Icicle, aka Jordan Mahkent, is back in Blue Valley! Episode 2, "S.T.R.I.P.E.", ended with Icicle returning to the utopian town in the middle of the night. He heads into the hidden depths of "The American Dream" neighborhood development office, down lengthy flights of stairs, reminiscent of the 2019 film Parasite. We get a quick peek at Solomon Grundy and his current circumstance, as Icicle continues towards the Injustice Society of America round table. The Gambler, who is Steven Sharp, the CFO of "The American Dream", awaits his arrival to present proof of the person who took out Brainwave. Icicle remains cool and collected, countering that he’s killed one Starman and can kill another.
“Icicle” begins with an 8 year old backstory on the titular character. His wife is in hospice at home and appears moments away from her demise. As their son, Cameron, and Jordan say their goodbyes, it is revealed that she is a fierce believer in Jordan’s mission to create New America, a better life for their son. This gives weight to the lengths he will go to in the future to make that mission a reality, even if it means taking out others permanently. This is a history that does not appear at all in the comics, though, this is an Earth-2 version of Icicle. Also of note, his name in comics has been Dr. Joar Mahkent, and it was changed to Jordan for this Stargirl television series.
In the present day, Courtney is antsy to immediately get out and find all the hiding ISA members with her 3-point plan, “find them, surprise them, kick their asses.” This is formulaic along with the concerned adult mentor/step-father Pat countering that she needs to keep in mind all the dangers in going after the ISA. Like any heroic teenager with super abilities, Courtney is dismissive of Pat, headstrong and stubborn in this episode to a point where only disaster can come from it. Maybe it's because Courtney is a high schooler, but this really makes the show feel like a teen drama, especially as it becomes more involved in her school life and the other students around her. One such student is the easily loveable Joey Zarick. Not only is he son of The Wizard, who uses the identity of Councilman William Zarick in Blue Valley, but he is also that kid in school who likes magic and performs not-so-good magic tricks at the school talent show.
The episode takes a tragic and climactic turn during the only action sequence for the hour. It is stunning, but a bit expected, and you are left wondering why this wasn't better written and shot in order to truly elevate the emotion of it. There clearly is a significant budget for the series, but three episodes in and with dwindling action sequences, it seems like the producers have truly taken a hold of the budget to pace it out, after getting the viewer hooked with the spectacle of the first two episodes. Nevertheless, "Icicle" continues with the surprises and ends with a hopeful cliffhanger that I will talk more about next time. Episode 4 is titled "Wildcat," so we'll see how that goes, as the preview didn't leave me very happy.
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.