When you think of psychological horror TV shows, the one that I can think of that would be best suited for this are Black Mirror and Hannibal. It is very difficult to bring the psychological horror genre into television. For some reason, it was Geoff Johns‘s idea that he could make this work in Stargirl by bringing in the biggest and baddest villain to date, Eclipso. In an interview, Johns stated he wants "every season of Stargirl to feel like a 13-chapter serialized movie, more than one of the TV shows, so that each season has its own tonal differences." Yes, Johns is successful in making season two feel like its own chapter and different for the most part from season one. Courtney's positively annoying effervescence is gone and the JSA are hardened by the first season's events. They have been through a great ordeal together and only a handful of people know what really happened. Personally, Stargirl season two feels like a PG rated version of It . Here are a group of unpopular teenagers fighting a demon-like villain who is attacking them in mind/body as he feeds off their fears. Together they must to find a way to stop him.
Eclipso’s plan appeared to be to break apart the JSA so that they would not be able to defeat him if they weren’t united. He is successful in festering Yolanda’s guilt over murdering Brainwave and she gives up the cowl of Wildcat, much to Courtney’s dismay. Fortunately, Beth is able to take a mind over matter approach to overcome Eclipso’s psychological attacks, but the demon gets the better of Rick in a shocking turn of events. Then Eclipso goes on to attack Courtney’s family, her heart per se, before turning his attention solely upon her. In the finale, Eclipso’s whole goal is spelled out for us and we are left with a lukewarm ending that is very simply wrapped up in a matter of minutes. This ending consisted of answers to season-long questions that I was happy to finally see resolved. However, it appeared to be a safe ending that would wrap up the series if it weren’t renewed for a third season. Lucky for Geoff Johns, it has been renewed and filming began in October, so we’ll be likely to see that in Fall 2022.
The finale merits a Silvio Dante scowl and nod of approval, clasped hands and all. I’m glad Johns made the decision to focus on the other JSA members, because it allowed for us to get to know them some more and actually find a reason to care about them. For instance, Beth just seemed genuinely happy all the time, completely satisfied with herself as a person. Yet, she struggled internally with fears of racism and not being “enough” for others or herself. Hopefully Beth develops a firmer confidence in herself next season and sheds the shy facade. The cast of Stargirl is getting larger, however, and with more characters on the show that means more people will ultimately detract attention from Stargirl herself. That was something that was definitely noticeable this season. From the looks of one of the pre-end credit scenes, Courtney’s heart will be on the line next time. I wonder what direction Geoff Johns will take in season three, and which genre will inspire the overall story. Will the new Big Bad be someone else we see in a different pre-end credit scene? Ultimately, we have to wait and see. My only hope is that Johns gets a larger budget for better action sequences and VFX, as this was sorely lacking in season two.
Watch Stargirl: Summer School Tuesdays on the CW, and streaming the day after on cwtv.com
Ruth Kotsalos spent her Saturday mornings as a kid fully invested in Batman: The Animated Series. Since then, she has been a fan of all DC animated cartoons and movies. Ruth currently works in the nonprofit sector, has a masters degree from The New School, and lives in New Jersey with her husband John, and their German Shepherd puppy, Athena.