to investigate Blue Valley and determine what supervillains are roaming the small town, and alert the authorities. Courteney doesn’t like the plan as she worries that the authorities may have supervillains in their ranks, which will only make matters worse.

At Pat’s garage, Denise (Cynthia Evans) brings her car into the shop for some work but is struggling, and rightfully so, with the death of not only her husband, William Zarick, but also the sudden death of her son, Joey. Pat offers his condolences, but Denise is still in disbelief and excuses herself to go for a walk. Upon her return, Pat learns Denise is moving out of town as she feels she can’t trust anyone and questions the true cause of her husband’s death. Pat notices the top hat and wand that her husband used when he was the Wizard and begins to understand he may not be able to take down the Injustice Society through law enforcement.

Icicle meets with a villain we haven’t seen much of, Dragon King, at the Injustice Society’s underground base to discuss their next steps in rebuilding America in their version. Dragon King is working on a mysterious machine that will accomplish their goals, but we are not given much more information this week and this is the only scene in which we see our villains.

Courtney stops by the gym to offer Yolanda her friendship and a position on a new team, but Yolanda isn’t interested. It isn’t until the next day that Courtney again stops by the gym and confesses to Yolanda that she is the one that blew up Henry’s car. The adage of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” works on Yolanda. Courtney then does a truly heroic thing by telling Yolanda the blame is not on her because she sent risqué photos, but on the Henry and Cindy for sharing the photos.

Courtney takes Yolanda back to her Stargirl base and reveals all her secrets to Yolanda, much to her disbelief. Courtney even has a costume for Yolanda! Once Yolanda tries on the costume, it customizes to her body and what happens after that? Why a montage of her training! The suit elevates her hitting ability and her jumping ability (like a cat) and we now have a new Wildcat in Blue Valley!

Stargirl and Wildcat’s first mission is to infiltrate the hospital where Brainwave is located (and still in a coma) to find out more about him. Wildcat has her first test using her powers as she climbs/jumps seven-stories to enter into Brainwave’s hospital room. Once inside, Wildcat hides in the shadows as she watches Brainwave’s son visit and breakdown in tears due to missing his father. Principal Bowen even stops by to play violin for the comatose villain, which leads Stargirl and Wildcat to wonder if their principal is a villain. I’m not sure she is a villain but either she or her son is becoming the Fiddler! After the hospital recon, Yolanda and Courtney meet back at Courtney’s house to discuss their future. Yolanda declares she can’t be Wildcat as she needs to find herself again, especially after she is still struggling with the fallout from the photo scandal. There goes that plan.

Yolanda goes home and confronts her family. She admits she trusted the wrong people and made a mistake, but she won’t apologize anymore. She asks for forgiveness from them so she can be the Yolanda she used to be. The speech doesn’t work though as her mother states that she disgraced her family and herself and Yolanda can never be the daughter they used to have. It was a heartbreaking scene and a surprise from the normal “I’m sorry speech and everything is forgiven”.

Pat stops by the local junkyard to find more parts for his mech-robot, which he covers up by telling the junkyard owner that he is just rebuilding a vintage tractor, but Pat ends up seeing Denise’s damaged car instead. All the items are removed from the car, except the Wizard’s top hat, and it’s obvious someone or something hit the car and Denise is now dead. Blue Valley is definitely not the quaint and safe town that Pat thought it could be.

Easter Eggs:

  • Ted Grant’s relationship with Yolanda. In a rare miss of an Easter Egg in the series, Yolanda has no association with the original Wildcat, Ted Grant. That is unfortunate because in the comic book, Yolanda is his goddaughter and if they worked this into the television series, it would have given more of a reason for Yolanda to take over the mantle of Wildcat.

One Good Thing:

  • Courtney. For the second week in a row, Courtney is the best part of the series. This series is thriving because of the goodness of her and this week is no different. First, Courtney sticks up for Yolanda at school, then she tells her that it’s not her fault that Henry and Cindy leaked the photos, then she gives her a new purpose as a superhero. Courtney’s character does not come off as cheesy or fake and as I said last week, it’s nice to have a character written as just a good person. There is no major internal conflict on who she is or what she wants to be; Courtney is just a good person wanting to make the world better. It’s refreshing and the wholesomeness of a superhero makes for a more interesting story than the standard “dark and conflicted” superhero storyline.

Grade: C+ (Above Average)

While this week’s episode of Stargirl is not as good as last week’s, the focus on Courtney helping Yolanda, and their budding friendship, was a strong highlight this week. I’m not convinced on a team of teenage superheroes taking on an experienced team of super villains but I’m open-minded to see if the writers can pull it off. Overall, the characters are still making the series fun and is a series I’m still looking forward to each week.

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.

Comments are closed.