The title of this episode fully made sense in the wide picture of what’s been going on with Stargirl. Way back in the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths era, the children of the original Justice Society of America formed their own team, Infinity Inc. Some of the team eventually “graduated” to join the JSA, but Infinity Inc. was a solid and competent team on their own.
Ironically Stargirl’s version of the JSA looks far more like Infinity Inc. than the JSA so his chapter of Frenemies is a nice acknowledgment of that squad.
This episode takes us back a bit to last season’s second episode when Jenny Rice was trying to find her brother Todd (Tim Gabriel). When she got the use of her father’s Green Lantern ring, Todd was many miles away having a romantic date ruined when his shadow powers started emerging.
Todd’s picked up by two police officers who bring him to the Helix Institute that Mr. Bones (Keith David) is operating. That’s probably not a good thing?
With everyone clued in that they’re under surveillance, the JSA tries to act normal long enough for Beth to trigger a blackout bomb — a nice shoutout to the original Dr. Midnight’s gadgets — and take out the power in the city. They’ve only got a limited amount of time so they’ve got to hurry and find all of the very well-placed cameras.
Beth was able to pinpoint them so the team dutifully takes them out. Of most significant note, Rick is starting to rage out a bit and become more aggressive now that he doesn’t have a time restraint on his powers. Who knew safeguards were a good thing in this case?
Yolanda’s mother catches her in another lie while she’s out as Wildcat. She offers Yolanda an ultimatum to stop lying or leave the house. Given the rocky past, it wasn’t shocking that Yolanda chose to come to Barb and Pat’s house. While she’s not BFFs with Courtney right now she didn’t have anywhere else to go and Pat and Barb have basically taken in all the JSA as their surrogate children now anyway.
Courtney tells Pat it’s her fault that she didn’t tell the team about training Cameron. One of the best aspects about Stargirl is the writers aren’t so focused on making Courtney the perfect hero that she can’t make mistakes, make a bad decision or own up to it.
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She’s so much more enjoyable a lead as there’s opportunities for Courtney to grow and mature along her journey as a hero instead of starting out knowing how to do everything right from the start.
She’s not able to dwell on it long as The Shade returns to borrow Courtney — and Pat tags along too. He’s with Jenny as they’re below the Helix institute. Todd is getting shock therapy, which seems like torture, but also a means to keep his literal demons from escaping. Naturally seeing her twin in pain, Jenny tries to help resulting in a big explosion and Todd seemingly transforming to Obsidian and his darkness coming to the surface.
In the comics, Todd had to fight for control over his depression, repressed memories of his physically abusive stepfather and living in Green Lantern’s shadow. This made him a fascinating character and hopefully the show can tap into his multiple layers. Following the big power outburst, Shade and Pat wake up to find themselves in the Shadow Realm again.
This could feel like an unnecessary return in some shows, but with Stargirl there’s always a larger point. And Obsidian’s arrival makes for the perfect opportunity to revisit the Shadow Realm. It’ll be interesting to see if the JSA officially adds Jenny and Todd to the fold in the second part of Infinity Inc.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW
Check out Infinity Inc. – The Generations Saga Vol. 1 on Amazon
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