All right, things are really revving into high gear in this week’s brand new episode, "Summer School, Chapter Three". This week’s flashback takes us to Christmas Eve eleven years ago, to the grave night the Injustice Society went head to head with the JSA, and won. While the fight was on, Pat/Stripesy was back at JSA headquarters along with Johnny Thunder, where they share a brief, friendly chat about the parallel woes they share with respect to the JSA. Not before long, Johnny Thunder heads out to meet what will be his untimely death. At first, this may seem like an insignificant character introduction, but we get to know Johnny Thunder just enough to better understand what happens later on in the episode.
As the trailer revealed, Mike comes to possess the infamous pink pen that houses the Thunderbolt, a genie from another dimension. In DC Comics history, the Thunderbolt is a 5th dimensional genie name Yz. The Thunderbolt (gleefully voiced by comedian Jim Gaffigan) does what most genies do, which is grant wishes, but as the common knowledge rule says, you have to be careful what you wish for. There isn’t a big story here with how Mike gets the pen; it’s all about why he gets it.
As much as we may view Pat as a good wholesome type of guy, we have to admit that when it comes to his son, he can be pretty clueless. Somehow Pat manages to treat Mike like a helpless child and an adult at the same time. On occasion the former is warranted; after all, Mike is a freshman in high school. Regardless, Pat doesn’t concern himself with Mike’s personal life, how he’s feeling, how his paper route job is going, or even if he’s made friends in Blue Valley. While on the other hand, Pat is readily there to chastise Mike whenever he does something wrong. This beleaguers his son to no end. Everything that Mike is dealing with within himself cries out for someone to understand and listen to him. The Thunderbolt becomes aware of his needs and chooses Mike for this reason. But will Mike get to be a member of the JSA, as he desperately wants? Or will he be disappointed again?
On the other side of town, Barbara has an uncomfortable second encounter with The Shade. Without so many words, his reason for being back in Blue Valley is revealed, but there is certainly more to it than what appears on the surface. Pat confirms the Shade is back in Blue Valley and gets the JSA together to learn all about him. Together they work on figuring out how to track him down. The group realizes a major problem though: none of them had any clue what to do with The Shade once they confront him. Can you say "problem"?
Plus, somewhere out there, Cindy Burman is still slinking about town with the evil Eclipso trapped in the black diamond. As was revealed last week, even from within the diamond and outside of Cindy’s control, Eclipso’s power can take hold of others in extremely dangerous ways.
Honestly, it was upsetting when the show just ended where it did. I definitely wanted to see what would happen next, and the trailer for episode 4 did little in keeping that excitement alive.
Watch Stargirl: Summer School Tuesdays on the CW, and streaming the day after on cwtv.com
Flash Comics Vol 1, #1 (1940)-First appearance and origin of Johnny Thunder and Thunderbolt
JLA Vol 1, #26 (1999) - More recent appearance of JT/Thunderbolt