Stargirl: Shiv Part Two review S1 E8

With each episode it’s clear the showrunners of Stargirl get the character, what makes her work and how that can translate into a great show.

Shiv Part Two also made some significant advancements in the overall season arc as the children of the Justice and Injustice societies start going to war.

One of the main ways Stargirl has so far avoided feeling like the typical Arrowverse show is the characters act in a way that makes sense not as smart or dumb as needed to keep a particular storyline going.

Pat wrecks the car to explain away Courtney’s injuries and doesn’t stubbornly stick to his rules and pairs up with Beth to get more information on Cindy’s parents. And he’s feeling terrible about lying to Barbara and wants to come clean. These are natural responses that aren’t done out of convenience.

It was also great for Cindy to really lean harder into being the mean girl as she came over to hang out with Courtney with balloons and candy only to eat all the candy. That was mean enough, but she went further and revealed she knows Courtney is Stargirl.

stargirl shiv part 2 review - pat and courtney

A hero like Flash can hide their identity, but Stargirl’s height and hair don’t make her that hard to track down. It would have been sillier for Cindy not to put two and two together, but this is such a smarter play as it gives Courtney her own arch-enemy that she has personal beef with besides just being part of the ISA. And it led to a very realistic response. More on that in a sec. 

I loved Mike apologizing and bringing Courtney some pizza bagel bites. The Dugan/Whitmore blended family dynamic is refreshing because it doesn’t dwell on the too easy cliches and makes for a group that’s fine to watch in any pairing instead of feeling like it’s a waste of time. That’s a huge win for a teen superhero show. 

Icicle is a good, steely leader and main villain, but Dragon King is easily my favorite of the Injustice Society. His whole vibe from his less than warm relationship with Cindy to his shadowy minions and his reptile like face makes him come off as a significant threat. And his don’t make me take this hood off must be the supervillain father equivalent of don’t make me come up there, no? 

Pairing Beth and Pat up on this investigation mission at Cindy’s house was brilliant. This was a good use of Beth’s cheat code goggles, which could do the kind of research and information gathering that couldn’t realistically be done in a home visit. Pat is kind of a ladies man with Bobbie flirting with him too although I get the sense that Dr. Ito is not the kind of guy to take his wife flirting with another man nicely. 

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Working the texts between Courtney and Yolanda added some unexpected thriller tension. Beth ventured into the dungeon and heard Grundy before promptly saying “nope” and rolling out. That was a great scene and felt very authentic. 

Henry has his own revelation as his powers continue to manifest and he finally opens his father’s vault. There he finds Brainwave’s costume and Dr. Ito’s proposal to have Cindy watch him (to learn if he has powers). Naturally this freaks him out and he heads to Cindy’s just in time to see her fighting Stargirl. 

Not gonna lie — I’m a big fan of the Stargirl fight scenes. Cindy and Courtney had a fun second round that ended when an overwhelmed Henry blasted them with a brain wave. Ito’s minions made like an RKO and came out of nowhere to take Cindy into the sewers. They’re sooo creepy! 

stargirl shiv part 2 review - beth and pat

Stargirl tries to stay calm and talk to Henry, but keeps thinking first and talking later. Communicating with a telepath is probably the only time thinking first could be problematic. 

I am actually really intrigued with which way the writers take Henry. I could easily see him taking his father’s spot in the ISA if he gets killed off although a telepath seems like a more challenging and interesting ability for someone aspiring to be a hero.  

Dragon King watched the fight play out and you know he’s got some plans in store. With next week’s episode titled Brainwave it seems like we’ll get an answer on his path very soon. This doesn’t say much in a pandemic world, but Stargirl is quickly becoming a show I anxiously anticipate the next installment and it hasn’t had a major letdown yet. 

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Photo Credit: The CW

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