That’s Superhero 101 – Stargirl Episode 5 Review
Stargirl Episode 5 – Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite
Directed by David Straiton
Written by Melissa Carter
Created for Television by Geoff Johns
Starring: Brec Bassinger, Yvette Monreal, Anjelika Washington, Cameron Gellman, and Luke Wilson
New episodes premiere every Monday on the DC Universe app, then shortened episodes air Tuesdays on the CW
Spoilers to Follow…
In episode 5 of Stargirl, it’s Halloween in Blue Valley. After recruiting Yolanda “Wildcat” Montez (Yvette Monreal) last episode, Courtney “Stargirl” Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) continues her mission to reform the Justice Society of America. By chance, she runs into Rick Tyler (Cameron Gellman) who just so happens to be the son of the original Hourman. While Courtney is off trying to recruit Rick, Beth Chapel (Anjelika Washington) is waiting at Courtney’s house. After witnessing them in action last episode, Beth has figured out that Courtney and Yolanda are superheroes. Beth is ready to confront Courtney when the unexpected happens and she finds the original Dr. Mid-Nite’s goggles. In addition, the audience also gets to see two of the Injustice Society of America villains in action as they steal an industrial satellite dish.
My favorite part of the episode was how Beth comes to find and put on Dr. Mid-Nite’s goggles. It’s not Courtney who recruits her, but the Whitmore family dog, who Beth happens to see chewing on the goggles. Beth has been in the show since the first episode, but up until now she’s come off as childish and annoying. After this episode, she may have become my favorite character. She’s adorable, funny, and endearing. The things she does with the Mid-Nite goggles are really cool as well. Though I did think it was odd in the scope of the timeline established by the show how advanced the goggles and their associated electronic interface were. I mean they have access to Twitter, for God-sake. Not only does that seem out of place for the time when the original Dr. Mid-Nite invented and used the goggles, but what good is Twitter to a costumed adult hero with a secret identity?
As much as I liked Beth as the new Dr. Mid-Nite, I really didn’t care for Rick as the new Hourman. His story arc in this episode is just so unoriginal, even for a comic book adaptation. He’s a juvenile delinquent with rage issues. That’s it, that’s his character. He only agrees to join up with Courtney, Yolanda, and Beth so that he can get revenge of the Injustice Society after they killed his parents. It’s just such a basic and overdone character arc that doesn’t very well in a show that otherwise has felt pretty fresh. There was one high point involving Rick’s backstory. Lou Ferrigno Jr. guest stars as Rex Tyler, the original Hourman.
Luke Wilson continues to do a good job with the plot lines he’s handed, but I’m ready for the writers to pick a direction for the character. We haven’t seen Wilson’s Pat Dugan bust out the S.T.R.I.P.E. suit since the second episode. Instead he keeps insisting to Courtney that he’ll handle tracking down the Injustice Society members and that she should stay out of it. Yet, despite his best efforts, Dugan hasn’t done much detective work. Most of the things he learns have already been revealed to the audience in other scenes. Wilson and Bassinger continue to shine when they’re in scenes together. I’m ready for Dugan to join the team for real and see everyone work together to take down the Injustice Society.
Overall Stargirl Episode 5 was mediocre, but there were a few cool moments. Bassinger and Washington give solid performances and the activities of the villains continue to keep the viewer guessing as further details of their plot are slowly revealed. I’m still invested in the series, but I’m ready for the plot to make faster forward progress. It’s cool that Courtney is recruiting the new JSA, but in terms of the greater storyline, it doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere substantial yet. Here’s hoping there’s bigger, better things in store for Stargirl and the gang in future episodes.