Stargirl – S1 Ep3 – Icicle Review

The chilling leader of the Injustice Society takes center stage in this character driven episode of DC’s Stargirl!

DC’s Stargirl continues to impress. Quality filmmaking, stellar visuals, and compelling writing all help to make this a truly welcome addition to the DC Universe. Another strength of this show is its world building and character development. In this third episode, the show slows down a bit to focus on not only Courtney and Pat, but the Injustice Society. As the title suggests, Neil Jackson’s Icicle makes his chilling debut in a fascinating yet tragic episode. Let’s recap!

The episode opens with a truly tragic flashback. Eight years ago, Jordan Mahkent and his family (including his young son Cameron) gathered at the bedside of his dying wife Kristine. She shares a tender goodbye with her son, who is a naturally gifted artist. Jordan then goes to say his goodbyes. Her dying message to him was simple: Let no one stand in your way of his mission. Destroy anyone who gets in your way of making the world safe for our family. Mahkent tearfully promises her this.

Back in the present day, Courtney is determined  to find and eliminate the ISA. She once again disregards Pat’s desire for caution. He tells her that a major part of being a superhero is also not being on sometimes in order to keep people safe.

Meanwhile, Henry King Jr. sits at his father’s bedside and seems to accidentally move a coffee cup with his mind, much to his surprise. Mahkent is also watching. Jordan then calls Councilman Zarrick (guest star Joe Knezevich), who dodges his calls.

At Blue Valley High, Courtney meets the cheerful Joey Zarrick (guest star Will Duesner), who excitedly performs a magic trick for her. He fails to pick her card, but she hides this and praises him. Cameron Mahkent watches on admiring her kindness. Courtney then passes by Yolanda Montez, who once again is targeted by bullies. Courtney offers to help clean the girl’s vandalized locker, but Montez rushes off.

At the hospital, Pat checks on Brainwave and quickly realizes that the villain is not alone.

Zarrick returns home and is confronted by Mahkent, who is disappointed in the Councilman’s leadership of the ISA in his absence. Icicle berates the Wizard for not reigning in Brainwave and for failing to call him. Zarrick felt he had it handled and blames Brainwave for not being a teamplayer. Mahkent, determined to complete Project New America, hopes that Zarrick shares his vision. He tells him to think grander and to keep his promises. Mahkent, regaining control of the ISA, then sets out to eliminate Stargirl.

Meanwhile, Barbara heads to the American Dream where she meets Jordan, who is the true head of the company. Mahkent and Sharpe (guest star Eric Goins) outline their plans which include a revitalization of downtown. Barbara speaks up when they reveal their plans to tear down the old community theater on 308 Main Street. Jordan listens to her concerns and decides to honor her request to keep it standing. He sets up a theater project and asks her to be a part of it.

Back at the school, Courtney tries to help Yolanda (who is being harassed by Cindy (guest star Meg DeLacy) once again, but is shut down. Cameron is revealed to have painted a beautiful flower on Yolanda’s locker to cover up the vandalism. Courtney then officially meets Cameron in math class and the two share a moment.

On her way home, Courtney is rattled by a message from Icicle: a frosty star shape in the middle of the field. She races home and informs Pat, who is quick to tell her to stay home. However, she is able to convince him to join her in investigating it. Once there, the star is gone, but they are ambushed by Icicle himself. In a brief yet intense encounter, Pat is able to save Courtney from certain death with S.T.R.I.P.E. ‘s rocket fist. However, the blast sends Icicle to a nearby bridge. He freezes the bridge as a school bus (carrying Joey Zarrick, Beth Chapel and other Blue Valley students heading back from the talent competition) approaches. This causes the bus to swerve and nearly fall into the water, but Pat and Courtney are able to save them. However, Icicle does the unthinkable and causes an incoming truck to hit Joey Zarrick, who is sent racing for his playing cards by Icicle’s icy wind.

Following this tragedy, Courtney and Pat mourn the loss of Joey, who was one of the only people at school who showed her kindness, and discuss the danger posed by Icicle and the ISA. She vows to find Icicle and get justice. Pat decides to take her to the JSA Headquarters for another history lesson. Once there, he shows her the JSA in all of their glory including Green Lantern, The Flash, and Johnny Thunder! He also reminds her once again that these legends were killed by the ISA. The two of them are outmatched and must stop before anyone else dies. She defiantly tells him: “A kid died today, which is why we must keep going, Pat.”

Meanwhile, a heartbroken Zarrick confronts Mahkent at the latter’s home with his wand in hand. He demands to know why his son is dead. However, Mahkent simply tells him: I hoped you would understand that this was for him. As he says this, he freezes the Councilman to death! Jordan’s parents dispose of the man’s body. Later, Cameron comes home for dinner!

In the final moments, Courtney decides to return to the JSA HQ and gather the various member’s artifacts vowing to form her own JSA!

This episode is easily my favorite of the three so far! This episode does an incredible job of fleshing out not only our main heroes, but the villains as well. Neil Jackson’s Jordan Mahkent/Icicle, after only one episode, is already a strong and compelling villain. He is charming yet sinister and incredibly cold (pun intended). This episode was surprisingly emotional. I was not expecting the death of Joey Zarrick to hit me as hard as it did. Maybe it has something to do with the tragedies currently happening in the world. Regardless, the writing and incredible performances from the cast especially Brec Bassinger, Luke Wilson, Joe Knezevich, and Cynthia Evans (Denise Zarrick). I also especially was moved by Courtney’s line to Pat at JSA HQ. We must stand up to injustice in all of its forms no matter the danger. An innocent kid does not deserve to die. We must fight to prevent these senseless actions from happening. In my previous reviews, I stated that this was a show that would provide hope in these trying times. This could not be more true especially after this episode. I

I cannot wait to see where the story continues from here!

Stay tuned for more recaps & reviews of DC’s Stargirl here at Earth-9!