Yolanda grapples with the manifestation of her guilt as Eclipso brings darkness to Blue Valley in “Summer School: Chapter Seven.”
Eclipso’s (Nick Tarabay) return to full power in “Summer School: Chapter Six” has an immediate impact on the citizens of Blue Valley in “Summer School: Chapter Seven.” His child form (Milo Stein) begins wreaking havoc on Blue Valley, controlling a few of its citizens to do terrible things. However, the threat of Eclipso takes a backseat for much of the episode as Yolanda’s (Yvette Monreal) struggles with her guilt over the deaths of Brainwave (Christopher James Baker) and Henry (Jake Austin Walker) take center stage.
Yolanda’s guilt is magnified by her Christian identity, and she struggles as she debates whether to tell Father Thomas (Kenny Alfonso) the truth in the confession booth. The struggle is interesting to watch as Yolanda goes back and forth about whether her actions were justified as a superhero and in the eyes of God. Yolanda’s speech about how God isn’t on Earth to take on the devil is compelling, but it’s no surprise that the speech is met with concern by Father Thomas, who knows nothing about the Justice Society of America (JSA) or the looming threat. Yolanda’s mother (Kikey Castillo) continues to be awful, and thankfully Father Thomas criticizes her for continuing to judge Yolanda for everything.
The guilt ends up manifesting in the form of visions of both Brainwave and Henry. While Henry blames Yolanda for his death, Brainwave continues to haunt her over his decision to kill him. The visions are unsettling and Monreal’s performance really shines as the audience feels sympathetic to her struggle. After Yolanda’s in-class nightmare, Courtney (Brec Bassinger) does her best to comfort her. Courtney’s continued support of and belief in Yolanda is amazing and their relationship continues to remain one of the show’s strengths. Courtney does her best to tell Yolanda that she’s not alone and suggests that they tell Rick (Cameron Gellman) and Beth (Anjelika Washington) so that they can deal with the issue as a team.
The four of them have a meeting and Yolanda tells them the truth. Rick is understanding, while Beth isn’t sure whether Yolanda did the right thing. Though Yolanda’s decision has the nuance of her killing a villain who was a threat to them and Blue Valley, Beth’s hesitation around murder is understandable. After Yolanda points out that Rick couldn’t go through with killing Solomon Grundy, she declares that she is the only one in the group that would be capable of murdering Eclipso. Yolanda’s argument isn’t wrong, and hopefully Beth will eventually come to see that in the future.
Yolanda’s storyline culminates in a chilling confrontation with a vision of Brainwave when she goes back to the confession booth. Brainwave tells her that her guilt manifestations were due to him leaving a part of himself in her mind and that he will eventually take over her body. The threat is disturbing, and the religious imagery juxtaposed with Brainwave turning into Henry telling her that she will burn really highlights the distressing nature of Yolanda’s struggle. However, it seems to be unclear whether Brainwave’s claims are true or if Eclipso is behind these visions.
Thankfully, Courtney is able to save Yolanda by holding her hand to the staff. Unfortunately, the incident leads Yolanda to question why Courtney chose her as Wildcat and she tearfully declares that she’s quitting the JSA despite Courtney’s pleadings. In addition, she quits her job at the diner and Courtney is unable to reach Yolanda in the aftermath. The sequence is heartbreaking and Courtney’s devastation over losing Yolanda makes is even more so. While Yolanda’s separation from the group hopefully won’t last too long, it will be great to see the JSA reunited once again and stronger than ever.
While Yolanda’s story was the primary focus, the episode also showed Pat (Luke Wilson) having Mike (Trae Romano) begin his JSA work by doing the tedious work of rebuilding S.T.R.I.P.E. It remains to be seen what role Mike will play in the showdown with Eclipso, but he also finds himself tempted by the diamond pieces and has a horrifying vision of his own. In addition, Barbara (Amy Smart) sees evidence that The Shade (Jonathan Cake) might still be alive, and the episode ends with Eclipso standing outside of Beth’s house as she sleeps. These story threads have potential, but the threat of Eclipso hurting Beth is the most terrifying.
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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