Officially, we have crossed the first third of the season, and there is a significant amount of story juggling goin' on. To recap, the JSA are all caught up on who the two baddies of the season are: The Shade and Eclipse. What they have failed to learn is that Cindy Burman is the one who has stirred Eclipso into the fold of sleepy Blue Valley. While the kids and Pat and Barbara go about hunting down the whereabouts of Eclipso, Cindy is working on forming the Injustice Unlimited and has successfully seduced Isaac, the son of the Fiddler, and also recruited Artemis, the star power athlete daughter of villains Tigress and Sportsmaster. We know there are two more she would like to add to the group, Mike Dugan (who lost the Thunderbolt pen as quickly as he received it) and Cameron, the son of Icicle. Why exactly she’s hoping to snag Mike Dugan other than sheer spite is beyond me. He’s barely a teenager and he has no super-ability that we know of. My hope is that Mike is more than just a pawn in Cindy’s twisted game.
Meanwhile, The Shade is also searching for Eclipso, as we discovered this is why he returned to Blue Valley in the first place. Unbecoming of any villain we’ve met, he is genuinely concerned about the JSA kids, because he knows very well that Eclipso will kill them without hesitation.
Within the personal lives of the JSA members, Rick is still feeding his “dog” Solomon Grundy in the nearby woods. Of all the forgiveness tropes in this series, this is the most problematic and unbelievable one. “I know you killed my parents on orders from the ISA, but here’s some 8 buckets of expensive KFC chicken that I somehow manage to afford to feed you daily. I’ll bring a dozen cheeseburgers tomorrow.” Stop it, Rick! Grundy is eating the actual bears in the woods! Bears!
Anyway, Beth is in need of therapy as she confronts the fact her parents are apparently planning to dissolve their marriage. Mind you, these parents have lucrative careers, but they have no time to spend or even talk honestly with their daughter. They know Beth is a little goody-goody and they take advantage of her because she takes care of them, when it should be reversed. I say she’s in need of therapy, because for the longest time she had no friends other than her parents, who frankly, grew tired of her clinginess, but feel they can finally move on with their lives now that she has friends. None of this is healthy; it doesn’t help her cope very well with the situation and the guilt she is experiencing — that all kids of divorced parents feel — is going to eat her alive. For now, Beth is distracting herself by working on getting Dr. Mid-Nite’s goggles to function again. Though, a sudden realization in this week’s episode brings a flicker of hope that maybe he’s nearer than everyone thought.
Yolanda is being thrown into random situations for no reason. First, her parents sign her up for summer school to make sure she “doesn’t get into trouble.” This is just an excuse to get her to be in summer school with Courtney, as Yolanda is a straight A student. In this week’s episode, Yolanda now has a job at the local diner as a waitress. What purpose this will serve is to be determined. She’s also still struggling with the fact she straight merked Brainwave, and feels immense guilt over Henry Jr.’s death. Courtney remains obsessed over The Shade and Eclipso, but has learned to not jump headfirst into the melee. Instead, this week she takes a different path by hitting the books and learning all she can about the darkness in the diamond.
Pat intentionally fails to divulge Eclipso’s true evil to the JSA group, confiding in Barbara that it is best in order to protect them. Keeping secrets never proves to be a good idea, at least for the residents of Blue Valley. Ultimately, unwanted interactions take place because of Pat’s decision to withhold several truths. There are many sides to Pat. As much as he wants to play the role of the nice guy, he’s much nicer to other people than he is to his kids, especially to his only flesh and blood child, Mike. This episode has Pat in a quasi-heart to heart conversation with Mike, which made me exasperated because all I could think of was “why do you treat Mike like this? He’s done nothing wrong!” However, the conversation seems to end on a positive note and my fingers are crossed that we see something great unfold from this in the episodes to come.
The trailer for next week’s episode is very focused on Cindy. For as long as she has been around as an antagonist in this series, we don’t know very much about what exactly happened with her mother. It seems to be this secret that is a sore spot for her. We know her mother is dead, and Cindy had something to do with it. More is revealed thanks to Eclipso, who enjoys toying with Cindy and allows her to think she has an upper hand on him, when it’s the exact opposite. We see what exactly Eclipse can do in this week’s episode, specifically the types of fears and personal horrors he can manifest in one’s mind. There are so many questions as we head into the mid-season of Stargirl. Even that horror genre aspect writer-producer Geoff Johns wanted to bring in is elevating the season. I can’t wait to see what happens next week.
Watch Stargirl: Summer School Tuesdays on the CW, and streaming the day after on cwtv.com
The House of Secrets #106 - first appearance of Eclipso
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.