What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about the DC’s Stargirl Season Finale “Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. Part Two”! What a wild rise it has been for the first season of Stargirl. I still remember when this was first announced and everyone was pretty hesitant about how it was going to turn out. Most of our DC Universe shows up to this point have been as adult as it gets. And somehow this one managed to catch our attention from the start because these writers did everything in their power to create a new young superhero experience, while at the same time breaking this from the cliche of most shows which would lean towards being too juvenile. All leading up to this season finale which puts you at the edge of your seat knowing that these people have no problem emphasizing what it means to be a villain, versus what it means to be a hero.
That much they didn’t have a problem showing us from the jump in this finale. I loved how they just threw us back into the action with the adults swept under Brainwave’s control, and it coming down to the kids to turn this around. If you were a fan of Beth, then this was the episode for you. It was a moment to appreciate for her considering too many misunderstand what it means to be a hero. There is no defining usefulness by what you can do in battle. Not every hero is going to be like that, and this situation right here required someone who has access to knowledge and information which most people don’t. So it was fun to see how Beth slipped into this role. She enjoyed it, which made all the difference between a hero who crumbles under the pressure, and those who find it in them to rise to the occasion.
The same could be said for Rick and Yolanda who had their moments as well. This finale was worth the wait for how both of them realized the kind of hero they needed to be when it counted most. For Rick, this obviously did not come without a throwdown. He was definitely owed this, as much as the way things ended for him confronting Solomon Grundy. If anyone was in dire need of some character growth, it was him to slip out of that aggressive mindset. As for Yolanda, things got fairly predictable for her. You knew what she was going through, and you knew what she was probably going to do if given the opportunity to get justice for Henry. That said, this did not change the fact that she had some of the more exhilarating scenes in action. All the way up to that one choice made which still might shock you for the lines crossed in this show.
Overall, that clash between the JSA and the ISA was thrilling because once again the choreography for the action was on point. Even if you thought that the ISA should have beaten the JSA based on power and experience, there was no denying the power that comes with a true dynamic coming into play. This was a difference they were pointing to for a good while, and there was no better time than the finale to remind everyone that any villain will fall if they only rely on their own strength.
That said, let’s step away from the action to talk about Courtney and Pat, because there was everything to love about the father-daughter bond between them in this hour. It was heartwarming to hear Courtney finally speak to Pat to acknowledge him as her father. This was one of those things where you knew that she already felt this, but it’s just not the same as speaking the words to the person. It was also heartwarming to see this Pat who received these words and melt because he has been through a lot in this season taking all sorts of blows for the sake of keeping the family together. The relationship he and Courtney developed by the end of this finale was the biggest win he could have earned.
By the end, it felt right that we got to see more of Jordan actually being the villain too. The ‘Project New America’ mission statement was quite the jaw-dropper for the kind of world they wanted to create. Though at the end of the day how you bring about change matters as much as the changes themselves. So it mattered that with the project in danger, we were seeing more of Jordan showing his true colors. You know, being the villain who was willing to kill anyone to get what he wanted, though this time around of course being more upfront about it. That he chose to be this revealing to Barbara of all people was also smart. If there was any part for her to play in this, it was best that it was being put int a position where she could really see the kind of dangers which Pat and Courtney were fighting against.
After saving the day, there was a lot of follow-up to what came next for everyone who made it to the end. There was some farewells, some set-ups, even some festivities. All of it was something to take notice of as something other shows will not spend enough time on. Most will only give you those last few minutes to try and throw a cliffhanger at you, or hit you with that one twist. However, the writers here aimed higher. They wanted us to really see that the world was still turning. Not only that, but what it looks like when the writing is simply wholesome.
Honestly, shame on you if you haven’t given DC’s Stargirl a shot. This one sets the bar for what you should expect from a superhero story involving young heroes. At the same time it sets the bar for what you should expect from a superhero show that embraces real world rules, rather than drama cliches. One can only hope that with season two airing on The CW, that the quality remains the same. Because many of the things I think are done wrong with these shows are due to the sacrifice of quality to follow the CW format.