A sleeper after a hit, "Shining Knight" is a dud of an episode for "Stargirl"

Justin, the Shining Knight

We are nearing the end of the first season of Stargirl as “Shining Knight” is the last regular episode before the two-part finale. This episode begins with Justin, the Blue Valley High janitor, clearly disheveled and very confused about what is reality and what isn’t. Visions of the night he saved Stargirl from Shiv, of holding the Cosmic Staff come flooding back. Another vision of Stripesy gives him the idea of turning to Pat for help. Elsewhere, Courtney has revealed to her mother and Pat that Brainwave has killed Henry Jr. Concerned about the family, Pat believes it is best that Courtney, Barbara, and Mike leave the not-so sleepy town together as soon as possible. A sudden surprise stops them in their tracks, however, as a loose end from last week’s episode is tied.

Icicle and Brainwave at the ISA Headquarters

Icicle and Brainwave are on course for proceeding with Dr. Ito’s plan to control the minds of millions of people across the United States of America. This plan will allow for the Injustice Society of America to make these people live according to the ISA’s will, for a “better America.” It seems the mission itself will happen in the very near future, but the Justice Society aren’t necessarily prepared. Rick, Beth, and Yolanda don’t appear to have undergone any more training. In fact, it’s only the day after Henry Jr. was killed by his own father before their very eyes. We will see how the JSA fare in the upcoming battle with the ISA to save millions.

Pat Dugan is Stripesy in Justin's vision

“Shining Knight” is definitely a sleeper episode. Half of this episode’s plotline is lengthy, and ultimately leads to nothing, quite frankly. The time lost in telling this part of Courtney’s story could have been better spent on the other members of the JSA coming to terms with what happened, and developing a plan to fight against the ISA. There isn’t even much in this episode about the actual hero, Shining Knight himself, save for the bits about him being confused and turning to Stripesy for help.

I believe the episode title is meant to be a broad description of heroes, those who stand up for us, those who bestow their loyalty to us, and those who are willing to fight by our side for the common good. Our heroes are not always who we imagine them to be, though. Still, after the emotional rollercoaster that was “Brainwave Jr.,” this was a poor turn for the series and I truly felt let down by this episode's end. Here’s looking forward to the two-episode finale that starts next week, which will certainly be grand in story and loaded with action sequences.

New episodes of Stargirl air Sunday nights at 12a.m. EDT on DC Universe and Tuesdays at 8p.m. EDT on The CW. Episodes can also be seen on cwtv.com in the U.S. shortly after it airs on the channel.

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