Stargirl – S1 Ep12 – Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. Part One Review

Directed by Toa Fraser

Written by Melissa Carter

It’s Part One of the Season Finale of DC’s Stargirl!

I can’t believe that the season is almost over! DC’s Stargirl, in my opinion, has delivered an incredible first season that rivals those of Arrow and The Flash. Geoff Johns and crew have done a brilliant job bringing the Golden Age of Heroes and Villains to life while giving them a bit of a modern upgrade. The story that has been told this season is exciting and compelling. This first part of the season finale sets the stage for the epic battle between the New JSA and the ISA as Project New America begins! Let’s recap!

With only eleven hours left until Project New America begins, most of Middle America is set to be reprogrammed by Brainwave, who prepares to test Dr. Ito’s machine, which the latter calls the synaptic amplifier. This device will allow Dr. King to reach and control all fully developed minds in the area. The ISA’s goal is to make people think like them and fight alongside them if need be when they secede from the Union.

Meanwhile, Sportsmaster (Neil Hopkins) and Tigress (Joy Osmanski) are “on the hunt” to eliminate the Whitmore-Dugans in order for the ISA to go through with their plans unchallenged. As Barbara and Courtney prepare to leave the house, they are attacked by Tigress, while Pat’s “old friend” “Crusher” attacks him at the Pit Stop. After an intense battle, Mike saves his father by putting a drill to Sportsmaster’s back. Elsewhere, Courtney is able to blast Tigress and escape.

The Whitmore-Dugans regroup at a remote cabin where they are joined by the rest of the JSA and Sir Justin (who comes with a feast). They then plan their next move while Rick works to decode his father’s journal.

Meanwhile, Icicle gets word of Sportmaster and Tigress’s failure to eliminate the Whitmore-Dugans and sends Principal Bowin to assist them in their second attempt. Before joining the “gym rats,” Bowin counsels her son Isaac, who is distraught following an encounter with a bully. Bowin suggests he fight back like his late father (the original Fiddler did) against his tormentors. Bowin then visits the Crocks at their home where the duo is nursing their wounds. Bowin tells them that she will immobilize their targets so that they will be easier to kill this time. “Crusher” isn’t fond of this plan. Bowin belittles them saying they are brutes only focused on violence. Bowin claims they are unfit to be parents. She then takes it a step further calling their daughter Artemis a wild animal just like her mother. With that, Tigress fires an arrow into Bowin’s heart, killing her instantly.

At the ISA’s lair, Brainwave meets with Dr. Ito to discuss the machine. With deep conviction, Dr. King tests the amplifier despite the risk of death. It is a success and he is able to hear the thoughts of millions!

Back at the cabin, Beth has Chuck scan for energy surges or anything abnormal. Meanwhile, Rick is busy trying to decipher his father’s journal. Sir Justin joins him and offers to help as he likes a good puzzle. However, he is not much help as he randomly decides to go clean the bathroom!

Outside, Courtney and Mike share a sweet brother-sister moment talking superheroes. Mike wonders if the staff would’ve worked for him if he had found it first. He then tries it, but the staff doesn’t respond. He still says he wants to help despite not having any abilities. In another sweet moment, Pat and Barbara talk about the recent craziness. Pat explains that he never wanted any of this to happen. He never told them about his past as he wanted his superhero days to stay there. He asks her if they are ok. She understands and says she hopes they can be.

Pat goes upstairs and finds Rick still slaving away with the journal. The young Hourman is frustrated as all of the numbers ( for the code key) he has tried have not worked. Pat suggests he try the year of Rex’s favorite car: his 1966 Mustang. The number works and they discover that Rex had a map of the entire underground ISA lair. Using this and analysis from Chuck, the JSA devises a plan to take down the machine and the ISA. Dr. Mid-Nite and Barbara go to the American Dream where they can hack into the network and monitor the progress of the amplifier. Courtney and Pat (in S.T.R.I.P.E.) enter the lair through the river entrance while Wildcat, Hourman, and Sir Justin enter from another entrance.

With only thirty-five minutes left, Beth uncovers the ISA’s manifesto which isn’t all that bad. Project New America aims to stop Global Warming, embrace solar and wind energy, and eliminate all forms of discrimination based on race, sex, gender identity. This causes them to question if they are really on the right side. Beth via Chuck realizes that the cost of the reprogramming will be approximately twenty-five million people! Before the JSA can locate the amplifier, Gambler (guest star Eric Goins) hacks their hack. He gleefully informs them that they are helpless to stop them. The amplifier isn’t going to power on in thirty minutes, Brainwave will be finished reprogramming everyone in that time! Thus the process has begun! As Brainwave reaches the minds, Barbara and Justin fall into a trance while Pat finds himself controlled to fight Courtney!

The stage is set for what is sure to be an epic finale! This was yet another stellar episode that featured exciting action, top notch humor, and heartwarming character moments. Neil Hopkins and Joy Osmanski once again crush it as Sportsmaster and Tigress (no pun intended). The duo bring so much charm to their characters that sometimes makes you forget they are dastardly villains. I also found the family bonding moments to be incredible as well. Trae Romano, Brec Bassinger. Amy Smart, and Luke Wilson continue to deliver incredible performances with each episode!

I cannot wait to see how this fantastic season concludes next week!

Stay tuned for my recap & review of the Season Finale of DC’s Stargirl here on Earth-9!