Wow, “Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. Part One” has started off with a powerful bang. After a quick recap of recent events, Brainwave begins the episode with a thorough explanation of the Injustice Society of America’s Project: New America, a plan to take over the mind of millions across the United States of America and make them live according to the ISA’s manifesto. The telepathic monster stands with Jordan Mahkent at the ISA headquarters in front of a large monitor displaying the data for their plan and a large countdown clock with a little more than eleven and a half hours remaining. Nearly each member of the ISA, with the exception of Solomon Grundy, has a role in the plan’s endgame. Across town, Courtney and Barbara are packing up to get away that night to a cabin Pat has setup further into the woods. Pat and Mike are at the Pit Stop where it seems Pat is going to finally open up to his son Mike about what has been going on.
The family is surprised, however, as they’re attacked by Tigress and Sportsmaster. Jordan agreed with Brainwave to kill the Whitmore/Dugan family upon discovering that Barbara had been researching Starman at work. He clearly had a romantic interest in Barbara, and her actions have felt like a betrayal of sorts to him. It’s a plotline, but not one that really seems strong enough to merit murder for unrequited love. Nevertheless, the show’s story moves forward. For the time being, the family is able to evade their deaths and reconvene with the rest of the Justice Society and new friend the Shining Knight. Together, the faction develop a plan to discover the truth about the ISA’s plan and how to stop it from happening.
“Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. Part One” reminds me of other superhero movies where the good guys have a pre-battle meeting of the minds, and then broken up solitary conversations. I like how this formula works for Stargirl, and it certainly gives us a better understanding of how everyone is feeling as well as what is on the line for them as individuals, other than the fate of millions. Yolanda is inwardly grieving over Henry Jr.’s death, Pat and Barbara haven’t come to terms with their marital issues, and Rick is at a loss with solving his father’s book, but also upset he doesn’t know his own father as well as he should.
As the Justice Society unites, the Injustice Society continues to be at odds within itself. What consequences come from this, we may not see until Season 2. Regardless, this is a great episode before the grand finale which will take place next week. I truly hope it serves the series justice and will leave us on a fantastic cliffhanger to cap this premiere season.
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.