DC’s Stargirl 3×09 Review: “Chapter Nine: The Monsters”

Courtney (Brec Bassinger) and Cameron (Hunter Sansone) in “Chapter Nine: The Monsters.”

Courtney attempts to tell Cameron the truth about his father, but a massive battle breaks out instead in “Chapter Nine: The Monsters.”

Leaving the Helix Institute behind after “Chapter Eight: Infinity Inc. Part Two,” the action returns to Blue Valley in “Chapter Nine: The Monsters.” Unfortunately, this week started with news of Stargirl’s cancellation. Though cancellation seemed likely with the network upheaval, the announcement is still upsetting. Thankfully, the writers seem to have had enough notice to write the finale as a series finale, and hopefully, it will be a satisfying enough conclusion to the show.

Though the cancellation is deflating, this episode had a lot of great moments to take away some of the sting. In particular, I’m so happy to see that Courtney (Brec Bassinger) and Yolanda (Yvette Monreal) have finally reconciled. The reunion after Courtney’s adventure at the Helix Institute, complete with an epic hug and a long overdue conversation was the episode’s highlight for me. It’s a relief that the two are on the same page again in the series’ remaining episodes.

Pat’s (Luke Wilson) return to Blue Valley is less joyful. In a nice heart-to-heart with Barbara (Amy Smart), Pat tells her what he saw in the shadow lands and about Mike’s (Trae Romano) past. Inspired by the conversation, Pat considers contacting Mike’s mother so that Mike can meet her. It’s great to see Pat trying to make up for how he’s previously dealt with Mike, but it feels like it would be easier if Pat simply tried to talk to Mike and show his support for him. Though brief, Crusher (Neil Hopkins) and Paula’s (Joy Osmanski) respective moments of supporting Pat and Barbara in the episode were also nice.

At the Justice Society of America (JSA) cafeteria meeting, Courtney apologizes to Rick (Cameron Gellman) and Beth (Anjelika Washington) for not telling them about Cameron’s abilities. They accept her apology, but Courtney tells them her intention to tell Cameron (Hunter Sansone) the truth about his father and the JSA. Rick is adamant that it’s a bad idea, but nobody else voices objections. In a sweet moment, Rick tells the other JSA members that they are family to him, and that he will always support them even though he maintains that Courtney is making a mistake.

Much of Rick’s behavior seems to be influenced by the now-limitless hourglass, and Beth’s concerns about his judgment grow. She tells Rick and Yolanda that her search for the source of the camera feed is taking her all over the place. The latest location points to Cameron’s house, and Rick jumps into action without considering it could be another false location.

The negative influence of Cameron’s grandparents, particularly Lily (Kay Galvin) continues to build. While Lily is ruthless about pushing Cameron, Sofus (Jim France) seems more hesitant. Upset that Cameron is distracted from his “destiny,” Lily murders Cameron’s art teacher (Randy Havens) when he visits to encourage Cameron not to give up on his passion for art. When Courtney attempts to talk to Cameron about his father, Lily jumps in before she can say anything.

As Rick bursts into the house in costume, Courtney attempts to de-escalate the confrontation by telling Cameron that Rick is in the costume. Given Rick and Cameron’s clear hostility to each other throughout the season, this misguided decision makes things worse as the two begin to attack each other. Given how Cameron has struggled with his abilities, it’s surprising that he turns out to be a skilled and vicious fighter that is able to badly wound Rick.

In addition to Cameron and Rick’s battle, Yolanda faces off with Lily. Beth, with a surprise assist from Artemis (Stella Smith), faces off with Sofus. All three of the fight scenes are well choreographed and each battle is exciting in its own way. It’s surprising to see Artemis, since she hasn’t been seen since the season’s premiere, and hopefully there will be more of her in the final episodes.

The most surprising of these fights is Beth’s, who is able to activate a special combat mode in her goggles after her parents’ conversation with McNider. Though it’s great to see Beth finally get a chance to fight, the method is a little too convenient. While McNider developing a program for the goggles is somewhat plausible, the fact that he didn’t bother to tell Beth about this far sooner, particularly while they were fighting Eclipso together is far less plausible.

Mike (Trae Romano), Jakeem (Alkoya Brunson), and Thunderbolt (Seth Green) in “Chapter Nine: The Monsters.”

With Rick on the ropes, Lily encourages Cameron to avenge his father’s death. Sofus steps forward and encourages him not to follow in his father’s footsteps and choose love. The stirring speech is cut short as Sofus has a heart attack and Beth attempts to revive him with her newly discovered, incredibly convenient, defibrillator gloves.

Though Cameron doesn’t end up killing Rick at the end of “Chapter Nine: The Monsters,” there’s no telling how he will respond to what transpired going forward. The JSA won’t have much time to process, as a new villain is in town. In an attempt to find Cindy, Jakeem (Alkoya Brunson), Mike, and Thunderbolt (Seth Green) search a potential location for one of Dragon King’s labs. They find themselves face to face with a terrifying monster, the Ultra-Humanite, who threatens to kill everyone. This reveal brings more questions than answers, and hopefully, the show’s final episodes can answer everything satisfactorily.

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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