Generation Justice: Stargirl Episode 107, "Shiv Part One"

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Stargirl 107 - Shiv Part One

Week after week, STARGIRL continues to impress, and after seven episodes I realize that I've never expressed just how much the overall soundtrack of the series contributes to its appeal. The music is just as much of the show's Americana as are the classic automobiles and clean-cut teenagers.

In this episode, two more characters make themselves known -- one of them in the very title of this two-parter. "Shiv" is the villain name given to Cindy Berman (Meg DeLacy). She's Blue Valley High's queen bee and HBIC of the mean girls. But more than that, she's the daughter of Dr. Ito, the Dragon King (Nelson Lee), whose approval she desperately seeks. Cindy is the only child of the Injustice Society legacy who knows about the ISA, and wants her seat at the table. She's the girlfriend of Henry King Jr. (Jake Austin Walker), but only because she's been assigned to him by her father to keep an eye on him until he exhibits his psionic powers.

Which, in this episode, he does -- he just doesn't tell anyone as he overhears everyone else in class solving problems on a math test. For the most part, Henry Jr. is despondent over his comatose father, aka Brainwave (Christopher James Baker) -- so much so that he doesn't invite Cindy to the homecoming dance, leaving her dateless and firing up her sadistic temper. We see Cindy's homelife, where she seeks daddy's approval while at the same time literally terrorizes her submissive mother. When Courtney (Brec Bassinger) tries to befriend Cindy -- having empathy for her upon learning that her mother died years ago -- it's a rough start but seems to become a possibility. They even make plans to hang out during homecoming, away from the dance; that is until Courtney gets asked out by the Icicle's son Cameron (Hunter Sansone) and decides to break her plans with Cindy.

This episode also sees some tension bubbling to the surface with Mike Dugan (Trae Romano), who hasn't been blind to the fact that Courtney and his dad, Pat (Luke Wilson) have been spending an awful lot of time together and never giving consistent answers about what they're doing. His jealously leads to a mild confrontation with Courtney where he reminds her that Pat is not her dad. All this hapens at the homecoming game while Courtney's mother, Barbara (Amy Smart) is out of town on a business trip with her new boss -- Jordan Mahkent (Neil Jackson), the Icicle. In a chilling (no pun intended) bit of foreshadowing, we see Jordan telling Cameron about how he won out over a competing suitor who was his rival for Cameron's mother. He says he killed the man, which Cameron believes is a joke. But we know the Icicle is very much a killer, and that he has taken a shine to Barbara. Could he be setting his sights on eliminating Pat sometime down the road?

Courtney is convinced that Principal Bowen is one of the Injustice Society members. When she sees her sneak off during the game Courtney follows her to her office, and sees her leave through a secret door. Suiting up as Stargirl, Courtney uses the same door to discover the underground labyrinthe that is the operations center for the ISA. But she's seen on the monitors by Cindy, who sees this as her opportunity to prove she's capable of joining the adults. Cindy puts on her own costume, and "Shiv" engages Stargirl in battle. Shiv's costume has no face mask, so Courtney should have no trouble in realizing she's fighting Cindy. However, Cindy is the more capable fighter, and has a staff of her own just like Stargirl. In fact, this episode uses several moments to parallel Shiv and Stargirl, showing them both being eager to move on and take on the larger responsiblities, and both being told they are not ready.

Shiv bests Stargirl, and is about to deliver the finishing blow when she is stopped by the high school janitor, Justin (Mark Ashworth). We've seen "Janitor Justin" in a few prior scenes, and his dialogue is always archaic and puzzling. However, in this episode we also see into his work area, and among his mops and brooms he also keeps a sword. There is no doubt in this reviewer's mind that we've now seen Sir Justin, aka The Shining Knight and former member of the Justice Society. That he recognizes Pat Dugan later, from the shadows, and refers to him as "Stripesy" pretty much clinches it.

STARGIRL continues to be an epic love letter to longtime fans of DC Comics and of the JSA and STARGIRL comics in particular. We can't wait to see where this series takes us.

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0