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Stargirl “Shiv Part One” Review

I feel like a broken record, but Stargirl continues to excel, constantly producing great episode after great episode. “Shiv Part One” reveals that not all of the Injustice Society children are oblivious to their parents’ evil ways. Courtney finds herself in some serious teenage drama in this episode. There’s jealousy, young love, and sibling rivalry. And that doesn’t even include the frustrations that the new JSA feel when they start to train together. 

So far, it has been hard to see Cindy Burman as anything but the mean girl of Blue Valley High School. Now, she becomes a lot more interesting. Cindy has done a great job of ostracizing even her closest friends and her boyfriend because of her mean attitude. Henry isn’t exactly interested in mundane things like the homecoming dance, which bores Cindy. In chemistry class, when the kids have to pair up for an experiment, Courtney and Cindy are the only ones left. Reluctantly, they work together, and Courtney is impressed with Cindy’s chemistry skills. Cindy happily recalls memories of her and her father doing chemistry experiments when she was younger. Seeing a new side of Cindy, it almost looks like the two girls could be friends. Cindy even asks Courtney to hang out on the night of the homecoming dance. 

Just when I started to soften to Cindy, she goes home to a stepmother who is equally terrified of her and her father. I always wondered if Cindy was a child of a member of the ISA, and this was finally proven. Not only is Cindy the daughter of the Dragon King, she knows all about the Injustice Society and her father’s secret alias. Cindy is tired of being a teenager and wants a seat at the ISA table. She’s the only child so far who knows about everything, but she wants more. It’s unclear so far if her mom was involved in the ISA, but there’s a costume and a dragon staff waiting for Cindy, when she’s ready. Her dad won’t let her touch them just yet; rather, he tells her to buy some clothes or throw a party. 

Despite knowing that Jordan Mahkent is Icicle, he keeps showing a softer side with his son, Cameron. Cameron wants to ask a girl to the homecoming dance, so his father tells him a story about asking his mother on a date. He also jokingly said that he killed off the competition, and I’m betting that wasn’t a joke. When Cameron gets up the courage to ask Courtney, she visibly lights up with excitement. But agreeing to go to the dance means bailing on girl’s night with Cindy. Unfortunately, this pretty much sends Cindy over the edge. 

Suiting up, Cindy unveils herself as Shiv, our first teenage villain on Stargirl. Cindy doesn’t wear a mask, so when she finds Stargirl, Courtney can see exactly who she is. Even though Courtney doesn’t hide her voice or her curly blonde locks, her identity is safe; it must be a superhero thing. The fight scene between Stargirl and Shiv was one of the best yet. Both ladies had staffs, and Cindy’s dragon staff literally breathed fire. This was also the first time that Courtney was humbled by her lack of training. She barely made it out alive, and she only did so because of a mysterious rescuer, Justin the Janitor. 

This janitor is always lurking in the background at the high school, and it has been clear from the start that he’s involved with either the ISA or the JSA. Now we know that he’s one of the good guys. Justin the Janitor has a medieval sword that he keeps in his mop bucket, and he knows how to wield it. Using the sword, he knocks Cindy out, saving Courtney from certain death. We already saw Cindy kill one of her father’s minions. Also, was there insinuation that she had something to do with her mother’s death? Pat follows the cosmic staff back to Courtney (shouting her name the whole time), and Justin recognizes him as Stripesy. Clearly, there’s more to this janitor than we knew. I’m just glad he’s one of the good ones. 

I love the way that the writers and creators of Stargirl are able to highlight a select number of characters during each episode, while still reminding us of the others. Henry is starting to learn more about his telepathic powers, as he uses them to cheat on his geometry quiz. Cindy still thinks that he’s clueless, and her father is clearly directing her to be his girlfriend. Mike is struggling with Courtney wanting to spend so much time with his father. He says that he and Pat have been through a lot; there’s clearly more to that statement that I hope we get to explore. The rest of the JSA is frustrated with Courtney for trying to outshine them. They’re in this together and supposed to be learning and training as a team, but Courtney is having a harder time than she expected with this. 

Editor's Rating

Overall
I can’t believe we are already seven episodes into Stargirl. There’s truly something special with how this show is put together. The storytelling is superb, and the characters are all becoming more complex and more human, despite having superhuman abilities. The desire for connection is something that everyone craves, whether you’re a good guy or a bad guy. I do wonder if any of the other children of the ISA members will become bad once they find out who their parents are. It sounds like their parents have given all of them powers; they just don’t know it yet. Given the chance, would any of them fight with the JSA?
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Jenny Lampe

Jenny Lampe

I'm a TV and movie enthusiast. I enjoy all genres and try to keep up to date on the latest hits. Follow me on Twitter at @JennyLampe.