Stargirl Season 1 Episode 8 Review: Shiv Part Two


It’s about time.

It shouldn’t have taken this long for someone from the Injustice Society of America to put together that the bubbly new high schooler with wavy blonde tresses is the new Stargirl.

Alas, some finally did on Stargirl Season 1 Episode 8, and the leadup to the reveal was perfect.

Cindy Burman is proving herself quite the capable supervillain, even if her father doesn’t think she’s ISA-ready yet.

She may be reckless and petulant at times — what teenager isn’t — but she’s the only one who’s figured out who Stargirl truly is, something no one else in the ISA has managed to do.

That counts for something, as even Principal Bowin, whose actual job is running Blue Valley High School, couldn’t put together what was right in front of her.

If not for her childish antics, her discovery could have secured her a spot within the ISA.

Well, it would have, had Cindy bothered to share the news with her father or the ISA.

Usually, whenever an outsider learns the truth about the inner workings of a secret organization — in this case, Stargirl’s true identity — it becomes increasingly frustrating that the individual chooses to keep that piece of knowledge a secret.

Upon learning something so life-changing, you’d assume he or she would at least tell someone about that.

Courtney: Thank you for stopping by. I really appreciate it.
Cindy: Oh, sorry, forget to mention, I really like your staff, Stargirl. You think after all this time we spent together I wouldn’t recognize you through that stupid mask. Don’t worry, your secret’s safe with me. I don’t want to share it with my dad and get sidelined, so better rest up Stargirl. I’ll be back after I kill you friends.

Sure, there are plenty of reasons why they don’t, including fear of or loyalty to that person, but as time goes on, it becomes harder to rationalize.

However, in Cindy’s case, it makes complete sense when she vows to keep Courtney’s secret, for now.

Along with being sidelined if Dragon King and the ISA learn Stargirl’s identity, Cindy gets to revel in the knowledge that she has one-upped the adults.

It may be petty, but it’s deeply satisfying for her to watch the supervillains flail in trying to identify Stargirl while she alone knows the truth.

Keeping this to herself also allows Cindy a small act of revenge against Dragon King, who, based on his few interactions with Cindy, seems to regard her as nothing more than an annoyance not worthy of his time.

Cindy, after all, isn’t his beloved daughter, but rather his greatest experiment, which Dragon King has no problem continually reminding Cindy of.

If the audience were in her position — and a teenage girl to boot — viewers may very well do the same thing.

Also, she’s evil, so being narcissistic isn’t too far of a stretch either.

In addition to Cindy’s discovery, someone else also learned about Stargirl’s alter ego, though Henry probably has no idea what the heck is going on.

At this point, he’s probably got more questions than answers, and the one person who could explain what’s happening to him is in a coma.

Look, I don’t really do this like ever but I owe you an apology for what happened yesterday. It was just one of those days, you know — you probably have them all the time — when you just feel like the world’s against you. Henry was being super weird, and my dad just extra awful, and Jenny, just so ungrateful, and then Cameron asked you to the dance, and you were bailing on me too, and I was like, ‘How is this even possible?’ Anyway, I overreacted, and I’m sorry.


First, he starts being able to read other people’s minds and levitate objects, which has to be somewhat scary at times, even if it does allow him to cheat on math quizzes.

Then, he finds a secret room in his father’s study with a green costume and hundreds of videotapes, along with a note that his father essentially arranged for Cindy to be his girlfriend to keep an eye on him, which is beyond creepy.

And lastly, when he goes to seek out his contractual girlfriend, he finds her engaged in some sort of superpower-esque fight.

It’s enough to overwhelm anyone.

After all of this, the question now becomes what Henry will do from here.

It’s not like he can ignore what’s happening to him any longer, and with Cindy being carted off and Brainwave still in the hospital, his only source of answers at this point is Courtney.

Having her be the one to introduce him to this world of superheroes and supervillains could be a huge coup for the new Justice Society of America.

As the storyteller, Courtney gets to shape the narrative, telling Henry only what she wants.

She can also leave out some crucial details like she’s the one who’s responsible for Brainwave being in a coma.

Cindy: You know what I realized from yesterday? We’re not that different you and me. in fact, we’re kind of similar.
Courtney: How do you mean?
Cindy: I don’t know, our dads and staff. I think if things were a little different, you’d be a lot more like me, actually.
Courtney: Or you like me.
Cindy: Sure maybe. The point is, I really need a friend right now.

This could be a golden opportunity for the new JSA to not only recruit someone else to their side but also potentially create a spy within the ISA.

Things, though, won’t be as easy as 123.

Henry’s loyalty to Brainwave and Cindy runs deep, and even learning they are the ‘bad guys’ may not be enough to dissuade him.

Also, now that Dragon King knows what Henry’s capable of, there’s no way he will let the high school jock just be.

With Brainwave still in a coma, Dragon King needs Henry to power his machine, so whether Henry likes it or not, he’s in this fight.

It just depends on what side he ends up.

Elsewhere, the new JSA’s plan to learn more about Cindy was somewhat of a mess.

While Beth was right that the group shouldn’t go in half-cocked, their approach wasn’t much better.

