The episode title, "Brainwave" is self-explanatory, as it is all about the ISA telepath and his son, Henry King, Jr. As per usual, we begin with a flashback from decades ago, a quick origin story for Brainwave. All of the video tapes we saw in Brainwave's secret compartment document the progression of his telepathic abilities, which he was not born with. Henry watches these tapes in a marathon with hopes of understanding the progression of his own powers. He questions whether he was born with these abilities or if his father was experimenting on his own son. This question isn't hard for Henry to come up with, as he has not had the best father/son relationship. Reflecting on the two sit-downs they had, especially the one in "S.T.R.I.P.E." it is clear Henry fears his father, who has a penchant for being quick to quiet anger.
Meanwhile, Courtney has decided she wants to invite Henry to join the JSA. His abilities would be an immense boost of power for the group as it goes about its cause. However, Pat is more concerned with the possibility that Dr. Ito, Cindy's father, is very likely alive, living in Blue Valley and planning something big as has been his M.O. in the past. Courtney meets with the JSA to discuss her plan to enlist Henry, with expected criticism from Yolanda and Rick, who are absolutely against the idea, while Beth agrees there can be goodness within him. Though we as the audience know that it was actually Cindy who shared the photo, she wouldn't have gotten the idea had Henry not shown Yolanda's private photo to his jock buddies in public.
Another recurring story is Pat's idea to reveal the truth to Barbara, his wife and Courtney’s mother, after the latest incident between Stargirl and Shiv. Though Courtney continues to oppose it, recent events in Barbara’s employment at The American Dream make this very necessary. Unbeknownst to her, she is working for Icicle to bring his and the ISA's master plan to fruition. Plus, it just does not look well for a step-father and step-daughter to have secrets between them. Couple this with Courtney’s stubbornly risky behavior, and there is no way they can proceed in the JSA efforts without telling Barbara what is really going on.
In no way is "Brainwave" a slow burn episode. There isn't too much in the way of action, likely due to the costly effects of Henry's telepathic abilities in action, but that does not mean it is weak on story. "Brainwave" is an important episode that really drives the story forward. So much is happening, it is hard to believe that this episode, like several others, is only one day in the life of these Blue Valley residents. When do they find time to relax, do their homework, or get some sleep? This episode also reveals what Dr. Ito's master plan has been all season long. What will happen in the last three episodes of the season? Will the JSA find out the truth in time? We shall see, but rest easy as Stargirl has thankfully been renewed for Season 2!
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.