DC’s Stargirl 3×12 Review: “Chapter Twelve: The Last Will and Testament of Sylvester Pemberton”

Chapter Twelve: The Last Will and Testament of Sylvester Pemberton
“Sylvester” (Joel McHale) in “Chapter Twelve: The Last Will and Testament of Sylvester Pemberton.”

A shocking revelation about Sylvester rattles the JSA in “Chapter Twelve: The Last Will and Testament of Sylvester Pemberton.”

Though the Justice Society of America (JSA) is still reeling from the return of Jordan aka Icicle (Neil Jackson) in “Chapter Eleven: The Haunting,” the ending reveal of “Chapter Twelve: The Last Will and Testament of Sylvester Pemberton” is even more impactful. Sylvester (Joel McHale) is in fact the Ultra-Humanite. The real Sylvester has been dead all along and the Ultra-Humanite implanted his own brain in the staff-preserved body. Though Sylvester’s erratic behavior throughout the season led to some suspicions, the reveal is still monumental.

The episode’s opening shows one of the Ultra-Humanite’s previous forms, an award-winning actress. Delores (Meredith Garretson) accepts an award, kills a man confessing his feelings for her, and tells Dragon King (Nelson Lee) that she wants her next body to be a powerful albino gorilla. Though Pat (Luke Wilson) and Sylvester had previously mentioned Ultra-Humanite’s time as Delores, the seemingly innocuous detail becomes more significant with his performance as Sylvester.

Before the reveal, the Ultra-Humanite continues to act as Sylvester for much of the episode. In the present, Pat and Courtney (Brec Bassinger) find that Sylvester has left a note behind as he intends to face Icicle alone. Instead, Sylvester has some moments with Artemis (Stella Smith), Yolanda (Yvette Monreal), and Beth (Anjelika Washington) of mentorship. With the revelation of Sylvester’s true identity, these nice moments become far more sinister.

Cameron (Hunter Sansone) is upset over his art teacher’s disappearance. Despite Cameron’s grandmother being the murderer, Jordan continues to manipulate Cameron to his side. After suggesting that the Ultra-Humanite is the killer, Jordan promises to bring in Ultra-Humanite to redeem himself to the JSA. Cameron seems to believe him, but it’s only a matter of time before he learns the truth.

Later, Pat tries to talk Sylvester out of taking on Icicle by himself. Sylvester responds by blaming Pat for his death and telling him that he’ll never be anything more than a sidekick. Even if Sylvester isn’t himself, the harsh words don’t seem that out of character from what we’ve seen of how the real Sylvester previously treated Pat.

Sylvester then runs into Courtney, who has heard everything. She makes a powerful speech about how Pat has always been there for her. Courtney declares that Pat is her hero and that she’s glad that he is her father. The moment is one of the episode’s highlights, and it shows how far Courtney and Pat have come. Though Courtney refuses to hand Cosmo back over, Sylvester summons the staff with his hand and Courtney is unable to stop him.

In the aftermath, the JSA finally realizes that it’s long overdue to try and find Rick (Cameron Gellman). After earlier struggling to remove the hourglass from his neck, Rick seeks out the JSA for help. The reunion scene was unfortunately clearly shortened, as indicated by released promo pictures for the episode, but it’s still great to see the JSA starting to reunite once again.

The JSA reunites in “Chapter Twelve: The Last Will and Testament of Sylvester Pemberton.”

As they try to help Rick, Beth reveals that her research on the hourglass indicates that Rick’s father went through this previously. The group’s suspicions are raised when Beth tells them that Sylvester, who initially mentioned the limiter to Rick, was there when Rex was dealing with his addiction and would have known the effects of removing the limiter.

After finding S.T.R.I.P.E. dismantled by Sylvester and a conversation with Zeek (King Orba), Pat believes that Sylvester is being awful to try and prevent them from following him and getting hurt. Grabbing a flamethrower off the robot, Pat goes to Jordan’s house to try and help Sylvester. However, Sylvester knocks Pat out and promises Icicle that he’ll deal with him.

Meanwhile, Mike (Trae Romano), Jakeem (Alkoya Brunson), Cindy (Meg DeLacy), and Thunderbolt (Seth Green) spend the episode trying to find the Dragon King’s labs for a cure for Cindy’s condition. The subplot is a somewhat more lighthearted contrast to the heaviness of the rest of the episode. The trio makes a horrific discovery that the Dragon King is alive and that his brain is in the albino gorilla that was previously believed to be the Ultra-Humanite.

Both reveals are well done and are interesting twists. However, there are two big issues that the Ultra-Humanite reveal causes. Though it’s understandable how Ultra-Humanite was able to fool everyone with his acting abilities, it’s harder to understand why Cosmo wouldn’t suspect anything. The staff would know the original Starman better than anyone, and surely its superpowered abilities would be able to suspect that this Sylvester was different.

The reveal also makes the early season focus on Sylvester and sidelining the JSA members even worse. The Ultra-Humanite’s manipulations would still be clear in brief moments throughout the season. Instead, they spent so much time trying to give Sylvester an arc about trying to be Starman in the present day. Yolanda, Beth, and Rick were affected the most by this lack of balance, and the reveal that Sylvester was not really Sylvester makes much of that screentime even more wasted.

“Chapter Twelve: The Last Will and Testament of Sylvester Pemberton” ends on a somber note. The Ultra-Humanite buries Pat alive while revealing how he thoroughly interviewed people from Pat’s past to master playing Sylvester and all the manipulations he executed as Sylvester to weaken the JSA. McHale is clearly enjoying the villainous turn, and hopefully Pat will find a way to survive the perilous situation. With three villains now in the fold, next week’s series-ending final showdown is shaping up to be a hopefully epic and satisfying conclusion.

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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