After two high-octane episodes, DC's Stargirl slows down the pace this week with an emotion-filled Yolanda-centric episode that changes the fabric of the JSA. Courtney (Brec Bassinger) and the JSA barely survive their first confrontation against the now in the flesh Eclipso (Nick Tarabay) using her staff to seemingly injure the demon, but not before he easily dispatches both Shade (Jonathan Cake) and Cindy (Meg DeLacy).
"Summer School: Chapter Seven" is almost a bit of a palette cleanser after the huge battle between The ISA and Eclipso last week. Yolanda (Yvette Monreal) is no longer her chipper self and is dealing head-on with the mental anguish she is facing. Unable to process the guilt of killing Brainwave (Christopher James Baker), Yolanda is haunted by visions and voices of the villain and his son, her ex, Henry (Jake Austin Walker) leaving viewers to wonder if Brainwave has actually implanted himself into her mind, if Eclipso driving her mad, or has her mind snapped from the trauma of the overwhelming guilt. After infecting one of her co-workers Yolanda accidentally befriends Eclipso, in the only upbeat dialog she has this episode, by comforting the young Bruce Gordon with a sucker.
After confiding in Courtney, Yolanda confesses the truth about Brainwave, but the team is split in their reaction to the news causing her to feel trapped in her perceived role as the weapon of the team, fueling her insecurities. Brainwaves visions are becoming stronger as Yolanda confronts him and Henry with Courtney using the light of her cosmic staff to snap Yolanda out of the darkness. Eclipso's plan to slowly take down the JSA one at a time is now in full swing with Yolanda quitting and vowing never to wear her costume again. His victory, and Yolanda's soul, are as sweet as the sucker he laughing enjoys hidden in plain sight.
With very little time in her Wildcat costume, this week's standout is obviously Monreal's Yolanda Montez. As Monreal told Bleeding Cool earlier this year, Yolanda is dealing with a lot of guilt, and where that leaves her role within the team. Monreal brilliantly exhibits her range dealing with her remorse as Yolanda displays four stages of grief, isolation, anger, bargaining, and depression, but will she reach acceptance? Her heartfelt confession to Courtney and the team is a high watermark for the season as Monreal paints each emotion with a fine brush.
Points this week to director Sheelin Choksey for his Nightmare on Elm Street homage. The pacing and his use of negative space throughout the scene will have viewers wondering if Freddy Krueger will be right around the corner. More points for writer Robbie Hyne's impactful speech as Yolanda's mental state is crumbling before her teammates' eyes. Her tearful confession and angry backlash at the team's reactions highlight her turmoil. Points off for Yolanda STILL messing everything up at work, how does she still have a job? Points off for Pat (Luke Wilson) just leaving the pieces of the Black Diamond laying around for Mike (Trae Romano) to find. Yes, we have to introduce them in the story but this felt like some clumsy exposition for Pat to hint at a weapon to be used against Eclipso.
Watch for former Starman Sylvester Pemberton's (Joel McHale) subplot to have a possible solution to healing Courtney's staff, and keep an eye on the new summer school teacher, who is noticeably missing an introduction. He could be a deep bench character waiting hiding in plain sight.
Episode seven of The CW's DC's Stargirl slows the pace while amping up the drama with an emotion-filled Yolanda-centric chapter. Yvette Monreal is captivating as she struggles to deal with some real-world complications of being a superhero. With a slew of modern horror references, this character-driven story focuses on her guilt from killing Brainwave and the ripple effect that changes the fabric of the JSA. Brilliantly laced with ambiguity this episode will leave viewers wondering if Brainwave has actually implanted himself into Yolanda's mind, if Eclipso is driving her mad, or if her mind has actually snapped from the overwhelming guilt. Eclipso's plan to slowly take down the JSA one at a time is now in full swing. His victory, and Yolanda's soul, are as sweet as the sucker he laughing enjoys hidden in plain sight.
Stargirl Season 2 Episode 8 "Summer School: Chapter Eight": SECOND CHANCES — With his world crashing down around him, Rick (Cameron Gellman) focuses his attention on protecting Solomon Grundy after learning hunters are after a bear in the woods. Meanwhile, Beth (Anjelika Washington) becomes the target of Eclipso's (Nick Tarabay) latest plan. Brec Bassinger, Luke Wilson, Amy Smart, and Trae Romano also star. Andi Armaganian directed the episode written by Steve Harper.