Generation Justice: Stargirl, Episode 102, "S.T.R.I.P.E."

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Luke Wilson as Pat Dugan in STARGIRL

The second episode of the DC Universe streaming service's scintillating series, STARGIRL, addresses the question many viewers considered during the pilot: why are the villains of The Injustice Society all settled down in the idyllic small town of Blue Valley, Nebraska? It doesn't answer the question, mind you, but it at least aknowledges that it's a strange thing, as Courtney (Brec Bassinger) tells her new stepfather, Pat Dugan (Luke Wilson) about her run-in with the villainous Brainwave.

Brainwave -- aka Dr. Henry King (Christopher James Baker) -- recognizes the Cosmic Staff and, working off a ruined student identification card taken from Courtney during their fight, attends a Blue Valley High open house with his son (Jake Austin Walker) to seek her out. At the same time, Courtney is engaged in the same activity, looking for any parent that looks like the man she fought. After several near misses, the two find each other, and Brainwave delivers his ultimatum: deliver him the Cosmic Staff by midnight, or he will see that Courtney's mother dies painfully.

Pat has forbid Courtney to go into action with the Cosmic Staff, but that doesn't stop him from being prepared to take on Brainwave himself, using a mecha built from classic car parts. But the giant robot still has a lot of bugs to work out, and he finds himself soon at the mercy of the villain. 

Naturally Courtney had no intention of not going back out after Brainwave, seeking justice for the death of her father. Throughout the episode, we see her take the original Starman costume and, after burning through multiple sewing machines to work with the extraordinarily tough fabric, a new costume is created -- and Stargirl is born.

"S.T.R.I.P.E." continues the fast-paced storytelling and pure optimism and adventure that began in the pilot episode. This is quite likely due to the close involvement of STARGIRL creator, Geoff Johns. Throughout the episode, we see the foreshadowings of not only a new generation of heroes, but also one of villains, as the bad guys have been raising children of their own in Blue Valley. We get a nod to Ted Knight as the man who built the Cosmic Staff, and we also learn that Pat had originally come out to Blue Valley following a lead from Tex Tyler, the original Hourman. With legacies from both teams slowly starting to develop, STARGIRL has the makings of being a superhero adventure version of Disney's DESCENDANTS.

5.0 / 5.0