It’s Stargirl vs. Shiv in this epic instalment of DC’s Stargirl!
At little over halfway through the season, I can safely say that DC’s Stargirl is one of the best first season’s of any DC show in recent years. This show has a truly compelling story complete with relatable characters and top notch action. This episode continues the series’s upward trajectory by focusing on the school’s resident “mean girl” Cindy Burman. “Shiv Part One,” masterfully directed by the legendary Lea Thompson, allows Meg DeLacy a chance to truly shine as Burman, whose backstory is quite tragic. Let’s recap!
This exciting episode opens with each member of the new JSA celebrating individually about being a part of the team. At the Dugan/Whitmore home, Barbara and Mike begin to feel slighted as Pat and Courtney have grown quite close. Barbara is a bit upset when she hears that Pat plans to teach Courtney how to drive and didn’t let her know.
Meanwhile, Cindy visits Henry Jr. at the hospital before school. She tries to get him to focus on their plans for Homecoming, but he is consumed by worry for his father. He tells her that he no longer wants to go to the dance, but wants her to stay with him.
At school, the new JSA triumphantly walk through the halls, but are rudely disrupted by an angry Cindy. Beth points out that Cindy’s personality shift occurred in the fourth grade when her mother died. She has been mean ever since.
Elsewhere, Jordan presents Barbara with a new project at work that would require her to travel.
After a spat with her friend, Cindy angrily bumps into the janitor (guest star Mark Ashworth), but Courtney comes to his rescue. The Janitor thanks her and leaves for his office (which houses an ancient looking sword)! Cindy asks Henry to dance once again, but receives the same answer as before much to her displeasure.
In science class, Courtney decides to partner with Cindy on the Cloud Experiment. She quickly realizes that Burman is quite gifted in chemistry as she completes the experiment without consulting the instructions. The duo begins to bond. Cindy reveals that her father is a chemist and that they used to do experiments together when she was a kid. Cindy then invites Courtney to hang out on Saturday instead of attending the Homecoming Dance. Courtney accepts.
Meanwhile, Henry begins to read the minds of his peers in his Geometry class during a test.
After school, Cindy returns home and proceeds to treat her step-mother poorly once again. Feeling increasingly isolated and held back, she storms off to see her father through the secret tunnel to the I.S.A.HQ. She overhears the I.S.A. discussing their plans concerning the new J.S.A. and Stargirl. Cindy then has a tantrum and kills one of her father’s drones to get his attention. Dr. Ito tells her to remain patient and follow his instructions which are to monitor Henry Jr. for powers. Cindy demands to join the I.S.A., but her father refuses. He gave her powers to keep her safe and that she is not ready.
Similarly, the new J.S.A. begins training with Pat. He presents the team with a two fold lesson: what they can do and what the ISA can do. He sets up crude mannequins to represent the ISA members and gives them a history lesson on each one. However, Courtney grows impatient and proceeds to use show off and use the staff to destroy them all. This of course robs the rest of the team of their training time. Pat tells them that they will reconvene tomorrow for more. He then tells Courtney that she is not ready.
Meanwhile, at the Mahkent home, Cameron asks his father for advice on how to ask a girl out. It is clear that he plans to ask Courtney to the dance. Jordan tells him a sweet story about how he met Christine and gives his son some great advice.
Later that night at the Homecoming football game, while Pat gets some snacks, Mike lashes out at Courtney for spending too much time with his father. However, Courtney is too focused on proving that Principal Bowin is the new Fiddler. After Mike leaves, Cameron finds Courtney alone and asks her to the dance. She excitedly accepts, but realizes that she previously made plans with Cindy. Whitmore then meets Cindy on the sidelines and asks if they can reschedule. Cindy angrily tells her to forget it.
Courtney then notices Principal Bowin being suspicious and follows her into her office undetected (aside from being spotted by the janitor). She suits up and discovers a secret passageway to the ISA HQ in Bowin’s office wall!
Meanwhile, an angry Cindy goes there as well to find her father. He doesn’t show which angers her more. She then sees Stagirl on the security feed and decides to suit up herself. If she can bring in this new hero, she may be allowed to join the I.S.A.! Cindy (who is also revealed to have healing powers) steals a mech suit and a dragon staff and confronts Courtney. A brutal battle throughout the school ensues ending badly for Stargirl. As Cindy goes for the killing blow, the Janitor arrives with his sword and saves Courtney. The staff then leads Pat to her unconscious body. When Pat finds her, Janitor Justin recognizes him from afar as Stripesy.
This show just keeps getting better and better! DC’s Stargirl continues to deliver in every aspect for me. Compelling story, exciting action, great humor, and charming characters! Meg DeLacy shines as Cindy Burman! I thoroughly enjoyed her backstory and seeing her suit up as Courtney’s archenemy Shiv! I also enjoyed the parallels between them. They are both impulsive and stubborn and ignore their father’s advice. Also of note, we finally get more from the mysterious janitor Justin, who is almost certainly a JSA related vigilante. I won’t spoil his identity here for those who may be unfamiliar with the comics. Regardless, it is a very exciting development!
I cannot wait to see what happens next!
Stay tuned for more recaps & reviews of all things Stargirl and the DC Universe here on Earth-9!