Bobbie: Can I help you?
Beth: I’m a classmate of Cindy’s. She invited me over to teach me some cheerleading moves. I really hope to join the squad eventually. I need lessons.
Bobbie: Well, Cindy’s not home right now.
Pat: OK…
Beth: Who are you?
Pat: I’m her dad. Stepdad.
Beth: I’m adopted.
Pat: Well, when I married her mom, I adopted her, my angel. And I thought when I dropped her off today, I would go ahead and take the opportunity to introduce myself, so hi.

Pretending to need help with cheerleading moves was a pretty lame excuse, and one would think someone as smart as Beth could have come up with something a little more believable.

However, since Barbara bought Beth and Courtney being friends, maybe Beth assumed Bobbie would do the same. 

Whatever the reasoning, it was clear the group didn’t give the idea much thought, and that was before Pat showed up.

Pat’s arrival only made it more apparent just how bad of an idea this was, as Beth and Pat couldn’t even get on the same page when they had time to take about their next steps.

This, of course, resulted in utter hilarity, which while highly amusing for the audience, probably wasn’t the best stealth tactic.

Had Bobbie not been a cyborg — which is my guess as to why Chuck couldn’t identify her — the duo probably wouldn’t have gotten away with it.

Also, after dealing with the nightmare that is Cindy, she may have been willing to overlook Beth and Pat’s inconsistencies solely due to her wanting some decent human contact that didn’t involve threats or screaming, especially if that someone was as charming and handsome as Pat.

Despite everything, the group’s mission was not in vain, thanks to the magic of television timing.

A picture of a controversial Japanese scientist may not mean anything to the teenagers, but Pat seems to know something.

Cindy: I proved myself.
Dragon King: The fact that Stargirl is still alive says the opposite.
Cindy: If you would just listen to me.
Dragon King: I’m done listening, and now instead of focusing on my important work here, I’m forced to explain my daughter’s ill-considered actions to the others. Truthfully, they may never give you a seat at the table now.
Cindy: I didn’t do anything wrong.
Dragon King: She was in the tunnels, Cynthia, and you left her alive.

Hopefully, he’ll share his insight with the rest of the new JSA in the following episode, thus allowing the audience to learn more about the controversial Japanese scientist who is supposed to be dead.

This information may also shed some light on Dragon King’s machine, as biological warfare is a far cry from massive mind control.

Lastly, Courtney continued to prove she has no intention of ever being cautious or thinking things through, no matter how much she stands to lose.

After almost dying during her fight with Cindy on Stargirl Season 1 Episode 7, you’d assume she’d exercise some restraint. 

Or, at the very least, she’d keep her promise to Pat not to go off alone anymore.

If you did, you’d be sorely mistaken, as not even her injuries were enough to keep Courtney from jumping into the fray while she was still recovering.

Sure, the argument can be made Courtney believed her friends were in danger, but there are other ways she could have handled the situation rather than suiting up and going after someone who put her in the hospital less than 48 hours before.

However, it’s more likely Courtney was itching for a rematch, both to prove Cindy hadn’t bested her and that she wasn’t going to take those threats lying down.

She again got lucky as Dragon King’s minions intercepted Cindy before the resident HBIC could do any real damage.

Courtney: I know it was stupid for me to go off alone, but this could be the break we needed to figure out who’s in the ISA.
Pat: Court, nothing’s worth you getting hurt like this. Do you understand that?

Courtney, though, won’t see it that way, and will probably chalk up the fight as a tie.

It seems impossible that our protagonist will ever be the prudent superhero we want, so maybe we — or at least I — should stop complaining about it.

After all, ‘we get what we get, and we don’t get upset.’

Some stray thoughts:

  • Though Courtney continues to disregard everything Pat tells her, she should at least know by now that he’d do almost everything for her. He drove a car he loved into a light pole just to cover for her and give their story plausibility.

    He took the fall with Barbara, even after she expressed her opposition to Pat teaching Courtney to drive. He continues to lie to the woman he loves because Courtney doesn’t want to loop in her mother. Those are the characteristics of a father, Courtney. Get it through your head that Pat loves you.

  • Did no one ever tell Beth you don’t go off on your own and wander around freely unless you want to be the first one murdered? Maybe Pat should cover that in his superhero lessons.

  • Did Courtney ever call Cameron to explain why she couldn’t go to the homecoming dance with him? He’d surely understand why she had to cancel their maybe date, but he might be a little less amenable if she didn’t call at all.

    Knowing Courtney, it’s completely possible she forget about Cameron all together, which could stop their burgeoning relationship before it even begins.

  • The buildup of Cindy’s reveal was amazing. Even I couldn’t tell if she knew the truth or not, just based on the double meaning behind every word. Meg DeLacey played those moments to perfection and even had me convinced at some parts she was clueless until the big “I love your staff, Stargirl” line.

So what did you think Stargirl Fanatics?

Should Cindy be given a seat at the table?

With whom will Henry side?

How bad was the new JSA’s plan actually?

Don’t forget to hit the comments below to let me know your thoughts. If you happened to miss the latest episode, remember you can watch Stargirl online at TV Fanatic.

Jessica Lerner is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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