Stargirl Summer School Chapter Eight review S2 E8

Stargirl is such an amazing contrast from the trainwreck that is this season of Titans. Titans is figuring out every possible way to botch a promising premise while Stargirl is smoothly navigating this season’s setup exploring avenues and layers that weren’t even expected.

This episode finds Eclipso continuing to target the various members of the Justice Society.

Courtney is still bummed her staff, which she dubs Cosmo, is still barely functional after the initial encounter with Eclipso. It’s refreshing to hear Courtney share that she’s afraid and concerned. This makes for a far more compelling hero than the ones who shrug off their emotions. The Stargirl writers are doing a tremendous job of showing how an actual teenager would and should act in this kind of circumstance.

Rick’s teacher stops by to drop off some college pamphlets and financial aid information. That subplot seemed like it was going to go in a lame direction, but a teacher invested in a student she misjudged actually is a nice side story for Rick. Of course his crappy uncle has to ruin the moment prompting Rick to throw a tantrum in the woods.

All of his kind gestures through this season finally paid off as Solomon Grundy comes up. Grundy shares an apple and shows he does understand. Maybe not Rick’s words, but the sentiment behind them. Feeling a little encouraged, Rick starts to head out when he hears a radio broadcast that hunters are looking for the bear in the woods.

stargirl summer school chapter 8 review - rick with hourglass

Finally clueing Courtney and Pat into his outreach to Grundy, Rick tries to beat the hunters only to find Grundy standing over a dead child. Rick is clearly not thinking straight and attacks Grundy. Courtney and Pat plead with him to stop, but it’s not until Courtney flares Cosmo that Rick sees he hasn’t been fighting Grundy at all, but his uncle.

In fairness, his uncle had that beat down coming. Unfortunately, the cops don’t see it that way and arrest Rick. But not before a mortified Rick throws off his hourglass and shatters it. One more JSAer down. Grundy sees Rick getting arrested and mutters ‘friend.’ Thankfully, Grundy wasn’t just concerned about his next bucket of fried chicken and apples.

While he’s torturing Rick, Eclipso also targets Beth. He gets far more personal with her as child Eclipso, who calls himself Brucie, starts saying some racist stuff. This was uncomfortable in a good way as it shows that racism and stereotypes are bad/evil especially in the malicious manner Eclipso was using them.

Beth has always been my least favorite member of the JSA just because she’s so overly excited/lame and useless in a fight. This episode went a long way towards changing the perception of Beth and how Beth views herself. Eclipso kept throwing his hateful comments while trashing Beth for being a tagalong worthless member of the team.

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While Yolanda and Rick became overwhelmed with Eclipso’s psychological warfare, Beth kept speaking out against Eclipso’s lies. Instead of running as Eclipso threw various illusions at her, Beth stood her ground. Beth’s line of ‘I love being black’ was a excellent way for her to firmly make her stance against Eclipso.

And now at least one member of the team has fought back against Eclipso and turned him back. Beth’s mom has a nice talk about her experiences being a black doctor in Blue Valley.

stargirl summer school chapter 8 review - beth and her parents

The show hasn’t really spent much time on race, which hasn’t been a big talking point, so it was nice to see the writers address it in this context. In this setting it didn’t feel forced or random. Well done all around.

Barbara and Mike try to make sense of everything that’s happened at the house just as ice is forming on the windows. Is Icicle starting to slowly reform? Nice little intrigue for later on in the season. Stargirl’s writers are doing a very nice job of introducing plot points in the midst of other big storylines so there’s always something in the works.

stargirl summer school chapter 8 review - barbara and mike

Chapter 8 of Summer School was a very strong installment showing the further teardown of the JSA while offering some hope that Eclipso won’t be able to take them all out.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Photo Credit: The CW

Check out Stargirl Vol. 1 on Amazon.

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