DC’s Stargirl 2×03 Review: “Summer School: Chapter Three”

Armed with a magic pen, Mike attempts to join the JSA as they take on The Shade in “Summer School: Chapter Three.”

As the Justice Society of America (JSA) investigates the former Injustice Society of America (ISA) villain The Shade (Jonathan Cake) after his arrival in “Summer School: Chapter Two,” Mike (Trae Romano) potentially finds a way to join the JSA in “Summer School: Chapter Three.” As an outsider in most of the series’ action, Mike is often overlooked, and this episode does a good job at exploring his isolation and loneliness.

After being bullied on his paper route and being shut out of JSA business, Mike makes a wish to be a superhero as he grabs a pen from Courtney’s (Brec Bassinger) bedroom. His feeling of being left out is understandable and easy to sympathize with. The pen turns out to have magical abilities and a mysterious entity named Thunderbolt (Jim Gaffigan) is summoned. Thunderbolt is a genie, but his wishes are required to be specific. The wishes granted by Thunderbolt are amusing in how they are interpreted, particularly when Mike wishes to stop his bullies and stop signs rain down around them.

Mike is excited about the prospect and is eager to join the JSA with his new power. Pat (Luke Wilson) recognizes Thunderbolt from his early JSA days and is wary of his power. Thunderbolt tells Pat that he chose Mike due to his loneliness, and Mike’s story parallels a flashback of Pat being left behind in headquarters during the early days of the JSA. As good as Pat’s relationship with Courtney has been during the course of the series, his relationship with Mike has been nearly non-existent. With the prospect of Cindy (Meg DeLacy) recruiting Mike to the ISA, it could be potentially easy to win Mike over if things don’t change.

With Courtney’s encouragement, Pat agrees to let Mike help locate The Shade and the JSA gets to work. While the past two episodes have been light on JSA action, seeing the group work together again is fun. Likewise, Barbara (Amy Smart) being in the loop on JSA action has added an amusing dynamic to the team, particularly when Pat gets her to approve their plan to take on The Shade. While not much is revealed about The Shade, he remains creepy as he trespasses at Barbara’s workplace to get his hands on the box that had been holding Eclipso.

As the JSA suits up to take on The Shade, Pat forces Mike to stay behind at the auto shop. Pat leads the JSA to The Shade’s location, but The Shade doesn’t initially appear interested in fighting. Inviting them to sit down for tea, he denies being presently involved with the ISA and warns them to stay out of his way. There is definitely more to the story, and the mystery of The Shade’s presence adds an interesting element to the season as the threat of Eclipso remains at large.

DC’s Stargirl: “Summer School: Chapter Three”

Unfortunately, the JSA isn’t able to get more answers before Mike bursts into the room and attempts to attack The Shade with Thunderbolt. The Shade immobilizes everyone with his shadow powers before escaping. The shadow powers are cool, and they will be a challenge for the JSA to stop. Mike expresses his guilt over the incident and loses Thunderbolt as he wishes for it to be in better hands. Mike’s intentions were noble, but being shut out of the JSA yet again is rough. Though Pat and Barbara take responsibility for his loneliness, it remains to see if there will be an actual effort to include Mike into the JSA fold in some capacity.

As the JSA gets back into action, Yolanda (Yvette Monreal) continues to struggle with killing Brainwave. She expresses her concerns about being put in a similar situation, and Courtney does a good job at reassuring her. Yolanda and Courtney’s relationship remains a great part of the series, and Yolanda’s struggles are compelling. Likewise, Rick (Cameron Gellman) and Beth (Anjelika Washington) grow closer as Rick gets Beth to open up about her parents. Rick and Beth’s dynamic is interesting, and it will be exciting to see how it develops.

The moment between Rick and Beth is cut short as Chuck (Alex Collins) briefly returns to Beth’s goggles and warns them about Eclipso. Likewise, Pat realizes from Barbara’s description that The Shade was after Eclipso as well. With the JSA now aware of Eclipso, the action should ramp up as the JSA continues to suit up to take on the looming threats ahead of them.

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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