Stargirl “Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. Part One” Review
The final showdown begins in the second to last episode of the first season of Stargirl, “Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. Part One.” The Justice Society knows that the ISA is closing in on them. They have to band together and figure out a plan of attack. The ISA is ready to start the machine and control the minds of millions of Americans.
The Injustice Society is ready to execute their plan for Project New America. The Gambler is going to plan a blackout and make it look like it’s coming from Moscow. Brainwave is more than ready to get this underway. He tells Jordan that his dream is about to become a reality. Once the brainwash is done, everyone will share their values. Jordan no longer seems that interested in his plan. He only asks to be notified when Courtney and her family are dead.
It’s a good thing that they send Sportsmaster and Tigress after Courtney and her family. Had anyone else gone, they might actually be dead. But of course, Sportsmaster and Tigress both underestimate their opponents. Pat and Mike have to deal with Sportsmaster, and it’s Mike who saves the day, quite literally with a power drill to Sportsmaster’s back. Barbara and Courtney fight Tigress in their home, and Stargirl’s staff makes sure they remain unharmed.
Now that Mike is finally clued in to what’s going on in Blue Valley, the JSA retreats to a cabin to prepare for the showdown with the ISA. Even Justin the Janitor comes along for the ride, providing the feast “fit for kings and queens and loyal steeds.” I’ve missed seeing the Whitmore-Dugan family together, so it was nice to get more bonding moments between Mike and Courtney. Mike wonders aloud what life would be like if he had found the staff first. Courtney lets him try the staff, but it doesn’t respond to him. He’s clearly disappointed, but I’m not ready to count Mike out of the superhero game just yet.
Before the JSA develops a plan of attack, Rick is determined to finish the formula in his dad’s book. He’s tried everything he could possibly think of, except of course the year of his father’s beloved Mustang. Rick finishes the formula revealing coordinates for the ISA tunnels. Courtney and S.T.R.I.P.E. head to one part of the tunnels. Yolanda and Rick go a different way, and Beth and Barbara go to the American Dream to use their computers. As they enter the tunnels, Beth is concerned that she can still hear everyone so easily. It seems she’s worried about a trap from the ISA.
Beth and Chuck figured out what Project New America is about. Their manifesto calls for a new constitution. They want people to embrace solar and wind power and eliminate discrimination based on race and sexual orientation. Oh and they are also for universal healthcare. As the JSA reads this new constitution, they hesitate wondering if they are on the right side of this. That is, until they find the catch. The brainwash will most likely kill 25% of the adults that it can reach. The machine only works on minds that are fully formed (adults only on this one!), but 25% of them are bound to push back against the brainwash and will ultimately die from it.
The Gambler hacks into Beth’s hack and laughs at their bravado. They thought they had 30 minutes to stop the machine, but the machine started at the thirty minute mark. Unfortunately, once the machine starts, the adults are in a trance. Justin the Janitor, Barbara, and Pat are all worthless in the fight. How are the ISA members getting around the machine? The last thing we see is Pat’s robot hand coming for Courtney.