A new morning in Blue Valley gives insight into what being a superhero now means for Courtney, Rick, Yolanda, and Beth. Courtney is happiest as Stargirl. Rick, with the knowledge of how his parents truly died, finds purpose in avenging their deaths. Yolanda has renewed confidence in herself with the Wildcat cowl, leaving her public embarrassment in the past. Beth no longer has time to fawn over the care of her parents as her time is now her own, as Dr. Mid-Nite. The squad also finds happiness in their union, finally having a true sense of belonging with one another in the shared secret.
At the same time, not all the students at Blue Valley High are as happy. Henry King Jr., Brainwave’s son, is constantly focused on being present for his father, with the hope of seeing him come out of his coma. This situation has truly troubled Henry, but it has also brought out the telepathic ability of mind-reading his father had hoped he would develop. “Shiv Part One” dives further into Henry’s reaction to this change within himself.
Another student with her own issues is Cindy Burman. The promo from last week revealed the CW’s version of Cindy is in fact going to be Shiv in this series, a nemesis to Stargirl. If you have been invested in the DC comics from the past, you will recall Cindy Burman, aka Shiv, appeared in the Geoff Johns comic series Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E., as well as two issues of JSA and four issues of JSA All-Stars. On Stargirl, Cindy is also the daughter of Dr. Ito, aka Dragon King. We have seen Cindy as the true bully of the school, a girl who strikes fear in many of her fellow students, willing to destroy anyone who gets in the way of what she wants. There is no doubt that such a person would be extremely unhappy in their personal life, which is the case here. All that we have seen of Cindy is a façade, playing the popular cheerleader, with the jock boyfriend, on her father’s command. Her true desire and home life is revealed in this first half of the two-part episode arc revolving around her.
With the new Justice Society of America, Pat endeavors to train the newbies so that they can work cohesively as a team. The most difficult part of the training is Courtney. She has been Stargirl for the past 8 weeks while the others have just started to don their costumes. Wildcat is more advanced, but as we saw in the episode “The Justice Society,” she still has a lot to learn, as she is sluggish in her movements, looking like a brick trying to claw itself up a wall. Courtney wants the JSA to be out searching for the ISA right now, but Pat’s cautiousness prevents that from happening. He was there the night the JSA was killed by the ISA. He sat at Starman’s side as he died. All of these heroes were adults with years of experience.
Pat truly knows the evil that awaits. This is not a concern to Courtney, who feels she knows what is really going on, and that she can take on the murderous group. The fact that the group had such difficulty in fighting Sportsmaster and Tigress means nothing, when she can only focus on how she was successful in putting Brainwave into a coma. There is a narcissistic parallel here between Courtney and Cindy, making the two opposites seem more alike than we’re led to believe. Hopefully there’s a deeper dive into this as the show progresses. For now, Courtney just has to learn to think about the collective "We," and care about growing with the team she has created.
“Shiv Part One” certainly has enough action to satiate your appetite and there’s likely to be more in “Shiv Part Two.” The cliffhanger leaves you with many questions that will, for the most part, be answered next week. Brec Bassinger (Courtney/Stargirl) and Meg DeLacy (Cindy/Shiv) are perfect fits for their roles, as though this is who they are in real life. I look forward to another showdown between the two soon.
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.