Stargirl Season 1 Episode 2 Recap: S.T.R.I.P.E.
In the second episode of DC Universe’s Stargirl, Pat (Luke Wilson) reveals the truth to Courtney (Brec Bassinger) about the history of the Injustice Society of America following her unexpected run-in with Brainwave (Christopher James Baker).
Special Tactics Robotic Integrated Power Enhancer
Episode 2 picks up right where the premiere left off, with Pat showing up in his powered armor suit S.T.R.I.P.E. to save Courtney from Brainwave. After whisking his stepdaughter away to safety at his mechanic shop, Pat explains that he built S.T.R.I.P.E. out of old car parts after Starman was killed. He asks Courtney what her attacker looked like and susses out that Courtney came face-to-face with Brainwave. He tells her that Brainwave is a member of the Injustice Society of America and one of the Justice Society’s enemies.
Courtney demands to know who Brainwave is, but Pat only wants to protect her. She asks if Brainwave killed her dad, and once again Pat tells her that Starman wasn’t her dad and that Brainwave killed a lot of his friends that night, including Johnny Thunder, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and that it was their leader, Icicle, who put down Starman. Courtney tells Pat to come clean with her, realizing that it’s not a coincidence that they moved to Blue Valley where Brainwave also happens to be.
Elsewhere, at the home of William Zarick (Joe Knezevich), the councilman is woken up by his son, Joey (Wil Deusner) who tells him someone is in their home. William, also known as The Wizard, another member of the Injustice Society, grabs his wand from a safe and investigates, finding Brainwave aka Dr. Henry King downstairs. King tells him about the girl who has Starman’s staff and that he’s already contacted their leader Jordan Mahkent/Icicle (Neil Jackson) to let him know. William reminds King that Jordan left him in charge, and warns King to stay out of his head when Brainwave begins speaking to him in his mind, accusing him of wanting to run. King tells William that Jordan’s secret Project: New America, is their purpose, their legacy, one that cannot be abandoned. King says he’s going to locate the girl with the Cosmic Staff to find out what she knows before he kills her.
Superhero Rule Number One
Back at home, Pat is telling Courtney about another member of the Justice Society of America called Hourman and reveals that he survived the battle that destroyed the rest of the JSA. Hourman took it upon himself to follow the Injustice Society’s trail across the country, eventually tracking them to Nebraska before he and his wife were killed in an accident shortly after arriving at Blue Valley. Two years ago, Pat followed Hourman’s research to Blue Valley and that’s where he met Courtney’s mom, Barbara (Amy Smart). Pat says that he was unable to pick up the Injustice Society’s trail at that point, telling Courtney he never would have moved their family to the town if he thought the villains were still there, too.
Pat tells Courtney she’s being careless when she mentions wanting to go after Brainwave. He explains there was a reason they wore costumes to hide their identities, which Courtney quickly picks up on, saying she gets it: “Protect the family. Superhero rule number one.” Again, Pat tells Courtney Starman wasn’t her dad when she says that this is her purpose, to do something for her father, and says Courtney is not touching the Cosmic Staff ever again. Courtney argues, saying she’s not going to sit on the sidelines like he did.
Unable to sleep, Pat gets up in the middle of the night to go over the JSA’s documents once more and goes through Brainwave’s file. Later, Pat takes S.T.R.I.P.E. to an empty cornfield to test the prototype and also fix up the machine in his shop, attempting to get his robotic suit in peak condition as he prepares for a fight with Brainwave.
A New Look
During breakfast, Pat and Courtney both have to come up with excuses to explain to Barbara why they have minor facial injuries, trying to use “falling down the basement stairs” as a cover. Courtney’s stepbrother Mike (Trae Romano) accuses them of acting weird as Barbara hurries off to work. Courtney then runs down to the basement and takes Starman’s old uniform, stuffing it into her backpack.
King’s son, Henry King Jr. (Jake Austin Walker), is grilled again by his dad about the night his car was blown up. He eventually gets Henry to admit that maybe it was a girl that had beaten him and his friends up and destroyed King’s car. King then sits across from his son and tells him if he knows what his father is thinking. Henry, unaware of his father’s abilities as Brainwave, is unable to. Before he leaves, King has Henry give back the money his son stole from his wallet, reminding him that they don’t steal from family.
At school, Courtney uses Starman’s uniform to transform it into one suited perfectly for her, including a mask. Meanwhile, at work Courtney’s mom listens to the CFO of The American Dream, Steven Sharpe (Eric Goins), asking for ideas for their next community fundraiser. Barbara tries to offer an idea involving the new restaurants in town but she is immediately shot down by Sharpe. Even after she offers a secondary idea, Sharpe, called “tough” by her colleagues, says he’ll come up with something himself.
Pat pays a visit to Ripped City, owned by Larry “Crusher” Crock (Neil Hopkins) who previously invited Pat to check out the gym. Pat wants to sign up and come back later but finds himself immediately getting changed into borrowed clothes right then and there to begin his training program with Crusher as his gym guru.
