DC's Stargirl "Summer School: Chapter Nine" focuses more on psychological terror rather than shadows and jump scares. After a duel-pronged attack during last week's episode, Beth (Anjelika Washington) was able to overcome Eclipso (Nick Tarabay) and his visions, while Rick (Cameron Gellman) was not and ended up in jail. The evil, as well as the storm, has finally arrived and Blue Valley is locking down.
After knocking two young heroes off the JSA Eclipso focuses his evil on breaking apart the Whitmore/ Dugan family, individually dredging up and making them face their deepest fears. Fears they could not even admit to themselves. Pat (Luke Wilson) has to face the truth about how the JSA originally took down Eclipso, and what that did to the team. Barbara (Amy Smart) must overcome memories that have been haunting her, while Mike (Trae Romano) is being forced to face his feelings over killing Icicle. Courtney (Brec Bassinger), so far, has been unchallenged by Eclipso. Once again, her strong will and a de-powered Cosmo are the only things that can break the visions, but can the staff fully recover to face Eclipso again? Through flashbacks, Pat recalls how the JSA defeated Eclipso the first, and finally confesses to Courtney how the JSA stopped Eclipso, who is now laughing in the shadows as the family tears itself apart.
Returning from the last episode, director Andi Armaganian's noteworthy depiction of Pat literally unable to wash off the blood of his past adds another visual level to Pat's frantic downward spiral. Seeing the normally cool and collected 'mentor' of the team losing it really rattles the viewer. This episode's writers, Alfredo Septién & Turi Meyer, do an excellent job switching back and forth between Pat's actual memories, and Eclipso's visions. Viewers will be just as confused as Pat wondering what is real.
Points for the original JSA, featuring not only Joel McHale as Starman but also John Wesley Shipp returning as Jay Garrick/ Flash, cementing Stargirl in the Flash universe. In fact, points all around for bringing the original JSA to life, no longer relegated to dusty photos. Points for the "My Greatest Adventure" easter egg, could a Doom Patrol cameo be on the horizon? A few more points for the JSA being the only heroes that appear in costume this episode, nice touch.
With the recent announcement of Joel McHale signing on as a series regular for season 3, watch for Starman to play a much bigger role as the season winds down. Is more likely that he will not only help fix the staff but take the place of whoever is most likely going to die this season. Could it be Pat, with Joel taking over as the Father figure and mentor for the JSA? Pat's death will strike a chord with fans, make a lot of news, and set up the tone for next season.
DC's Stargirl "Summer School: Chapter Nine" focuses more on psychological terror rather than shadows and jump scares. As Eclipso focuses his attention on Courtney's family, Pat looks to the past for a solution. After a lot of teasing on The CW's part, fans expecting a light hearted trip down memory lane may be disappointed to find that the darkness has shrouded the past as well. However, since the Black Diamond is now shattered will the JSA's method, a solution that not only challenged their code, but the JSA itself, of stopping Eclipso even work?