Courtney recruits her first new JSA member! Yolanda Montez takes center stage in this powerful origin story episode.
DC’s Stargirl is honestly a bright light in the world right now. It has a wonderful charm about it, but it also deals with real world issues in a stellar way. The show continues to impress with the latest chapter appropriately titled “Wildcat.” Yvette Monreal delivers an incredibly moving performance as the new JSA’s first recruit, Yolanda Montez. In addition, this episode continues to tease the grander ISA plan by introducing another sinister villain: Dr. Ito (Nelson Lee). Let’s recap!
This stellar episode opens three months ago with an excited Yolanda preparing to run for class president. She was the popular girl and dating Henry King, Jr. Unfortunately, things go downhill for her when she accepts King’s request for a “sexy” photo. She takes a topless selfie which then gets shared with everyone at school thanks to King and a jealous Cindy (Meg DeLacy). Montez is left broken and humiliated. Not only is she shunned by the school, she is also shunned by her own family who continue to look down on her.
In the present day, Courtney admires the JSA gear and looks through her yearbook for possible recruits before landing on Montez (whom she chooses to be the new Wildcat). At breakfast, things are still a bit tense between Pat and Courtney following the death of Joey. He remains adamant that she not get involved. He must find the other ISA members alone and without them knowing. Courtney disregards his warnings once again and works to recruit anyway. At school, she once again comes to Yolanda’s defense (against Cindy), but Montez urges her to leave her alone.
Elsewhere, Denise visits Pat at his garage to get her car fixed as she prepares to leave town.
Meanwhile, in the basement of the American Dream building, Jordan meets with Dr. Ito (Nelson Lee), another member of the ISA and their chief scientist. Mahkent tells him of his plans to expedite Project New America. He requests that the doctor complete “his machine” as soon as possible. Dr. Ito complies saying: “one generation’s ultimate sacrifice will protect another.” He also requests the body of The Wizard in order to continue his experiments to which Jordan obliges.
Back at school, Courtney finds Yolanda boxing in the gym. Despite Yolanda’s requests to leave her alone, Courtney refuses to listen. She eventually opens up about destroying Henry’s car which piques Montez’s curiosity. Whitmore invites Yolanda to dinner who shows up despite her own parents’s disapproval. The two begin to bond with Montez opening up about her past with King. Courtney shows Yolanda the staff and tells her about the JSA and ISA including King’s father Brainwave. Despite some hesitation, Montez agrees to suit up and become the new Wildcat. The suit magically forms to her body upon wearing the cowl! The duo then tests out Wildcat’s powers which include: agility, claws, and more. They then decide to find the rest of the ISA by way of Brainwave’s hospital visitor’s log.
Meanwhile, Denise warns Pat that this town is untrustworthy before leaving town for good.
At the hospital, Courtney and Yolanda successfully sneak in and steal the visitor’s log. Yolanda also sneaks into King’s room and finds a distraught Jr. begging for his father to hear him. She was going to slash him with her new claws, but decides against it after seeing his pain. After King leaves, Principal Bowin (guest star Hina Khan) arrives! She pulls out a violin and plays a brief song before leaving as well. After a close call (and Beth Chapel overhearing their names), the duo then return home. Upon further inspection of the log, they realize that Principal Bowin did not sign in which leads them to suspect her involvement in the ISA! Despite having a bit of fun, Yolanda refuses to continue as Wildcat. She tells Courtney that she needs to reclaim her own life first before taking on a hero persona.
She takes this confidence and stands up to her family, who refuse to accept her despite her plea for forgiveness. Heartbroken, she sits alone in her room until she spots the Wildcat suit in her windowsill (courtesy of Courtney). She puts it on and returns to Courtney’s home!
In the final moments, Pat returns to the junkyard for more parts only to discover Denise’s battered empty car among the junk!
This was yet another fantastic episode of DC’s Stargirl! “Wildcat” was a well crafted origin story for Yolanda Montez, who is masterfully played by Yvette Monreal. Monreal’s Montez is such a charming and compelling character. I truly enjoyed her intro here and her bonding with Courtney. In addition, the introduction of Dragon King and the tease of Principal Bowin’s involvement in the ISA were great as well!
Can’t wait to see what’s next!
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