Back at school, Courtney sits down to eat next to her classmate Beth Chapel (Anjelika Washington) who is video chatting with her parents so they can all have lunch together. We learn that Beth’s mother, Dr. Bridget Chapel (Kron Moore) works with Dr. King. King overhears Dr. Chapel and Beth discussing the school’s open house later that night, and Brainwave realizes it will be the perfect opportunity to find the girl with the Cosmic Staff. Courtney has the same idea, using the open house to try to identify Brainwave among the crowd of students and parents.
As everyone gathers in the gymnasium, King walks around trying to determine which student is the girl who attacked his son and now wields the staff. After Pat gets accosted by Crusher for trying to eat a cookie, we see Barbara meeting with other parents as Courtney takes Pat aside to ask if he’s spotted Brainwave. Pat tries to get her to back off, but she says they can cover more ground working together. Pat later runs into Denise Zarick (Cynthia Evans), the councilman’s wife. As the two share greetings, Courtney continues her search and eventually finds exactly who she’s looking for, realizing that Dr. King is Brainwave. With his powers, Brainwave is able to hear her thoughts and follows Courtney out into the hallway.
Brainwave vs Stargirl & S.T.R.I.P.E.
Alone, Brainwave and Stargirl come face-to-face as King reads Courtney’s thoughts, including how she thinks she’s Starman’s daughter. Courtney tells King he’ll pay for what he did to her dad and to the JSA. King dives deeper into Courtney’s head, telling her if she doesn’t bring him the Cosmic Staff he will make sure her mother’s death is extremely painful.
Courtney runs back into the gymnasium and tells Pat what happened. Pat immediately finds Barbara and pulls her away from her chat with the principal and the Zaricks so they can all go home. Later that night, Pat tells Courtney what Brainwave is capable of, wanting her to stay home while he deals with King. Courtney wants justice for her dad, for the JSA, and to protect her family. Pat doesn’t give in, determined to do this alone, telling Courtney that if he’s not back by morning, she needs to get her, Barbara, and Mike out of Blue Valley and to safety: “You protect your mom. You get her out of here. Tell her I love her.” Pat then smiles at Courtney before walking out the door.
At his shop, Pat starts up S.T.R.I.P.E., ready to go to war. Back at home, Barbara thanks Courtney for getting along so well with Pat, saying her efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. Barbara tells her she’s grateful to her daughter for everything she’s done and how they’re going to have a great life in Blue Valley and that Courtney will always be the greatest thing that has ever happened to her. Courtney looks at her father’s picture in her locket as Pat, operating the new and improved S.T.R.I.P.E., confronts Brainwave outside of the school.
When Brainwave attempts to get into Pat’s head, Pat starts throwing large objects at Brainwave, who is able to use his telepathic skills to easily fling them away before crushing S.T.R.I.P.E. between vehicles. Courtney, suited up in her Stargirl costume, shows up, blasting Brainwave away from her stepfather. She announces herself as Stargirl and S.T.R.I.P.E. as her sidekick. Stargirl and Brainwave fight before King eventually gains the upper hand, telling Courtney she’ll die for attacking his son. After Pat is able to distract Brainwave momentarily, Stargirl uses the Cosmic Staff to zap King in the head, knocking him out as his brain short-circuits.
A New Dynamic Duo
Pat and Courtney drop King off outside of the hospital. Dr. Chapel explains to King’s son that they think he had some kind of seizure. For now, Brainwave is in a coma.
At home, Courtney and Pat discuss the fight as well as the Cosmic Staff. Pat explains that the staff was built by a man named Ted Knight, not Starman, and he doesn’t exactly know how the staff works. Now that they’ve taken down Brainwave, Courtney wants to go after the rest of the Injustice Society. Pat says that maybe Courtney really is Starman’s daughter, “as crazy as that might be,” and he now sees her as the Stargirl superhero she was meant to be, but Pat doubts himself as a sidekick. Courtney reminds him that they stopped Brainwave together. “The last time I was a sidekick my partner got killed,” says Pat. Courtney tells Pat that this time he has a robot and that he can do this. “The staff chose me, and I choose you,” Courtney tells her stepdaughter, solidifying the new dynamic duo of Stargirl and S.T.R.I.P.E.
In another part of town, the Injustice Society’s leader returns home. Jordan walks into the empty The American Dream late at night and opens up a hidden door, revealing a secret bunker for the Injustice Society. Icicle pauses at a heavily fortified door saying, “Hello, old friend,” as a creature growls on the other side. He then walks away, heading to the society’s meeting room where Sharpe is waiting for him. Sharpe, a member of the Injustice Society known as The Gambler, asks Jordan what they’re going to do about the person who took down Brainwave. Icicle replies, “I killed one Starman. I can kill another.”
What did you think of the second episode of Stargirl? Let us know in the comment section below!