Stargirl Season 1 Episode 5 Recap: Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite
In the fifth episode of DC Universe’s Stargirl, a search for Rick Tyler (Cameron Gellman) leads Courtney, Yolanda, and Beth Chapel to Cindy Burman’s Halloween party.
The episode begins with another Blue Valley flashback to nine years prior where Rex Tyler is making a bunch of mathematical notes in his journal that is addressed to Pat. A young Rick Tyler says goodbye to his parents who have to leave in a hurry and his dad tells him to take care of his toy car, saying it’s special like he is. Rick’s uncle, Matt Harris, arrives to find out he will be taking Rick in as his own son, including Rick taking on the last name Harris instead of Tyler. After quick goodbyes, Rick’s parents speed away hoping to keep their son safe. On their way out of town, the Tylers are attacked by Solomon Grundy who causes them to crash and die.
Back in the present day, Rick works on his car and fights with his uncle who apparently blames him for his financial problems. While walking to school, Rick stops by the tree his parents crashed into and punches it, bloodying up his knuckles.
After Courtney struggles to wake up on time on Halloween, she grabs Hourman’s hourglass necklace and tries to sneak out with her duffle bag. Pat catches her and tells Courtney he believes the late councilman William Zarick was The Wizard from the Injustice Society and that the ISA are the ones who killed him and his family. Courtney tells Pat she thinks Principal Bowin is the Fiddler and confesses she staked out Brainwave’s hospital room, sparking another brief fight between her and her reluctant sidekick.
At school, Beth tails Courtney and Yolanda as they talk about who else could become members of their new Justice Society. Meanwhile, Steven Sharpe (the Gambler) meets in secret with a man at a theater who gives him blueprints and tells him about a broadcasting dish that’s being hauled in later that night.
On the road, Courtney and Pat are having a little car trouble when Rick walks by and tells Pat it sounds like there’s an issue with the alternator. Pat agrees and compliments the teen on his knowledge of cars (and everyone in the audience watching suddenly wishes Pat could adopt this poor kid). When Pat expresses interest, Rick shares that he’s working on a ’66 Mustang; Pat tells him that’s “a great ride.” Rick tells Pat that the car is yellow and belonged to his father, and from the look on Pat’s face, the former Starman sidekick may have realized Rick is his old friend Rex’s son. While waiting in the car as the two guys chat, Courtney notices that Hourman’s hourglass is lighting up and buzzing from her bag in response to Rick. Courtney decides to walk (aka follow Rick) as Pat is left behind with the car.
Rick picks up pretty quickly that Courtney is following him and demands to know why. She shows him the hourglass but now it’s not lighting up like before and Rick leaves before Courtney can explain. Later, Beth arrives at Courtney’s house where Barbara tells her she can wait in the living room for Courtney to get back. Beth follows the dog upstairs and searches Courtney’s bedroom, calling it “the room of superhero.” When Beth puts Dr. Mid-Nite’s goggles, she meets Dr. McNider — or, at least, the A.I. of Dr. McNider within the high-tech goggles — who explains that he can “provide information on a vast library of subjects” thanks to the Justice Society databank.
While Mike sets up pumpkins for Halloween, Courtney finds Beth wearing the goggles in her room as McNider explains that besides offering information, he can “shift into various spectrums” like infrared, night vision, X-ray, hologram, weather predictor, lie detector, and more. The goggles tell Beth Courtney is lying when she tries to say the goggles are just a project’s of Pat’s. Beth knows that the goggles were invented by Dr. Charles McNider after he lost his sight fighting the mob, later becoming Dr. Mid-Nite.
Beth tells Courtney she knows she’s a superhero and that she saw Courtney and Yolanda at the hospital. Eventually, Rick’s name comes up and Beth reveals (thanks to the goggles) that Rick is not Rick Harris but Rick Tyler, son of Rex Tyler, aka Hourman. Meanwhile, Pat drops by Rick’s house but the kid isn’t home. He gives a spare carburetor to Matt Harris asking him to give it to Rick.
Later that night, Courtney, Beth, and Yolanda track Rick to Cindy’s Halloween party. Courtney and Beth go inside in search while Yolanda stays outside to avoid Cindy and Henry. After a small fight between Cindy and Henry, though, a drunk Henry stumbles outside and without realizing it, hears Yolanda’s thoughts calling him a jerk; when he asks what she said, Yolanda denies saying anything. Once the girls find Rick, Courtney and Beth attempt to explain to him that his father was Hourman and that the hourglass gave Rex super-strength for one hour a day. Beth tells Rick his father was a brilliant chemist. Rick decides to try it out by putting on the necklace and flipping the hourglass over. Rick tests his new super-strength by easily lifting a keg of beer and then squeezing it into a mangled mess. Courtney tells Rick he shouldn’t use his powers in public. Rick says he’s not interested in joining their group but he is taking his dad’s hourglass to go do his own thing.
Courtney and Yolanda leave Beth behind to go after Rick, who uses his powers to punch a truck, bending it almost in half. As they suit up, Beth learns from the goggles that Rick’s parents were murdered and rushes off to catch up with the group. When Courtney and Yolanda, in their respective Stargirl and Wildcat costumes, find Rick, he tells them that he’s always full of anger and hates feeling this way, and that his parents died for no reason. Courtney tries to relate to Rick, telling him that she feels cheated after losing her father but now she gets to carry on Starman’s legacy.
As Rick leans into his anger over losing his parents, even punching the tree where his parents died causing it to fall over, Beth arrives to relay to the teen what the goggles’ A.I. has informed her. Beth explains that Rick’s parents were murdered and then uses the goggle’s hologram tech to show exactly what happened. They all see Solomon Grundy jump out and smash the Tylers’ car, causing Rick’s parents to crash into the tree and die.
Courtney tells Rick that his parents were killed by the same people that killed her dad and that the Injustice Society is why she’s building the new Justice Society team. Rick says he’s in, but he doesn’t want justice; he wants revenge. Elsewhere, Principal Bowin appears on the road next to a school bus, playing her violin after stopping a semi-truck carrying the broadcasting dish Sharpe was interested in earlier. At home, Pat is looking at a picture of Rex and his ’66 Mustang when Barbara tells him there’s been an accident. Pat goes to his shop where the truck Rick punched while using his super-strength is being dropped off. Principal Bowin continues playing her violin on the road, killing Sharpe’s informant. Sharpe finishes off the truck driver himself by shooting him. Back at home, Pat searches Courtney’s room and finds her duffle bag filled with the stolen JSA artifacts.
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