The school year is over, but summer will be anything but fun for Courtney and her friends in “Summer School: Chapter One.”
Stargirl’s second season picks up months after last season’s epic showdown between the Justice Society of America (JSA) and the Injustice Society of America (ISA). Though the ISA has been vanquished for now, the episode teases that JSA’s troubles are far from over. The premiere, “Summer School: Chapter One,” opens with a creepy sequence straight out of a horror movie that introduces new villain Eclipso (Nick Taraby) and ends with the potential recruitment of new ISA members.
These looming threats are as of now unknown to the main cast, as each member of the JSA struggles to return to a normal life in the aftermath of their heroic efforts. Courtney (Brec Bassinger) insists on spending nights patrolling the streets without any evidence of concrete threats, much to the dismay of her friends. Her desire to devote her life to super heroism is understandable, and her earnestness is still endearing.
Unfortunately, Courtney has let the rest of her life fall by the wayside despite urging from Pat (Luke Wilson). As the school year winds down, Courtney ends up in a fight with Artemis (Stella Smith) and Principal Sherman (Tywayne Wheatt) tells her that she must go to summer school for her failed classes. Pat and Barbara (Amy Smart) are obviously very disappointed in her, and Courtney’s arc of learning to balance being a superhero and living a normal life will be an interesting one to watch. Despite being at odds, the relationship between Courtney and Pat remains a strength in this episode and will hopefully remain so throughout the season.
The rest of the JSA is also struggling in the aftermath of the battle. Yolanda (Yvette Monreal) is dealing with her killing of Brainwave in the midst of the battle. She finds herself going to the confession booth but ultimately remaining silent about what happened. Yolanda’s struggle with murder is understandable, even if said murder was justified. Yolanda has a nice moment with Courtney and their friendship continues to be a great dynamic as Courtney assures her that the JSA doesn’t work without her.
Beth (Anjelika Washington) is also having a rough time in the premiere, between attempting to repair her goggles’ AI Chuck, and discovering her neglectful parents’ divorce papers. Beth tries to hold everything together, but she isn’t able to pull off the romantic date she prepares for her parents due to her parents not showing up. To make things worse, Chuck doesn’t recognize her once she is able to fix him. It’s hard not to feel sympathy for Beth, and hopefully better things will be coming for her this season.
Rick (Cameron Gellman) seems to be the most well-adjusted in the aftermath, but he is still dealing with sparing Solomon Grundy in the final battle. Upon hearing reports of various fast-food places being vandalized, he takes it upon himself to bring food to Grundy himself. It’s not clear how this storyline will progress, but it’s an interesting way of handling the aftermath. In addition, Rick is accused of cheating on a test by an awful teacher with no evidence other than his perfect score. Rick’s outburst that he helped save everyone was a legitimate reaction but will likely cause problems for him going forward.
The episode was full of references to other DC superheroes and villains such as the Flash and Green Lantern. The most prominent was the introduction of Jade (Ysa Penarejo), the daughter of Green Lantern. Though Jade and Courtney start off fighting each other in the middle of the night, it will be interesting to see how Jade fits in with the rest of the JSA. In addition, Sylvester (Joel McHale), the original Starman, is still looking for Pat after last season’s reveal that he is supposedly still alive.
While the introduction of new heroes and villains into Blue Valley has a lot of potential, it is a bit frustrating how casual the characters are at talking about their secret identities. Courtney and Yolanda discuss JSA business in line at the school lunchroom, Beth has her goggles laying out in the house, and Pat doesn’t take any precautions in hiding S.T.R.I.P.E. away from someone he hires to take care of the auto shop while he’s away. This carelessness must be leading to something, but it’s a wonder than nobody else has figured out their identities yet.
The most interesting plot teased in the premiere is Cindy’s (Meg DeLacy) desire to recruit a new ISA with the help of Eclipso. She lays out photos of kids of former ISA members that we already know about, but the interesting addition is a photo of Mike (Trae Romano). While Mike learned about JSA near the end of last season, he has been continuously put out of the loop compared to everyone else. It’s not clear exactly why Cindy is targeting Mike, but it will be intriguing to see how Mike will play into this season’s conflicts.
Author: Jessica Wolff
Jessica Wolff is a graduate of Drexel University with a BS in Film/Video. She has a passion for entertainment and representation in entertainment. She currently resides outside of Washington, DC.
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