Stargirl “Shining Knight” Review
More of the past comes to light in Stargirl’s “Shining Knight.” Justin the Janitor is struggling to remember who he is, but he knows that he can always trust his friend Stripsey aka Pat Dugan. After his son’s death, Brainwave has a newfound urgency for Project New America and the destruction of the Justice Society. And we get the answer we’ve been waiting for, who is Courtney Whitmore’s father?
Justin the Janitor has some sort of amnesia, presumably by Brainwave’s powers. He seeks out a local farmer asking for a steed with “fire in his eyes and victory in his heart.” Justin has lost his steed, and I wonder if we will ever see his white horse on Stargirl. The one person Justin does remember is Pat as Stripsey. He takes his sword (which just so happens to be Excalibur by the way) to see Pat at the Pit Stop. Beth and Rick are there when Justin arrives, and at first he hallucinates the Dragon King. Thankfully, Pat is able to calm him down. He promises to help Justin recover his memories and learn who he is.
Pat reminds Justin that he was the leader of the Seven Soldiers of Victory. Justin was the Shining Knight. After the rest of the soldiers were separated, Justin continued to go after the Dragon King. When he did, the dragon took his identity. He says they want to take everyone’s identity. This is when Pat puts together a piece of the plan for Project New America. He realizes it must be a massive brainwashing. The question remains how they want to control people.
Stargirl finally answers whether or not Starman was Courtney’s father. After Barbara’s insistence that Sam Curtis is Courtney’s father, she reaches out. For some reason, Sam actually responds. He decides to visit Courtney to get to know his daughter. It’s clear now that Courtney’s destiny to be Stargirl was not because of her father. Starman had nothing to do with her. She is now questioning why she started the new Justice Society in the first place.
Courtney goes for a walk and out to breakfast with her father. Sam says all of the right things. He wants to get to know her. He would even like for her to visit him in California, but something isn’t quite right with Sam and this impromptu visit. Before he leaves, Sam asks Courtney for her necklace. He makes up this fabulous story about how the two lockets are worth a ton of money because they were made by a jeweler to the stars. Sam asks for her locket, so he can sell the set to pay for a new place in California, that way she can visit. Courtney visibly deflates at his request, understanding exactly who this man is. He came to get some money out of them, and that’s it. Courtney gives up the necklace and pretends that they will see one another again, but she knows that’s the last she will see of Sam Curtis.
Pat steps up to try and comfort Courtney. He tells her that she can yell and scream at him if she needs to get out her frustrations. He promises that he can handle it, but instead, Courtney just cries in his arms. She has clearly found a better father figure in Pat than she ever could in Sam. Unfortunately, Courtney has lost faith in Stargirl, and the staff doesn’t respond to her. She thinks it knows that she isn’t Starman’s daughter, so it won’t work. Pat realizes that the staff has always been smarter than all of them. The staff never thought she was Starman’s daughter. It saw something else in her. Courtney just needs to believe in herself again. Along with her mom and step dad, Courtney is able to reactivate the staff, and it seems to glow even brighter this time. I wonder if their connection is more powerful than before.
The ISA was fairly quiet this episode as they continue to prepare for Project New America. Brainwave is ready to get the machine up and running. After Henry’s death, Brainwave says that it feels like he absorbed his son’s powers as well. He now believes they can reach half of the United States with the machine. Brainwave also knows that Courtney is Stargirl and fills in Jordan Mahkent. Brainwave is suspicious when Jordan doesn’t want to kill her and her family right away because of his feelings for Barbara. It isn’t until he sees that she has been looking into Starman and Icicle that Jordan makes the decision to wipe out the entire Whitmore-Dugan family.